I've just updated from 10.10.1 to 10.10.3 and now all of the folder shortcuts on my sidebar have disappeared, e.g., 'Desktop', 'Downloads'. Does anyone know how to fix it?

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  • they are usually in favorites. You can manually drag them. So navigate to/ and then put applications in favorites. Then /Users/yourname/ and drag Desktop manually
    – John K
    May 5, 2015 at 10:27
  • @TheBro21 I'm not very keen on recreating each one by one since there were heaps. I wonder if there's a way to restore them.
    – Kar
    May 5, 2015 at 10:31
  • I. think Tetsujin has answered your question :)
    – John K
    May 5, 2015 at 10:37
  • Newer solution at apple.stackexchange.com/questions/406722/…
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 14, 2023 at 18:15

3 Answers 3


Try Finder prefs > Sidebar - Cmd ⌘ , - they may just have become unchecked…

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Any that are still missing after that - previous customer entries etc, can be restored by selecting the appropriate drive/folder/app in any Finder window & hitting Opt ⌥ Ctrl ⌃ Cmd ⌘ / or File Menu > Add to Sidebar

Perhaps Time Machine would have an older version?
The prefs are at ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.sidebarlists.plist
If you navigate there then enter Time Machine, it may have an older version you could recover

  • Well, I guess they're all gone..! Oh well..
    – Kar
    May 5, 2015 at 10:39
  • Maybe Time Machine… adding new paragraph...
    – Tetsujin
    May 5, 2015 at 10:43
  • My shortcut folders were still checked, but unchecking and rechecking them caused Finder to suddenly show them again. Mar 16, 2016 at 11:46
  • /Library/Preferences/com.apple.sidebarlists.plist does not exist for me on Ventura Apr 14, 2023 at 18:03
  • @derpedy-doo - Well done for being first to spot the 'deliberate error', 8 years after this answer was posted ;) It is, of course, at ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.sidebarlists.plist not /Library/… I cannot attest to its continuing presence 8 years after the fact.
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 14, 2023 at 18:07

I was able to use time machine and my sidebar got completely restored.

  1. Navigate here


  1. Selected that file

  2. From the time machine menu select "Enter Time Machine"

  3. Time machine will take you right to the file you highlighted. The only thing it will be TODAY'S version of that file.

  4. Using the meter on the right side of the screen, select a date PRIOR to the problem. Give it time. It has to search backwards.

  5. Once it brings you to the file (you may have to scroll down to find it). Select that file ONLY and hit restore. It will ask you for permission to restore. Have it replace the current file.

  6. Once it's done, restart your machine.

  7. And once you restart, your side bar should return!

  • Welcome to Ask Different! Great first answer. Sep 24, 2015 at 1:03
  • ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.sidebarlists.plist does not exist for me on Ventura Apr 14, 2023 at 18:04

The date on my ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.sidebarlists.plist file is from May 2019. Years old. Yet once again Finder dropped all my lovingly created shortcuts in sidebar. So I cannot restore.

Also, when i add new aliases to sidebar the file does not update… so how can I save this file for restoration at a later date. I think I'm going to have to Applescript this SOAB to save a plist file and restore a plist file with the locations and then recreate the sidebar links one by one. Tedious in the extreme. Apple, if you are reading this, this has been a known issue for a decade. Get it together please.

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