Adding folders from iCloud to the Finder sidebar

21 February 2015, 07:58

I add regularly-used folders to the sidebar of Finder for ease of access. This is done by simply dragging them there so they are positioned between the existing entries until a linebar appears, then releasing the mouse button.

However, if any of these folders live in the new iCloud Drive folder of Yosemite, they simply won’t get added. Finder won’t allow it, and I’ve no idea why. It could be a bug. It could be a “feature”.

It turns out there’s a solution that works pretty well, and doesn’t involve dodgy hacks. In fact, there are two solutions. The first is perhaps the easiest. The second is provided in case the first isn’t adequate, for whatever reason.

EDIT: There are actually three ways, with commenter Ravi Gupta pointing out below that the easiest way is to select the folder within iCloud Drive, and tap Ctrl+Cmd+T. This will instantly add it to the Finder sidebar. Thanks Ravi! The older two solutions are listed below in case anybody needs them. The second solution in particular seems like it could be useful in other situations.

First solution

  1. Find the folder within iCloud Drive, then right click it and select Make Alias.
  2. Drag the alias to the Finder sidebar, dropping it wherever you want it to appear, as described above.
  3. Drag the original alias to the Trash.

Second solution

  1. Open the iCloud Drive in any open Finder window. Type in the Search field at the top right the following, replacing FOLDERNAME with the name of the folder in iCloud Drive that you want to add to the sidebar:

    FOLDERNAME kind:folder

    You must get the two items in the search field that way around to avoid confusion.

  2. Ensure “iCloud Drive” is selected in the Search section at the top left of the Finder window.

  3. Hopefully you should see one result, which is the folder in question. If you see two, see #5 below. Double-click the folder to make sure it’s the right one, then click the Finder’s back button to return to the search.

  4. Click the Save button below the Search field, and in the Save As field delete what’s there and type the name of the folder (or indeed anything that helps you identify the link in future). Ensure Add to Sidebar is checked.

  5. If you see more than one result after the search, click the Plus icon to the right of Save button, and select Name and Matches from the two dropdown lists at the left, and type the name of the folder. This will further refine the search results to specify the exact folder. Then click the Save button, as described in #4 above.
  6. Hey presto. The folder will now be in your Finder sidebar. It’ll have the cog icon of a Saved Search, rather than a folder icon, but this doesn’t matter too much.

    Know better?

    Or you could just highlight the folder in Finder and hit ctrl+cmd+T

    — Ravi Gupta · Feb 21, 10:41 AM · #