Fix shared computer 'not found' in Finder

If you run into a warning that states a shared computer can't be opened because the original item can't be found, there is an easy fix.

When you connect your Mac to a network where there are file sharing services, such as AFP and SMB services from other Mac and Windows systems, you will see these computers show up in the "Shared" section of the Finder sidebar. Accessing these is then as easy as clicking the computer, logging in, and selecting a shared folder to mount on your system.

While this feature can be exceptionally useful, you might sometimes encounter a problem where the system cannot connect to listed shared devices and will instead give you an error stating the item "cannot be opened because the original item cannot be found."

This issue may happen more often if you have changed networks, or experienced a drop to your connection and had to re-establish it, but may also happen because of other similar disruptions.

When this happens, the OS X Finder may still maintain its list of available shared computers, when the system has lost the network association with the system. In cases like this, the Finder should update to reflect a new link to the shared systems, or remove them if they are no longer available; however, there may be times when a hiccup or two keeps this from happening, resulting in the warning message.

To fix this problem, you simply need to relaunch the Finder, and it will re-populate the list of shared devices. To do this, you can do one of the following:

  1. Hold the Option key and right-click the Finder icon in the Dock, then select Relaunch.
  2. Press Option-Command-Escape or choose Force Quit from the Apple menu, then select the Finder and click Relaunch.
  3. Log out and log back in to your user account.

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