I'd like to create a new Favorites folder item in the Finder, how can I tell the Finder that I would like a particular folder to appear in my list of Favorites shown on the left hand sidebar of the Finder window and in dialogs to open a file in an application? I expected to find this in the Finder's Preferences, but the Sidebar tab of the preferences only allows you to toggle the visibility of your existing Favorites, not add new ones. I see that applications like DropBox are able to extend this Sidebar, so what about an end user, how can I extend it?

up vote 101 down vote accepted

Drag the folder to the desired position in the sidebar. This adds the folder to the sidebar in every current and future Finder window, as well as Finder Open/Save windows/sheets.

Removal is done by dragging the folder from the sidebar out to the side.

  • any clue as to where to find the favorites folder, or is it not a folder? Thanks! – Dan Rosenstark Mar 14 '15 at 14:09
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    @Yar It's a dictionary in the com.apple.sidebarlists.plist preference file, with the items split between being AlwaysVisible in the favorites dictionary and being in the favoriteitems dictionary. I've done a full writeup on the Finder Sidebar Preferences Location – grg Mar 14 '15 at 20:23
  • Thanks, this is great. Unfortunate that PathFinder can't talk to this plist (I think), but this i helpful. – Dan Rosenstark Mar 16 '15 at 23:50
  • If 'test' is a symbolic link, it resolves it before adding it. Any ideas on how to stop it doing that? – Xiao Jul 3 '15 at 2:00
  • @Xiao Try adding the path manually by editing the plist discussed in the link in my previous comment. – grg Jul 3 '15 at 4:24

To enhance the accepted answer, paraphrase another, correct one more and to add my own input, I offer the below summary:

  1. Drag and Drop

    Dragging and dropping the folder use to work for me, but seems to be largely hit and miss these days. For me I'm usually adding network folders and these sometimes don't drag too well. If it does, and the horizontal bar appears in Favourites where you would like, then well and good. If not, try the following options:
  2. Keyboard Shortcut: CTRL+CMD+T

    The Old keyboard shortcut use to be CMD + T but that got dropped when Finder introduced tabs. That now opens a new tab. The keyboard shortcut has become CTRL+CMD+T.
  3. Finder "File" menu

    There is an option on the finder menu to "Add to Sidebar" (and you can see the keyboard shortcut listed to the right)

When the above don't work

Often I find that I can't drag and drop the folder to the sidebar and this can be frustrating, and going to the File menu sees the "Add to sidebar" as disabled or greyed out. But if you use the shortcut in this scenario, it should still work (it has worked for me just now under El Capitan).

Also, the "hack" within these answers of "drag and drop a subfolder and press escape" trick has also allowed me to add it. (Thanks @LWTBP, I didn't know this method before tonight).

For me, the scenario was:

  • I had a network share I wanted to add to Favourites
  • I'd brought up the particular folder in the navigation area of Finder but every time I dragged it to Favourites, it would only allow me to Drop it onto an existing folder
  • I opened the carat to a subfolder and attempted to drag that in and the horizontal bar appeared
  • I pressed ESC, re-selected the parent folder and dropped it in the desired Favourites position
  • And all was right with the world :)

Sometime a folder might not show the "horizontal location-line" graphic as you drag it into the sidebar, making it impossible to attach it to the sidebar. In such situations, you can drag a folder within the folder into the sidebar and cancel that action (press 'esc', etc.) once you see the location line graphic. Then try dragging the main folder again onto the sidebar again—it will work.

Select folder you are intending to add to side bar and just type ⌘ CMD+T.

  • For me +T Finder creates new Tab. – Mateusz Szlosek Feb 25 '15 at 11:08
  • Ah, Sorry. My OSX is mountain lion... – rkjt50r983 Feb 25 '15 at 11:15
  • Cmd+ctrl+T Helped me add a file to favorites, which is not possible by dragging it, as it always wants to put it in one of the folders I have in favorites. – user166926 Jan 22 '16 at 9:35

I accidentally 'dumped' my google folder from my Favorites menu but managed to re-add it by opening a google folder window, then taking the little icon at the top of the window and just dropping back into Favorites.

If you've got a network share that you can't drag&drop onto the Favorites, go look for it under /Volumes/ShareName and drag that instead.

Opening the folder and then dropping the icon from the header worked best for me as cmd drop only adds a link and not the actual folder-a very important distinction.

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    Aren't folders listed in the Finder sidebar always links anyway? What exactly do you see as a distinction here? – nohillside Feb 2 '16 at 9:02

[mac OS Sierra] I needed to add a folder in my user directory - /Users/sean/workspace/ - which I couldn't find in a Finder window. Here's what I did:

  1. Open Finder
  2. Click File > New Smart Window*
  3. In the search field at top right, enter 'workspace' (or your folder name)
  4. Verify desired folder (blue icon) appears in the results
  5. Drag the folder into the Favorites in the left sidebar
  6. Discard the smart window

*Regular windows, even Smart Window via system tray Finder icon don't work.

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