Finder is the app in macOS for file browsing like File Explorer in Windows. This is a super simple app having a right sidebar, file/folder display area and toolbar. Selecting the file will show its preview and the folder will show its content in additional columns in Gallery / Columns view. However, you can easily customize the sidebar to reduce the clutter and only keep your favorite items. Also, learn more on how to customize toolbar in Finder.
Below is how the default Finder app will look on Mac containing three sections – sidebar, file and preview and toolbar. Unfortunately, you can’t move the sidebar to right, however, you can customize the items and hide or show when needed.
Add or Remove Sidebar Folders in Finder
The sidebar section contains quick access to Favorites, iCloud, Locations, Tags, etc. You can easily remove the unnecessary items or add additional items from the customization section.
- If you want to remove a single item from sidebar, simply right-click on it and select “Remove from Sidebar” option.
- For managing all the sidebar items at once, go to “Finder > Settings…” menu in Finder app. Alternatively, press “Command + Comma” shortcut keys.
- Go to “Sidebar” tab in “Finder Settings” dialog that opens.
- Check the items showing under different categories and disable all unnecessary items that you do not want to see in Finder sidebar.
Select Correct Items in Sidebar
Selecting sidebar items is important so that you can see connected devices, needed folders and tags. For example, if you connect your iPhone to Mac, sidebar will show the device only when you have enabled “CDs, DVDs, and iOS Devices” option. Otherwise, you will not see the iPhone option.
Similarly, you need to show the required folders and select “Tags” to quickly search using recently used tags.
Choosing Default Folder When Finder Opens
It is also possible to open a particular folder whenever you launch Finder. This is useful to quickly access a folder when you are working in a project.
- Go to “Finder > Settings…” and open “Finder Settings” dialog.
- Navigate to “General” tab and check the item selected under “New Finder windows show:” heading. This is the default folder shown whenever you open Finder app.
- Click the dropdown and select one of the available folders to make that as default. For assigning a custom folder, click “Other…” option.
- Browse through to select your folder and click “Choose” button.
- Close settings pop-up and Finder app. Next time onwards when you launch Finder, you will be landed on the selected folder.
Note that you will not see the selected folder in your sidebar. However, the folder will open when launching a new Finder window every time.
Drag and Drop Features
If you wanted to see a custom folder or file in the sidebar, then it is possible to add them only under “Favorites” section. You can simply drag and drop a folder under Favorites section. However, you should press and hold the “Command” key while dragging a file or app.
Other drag features include:
- You can rearrange the folders by dragging them to your preferred order.
- Drag and move a folder or file away from the sidebar till you see a Ⓧ mark to remove that item from the sidebar.
- For increasing or reducing the width, drag and resize the vertical divider that separates sidebar and file/folder area.
Hide or Show Sidebar
You can easily toggle the sidebar’s visibility in Finder using “Control + Command + S” shortcut keys. Alternatively, go to “View” menu and select “Show / Hide Sidebar” menu.
As you can see, it is easy to customize Finder sidebar area as per your need. Keeping the required folders and files will not only help to keep Finder clutter free, but also helps to improve your productivity.