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Is it possible to get focus on the Finder sidebar and be able to select an item within "device", "shared", "places" and "search for" only with the keyboard?

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

I don't believe it is possible, the only shortcut I can find for the sidebar is CmdT which adds a shortcut for the current selected item to the sidebar.

Another solution is to hit Cmd to move to the 'enclosing folder', which will take you around the file system.

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It seems to be impossible indeed. – Gerald Kaszuba Jan 2 '10 at 21:11
What am I missing here? It is in fact possible, as I detail in my answer. Just use the Go To Folder option and fill in the file path, all with the keyboard. – Bryan Schuetz Jan 3 '10 at 12:11
Bryan, I'm not sure if you read the question correctly. It asks how to access/browse the predefined "shortcuts" that are put into the Finder sidebar, not how to open a folder by typing out its name. – Gerald Kaszuba Jan 4 '10 at 11:26
Damn. It would be so convenient to just use the arrow keys to navigate into and out of them or at least having a shortcut to jump into the sidebar. I posted a feature request on the TotalFinder support forum. Let's see what they say. – oschrenk May 29 '12 at 13:47

I've been looking and looking for an answer to this too. I can't find an answer (in Snow Leopard at least, don't know about Lion).

The best work-around I've found is this:

  • Create a "Shortcuts" folder anywhere
  • Drag that into the Sidebar
  • Create Aliases for the folders you have in your Sidebar and move them into your Shortcuts folder
  • Open Sidebar Preferences (right-click anywhere in the Sidebar)
  • Go to the 'General' tab
  • Change 'New Finder windows open:' to your Shortcuts folder.

This way, every time you launch a Finder window, you'll be inside Shortcuts and have access to your favourite folders with the keyboard.

YMMV... Obviously this requires you to manage a different set of shortcuts... But possibly it'll help until Apple address this problem (I've submitted a bug report too, surely this is a bug).

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cmd-L <- quick way to Make Alias (no need to create symlinks by hand either) – William Turrell Jul 10 at 10:04

It's really regrettable you can't navigate the Sidebar of the Finder window by keystroke, I agree!

Here are the best two ways I can find:

1.) Cmd-Space to get Spotlight, and then type your folder or drive name (or enough characters to make it the first hit) and then hit return. A new finder window will open with that folder/drive.

2.) If you're looking to get to a "Device" then you can type Shift-Cmd-C in the Finder window, and then use cursor keys to navigate starting from your Computer view.

They're not as good as what you want, but the best I could devise.

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Here's my way...drag the folders from the sidebar to the top. Then you can get to them with ctrl tab. This is useful for User Library among other things.

If all else fails remember you can navigate mouselessly using mouse keys. I use KeyRemap with a script I made in conjunction with the dev. It's free! Tutorial here Lose the mouse!

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  • control + F2 to focus menu bar
  • move to 'Go' using arrow keys
  • Press Down arrow key

and Voila you have have your favourites in the menu

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You can use "Go To Folder" in the Finder to get to any of those. cmd +shift+G Then just fill in the filepath: ~/Desktop | /Backups | and so on.

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  • Option + Command + Space will open a new Finder window from anywhere
  • Then you can Option + ` your way between the windows.
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I don't know how navigate to every folder in the Finder Sidebar, but I just found these 6 :

  • Applications : command + shift + "A"
  • Desktop : command + shift + "D"
  • AirDrop : command + shift + "R"
  • iCloud Drive : command + shift + "I"
  • User Folders : command + shift + "H"
  • All My Files : command + shift + "F"

NOTE : Although I use Spotlight Search for "Downloads", I noticed if you navigate to the users folder (command + shift + "H"), then you can type the name of the directory seen there (Downloads, Documents, etc.)

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