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Tip: Keep your Mac’s Downloads folder clean

25 March 2011 4,468 views 4 Comments

Movies and software. Software and movies. The Downloads folder on my Mac is usually chock full of them. Whereas I can’t tolerate a messy Desktop and clear it off several times a day, trashing unneeded files and putting away the rest, the Downloads folder is another issue altogether — out of sight, out of mind.

Of my Mac’s 250GB hard drive, only about about half has been used — plenty of space for a scratch disk and swap files. Music, movies, documents, etc. are all stored on external disks and backed up — drives are cheap and back up software easy, automagical.

Nevertheless, like the Desktop, the Downloads folder (~/Downloads) requires regular manual sorting of the digital wheat and chaff. If I let it get out of hand, that necessary 100-plus gigabytes of free hard drive space can disappear rather quickly and it’s happened before — invariably near the end of a big iMovie or Photoshop project as the deadline bears down on me.

Here are a couple tips for keeping on top of the problem:

Apple Online Store• Finish what you started — Big presentation, product review, etc. completed? Clean up now before the remains become part of the scenery

When BitTorrent’s finished seeding, take care of the file right now — configure your client to play a sound and/or display a notification
— After adding Music, audiobook and movie files to iTunes, clean up the mess right now

• Don’t use Downloads for long-term storage — everything belongs somewhere and none of it belongs in the Downloads folder

Set aside a specific time at the beginning or end of day to sort, sift and clean the Downloads folder

Have a better way? Created a super nifty AppleScript to do the job for you? Share your story and a link in the comments below…

via OS X Daily


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