I did something stupid apparently and lost my Downloads folder both from Dock and then when I opened Finder to drag it down to the Dock it somehow got deleted in the desktop.

Now although I can see the folder exists (e.g. by searching in Spotlight) I do not know how to restore it in the Dock and in Finder as well.
Any help please?

  • try this - different folder; same likely cause & cure - apple.stackexchange.com/a/175716/85275
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 17:43
  • 3
    You can also right click on any favorite folder in Finder and select Add to Dock. ref. Apple discussions
    – Mr. Tao
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 0:35
  • On MacOS Monterey, you cannot drag the Download folder to side bar. The only way is to right click and select Add to Dock as @Mr.Tao pointed out.
    – zhanxw
    Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 5:27

1 Answer 1


It sounds like when you dragged the downloads folder out of the finder sidebar it vanished before it got to the dock.

if that is correct it is pretty easy to get it back:

  1. Open a Finder window and go to your user folder
  2. In the user folder you should see the downloads folder
  3. Drag the downloads folder to the place you want it in the sidebar
  4. Drag the Downloads folder to the right side of the vertical bar in the Dock

The folder icons in the Finder sidebar and Dock are only pointers to the original. Kind of like Aliases, if you will. Generally OS X will prevent you from deleting the actual folder Downloads along with any of the other top level folders under your user account. But it will not prevent you from removing these aliases in the Dock and sidebar, as you have discovered.

A useful shortcut if you can't find your user folder is Command-Shift-H

  • You have understood what OP meant even if he was not very accurate and clear. Cool!
    – Manchineel
    Commented Apr 3, 2016 at 18:30
  • 20+ years in Tech Support you learn to speak their language... Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 18:22
  • 3
    Wait … you can drag any folder into the dock! How did I never know this before? Thank you! Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 23:05
  • 41
    Worth noting that if you want it to be like a freshly installed macOS, secondary click on the folder after adding to the dock and select 'View content as Fan', 'Display as Folder', and 'Sort by Date Added. This will give it the blue folder icon and sort by when you downloaded, rather than by name. Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 13:37
  • 1
    FYI "View content as Fan" option is available only if Dock is placed at the bottom
    – WoLfPwNeR
    Commented May 15, 2019 at 15:53

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