Reloaded: Clean up your folder. For OSX

When downloading files from the web I usually have a predefined folder where all the downloads from my different browsers are stored. It doesn't take long till that folder grows to quite a remarkable size. Sorting out the files which are still needed is then a cumbersome and time-consuming process. Therefore, years ago I created a Java console app which takes care of removing files of a certain age.

Since I own a Mac this has become even more easy. For instance, to delete all files from a folder which haven't been accessed for 90 days and more, all you have to do is to create an automator script that executes the following unix shell command:
find /Users/Juri/Downloads/* -type f -atime +90 -exec rm -f {} \;
Note the usage of the parameter -atime. According to the man page
-atime n
File was last accessed n*24 hours ago. When find figures out
how many 24-hour periods ago the file was last accessed, any
fractional part is ignored, so to match -atime +1, a file has to
have been accessed at least two days ago.
This parameter assures that files which you often touch (open/modify) will not be deleted from the folder. It would be somehow wrong to use -mtime.

In addition after the overall cleaning process of the files you should get rid of empty folders which is done by invoking
find /Users/Juri/Downloads/* -type d -depth -empty -exec rmdir {} \;

Now you can combine everything in an Automator script and launch it at login time and voilĂ . From now on you don't have to care any more about cleaning your downloads folder :)

(P.S.: For future reference you may also like to redirect log entries into a file in order to know which files have been deleted)



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