Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Colorize the sidebar in Finder windows Desktop
I must begin by giving the proper credit where it is due: I found this hint by way of GUI gurus demograph68 and Dave-o from the MacNN forums. Now then, if you're tired of having a plain white sidebar in your Finder windows, you can change the color to any you wish.

Note: This procedure involves modifying files crucial to the OS and, if done incorrectly, can basically hose your Finder!. So, back up the files to be changed before you change them. Also note that this procedure works only for 10.3.5, and may break with future system updates. Read the rest of the hint for the detailed how-to...

[robg adds: I tested this one, and it indeed works, as you can see in the image at left (now I just need to go pick a color I really want to use!). So any hotshot Cocoa authors out there want to create a GUI for this hack? Not knowing the first thing about Cocoa, I have no idea if it's even possible to modify the Finder on the fly, nor if it's "safe" to do so ... but it'd be a cool hack!]

Navigate to System -> Library -> CoreServices -> Finder -> Contents -> MacOS -> Finder. You will need to Control-click and select Show Package Contents on the Finder item to get to the Contents folder). Now copy the Finder file to a safe place and keep it as your backup. Make another copy of the Finder on your desktop, and open this Finder copy in HexEdit, press Command-J, and type in 0029EB10 then click GO. You will see this:


Open the DigitalColor Meter application inside the Utilities folder and set it to display "RGB as Hex Value, 16-bit." Mouse around and find the color you wish to use. Hit Shift-Command-H to "lock" the color you'd like to use in DigitalColor Meter, and make note of the RGB address that it displays. For example, say you wanted to use [R 8888] [G A4A4] [B B9B9] for your sidebar color. Switch back to HexEdit, and first highlight (via click-and-drag) the six "FF" values (which represent white). Next, type in your chosen value in pairs. For this example, that would be 88 88 A4 A4 B9 B9. Make sure you are replacing the existing values and not adding new entries! Now save this modified file to the desktop.

Go back to System -> Library -> CoreServices -> Finder -> Contents -> MacOS -> Finder, and move the original Finder file to the trash. You will need to have an administrator account, and will be prompted for your password. Now move your modified Finder file to the system folder (again, you'll be prompted for your password). Be sure the file is named Finder, just as the original. Again, you will need to have an administrator account and will be prompted for your password.

Now log out and in again. If all goes well you will now see your chosen color in the sidebar! Good Luck!

[robg adds again: You can skip the logout/login with a simple Finder restart; sudo killall Finder in the Terminal will do it...]
    •    
  • Currently 2.50 / 5
  You rated: 3 / 5 (6 votes cast)
 
[25,531 views]  

Colorize the sidebar in Finder windows | 26 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Colorize the sidebar in Finder windows' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Colorize the sidebar in Finder windows
Authored by: DougAdams on Sep 27, '04 11:46:37AM

Sweet!



[ Reply to This | # ]
Colorize the sidebar in Finder windows
Authored by: ryanmathus on Sep 27, '04 11:59:42AM

When I did the sudo killall Finder, my Finder didn't relaunch and still isn't relaunching after a restart. I'm trying to copy the backup of the Finder file back to where it should be so I can get my Finder back!



[ Reply to This | # ]
Colorize the sidebar in Finder windows
Authored by: robg on Sep 27, '04 12:22:04PM

Hmm, that's odd -- it won't relaunch automatically, but it should certainly launch on restart. Mine restarted when I clicked the dock icon.

I suspect you may have deleted or added a byte to the modified Finder somehow...

-rob.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Colorize the sidebar in Finder windows
Authored by: ryanmathus on Sep 27, '04 12:32:16PM

Yeah, it was kind of scary! I got the finder back though by moving the backup one to /System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app/Contents/MacOS

Maybe I'll try it again later and see if it works. Thanks!



[ Reply to This | # ]
Colorize the sidebar in Finder windows
Authored by: hsinha on Sep 27, '04 01:50:55PM

One can relaunch Finder from Force Quit menu as well. Pretty neat hint! And my first response :)



[ Reply to This | # ]
Colorize the sidebar in Finder windows
Authored by: ryanmathus on Sep 27, '04 04:01:06PM

I tried doing that an option-clicking the Finder in the dock, and it still didn't want to relaunch for some reason. I eventually got it back to normal, though :-)



[ Reply to This | # ]
Colorize the sidebar in Finder windows
Authored by: brising on Sep 27, '04 12:33:48PM

That's pretty slick. Now... does anyone have the hex address for the background color of a list view pane?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Colorize the sidebar in Finder windows
Authored by: funk_thug on Sep 27, '04 01:51:22PM

A nice shade of gray I like is D3D3 D3D3 D3D3



[ Reply to This | # ]
Colorize the sidebar in Finder windows
Authored by: e2 on Sep 27, '04 05:41:16PM

Is it possible to add a photo or graphic in the background instead of just color? Now that could be cool!



[ Reply to This | # ]
Colorize the sidebar in Finder windows
Authored by: Nick Sloan on Sep 27, '04 03:02:07PM

What I'd really like to be able to do is to colour window backgrounds in list view. (WHY is this only possible in icon view?)

