Ideas to have network share in Mac Finder sidebar

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Ideas to have network share in Mac Finder sidebar

fredbert

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I have finally been forced to take the next step in my many years of migrating iTunes (as was) media from USB drive to NAS shared folder. The USB drive is getting slightly iffy.

The trick of auto-mounting a network share in macOS still works: mount it in Finder and then add the mounted location to your Login Items in System Preferences' Users & Groups.

What I'm missing is a permanent way to access the shared folder from the Finder sidebar, as if it was the USB drive... click sidebar item and there's all the files and folders. The default way is the NAS is in the sidebar and you have to go through that to get to the list of shared folders.

At present the only way I have found that is reliable, but not listed in Locations, is to create a symbolic link (not alias) in Terminal using cd /Volumes; sudo ln -s "my shared folder" "my link to shared folder". Then that can be added to the Finder sidebar's Favourites. I've tried making the symbolic link somewhere in my user home folder but that couldn't be added to the sidebar. Once in the sidebar I rename the link to be the same as the shared folder ending with the eject symbol.

Has anyone found anything better that this?
 
I can connect to an individual server/share in finder using Go | Connect to Server..., then drag and drop the share to the sidebar. This takes me straight to the share question, and shows its dirs & files in the main finder window. Can you not do this? Try setting Finder to show Columns rather than icons - this makes it easier.

It's working for me on Monterey 12.5.1 connecting to SMB/CIFS shares on both Synology & Ubuntu servers...
 
Thanks for the suggestion.

I did try using Connect to Server and using the direct URL for the shared folder but that didn’t work. Neither did Go to Folder for /Volumes when the shared was mounted. Nor drag and drop when viewing location was either the Mac itself or the NAS. Every time I try to drag and drop this share into the sidebar fails.

This Mac is stuck on Catalina. My preferred Finder view is columns. Maybe another reboot or clearing Finder preferences. But I thought what you suggested would work, though googling had similar responses to my experience (for some).
 
Are you using Samba to connect to the share(s)? Assuming yes, in Finder:
  • Go | Connect to Server...
  • Type the connect string in the following format: 'smb://user@server/share/' (omit quotes)
  • [You maybe prompted for a password if there isn't already one in Keychain for the share. Opt to save this in Keychain when prompted.]
  • Click Connect button.

In column view, this should open a finder window with the share name showing as a drive (inc. an eject button next to it) in the left most pane, and a 2nd pane showing the files & folders of that share. You drag and drop the drive symbol to the sidebar.
In your case, what happens? Where does it fail & how? This has worked for me over generations of MacOS - curious to get to the bottom of why yours not working!
 
That's what I do. The last part of dragging to the sidebar is the bit that doesn't work. I've been using Mac since 1989 and Mac OS X since 10.1. I'll have a look later to see if I can kick it into working as there is bound to be something unobvious that's the issue.
 
Last edited:
Cleared out recent servers in Connect to Server... after saving items in the favourites list. That's on both Mac Mini (Catalina) and Macbook Air (Big Sur). Anything in the recent servers will be listed in Finder's Location area of the sidebar, and I couldn't before get the full URL with shared folder get added to the recents list.

First attempt was to connect directly to the shared folder 'smb://mynas._smb._tcp.local/myshare'. On the MBA I could drag and drop the mounted shared folder into the Locations area of Finder sidebar. But couldn't on the Mini, but this time it allowed me to drag and drop to the Favourites area of the sidebar. Seems to be fixed in the sidebar as I can unmount and it stays, plus clicking it will remount the shared folder.

So the Mac Mini is where I got to with my hack but that didn't initiate the mount. So a step forward.
 
Related issues...from a Mac...some peculiarities...
  • Place a deeper nested folder from Synology in left navigation bar of a finder window.
    This 'might' work for a short while BUT breaks pretty quick. The folder itself is on an encrypted folder and expect that once the drive was mounted for the connection to be back to normal and working.

  • Custom icons - I am able to customize icons, sort of, depending on how the drive is mounted (and forgetting which is which atm.) SMB is the main connection type...hit or miss and most times now not getting them to work even if as aft.

  • Accessing the drive...drive used to show right up in finder panel. Now, though, I have to manually connect w/the IP. I can SEE the desired volume in the left panel, but it refuses to connect so forced to connect via cmd-k (which works, but a pain.)

  • PDF - if viewing pdf from desktop (quick view, via space bar for example) the image shows large and can zoom. If PDF is from the Synology, it is a tiny little thumbnail needing to be fully opened to view. Hoping there is a setting somewhere that would allow PDFs to be viewed the same as if from a Mac.
Thank you for any insights...
 

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