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Change your Finder sidebar preferences – Mac OS X Tutorial

Learn how to clean up your Finder window's sidebar and get rid of unnecessary folders, disks and shared computers in just a couple of easy steps.

5-minute beginner's tutorial

Finder sidebar preferences tutorial
When customising Finder to match your workflow, it’s easy to drag a huge number of folders and applications into your sidebar in order to make access quicker. If you add those to the external disks, shared computers and searches that are usually in there by default, the result can often be a long, scrolling mess of icons that don’t actually speed up your workflow at all.

Thankfully, there are a few ways to quickly tidy up your display. By combining a few different methods, you can delete the shortcuts you never use, hide the ones you only use on the odd occasion, and keep those you use the most. The process of cleaning up is simple and fast, and may save you a lot of time spent clicking around various folders trying to find the one you are looking for. Check out exactly what you need to do below, and what the final result can be when everything is tidy.

Finder sidebar preferences tutorial - Step by stepFinder sidebar preferences tutorial - Step1

Step 1: Preferences menu
Open Preferences and select the Sidebar tab. From here, uncheck the boxes of items you don’t need in your sidebar; if you never use the search terms, you might as well not have them clogging up space.

Finder sidebar preferences tutorial - Step2

Step 2: Gone for good
If you don’t want individual folders being shown, right-click on them and select ‘Remove from Sidebar’. Alternatively hold the Command key and drag a shortcut away to make it disappear in a puff of smoke.