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How to Add Favorites on Mac Using Finder and Dock?

Updated on Tuesday, May 7, 2024

iBoysoft author Ciki Liu

Written by

Ciki Liu
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee


Adding Favorites to Mac Finder and Dock for Quick Access

Summary: An ultimate guide on how to add favorites on Mac Finder and how to add favorite shortcuts on Mac Dock to access websites, apps, and folders quickly and easily. 

how to add favorites to finder

macOS has two built-in tools that can help you quickly navigate to files, apps, and folders with preliminarily saved shortcuts. One is the Finder which contains a Favorites list and the other is the Mac Dock located at the bottom edge of your screen with various shortcut icons. By adding favorite websites, apps, and folders to your Mac, you can customize your Mac to enjoy quick access and improve work efficiency. Read on to know how to add favorites on Mac using Finder and Dock

How to add to favorites on Mac Finder

Finder is one of the most commonly used applications in macOS. It works as a file manager that helps you to organize, find, and open files from your start-up disk, external disks, and even network drives such as iCloud Drive. After entering Finder, you can see a collection of Favorites in the left sidebar. Below list three methods to add favorites in Finder so you can access some commonly used stuff vis shortcuts.

Adding to Favorites in Finder by dragging and dropping

The easiest and quickest way to add a folder to Favorites in Finder is to drag and drop the file to it.

  1. Simply select the application, folder, or file that you want to add to Favorites.    
    drag file to favorites
  2. Drag the selected file and drop it under the Favorites section.
  3. It shall appear in the Favorites sidebar.

Adding to Favorites in Finder with the context menu

Another way to add a folder to Favorites is to make use of the context menu list in Finder.

  1. Open Finder from the Dock and go to the folder or file you want to add.
  2. Navigate to the Finder menu bar, which is located at the top of the screen. Then click on File. A drop-down context menu will appear.
  3. Select Add to Sidebar from the options.   
     add to sidebar

Adding to Favorites in Finder by creating an alias

The last method to add a folder to Favorites is to create an alias for it. Check below to see how you can do it.

  1. Open Finder from the Dock and go to the folder or file you want to add.
  2. Right-click on the folder and a context menu should pop up. Select Make Alias.  
    make alias
  3. An alias of the original folder will be created and placed at the same location.
  4. Follow the steps in method 1, which is to drag and drop the alias folder to the Favorites list.

You'll be able to access the original folder by just clicking on the alias now. 

Now you know how to add favorites to Mac Finder, why not share the methods with your friends? 


How to add favorite shortcuts in Dock

Mac Dock works as a taskbar that helps users to interact with the macOS by opening and switching from applications. Apart from some preloaded icons such as Finder and Trash, you can customize your dock elements by adding multiple shortcuts to websites, programs, and folders to Mac Dock.

How to add software to the Dock

If you wish to open an application from the Dock instead of locating it in Finder or the Launchpad, you can do the following to add it to the Dock.

  1. Navigate to the Launchpad on the Dock.
  2. Select the application you wish to add a shortcut. Drag it to the Dock. Existed icons will make room for it to fit in.
  3. Release the application and it will be settled down as a shortcut on the Dock.

How to add a website to the Dock

For those who have frequently visited website pages, adding them to the Dock can save you a lot of effort from the navigation process.

  1. Open a website or a specific URL from any browser, be it Safari, Chrome, or Firefox.
  2. Select the full URL from the top of the browser screen.
  3. Drag it to the right side of the Dock but left to the Trash icon. Let go of the URL then.
  4. A website shortcut is added successfully and you can click it to launch the page.

How to add Downloads to the Dock

In case you want to have quick access to the Download folder which stores all your recent downloads, adding Downloads to the Dock is one great solution.

  1. Open Finder and locate Downloads under the Favorites section.
  2. Right-click on this folder and choose Add to Dock
    add downloads to dock
  3. You should see the Downloads folder is located next to the Trash icon. 

Find the solutions useful to add shortcuts to Mac Dock? Share them with more people!


How to navigate to favorite files using iBoysoft MagicMenu

Besides adding commonly used files, apps, and folders in Finder and Dock, there's another way to navigate to your favorite locations quickly and much more easily, that is to use iBoysoft MagicMenu, a right-click enhancer for Mac users.

With this right-click tool, users can customize the right-click menu and add quick access shortcuts to a certain file, web link, and application without messing with the Finder and Dock. What's more, you can manually add and create shortcuts to generate almost any type of file, say, doc, xls, pdf, and so on to maximumly improve your work efficiency.

Open favorites on Mac with iBoysoft MagicMenu

Step 1. Download, install, and open iBoysoft MagicMenu.

iboysoft magicmenu main interface

Step 2. Navigate to the third option, Quick Access, under the Menu Configuration. You can see a list of default folders that can be quickly accessed.

Step 3. Click on the Add button at the top of the window. Type in the path of the folder you want to add to the Quick Access list. Name it as you wish and click the OK button. Delete and edit the path when you find it necessary.

Step 4. Get back to the Mac desktop and right-click on Mac.

Step 5. Select Quick Access from the menu list and click on the folder you want to access. You'll be guided to the page soon. 

iboysoft magicmenu quick access