Finder is the default app for file management and is included with releases of macOS. Finder on a Mac is designed to manage and organize your files and applications. It allows you to browse your files and folders, open and organize documents, and manage your applications. An essential part of the Finder windows is the sidebar. This sidebar is located on the left side, and it enables you to have quick access to items you use often.
If you do not see the sidebar, you can press Control-Command-S. Alternatively, you can choose View from the top menu bar and select Show Sidebar. Customizing what appears in the sidebar is important. For example, you may wonder why your iPhone or iPad does not appear in the sidebar when you connect it to your Mac using a USB cable. This may occur because your settings do not allow connected devices to appear in the sidebar, and you will need to change Finder settings to show your devices in the sidebar to fix this problem.
In this article, I explain how you can customize what you can see in the sidebar. You can add and remove items from the sidebar.
The Finder sections
There are four sections: Favorites, iCloud, Locations, and Tags. You can customize what you want to see in each section. If you do not see items under each section, it is probably because they are hidden. You can reveal them by clicking the arrow to the right of the section. You should also know that the arrow may not be visible until you bring the cursor over it.
Customize the Finder sidebar
There are a few ways to customize the sidebar:
1. Using the Finder Settings
- In Finder, click Finder, then Settings and the Finder Settings window will appear.
- Click the Sidebar tab, and then select what you want to appear in the sidebar. Selected items will appear, while deselected items will not. As stated above, the sidebar consists of four sections. You will see these sections here as well so that you can decide what to show under each section. For example, if your iPhone or iPad does not show up when connected, ensure that the CDs, DVDs, and iOS Devices option is selected. Or if you want your Downloads folders to show up, select it. Please note that a section will not appear if no items are selected for that section.
2. Dragging an item
By using the above method, you can only add or remove the predetermined items. You can also add a folder (or disk), file or app to the sidebar. This may be a good idea for items you use often. Here is how:
- Add a folder or disk to the sidebar: Using your cursor, drag the folder or the disk to the favorites section in the sidebar and drop it there.
- Add a file or an app to the sidebar: Select the file or the app, press the Command key, drag the item to the favorites section and drop it there.
If you are adding a folder, disk or file to the sidebar, you should know that doing so will not move the disk or folder; it just creates a shortcut, a.k.a. an alias.
To remove an added item from the sidebar, you can right-click (Command-click) it and then select Remove from Sidebar.