What is the Sidebar?

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To the left pane of any Finder window sits an area called the Sidebar.  The Sidebar provides shortcuts to common locations and it is divided into three sections in Mac OS X Leopard.  Each section is identified by uppercase letters and its associated collapseable arrow.

The following is a view of a Leopard Finder window with the Sidebar highlighted:


The topmost section lists 'Devices' such as all hard drives, your MobileMe iDisk, optical media such as CDs and DVDs, network servers, and removable volumes such as USB drives.  Whenever you connect an mountable item such an external device or insert a disc, the Devices section updates to show the item.

The middle section highlights 'Places''.  The default list has quick links to the following areas on your Mac and user account:

  • Desktop
  • Home Folder
  • Applications
  • Documents

The lower section highlights 'Search For' are pre-configured searches that will execute when you click on one of the items.  For example, if you click on 'All Images' a search will locate all images regardless of their location.

Shared section
Another section will appear in the Sidebar whenever your Mac identifies other computers on your network.  For example, the items that show up could be other computers on your home, school, or work network.

Easy to Customize
The Finder Sidebar can be customized to suit a user's needs and preferences.  You can place just about anything in middle and lower sections.  For example, you could place  a folder that you would like to easily access or an Application that you  would like to launch when you are using Finder.  You could even place a link to a favorite web page.


  • May 27, 2009 - content revision and image update
Created: 5:09 PM on Dec 27, 2006
By: switchtoamac