CleanMyMac X 4.10

Originally published at: CleanMyMac X 4.10 - TidBITS

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Unless it was just a terrible coincidence, my Favorites List of folders and sub-folders in the Finder’s SideBar were completely DELETED - not “disappeared” but deleted after running CleanMyMacX after the update - years of painstaking organization lost, and my daily go-to spot for adding and moving data. I think it resulted from one of the new options I tried but haven’t a clue which one. (The folders and their contents were not deleted but the hand-built contents of the SideBar Favorites list was deleted.)
“Show Sidebar” and clicking arrow to the right of the word “Favorites” did NOT solve the problem.
I had a long chat online with their support in the Ukraine but it didn’t help. I tried to see if it could be recovered through my uptodate Time Machine disk, but couldn’t think of a way to do that and neither could they.
I ended up spending a day rebuilding it, but nobody could answer this question: “What (new) option in CleanMyMacX should I avoid selecting in the future in order to not have my Finder SideBar Favorites deleted?”

Years to populate a Finder sidebar? How about taking a few moments on google to check out junkware like CleanMyMac?

[This post talks about a Favorites FOLDER inside the Favorites SECTION of the Sidebar. I assume that the original poster really was talking about the Favorites SECTION. Sorry if I wasted anyone’s time.–AF]

You shouldn’t have needed to start from scratch to rebuild your Favorites folder.

The Favorites item in the sidebar is simply a set of alias from the Favorites folder in your home library (~/Library/Favorites). So, here are the steps I would go through if the Favorites item is missing from the Finder Window Sidebar:

Open ~/Library. If a Favorites folder is there, open it to see if contains aliases to your Favorite items. If so, add it to the Sidebar. If not, with the Library folder selected, open the Time Machine and scan back to a date when everything was OK. Now, select the Favorites folder and restore it. Open the restored Favorites folder and confirm or fix the aliases to point to the proper locations. Now add the Favorites folder to the Sidebar.

Note: To be sure that the Home Library is visible, have a Finder window open and select View>View Options. The option to have the Library visible is near the bottom of the window.

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I don’t see that on my system (running Big Sur). My ~/Library/Favorites folder is empty (and was last-modified in 2011 - so it’s been empty on my previous computer and was migrated empty to this one), but I have several folders in my Favorites sidebar.

At some point, it was stored in Finder preferences (see also Mac Finder Sidebar Favourites Location – George Garside), but that’s no longer valid either.

Some web searching hasn’t yet revealed an article describing where Apple is storing this information today.

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My earlier post talks about a Favorites FOLDER inside the Favorites SECTION of the Sidebar. I assume that the original poster really was talking about the Favorites SECTION.

It appears that the relevant file is ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.sidebarlists.plist. I find an elegant way to test a replacement of a file is to create a compressed copy of the original, run the time machine to find a version from before the change, and replace the original. Then restart the Mac, see if the recovery worked with no side effects. Finally, clean up the machine by deleting the compressed copy. If it didn’t work, delete the version gotten from the Time machine and decompress the old version. Restart to be back to where we were.

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That was mentioned in the article I cited (from 2014). But on my system, that file was last updated in 2016, even though I’ve updated my sidebar many times since then (last time was a week ago). It has quite a lot of what appears to be old data and does not appear to have my actual favorites list.

Article comments from 2019 point out that this file isn’t used by Mojave.

Another comment (from 2019) says that they’re stored in ~/Library/Application Support/com.apple.sharedfilelist/com.apple.LSSharedFileList.FavoriteItems.sfl2 (which is a plist file, and can be opened if you copy it elsewhere and rename it to have a .plist extension), but even that is no longer valid. I looked at that file on my system, and couldn’t find my favorites in there either.

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Seems as if you are attempting to deliberately twist the meaning of my words for the purpose of baseless personal ridicule. Unless you are a very careless reader, “… years of painstaking organization …” does not translate into “Years to populate a Finder sidebar.”

If you haven’t gradually refined your own personally chosen methods for organization on your Mac over the years, then I would suggest that you might not be in a plausible position to question the methods of others.

