How to Fix Missing Finder Sidebar Favourites in OS X El Capitan

Finder is essential to everyone’s workflow on OS X, as it’s where you save, open and locate your precious files. The Finder sidebar is equally handy as you can drag your favourite folders there for quick access when opening and saving documents.

But lately, I’ve run into an issue where favourites I’ve dragged to the sidebar disappear out of the blue. Normally the situation is this: when the save or open dialog pop up appears, my Finder sidebar favourites are nowhere to be found, as seen below:

Screenshot 2016 02 18 10 55 16

As you can imagine, this is infuriating as it means you need to tediously navigate through the drop down menu to find a specific location, wasting precious time (which could be better off surfing Facebook or playing Clash of Clans; I refuse to deny nor confirm such claims).

Anyways, it appears I’m not alone in suffering from this bug, found in OS X El Capitan and earlier versions too.

How fix this annoying bug? The solution that worked for us is to reboot your Mac. Yes, I know that sounds too simple, but it works as I just did this (again) the other day.

Screenshot 2016 03 10 11 03 22

For those that rarely reboot their Macs, this is something you may not really think of as a solution, but it does bring back sidebar favourites within Finder.

Let us know if this quick fix works for you!

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  • Kevin

    Don’t quote me on this, but I’m pretty sure when I’ve run into this problem I just had to force quit the Finder, open it again and the regular folders should be there after that.

  • I tried that, didn’t work for me but the reboot did. Really annoying bug as it happens when you need sidebar folders.

  • I had favourites showing in Finder, but not in any system save dialogs. Force quitting Finder fixed the problem immediately, even before I opened Finder again. Thanks for this tip! Definitely easier than rebooting.

  • karinatwork

    Reboot definitively works. It’s a super annoying thing that keeps happening, and I’m waiting for a more permanent fix.