3 Ways to Delete Days-Old Files On Mac

I have been using Mac for several years – since 2013. Do you know how many times I reinstall the Mac OS in these years?

The answer is zero.

Before that, while I was using Windows, I had to reinstall the operating system about every 2 years. Mac OS is more stable than Windows. The machine will not slow down after installing a lot of applications, so I never need to reinstall it.

But there is also a side-effect to this. The Downloads folder on Mac is the most used folder. We put a lot of files into it, not only downloaded files, but also some files that we use temporarily. Because of this, my Downloads folder ate more than 200GB disk space as it contains millions of files. I had to clean up it and remove unused files because I do not want to upgrade my disk just for some temporary files.

Before cleaning up any files, proper backup is necessary.

I believe the best clean up rule is to remove files more than 180 days. These are files that I have not used within last 6 months, so removing them is no problem for me. If I think some files are important, I move it from Downloads to other places, such as Documents or Pictures.

I need a way to find out what files I did not use in the last 180 days. I will share these ways with you.

  • Terminal command.
  • By AppleScript.
  • Using our special App.

Terminal Command

It is very easy to find files that were accessed in the last N days, for example:

find . -atime -30d

This command will find the files you accessed in the last 30 days. But you need to add ‘rm’ command to remove the files. This is high risk so you must be careful when using this command to delete your files.

The following link is a full discussion about the terminal command:

By Apple Script

If you like programming, using AppleScript is a great way to do this job. I found a useful resource for creating a script to do that job.


Using Our Special App.

If you do not have time to write script or shell command, then using our App is the best choice.

AutoCleanFolder is designed to focus on solve this problem. Using AutoCleanFolder makes it easy to set up cleanup rules, and you will get a file list to confirm your action before the files are deleted.

What you need to do is set up a cleanup rule, for example, we want to remove files that were accessed in the last 120 days. We can even make different rules for the different folders. After setting up rules, the app will automatically scan the folders and create a files list. After you confirm, the files will be removed.

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