Networked computers no longer appear in Locations

I have a MacBook Pro and an iMac, both on the same home network and using the same iCloud login. I have Finder > Preferences > Sidebar set to show Bonjour computers and Connected servers in the Locations.

It used to be that this worked: the MacBook Pro would show in the iMac Finder sidebar and vice versa.

Some years ago it stopped working on the MBP. It would still appear on the iMac, but the iMac wouldn’t not show on the MBP. I tried everything I could think of, including trashing multiple Finder preference files, but couldn’t get it to work.

I figured maybe it was hardware related; perhaps the Late 2016 MBP had too old version of Bluetooth or something like that.

Well, right now I have three Macs on my network: the previous two and a 2023 MacBook Pro. And now none of them appear in each other’s Finder sidebar!

The computers do appear in the Network location, and I can use that to connect to them. Also note that all three computers are Sharing: Screen Sharing, Media Sharing, File Sharing, and Remote Login. The two older computers are on Monterey, the new one is on Ventura.

My question is, what is the trick to getting shared computers to appear in Locations?

I’ve Googled this question for years but never found an answer. For most people, the issue is that the computer doesn’t appear in the Network location, and usually the suggested answer is to select to display Bonjour computers – which I’m already doing.

I think what you’re saying is that the computers are showing up in Locations > Network sidebar, but you want them to appear at the top level – Locations – instead?
You can add items to the Favorites section of the sidebar by dragging them into place. It’s top-level, at least, but perhaps not exactly where you want them.

Yes, like they used to, and like until this week the MacBook Pro did on the iMac’s Finder.

You can’t add a computer, nor an alias of one, to the Sidebar. Dragging doesn’t work and Finder > File > Add to Sidebar is greyed out.

Hmm, this puzzles me too, then. Because I have four local servers that I added to my sidebar’s Favorite section.

The computer (i.e. what you see in the Network location)? Or shared drives?

What used to appear in the location was the computer. You could click on it and then click on the Share Screen button.

I’ve long found this to be hit/miss and I have never been able to ascertain why it works sometimes and not others. Toggling various things (File Sharing, for instance) sometimes restores the ability, sometimes a simple reboot of one or another of the Macs in my LAN.
To be honest, I’ve thrown up my hands about it

The new MacBook Pro suddenly appeared in the iMac’s Finder sidebar. But still not the reverse.

On thing I noticed is that when I connect to the MBP from the iMac, it says “Connected as: my Apple id”. But there’s no such option when I connect to the iMac from the MBP. That is, I can connect as a registered user, and then it shows as “Connected as: user_account”.

I don’t know if this makes any difference, but I have the iMac set in my router’s DHCP settings to always get the same IP address and device name. The MacBook Pro(s) are not; they can change.