I had a hard drive failure and am temporarily using a machine which can only be brought up to El Capitan.

I have a sidebar problem that is driving me crazy. The configuration of the sidebar favorites is "stuck". If I make a change (such as reordering the list or deleting a folder), after a logout, the sidebar configuration reverts to one I made a long time ago.

I have tried trashing the Finder and Sidebar preferences, quitting the Finder, logging out and restarting with no joy.

I looked in com.apple.sidebar.plist and compared it to the file I have on my Yosemite machine and it is quite limited. Specifically, it is missing an entry called "favoriteItems" which has a child "CustomListItems" that seems to hold the info needed to make the sidebar look the way I want.

I have actually been having a lot of strange "things not sticking" issues on this machine - most seem to be solved, but this one isn't. I checked the permissions on my ~/library and ~/library/preferences files and I do have rw privileges

Is the sidebar favorites configuration stored differently on El Capitan vs. Yosemite?

preferences comparison

1 Answer 1


I knew something was fishy with my home folder. I used the procedure here https://appletoolbox.com/fix-corrupt-user-accounts-macos/#Reset_Home_Folder_Permissions to reset the permissions on my home folder (note: the El Cap-specific directions didn't work, but the directions provided for Sierra and above did) and the problems I've been having with various things not sticking, including sidebar appearance and trackpad preferences seem to have gone away.

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