If you’re not working with Lion yet, you might not know that the icons in the Finder sidebar are all monochrome. It’s dull and ugly and frankly less useful – an awful choice for a UI change. Somebody at Apple thought they were being “cool” and hip but this is more like foolhardy and sickening.
Until someone comes up with a way to give us back colored icons in the Finder sidebar, here’s a workaround that I’ve come up with:
Make a new folder in your home folder (Finder Go menu > Home), and name it (for example): MyNav
Place shortcuts for your favorite folders in there: Go to the original folder you want to list in MyNav folder, click it and hold (keep holding down the mouse or trackpad button) and right after you start dragging the (original) folder, simultaneously hold down the command (aka “Apple”) and option keys, and drag the folder to the MyNav folder, and let go. The result will be a colorful alias of your source folder.
Add as many aliases as you like.
Next, click on/into the Finder, and open the Finder Preferences, staying in the General tab. Where it states, “New Finder windows show:”
click and drag down to “Other…” and then navigate to your Home folder with your “MyNav” folder in it, click on it and hit the “Choose” button in the lower-right.
Now anytime you open a new Finder window, there you’ll have your colored icons.
If you like, go back to the Finder preferences, and select the (check-box) option for “Always open folders in a new window” – and that way the MyNav folder will always be where you left it.
The next thing I did is go back to the Finder preferences, and in the Sidebar tab, I de-selected everything listed under “FAVORITES.”
If you open a new Finder window (and it takes you to the newly setup MyNav), and you still see some unwanted items listed under Favorites,
hold down the Command-key and click and drag the item out of the Sidebar.
Doing so has left me with Shared items still listed (which I happen to want there), and Devices.
One more handy part of this setup that I suggest – but you might not like as much. Consider it entirely optional,
since mounted drives will still show up in your Finder sidebar under Devices.
Here’s what I’ve done that you might also appreciate:
Navigate to your Home folder (for example) – the main thing is you need to select a native folder (not an alias of a folder),
and right-click on that folder – or hold the control key and click with your trackpad, or with multi-touch use a two-finger click 😉
Scroll down towards the bottom of the list that appears, and select “Folder Actions Setup”.
Cancel the list of options that shows up for now. In the left-hand side of the Folder Actions Setup window, click on Enable Folder Actions.
Down to the bottom-left of the dialog window, click on the + button, and then press (all at once): Shift Option G (for “Go to”)
and enter exactly the following: /Volumes
Select that folder (Volumes) in the left-hand list and then click the Open button on the right (should be highlighted in Blue).
That will bring up the list again to “Choose a Script to Attach:” and you want to select the first one listed, “add – new item alert.scpt”
The result should be a check-box for under the heading On, with the heading beside that of “Folders with Actions” and Volumes
listed below that heading. To the right of it, also selected “On” should be the Script, add – new item alert.scpt
Now, when a new drive gets mounted, you’ll get a dialog pop-up asking if you’d like to view it (or them for a drive with
This write-up is © David Haines, c/o the Core Solution Group. Redistribution or copying in any form without explicit permission is strictly forbidden.
All technology terms relating to Apple and Mac OS X (Lion or otherwise) are of course the property of Apple.