Smart Folder Cleaner monitors folders on your Mac and automatically moves and eventually deletes files that have not been used after a specified number of days. Unused files first get moved to a temporary holding location and are then deleted after a user defined time period.
The app is best used for monitoring folders that frequently have new files added to them, such as your Desktop or Downloads Folder, and in turn, helps you monitor deleted files and free up tons of disk space.
Please note that this app prevents you from selecting critical operating system folders and currently does not support external drives/volumes. So don’t worry, you won’t end up deleting a crucial system file or folder that enables your Mac to function properly.
First Launch and Using the App:
The app functions as a standalone app. Upon launch, you are presented with a welcome dialog in an open app window, which will appear as follows:
It is advisable on this screen to select ‘Enable Start at Login’ to ensure that even after a fresh restart of your Mac, the app continues to monitor your folders.
You will next proceed to add some folders for Smart Folder Cleaner to monitor. Simply click on ‘Add Folder’, which will open up a Finder window where you can select the folder you wish to add to the app.
Once you have added a folder for monitoring, you are present with a window that asks you how long the app should wait before:
1) Relocating files: Drag the slider to choose how many days after which files that have not been used or modified will be relocated to a temporary holding location (prior to deletion).
2) Deleting Relocated Files: Drag the slider to choose how many days the app will wait to delete files that have been moved into the temporary holding location.
You can also select which specific files/folders to ignore from the folder that you have selected for monitoring. Click on ‘Add Files/Folders’ to add and ‘Remove Selected’ to remove a particular file/folder from this list.
An image of added files to the list that are marked for exclusion from the relocation/deletion process is shown below.
Further to the above, you can also add entire file extensions that you want to have the app ignore and exclude. Simply type in a file format, such as .mov, to exclude all .mov files from relocation/deletion.
Once you have gone through the above steps, you will be presented with the main app window where your added folder and corresponding files/folders within it will be displayed.
In the column to the left that states ‘Pending Relocation’, you are presented with all the files that are scheduled to be relocated. You will see the file path, when it was last used and the time remaining until the files are moved to the holding location, i.e. the ‘Pending Deletion’ screen. The ‘Time Until Relocation’ is based on how many days you selected for which unused files are relocated.
If you click on the ‘Pending Deletion’ text on the column on the left, you are presented with all the files that have already been relocated from their original location and are now marked for deletion.
For each file, you will see the file path, when it was last used and the time remaining until the files are deleted.
Again on the column to your left, you will notice a section called ‘Monitored Folders’, which lists out all the folders you have added to Smart Folder Cleaner. In our example, we have the ‘Downloads’ folder listed below:
Within this monitored folder, you will see files pending relocation and files pending deletion neatly laid out. If you click on a listed file, you will also notice a small black popup at the bottom of your screen which features some useful shortcuts:
Magnifying glass: Click on this to show the app in Finder
Eye: This opens a preview i.e. a Quick Look
Stop sign: Clicking on this instantly adds the selected file to the Ignore List
Down arrow in a cube: Select this to relocate the file immediately from Pending Relocation to Pending Deletion (this icon only appears in the Pending Relocation screen as a result)
Right arrow: Clicking this opens up Finder, allowing you to Move the selected file to any location on your Mac.
Trash can: Click this to bypass the relocation to the deletion stage and instead delete the selected file immediately.
Left arrow: Click this to put files that are pending deletion back to their original location.
You can further click on the ‘cog’ icon on the top of the window by the monitored folder name to manage this folder’s filters, clean up settings, ignore list and also to discontinue its monitoring, should you require. These options can be seen below:
In this General options menu for the monitored folder, you can once again use the sliders to adjust relocation and deletion times. You can also choose using the dropdown whether relocated files are deleted to the Trash or whether they are deleted permanently.
Further, you can add/remove ignored file extensions and individually picked files/folders for exclusion from the relocation and deletion process.
Lastly, you can completely stop monitoring the selected folder by clicking on ‘Stop Monitoring’ at the bottom. This will restore the folder and its relocated files back to their original positions.
At the bottom left corner of your main app folder monitoring window, you will see come Clean Up Stats.
These stats will show you the size of the files that are pending deletion. The total count of previously deleted files will also be displayed, along with the space freed up by all the files that the app has deleted thus far.
When the app window is open, you can hit Cmd + , (command and comma) to open the Preferences panel for Smart Folder Cleaner. You can also open the Preferences panel via the menu bar and dock icons of the app.
You can change the Theme of the app from Light to Dark.
You can choose for the app to start at login by ensuring that the slider is green.
The app can also serve you handy notifications before any files that are scheduled for removal are deleted. This gives you the chance to do a final review of the files before removal and recover any that you want to keep. To enable notifications, make sure the slider is green. You can also toggle sounds to be on/off and use the large slider at the bottom to decide just how many hours before deletion you would like to be notified (between 1 and 120 hours).