Automatically Remove Those Pesky .DS_Store Files

If you’re a developer on a Mac, you most likely have hidden files set to show like .htaccess and .profile. That’s when those pesky .DS_Store files start popping up in every directory. If you’re a little OCD like me, they can drive you crazy. Here’s a few simple commands you can run in Terminal to have those files removed.

.DS_Store files are automatically created by Mac OSX Finder in browsed directories. These files contain information about system configuration. If you upload them along with other files, the files can be misused to obtain information about your computer. For more information, see Apple security updates.

How to Remove All .DS_Store Files

  1. Select Applications > Utilities to launch Terminal.
  2. Enter the following UNIX command:
    sudo find / -name ".DS_Store" -depth -exec rm {} \;
  3. When prompted for a password enter your Mac OS X Administrator password.

Automatically Remove .DS_Store Files Periodically

  1. Select Applications > Utilities to launch Terminal.
  2. Enter the following UNIX command:
    sudo crontab -e
  3. When prompted for a password enter your Mac OS X Administrator password.
  4. In the vi editor, press the letter I on your keyboard once and enter the following command:
    15 1 * * * root find / -name ".DS_Store" -depth -exec rm {} \;

    This crontab entry has the following format:

    <Minute> <Hour> <DayOfMonth> <Month> <DayOfWeek> <User Command>.

    The system automatically runs the command at 1:15 AM everyday. To configure the command for a different time, use different values.

    Note: This command is not run if your computer is switched off at the scheduled time.

    To save the entry press the Esc key once, then simultaneously press Shift+z+z.


Additional Information

For more details, see Mac OS X Hidden Files & Directories.

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