Removing broken links from sidebar in Lion

A very small post for people searching about this specific issue:

You’re trying to delete an icon/shortcut from the sidebar in Finder, under Mac OS X Lion/10.7.

Right clicking doesn’t work, because that folder does not exist, or maybe it points to a share using an old version of AFP or SMB that you can’t connect to, because some company that almost has the same name as a famous dog if you pronounce it in french is a bad company that doesn’t update the firmware on any hardware old enough to have a lot of important data on it.

What you need to do is hold command and drag it to Trash instead of doing a right click.

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43 Responses to Removing broken links from sidebar in Lion

  1. Ian Green says:

    Thanks! In my case the original folder still exists and I was able to create a new link to it in the Finder Sidebar, but the old link had simply stopped working. Normally one could simply drag a link from the Sidebar or use the context menu (right-click) and “remove from sidebar”, but for the bad link those methods did not work. Your suggestion of Cmd (or Apple) and drag it out worked! 🙂 This was in Snow Leopard, so it is not only relevant to Lion. Actually it was not necessary to drag it all the way to the Trash.

  2. Ian Green says:

    Actually, it has been a while since I deleted something from the Sidebar! Simply dragging didn’t work with other links, unlike dragging something from the Dock. Command + drag was necessary with a normal link too, although right-clicking was an alternative.

  3. Alan says:

    Thanks a lot for posting this. I thought that dead link was going to be stuck there forever.

    And how in the world did you figure that out?

  4. Jay says:


  5. Guillaume says:

    I tried basically every combination of right clicking, option, command, dragging.. I could not believe there was no way to do it !

  6. Thanks for the info. I found it useful.

  7. kahlimang says:

    dude, you totally rock. that’s been driving me nuts for weeks and could not find the correct solution.

  8. fredrik says:

    You sir, is a genius and a hero. You’ve just saved me from going bald. And how sweet it is to search for “removing broken links from finder sidebar lion” and landing on a page with that exact title and getting my answer to the point. Thank you.

  9. Crick says:

    In my case, the solution didn’t work — though it did inspire me to try something that did!

    My broken link was to a DropBox folder. Dragging the link to the trash didn’t remove the link – and like everyone else here, right clicking proved fruitless too.

    So I recreated the folder in DropBox and presto! The previously “broken” link was deletable 🙂

    Thanks for the clue!


  10. Crick says:

    Update: I found the same problem on my Mac Pro after upgrading to Lion.. this time I tried dragging the broken link from the sidebar while holding down the Command key. When I did this, there appeared a little cloud with my cursor as I dragged the link to the trash… and voila! Poof it went away 🙂

  11. Deckard says:

    So I too am having this issue but I have another odd issue that is stopping me from trying this method. Since installing Lion I have not figured out a way to view my trash can anymore. Seems like an easy one to solve and it probably is but googling this issue I have not been able to find an answer.

    Can anyone here help? In Finder the only place I see mention of trash can is under the Finder/File menu.

  12. Deckard says:

    Aha! Just found another way that works. Hold Cmd+Option and drag the link off the sidebar. Wonderful.

    I still am wondering how to make my trash can visible again though.

  13. matt says:

    this worked great!

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  15. Graham says:

    Thanks 🙂
    Worked a treat!

  16. Cris says:

    Thank you, thank you for publishing this tip. I was going crazy trying to figure out how – nowhere could I find this in Apple’s own system help.

  17. LKY says:

    Thanks a lot!

  18. jordan says:

    thank you! been wondering how to do that and this helped!!

  19. Marek says:

    Thank you!

  20. Moquette says:

    Thanks! Thanks! Thanks!

  21. TheQueenDame says:

    Thanks a million! This happens quite frequently and I always forget to use the Command key…THANKS!!

  22. Effie says:

    Magic! You are amazing. I always wondered why the icons in the sidebar were becoming less and less malleable. Sneakers squirrelled away some of the functionality into the command button.

    Thank you so much!

  23. James Brooks says:

    Though you wrote this long ago, I appreciate that you’ve kept it up. It solved my annoying problem like getting rid of a piece of gristle stuck between two teeth.

  24. Joe Theis says:

    Top Top Man!!!

    One of the best posts on the internet… God was that driving me mad!!! Like having Justin Bieber on some never ending loop…

    Thanks mate. Brilliant news…

  25. Hank says:

    Genius! ditto James’s comment.

  26. Kirsten says:

    Thank you so so much for this!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Thanks! This was getting so annoying… glad you posted this fix.

  28. Petr says:

    Thanks man, it helped me a lot 🙂

  29. Thom says:

    Thanks a million, Guillaume. This was driving me crazy (short trip).

  30. Paul says:

    Thanks!!! It saved me hrs of trying to figure it out!!

  31. Art says:

    THANK YOU!!!

  32. Ihsan says:

    Thanks a lot for sharing!!!!!

  33. Stef F says:

    Thanks SOOOO much !

    i was trying to remove a couple of Dropbox ghost shortcuts, for so long, to no avail !

    THANKS !

  34. Angela Norton says:

    Thanks for that, why does Apple change such basic functionality in the OS and not tell you in the wretched help!

  35. lucie says:

    Trouble is I can’t even click on the place icon to hold down command and drag. The only thing that works is when I right click on the dead icon, and it then says”open sidebar preferences”. But when i do that, there’s nothing there of any help with removing the dead place icon……I can’t left click on it at all.

  36. Karl Haefner says:

    This procedure also works for OS X.6.4!

  37. Andrea Testa says:

    NIce solution buddy 😉

  38. Richard Brown says:

    Thank you!

  39. Brand7 says:

    You don’t even need to drag it to the trash, you can just drag it from the sidebar to the desktop and it destroys the link. Just an FYI.

  40. soraya says:

    a thousand thank yous!

  41. zxzl says:

    thanks really a lot !

  42. Works – thanks! I don’t know why it’s necessary to be so hidden.

  43. Sarah says:

    Thanks! was so frustrated at such a simple task. Very helpful!

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