So I symlinked my Downloads folder from my boot drive to an external HDD I always keep connected to my mac. I deleted the original downloads folder from my home folder and replaced it with a symlink to a new folder on my HDD.

This works perfectly, except that in Finder, the sidebar icon is now a folder:

no download icon

When it should look like this:

download icon

Operating system is High Sierra 10.13.6

  • I think you dragged downloads folder in the finder sidebar to create a folder shortcut. Remove it and try from finder preferences.
    – anki
    May 16, 2019 at 15:13
  • @ankiiiiiii tried this but nothing appears in the sidebar (original download folder is deleted, only a symlink remains)
    – leetbacoon
    Jun 3, 2019 at 6:46
  • Okay one more check to see if original downloads folder is deleted or not. Go to finder -> Press cmd + up arrow to navigate up to reach username folder. You should see a list of folders like Applications, Desktop, Pictures etc. Now see what icon does the downloads folder has.
    – anki
    Jun 3, 2019 at 6:50

1 Answer 1


Even though what you need is very little, there seems to be no easy workaround except for the SIMBL plugin:

How can I change Finder's sidebar icons in OS X El Capitan?

As an experiment I uploaded my downloads folder to google drive. You can try downloading it and see if it works:


  • hi, thanks. i tried the google drive sample provided but unfortunately it did not work. i am trying SIMBL method now. do you happen to have colorfulSidebar9 No Icons.bundle.zip? that is dead link on linked page. Thanks
    – leetbacoon
    May 16, 2019 at 9:11
  • I did also try installing the colour icons in SIMBL, which did work, but changes every icon, which is not what i preferred :/
    – leetbacoon
    May 16, 2019 at 9:27
  • I found another possible answer: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/151043/… May 16, 2019 at 10:40
  • Thanks you but i tried that too and didn't work . That's okay I will just keep it as it is
    – leetbacoon
    Jun 3, 2019 at 6:47

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