In OS X 10.6, the sidebar had the sections ordered:

  • Devices
  • Shared
  • Favorites

This worked very well for me, since I use the devices section most often. However, in Lion, apple has arbitrarily reordered the sidebar to have "Favorites" on top.

Is there any way to change this back? I don't know why it was changed at all. While you can move items around withinsections, you cannot drag the sections themselves.

Also, is there any way to restore the old icons? Previously, I could use color-cues for fast navigation (Ex: Downloads is green, Desktop is purple, HomeDir is white). Now, I have to stop and actually read the labels every time I use the sidebar

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Unfortunately you can not reorder sections in Lion as of 10.7.2. You can only reorder items within the sections. You can also remove items by holding Command and dragging the icon off the Finder window.

I'll create a Apple bug report about this because I think it would be nice to rearrange the sections too!

Update: It looks like you can hack a plist to enable this reordering functionality but do so at your own risk. This will also likely be overridden in a future OS X update.

  • My guess is that this will be added in a future OS update. It will be interesting to watch how the feature is implemented, more like Mac OS or more like iOS where in the Finder prefs sidebar pane there might be an "edit" button and then slider icons for changing order up or down. – Richard Oct 26 '11 at 13:00

Jason O’Grady has posted instructions on how to re-order Lion’s Finder sidebar as well as how to restore the color icons. (Quoted here in case that article disappears.)

Convert the following plist to XML using terminal:

plutil -convert xml1 ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.sidebarlists.plist

Edit the plist:

open ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.sidebarlists.plist

Find in the hierarchy Favorites >> VolumeList and then look for:



Look immediately below that for the visibility key and change the string from NeverVisible to AlwaysVisible:



Close and save

Convert the plist back to binary:

plutil -convert binary1 ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.sidebarlists.plist

Relaunch the Finder:

killall Finder

Hold Command and drag the items in the Sidebar to get your computer on top, where it should be.

  • Am I the only one who's Visibility value was already set to AlwaysVisible? What do I do in this case? Mine still shows at the bottom. – user14160 Nov 26 '11 at 5:41
  • Can you command-drag it to move it? – JCobb Nov 26 '11 at 18:14
  • 1
    This is a hack and should be used with caution. It also didn't survive upgrading from 10.7.1 to 10.7.2. It had to be reenabled. Hopefully this functionality will be enabled by default. Definitely useful. – Nate Bird Nov 27 '11 at 14:59
  • FYI, I’ve never actually applied the hack myself, but I just tried ⌘-Dragging it to the top under Favorites and it worked. You lose the "Devices" header, but the devices themselves are up there. I plugged in a new drive and the new one showed up at the bottom again under Devices. – JCobb Nov 27 '11 at 18:25

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