Your Mac Logs Everything You Download, Here’s How To Clear It Out

Your Mac Logs Everything You Download, Here’s How To Clear It Out

Mac: OS X keeps a running log of every file you download, in part so it can help you troubleshoot later on if you download something you weren’t supposed to. If you’re not a fan of this behaviour, Macgasm shows you how to clear out that log.

First off, if you want to see your log, you need to type in a command into Terminal (Applications > Utilities):

sqlite3 ~/Library/Preferences/* 'select LSQuarantineDataURLString from LSQuarantineEvent'

You should see a list of everything you’ve ever downloaded here. Mine went all the way back to my first download after I replaced the hard drive drive on my Mac (it was CrashPlan, obviously). It also includes everything I’ve downloaded from a local FTP server. This is a little dubious in privacy terms, and will include files you have long since trashed. To delete the log, type in:

sqlite3 ~/Library/Preferences/* 'delete from LSQuarantineEvent'

That should clear everything out of the log. Go ahead and run the first script again to confirm.

Good Morning, Your Mac Keeps a Log of All Your Downloads [Macgasm]


  • Jesus Christ, don’t they have an app for that? It’s like trying to get anything done in linux.

    “I want to install drivers for my Nvidia card, I downloaded the drivers from Nvidia’s site, double clicked it, and it’s not doing anything”

    “Oh that’s easy, just open up a terminal and type, nvidia-kernel-dkms nvidia-glx build-essential nvidia-settings nvidia-xconfig. And then when you’re finished, type nvidia-xconfig”

    It’s like a flashback from the DOS days.

  • The justification for this purpose is pretty dubious. Does it work better than “Microsoft is checking online for solutions”. Does anyone actually wait for it to check online?

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