OS X El Capitan Sidebar’s Favorites Disappeared

I recently upgraded my Macbook Pro to El Capitan. Sometime after that I noticed my favorites were missing when using File > Open dialogs within other applications.

I found this article from Macworld — What to do when El Capitan sidebar’s favorites disappear on this issue, however a reboot did not help my situation. To resolve this I went into my local Library preferences folder and removed the com.apple.sidebarlists.plist file. Then after a fresh reboot presto! My favorites were back where they belonged.


The exact steps I took were:

  1. Close all open desktop applications.
  2. Open Finder and delete your ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.sidebarlists.plist file.
  3. Go to your Trashcan and choose to Empty Trash.
  4. Reboot your machine.

After the reboot the system will rebuild your ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.sidebarlists.plist file. Now start an application and choose to open the file dialog, your favorites should now be visible.

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