Is there a tool to sift through files to select which to keep or delete

Hi everyone, I’m working on “cleaning” 10 years worth of manual backups by deleting files I don’t need anymore.

Though using finder is tedious and right-click intensive (right-click => move to trash…).

Does anyone know of a tool that can help make it faster?

What I have in mind is a “tinder-like” app where I can swipe left to discard or right to keep (or using handy shortcut keys to achieve the same result).

My collection of files does not have any duplicates at this point, so I don’t need to worry about that…

How are you deciding which files to discard?

I do it qualitatively: primarily by looking at the name of the folder/file and if that does not let me decide, I check the preview or open it.

How about Keyboard Maestro macros assigned each to a keyboard shortcut and your finder set in gallery view over a search targeting the place where your backup is located?

Wow, that’s an interesting approach. I bought Keyboard Maestro a long while back, though never took the time to dig into it. I finally have the excuse I need to do that now - Thank you!

Wow, that sounds very tedious and time-consuming. If these were my backups I probably wouldn’t be undertaking this task at all. Ultimately, that’s what backups are for. Plus, you’re incurring some amount of unnecessary risk of deleting files that should have been kept.

Having said that, something like @MarcMagn1 suggested sounds workable. Or use Terminal. Or dired mode in emacs.

Btw, cmd + delete sends to trash, no right-click involved :slight_smile:


True, can be both tedious and time consuming - but the human malware thing has provided quite a bit of a surplus. I do have a secondary copy stashed away, so there’s always a way back if I make a mistake.

Primarily I want to systemise things, so that I can get more value out of previous work. E.g. I am considering importing the documents I am left with into DEVONthink to see what magic its new AI can do with them. Though I haven’t used DEVONthink before so I’ll have to get to grips with that as well.

Maybe you want to try importing some documents into DT and see what you get? It would be a shame to go through all this work and then not have anything to show for it.

I add a Delete button to my Finder window then change to Gallery view. Then I scroll through my Files with one hand on the Left & Right arrows and the other on the mouse. When I see an unwanted file I click the Delete button and keep scrolling.

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My vote would be Finder in List View, then :arrow_down:, space bar, and ⌘-Delete. Pretty quick!

Also, if you have a subfolder, :arrow_right: opens it and (perhaps less well known), wherever you are in that subfolder, :arrow_left::arrow_left: will go back to the folder itself and close it again.

I use these keyboard shortcuts all the time because they are so quick.

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