I tend to keep everything in list view. When moving between an HD and its backup, it would be extremely handy to be able to colour all the window backgrounds of the backup disk a different tint, so it was always instinctively clear which was which.

Is this hackable? Anyone?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Definitely only 10.3.5
Authored by: Tulse on Sep 27, '04 03:19:58PM

This definitely only applies to 10.3.5 -- the indicated code isn't at the indicated address in 10.3.4.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Colorize the sidebar in Finder windows
Authored by: smorr on Sep 27, '04 05:57:38PM

OK -- makes me wonder how many times crooner blew away his finder to figure this one out.

Very cool hint/hack!



[ Reply to This | # ]
"Relaunch" from the Finder's Dock menu
Authored by: VRic on Sep 27, '04 09:03:48PM
sudo killall Finder in the Terminal

Sure this should have the side effect of relaunching the Finder. But wouldn't it be more straightforward to suggest option-clicking (and holding, or option-control-click, or option-right click) on the Finder icon in the Dock and choosing "Relaunch" from the resulting menu?

Or maybe I added that item myself using a previous hint from this site and forgot about it.



[ Reply to This | # ]
"Relaunch" from the Finder's Dock menu
Authored by: PCheese on Sep 27, '04 09:19:39PM

Woah, I just noticed that was there, and I know I've tried to Relaunch the Finder like that before with no luck. Maybe this is new to 10.3.5? I'm pretty sure that previously, holding down option when control-clicking the Finder only showed the Hide Others menu item...



[ Reply to This | # ]
"Relaunch" from the Finder's Dock menu
Authored by: robg on Sep 27, '04 11:20:45PM

I believe you added it; the default doesn't show relaunch...

-rob.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Then click "Relaunch" in the Force quit window
Authored by: VRic on Sep 28, '04 03:00:53AM

Still simpler/faster than typing in a Terminal :
- hit Command-Option-Escape (or choose "Force quit…" from the Apple menu)
- select Finder
- hit Return or click the Relaunch button (it reads "Force quit" for other apps but switches to "Relaunch" for the Finder)



[ Reply to This | # ]
"Relaunch" from the Finder's Dock menu
Authored by: susfour on Sep 28, '04 09:59:58AM

I have never added anything to allow me to relaunch Finder from the dock's conceptual icon, but "Relaunch" is there in 10.3.5 and I remember seeing it in versions past.



[ Reply to This | # ]
"Relaunch" from the Finder's Dock menu
Authored by: robg on Sep 29, '04 08:06:50AM

You're right; I missed the ctrl-option bits :)

-rob.



[ Reply to This | # ]
How do you
Authored by: bombcar on Sep 27, '04 11:49:33PM

How do you get the small icons in the finder sidebar?

Mine are bigger.



[ Reply to This | # ]
How do you
Authored by: blackxacto on Sep 28, '04 12:52:02AM

I think the situation in 3.5 is that the menu's are dynamic. If you were to use the same window, but grab the right corner and move diagonally inwards the ICONs will dynamically get smaller to fit a smaller window.

You can set all windows to open on the same spot and the same size, but I have forgotten where. Its either in the Finder preferences, or in one of the system preferences. maybe someone else knows.

---
You'll never know which way to look, which way to see us.



[ Reply to This | # ]
How do you
Authored by: sjonke on Sep 28, '04 10:38:56AM

They are dynamic. Resize the window smaller (or have more things in the sidebar) and the icons will get smaller down to a minimum size. Make the window bigger and they'll get bigger if they still all fit in the sidebar.

---
--- What?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Can we hack MORE things than this? See list:
Authored by: megagram on Sep 28, '04 03:53:48PM

What I'd love to be able to hack and change in additon to this kick-ass hint:

-Color background of column view
-Color background of list view
-Default finder window size and state of toolbar (ie when I create a new folder, i want it's window to be without toolbar visible, and a certain size)

ANYONE?

Thanks



[ Reply to This | # ]
Default Finder window state, maybe
Authored by: VRic on Sep 29, '04 05:49:31PM

I think you need to:
- close all Finder windows but one (or close all and create one)
- set that window to the desired state
- close it

New windows should resemble that, but I can't be sure because I never close all Finder windows.

There are also scripts somewhere to snapshot and restore Finder workspaces, which is probably more useful than having to close all to alter defaults.



[ Reply to This | # ]
OS 10.4? Colorize the sidebar in Finder windows
Authored by: Pro Grape on Feb 12, '07 12:45:43PM

Hi, does anyone know the address of the colour in 10.4? I tried a few times but I couldn't find it. 10.4.8, to be precise. Thanks!

Grape



[ Reply to This | # ]
Colorize the sidebar in Finder windows
Authored by: Fishman92 on Sep 13, '09 11:13:23AM

Is there any way at all to do this in 10.3 .9? Because the line isn't there...



[ Reply to This | # ]
Colorize the sidebar in Finder windows
Authored by: pingfreak on Aug 27, '10 09:08:51AM

hi is there a possibility to do that in osx 10.6.4 to??????
i can't find the adresses to use to make the proper changes
thx a lot
a mac newby who doesn't like the blue color



[ Reply to This | # ]