Using the Finder SideBar Favorites list in this way is no different than using similar third party applications like ForkLift.

And thanks to those with excellent suggestions as to where to possibly retrieve it in Time Machine, should this again occur.

Thanks so much for this suggestion!

I would never, ever use a ‘cleaning app’ like ‘Clean My Mac’ on a Mac. IMHO, that is just asking for trouble. I know because I have done many re-installs for clients who used one of these apps resulting in lost data and a bricked system. And, Apple has locked down so much of the OS that apps like this can’t access much. MacOS does a great job of keeping its own house clean.

My $0.02.

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CleanMyMac is listed and sold via Apple on its “highly curated” App Store, and appears to be favorably reviewed on TidBits. As a Mac user continuously since 1984 and someone who ran my entire business on a network of Macs for many years until my retirement, I too have been very cautious about applications of this type but I certainly don’t put CleanMyMac in the same category as, for example, the notorious MacKeeper and I have used CMM without incident for some time.
Never had a problem with CleanMyMac until this recent update and as I said originally, this incident may have occurred as a mere coincidence. There have also been some suggestions that the culprit may have been Default Folder X. Others have reported similar incidents of disruption to one’s customized additions to the Finder/SideBar/Favorites list occurring immediately after a Mac OS update, which is part of the reason I mentioned ForkLift as an alternative non-Apple contender for performing the same organizational functions.

Been using CMM for several years. Running it on the latest Monterey.
So far - knock on wood - no probs.

David

CMM may have solved a few problems for some and for many been innocuous, but Apple changes the OS often, and almost always in unforeseen and undocumented ways. Ergo, ‘cleaning’ problems. I have been responsible for hundreds of Macs for many year, many in a business/commercial environment (thankfully no longer), and CMM and its brethren have been the cause of FAR more problems than they ever solved. IMHO, there is just no need for apps like this, but everyone marches to the beat of his/her own drum.

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CleanMyMac X is a solid app, worth checking out, perfect for families. It has no place in a business context.

Agreed, never in a business environment - as I tried to convince those who had used the app and caused major problems. Unfortunately, this too often occurred without the multiple backups recommended. CMM was cheap, disk drives were expensive. Sigh… But, if never in a business context, why would it be any better in a home setting? It isn’t a solid app in my very humble opinion.

I am perpetually baffled by the number of computer users operating without multiple backups. Although now retired, I continue personal use of my MBA with BackBlaze running, Time Machine running and weekly full backups with SuperDuper. My first backup system way back when was, if I recall correctly, alternating Bournouli drives.

Ah, yes, Bernoulli drives. However, if I recall correctly, my first backups were made on a paper tape duplicator - lots of little punched holes. I still have a couple of those old tapes, but they are pretty brittle now.

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You win. My backup strategy goes back to floppies in the late 80’s (friends thought I was crazy to backup important floppies to other floppies, but after one time where I lost data, I learned my lesson).

Later on it was floppies (lots of them) to back up a hard drive. Then optical media, then tape drives (DAT, Travan and VXA). Then to external hard drives when tape drives of sufficient capacity got too expensive.

I still prefer tape, but the cost of a system that can back up 2TB to a single tape is far far higher than I’m willing to spend. And multi-tape backups are pointless, since I refuse to sit around all day swapping tapes.

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I’m 85 years old. I retired from my practice almost 16 yrs ago. I continue to use CMM. Maybe because I enjoyed my long chat with their guy in the Ukraine even though he didn’t have an answer, but he surely tried. LOL. Since then, I discovered a long list of articles bitterly complaining to and about Apple causing this to happen with one of the last few updates, followed by a very short, lame explanation from Apple that this “periodic refresh of the SideBar” was intended as an “improvement” to the Finder. So we all have to choose our poisons, both in apps and in operating systems.
Thanks to aforkosh’s advice above, I now know how to recover my Finder’s SideBar Favorites should it happen again, and I am also using ForkLift as a backup way of quickly filing and finding by subject.