I have a temporary Drafts folder in which I store screen shots, tidbits of information, and notes that I make throughout the day, as well as a photos folder where I store exported photos that are to be uploaded. By the end of the day, both of these folders can become quite large. Given that these folders are only temporary work folders, I empty them at the end of each day. But rather than do it manually, I have my Mac do it for me automatically. One way to accomplish this is using a combination of the Automator application and the Calendar application to perform the task. The steps below outline the process:
Create an Automator Action to Delete the Contents of a Folder
- Open Automator
- In the Library pane, double-click Get Specified Finder Items to add it to the workflow.
- Click the Add button and navigate to the folder that you want to empty. Select the folder and then click Add.
- In the Library pane (the center pane), double-click Get Folder Contents to add it to the workflow window.
- In the Library pane, double-click Move Finder Items to Trash to add it to the Workflow window.
- Click File > Save from the menu.
- Click the File Format drop-down list and click Application. Whenever this file is opened, it will perform the action – that is to say, it will delete all the files from the specified folder.
- Navigate to the folder where you want to save the file (the Applications folder is recommended) and then click Save.
- Exit Automator.
Schedule the Automator Action in Calendar
- Open Calendar
- Select File > New Event.
- Type the name for your event (such as Clean Drafts)
- Click the Add Alert, Repeat or Travel Time area.
- Set the time the event is to occur (such as 3:00 AM)
- Click the Repeat drop-down list and choose Every Day.
- Click the Alert drop-down list and then click Custom.
- Click the top drop-down list and choose Open File.
- Click the second drop-down list (under Open File) and choose Other.
- Navigate to the folder where you saved the Automator application. Select the file and then click Select.
- Click OK. The event will now execute every day at the time you specified.
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