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My ultimate goal here is very simple: I want to place a shortcut to a specific network folder (on another machine my home network), in the sidebar of my personal machine. But I am getting some very strange behavior, as demonstrated in the following video:

https://www.loom.com/share/41174425ff9b40f49c4eccd6b7b61b3f

Here is what the video shows:

  1. Mount a network volume
  2. Choose a folder on the volume, and drag it into the Finder sidebar
  3. Eject the volume
  4. Select the alias you just added, from the sidebar. Volume and folder mount fine.
  5. Eject the volume. Receive error dialog that the item can't be ejected because it is in use, but a few seconds later the volume is in fact ejected.
  6. Dismiss the error dialog(s) and select the alias from the sidebar again. Receive error that he item cannot be opened because the original item can't be found. In the background you can see the volume is in fact mounted.
  7. Dismiss the error dialog and select the alias from the sidebar again. It will open up just fine since the volume is now mounted.

I can recreate these results every time, with any network folder. The remote machine is a 2012 Mac Mini running Sierra, and my machine is a 2018 MacbookPro running High Sierra, in case the OS version matters.

Why is this happening and is there a way to make this functionality work without all the confusing and incorrect error dialogs?

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  • What happens if you mount the network volume, make an alias of that volume on the desktop and drag the alias to the sidebar. Does it behave better then? May 24, 2020 at 17:11
  • Nope, because the resulting alias cannot be dragged into the sidebar. A symlink can be, but then it won't work unless you manually mount the remote share first, which is what brought me to asking this question in the first place.
    – JVC
    May 24, 2020 at 17:13

1 Answer 1

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Wow, it looks like I have found a workable solution to this. Still a few strange bits which you can see in the new video I created, but the end result basically works.

Steps:

  1. With the remote volume not mounted, open the Connect to Server dialog (Command-K in Finder)
  2. Enter the network address of your remote volume. If you have previously connected to it, it should be selectable in the dropdown menu on the right hand side. The resulting address should look something like smb://Media%20Server._smb._tcp.local
  3. Add the rest of the path to your desired folder, including the volume name. In my case the volume was called Media1 and the folder was called backups, so the final result was smb://Media%20Server._smb._tcp.local/Media1/backups. Click Connect.
  4. Note that the resulting window displays the remote folder you wanted, but it is now mounted as if it were a volume rather than a folder.
  5. Drag the icon in the titlebar of the window, to the sidebar.

Now you can mount and eject the remote folder directly from your sidebar. There is still some strange behavior with occasional complaints when ejecting the volume, but they don't always happen and I'm wondering if they are caused by my being on Wifi on my Macbook. Still in the end I seem to have a working solution after years of wrestling with this and never getting it to work reliably.

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  • Alternatively, just make a regular alias of the mounted folder/drive on the desktop & drag that to the sidebar.
    – Tetsujin
    May 24, 2020 at 19:27
  • 2
    Doesn't work as I stated in a reply to the first comment on my question. The alias cannot be dragged into the sidebar.
    – JVC
    May 24, 2020 at 19:28
  • ah, OK, was sure you used to be able to do that. It works as an alias, but the sidebar doesn't want it.
    – Tetsujin
    May 24, 2020 at 19:30
  • Yep exactly. I was so sure you could do this as well, spent I don't know how long messing with it trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. Damn near drove me crazy!
    – JVC
    May 24, 2020 at 19:31

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