In the Finder sidebar (and in Pathfinder's sidebar too), there is a Places area where you can add your own shortcuts.

Where are these actually kept on the Mac. I checked $HOME/Library but couldn't find anything. I want to see if I can change some of the names there. I have several shortcuts to mount Windows C$ shares over there, and I want to see if I can rename them to something a bit more meaningful than just C$. It's a little confusing when you have about a 1/2 dozen shortcuts all with the same name.

Finder doesn't seem to let you rename them.

1 Answer 1


They live in ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.sidebarlists.plist. The "Places" area corresponds to the useritems key. If you have XCode (any version) installed you can use the Property List Editor to read and edit that file; otherwise you'll need to use plutil to convert it to XML and back.

I don't know if you can safely rename the entries in that file; they clearly have aliases defined which point back to the originals, but I don't know if the name is ever used for anything other than display or if the Finder will become confused when the alias and name don't match. Copy the existing one to a backup before playing with it. You may also need to restart the Finder after editing it or copying the backup back into place: Option+right click the Finder icon in the Dock and select "Relaunch".

  • 1
    Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, modifying that file didn't help. However, I found if I create an alias to the shortcut, then use the alias, the Places name would be that of the alias.
    – David W.
    Apr 5, 2011 at 2:13

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