How To Automatically Delete Old TV Shows After You’ve Downloaded Them

We’ve shown you how to automatically download TV shows as soon as they’ve aired, but not everyone has infinite storage to house those episodes after they’ve watched them. Here’s how to automatically delete old episodes and free up space.

One of the most useful functions you find on regular DVRs is the ability to delete episodes once they’re more than a week or two old, to keep space free on your hard drive. Unfortunately, Sick Beard — the program we use to turn our computers into an “internet PVR” — doesn’t have this feature, and it’s not like terabytes of storage grow on trees. The “old episodes” problem is especially prevalent with shows that air daily — like late-night talk shows — since they can eat up storage fast. Luckily, you can fix this problem with our favourite automatic file-organising tools: Belvedere for Windows and Hazel for Mac.

We’ve detailed how to use these programs before, and this specific rule is easy to put together. Just set up a new rule for the TV show folder you want to monitor that looks something like this:

Date last modified -> Is not in the last -> 1 weeks

Since our setup downloads TV shows as they air, the “Date Modified” date should be the same as the air date (plus or minus a day, depending). Obviously, change the timeframe as you see fit — if it’s a daily show, you might want to use something low like a week or a few days, while weekly shows can probably go with longer periods of time. You’ll need to set up a different rule for each TV show’s folder (which is fine, since you probably have different rules you want to put in place for different shows).

Remember also that the computer running Belvedere or Hazel doesn’t need to be the same computer housing your files. If you’re storing your TV shows on a NAS, for example, you can just share your NAS’ media folder with your main PC, install Belvedere on your main PC, and point it to the shared network folder. As long as you keep your main PC on or use it on a relatively regular basis, Belvedere will run in the background and clean up those episodes whenever they get a little stale.

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