How to change finder favourite icons for Media Library

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by oneinten, Apr 14, 2013.

  1. oneinten, Apr 14, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013

    macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2013

    I've moved my iTunes library and my Lightroom library over to my external storage, so I've removed the sidebar favourite and dragged in my new shortcuts so I can easily find them but the icons of the favourites just display a blank folder, I've changed the actual folder icons themselves but the sidebar favourites won't. How can I change the sidebar favourite icons to look like their originals?
  2. macrumors 603


    Download and install a free App called XtraFinder.
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2013
    Sorry if this is a stupid question.. but I've installed Xtrafinder.. How can I use this to change the sidebar favourite icons?
  4. macrumors 603


    Open XtraFinder preferences and See screenshot.
    (tick the "Show Colourful Icons" box.)

    Attached Files:

  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2013

    I'm afraid you have misunderstood the question. I have all my music, video and pictures on an external drive, therefore I moved the the existing sidebar favourites to the trash and dragged my new Music, Video and Pictures folders into the sidebar favourites, but they just appear as folders, can I change the icons to match how they used to look?
  6. macrumors 603


    It's hard to say, reason, I don't know how you moved the Folders.
    The normal way to do this is to move those folders from your Home Folder to the external and then make symlinks into the Home Folders, if you do it that way and drag the Folders to the SideBar they should be like before.
  7. thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2013
    I tried to cut and paste the original folders from my user directory, but it said "could not move as it is required by os x"?

    Is there a tutorial on how to do this as I'm really confused? How do I move the user directory folders from the boot drive? And what is symlink?
  8. macrumors 603


    A symlink is a hardlink to the original Folder/File, like an Alias.

    You can remove System Folders with Terminal, like this:

    sudo rm -r "path to Folder"


    sudo rm -r /Users/****/Music
    Hit Enter
    Enter Password

    ****= your Home Folders name.
    Instead of typing the path you can drag the Folder into Terminal but leave a space after the -r

    Do this with all the Folders you want to delete, WARNING ALL CONTENTS ARE DELETED THIS WAY!

    Then, to make symlinks:

    ln -s "path to resource" "path to Target"
    Again, you can drag the Folders into Terminal.


    sudo ln -s /Volumes/diskname/music /Users/****/

    ****= your home folder
    diskname is the external disk where you have the original Folders.
  9. thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2013
    Thanks for that!

    I'm not entirely sure what I am creating a symlink for?

    I would like the user folders Movies, Music, Pictures and Download to be stored on the HDD. I have no data in the SSD user folders, but I am a bit confused by the instructions above, where am I creating a symlink and what will it be linking to where?

    Could I use an app to create symlinks as I think that would be much easier for me to understand?
  10. macrumors 603


    The way I explained above creates symlinks FROM the external INTO the Home Folder where they normally are.

    I will attach a Contextual Menu Item here in a zip file, put this in:

    /Library/Contextual Menu Items/

    Logout and in again, the if you right click or option click on the Original Folder on the external (Like Music) you will see a menu item to make a symlink.
    When it is created you need to put that one on the SSD inside the Home folder after you delete the Music Folder which is there as shown above.

    Attached Files:

  11. thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2013
    Thanks I'll try that as soon as I get home..

    What's the easiest way to delete the existing music folder in the home directory?

    Will I just be able to drag and drop the symlink into the user directory?
  12. macrumors 603


    It's in post #8 but I will quote myself:

    And, yes, you can drag and drop the symlink in the Home Folder as soon as the other Folder(s)are deleted.
  13. thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2013
    Thanks for your help! I was having trouble understanding exactly what has to be done but I was being stupid!
  14. oneinten, Apr 14, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013

    thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2013
    After following the steps to create a symlink for my Pictures folder, I used terminal and deleted the original User Directory, then created a symlink and dragged it into my User folder, then added the favourite but the icon remains a folder rather than the original Camera Icon.

    The symlinks work perfectly regardless and it's a much more efficient way of organising my SSD/HDD configuration so thank you for that! But the sidebar icons haven't remained the way they would look if using the original boot drive user folders.. Is there something I'm doing wrong?
  15. macrumors 603


    OK, now, there can be several causes, I made a screenshot which I attached below, I am pretty sure you want it to look like this.

    It could be that the Preference file is the problem.
    This is the first thing to try, again by using the terminal, you could also do it manually and I'll explain that as well.

    The Terminal way:

    1. Open Terminal.
    2. Enter the following command
    sudo mv /Users/****/Library/Preferences/ /Users/****/Desktop
    (****= your Home Folder name-thiswwill move the preference file to the Desktop instead of deleting it)
    3. Hit Enter and your Password
    4. Enter the following command (Finder with Capital F, otherwise won't work.
    killall Finder
    5 Hit Enter

    Did this work?
    If not move the back into the Preferences Folder and your preferences are back
    Drag and drop will work but you need to relaunch the Finder again before it is back.

