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How to delete a folder action on macOS

Folder Actions are a type of script that you can create on macOS with Automator. They’re useful actions that are specific to folders. You can create a folder action that will run when a new file is added to a certain folder, or when a file is deleted from it. It’s really flexible. That said, if you’d like to clean up your Folder Actions library, it’s pretty easy to do. It takes a script to delete a folder action and the script already exists on your Mac. You just need to know where it is, and what it’s called.

Delete a folder action

Open Finder and go to the following location.

Library/Scripts/Folder Actions

Make sure you do not go to the Library folder in your own Home folder.

Inside this folder, you will see a ‘Remove Folder Actions.scpt’ file. Run this script and it will open in Automator. This script is a stock script so it’s locked for editing. Click the Play button to run it.

When you run the script, you will see a pop-up listing folder actions. Select which one you want to remove. If you do not see the folder action you want to remove, you will have to trigger it. Execute whatever action it is that triggers the folder action. For example, if you’ve set a folder action to run when a file is moved to a particular folder, add a file to it and then run this script. The pop-up will list the folder that the action is set for. Select it, and click OK to delete it.

There is one slight shortcoming with this method; if you have several folder actions set for a particular folder, they will all be deleted. The script doesn’t delete actions by name. Instead, it deletes them by folder name.

What you can do in this case is to make sure you have a back up of all the folder actions that you intend to keep after you remove the one you don’t need anymore. Adding it back is almost as easy as getting rid of it so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

Deleting a folder action does not ever result in data loss. Any changes that were made as a result of the deleted folder action will still be there. Deleting the action does not undo its past actions so if you’ve used a Folder action to sort files, those files will still be in the same sorted order even after you delete the folder action.

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