    The simple way to do the above is to go to /Users/****Library/Preferences/ and drag the file to the Desktop, then relaunch the Finder, you can do this with the Terminal command above (killall Finder) or open Activity Monitor, select Finder and quit.

    Try this first, if this does not work there are other ways, like repairing permission (Unlikely to work) and making custom Icons which I can send to you.

    Attached Files:

  16. oneinten, Apr 15, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2013

    thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2013
    That's correct I am trying to get my sidebar to look how it did originally. If I delete one of my symlinks, for instance "Movies" and create a new standard folder and call it "Movies", when that folder is dragged to the sidebar I get the original icon back but when I drag my symlink I just get the folder icon.

    Interestingly enough, when I go into my Finder preferences then tick and untick Music, Movies and Pictures my symlink folder icons disappear and reappear in the sidebar so Finder is obviously viewing them as it should be!

    I could not see the sidebarpreferences file using finder so I used the Terminal method and followed your steps but nothing changed so I dragged the file back using Finder.

    It seems very strange that in Finder preferences it it obviously seeing the folders as normal user directories but I can't get the original Icons back.
  17. macrumors 603


    No, it is not strange that the Finders Preferences display the correct ones, those are directly linked to the Icon files in the System Folder, not the actual Folders.
    This is what you could try, drag one of the symlinks out of your Home folder, Desktop would be OK for instance, then create a new Folder with the name of the Folder you dragged out, just do Music for instance.
    After you've done this get info on the Folder, does it show Generic or the right Icon, if it is the right Icon, click on it, then copy the Icon (Command-C), then click on the symlink Folder you moved, get info again, click on the Icon again and paste (Command-V), now, do you have the Music Icon on the symlink Music Folder, if yes delete the Music Folder you created and move the Music symlink back.
    Did this work?
  18. thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2013
    I have edited the folder icons to the correct ones (Movies/Music/Pictures) but I still don't get the sidebar icons, just a normal folder.
  19. macrumors 603


    I just tried myself, make sure you have logged out and in again, it might make a difference, it did when I renamed my Pictures Folder and when I changed it back I had to logout and in again to see the changes!
  20. thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2013
    Still nothing. could it be the order in which I've edited the folder icons?

    Would you mind explaining the order in which this should be done as I can do a time machine restore and start again with the symlinks if necessary.

    I made my "Music" folder on my storage HD, then changed the folder icon to the folder with a music note in it, then created a symlink, then deleted the User directory "music" folder and dragged my symlink into the user directory..

    Does the symlink need to be on the desktop when changing the folder icon before moving it to the user directory?

    As I said before my sidebar preferences weren't visible in finder previously but now I moved it to the desktop using finder and dragged it back in it is now visible, could this make a difference?
  21. macrumors 603


    The Symlink Folders needs to be named exactly the same as before, so NOT Music_symlink but Music.

    I don't see to much wrong with what you did, you could make a screenshot of the /Users/yourname folder so I can see if you did anything wrong.(Screenshot=Command-Shift-4)
  22. thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2013
    The folders are named exactly as they were in the user directory, and all the symlink folders have the appropriate folder icons when you click "get info"

    Maybe creating the symlinks in terminal behaves slightly differently? Or copying the user folders rather than creating new ones?

    I'm using a fresh install of mountain lion and I hadn't edited anything in terminal prior to this.. Anything else I can try?

    I'll upload screenshots of everything when I'm home
  23. justperry, Apr 15, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2013

    macrumors 603


    I will try again, delete the original, create a Music Folder on an external disk, make a symlink and move it to the Home Folders, I will update this post in 10-15 minutes.

    Update: Sadly I can not get it to work either for now, I tried with a symlink but I also get a generic Folder Icon, if I paste the Music Icon onto the original Music Folder which I moved and relaunch the Finder I do get the Music Folder Icon but NOT the Music note you would normally see in the SideBar.

    I will find out, but can't say when, I keep this Open for a while, if I find a solution I report back here in a reply to you.
  24. thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2013
    Okay that would be great! Thanks for all your time and effort. It's not the end of the world but I'd like to find out how if possible.

    At least I know yours is behaving the same and this isn't a sign that something is wrong! Is it worth repairing permissions or anything in the meantime?
  25. justperry, Apr 15, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2013

    macrumors 603


    Well, I did find something out, the sideBar Icons are in:


    Look for SideBar..., there are quite a few there, but, they are in black and white while the Icons in the SideBar are blueish, something more is going on there, what I do not know.

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