Welcome to the second part of this two-part series about using AutoDelete to delete selected files and folders on a specified schedule using custom rules.
In this post, we are going to discuss adding folders to AutoDelete, specifying settings and filters for selected folders, saving your settings, and running AutoDelete manually.
Make sure you have downloaded and installed AutoDelete prior to following the steps in this post. Also, we recommend you go through the steps in Part I before proceeding with the post.
Download AutoDelete from
Add Folders to AutoDelete
To specify folders from which AutoDelete will automatically delete files based on requirements you set, click Add Folder.
For this example, we will first add the Temporary Internet Files folder for Internet Explorer. You can also add the folder for Firefox that contains the cache. Refer to the following paths for Internet Explorer or Firefox, depending on the version of Windows you are running.
Internet Explorer in Windows XP:
C:\Documents and Settings\[user name]\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files
Internet Explorer in Windows 7 and Vista:
C:\Users\[user name]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files
Firefox in XP:
C:\Documents and Settings\[user name]\Local Settings\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\[5ufmvdw2.default]\Cache
Firefox in Windows 7 and Vista:
NOTE: Replace [user name] with the name of the user currently logged in. For Firefox, also replace the profile in brackets, such as [9pjrzgo3.default] with the name of the profile directory for the user currently logged in.
On the Browse For Folder dialog box, navigate to the folder you want AutoDelete to monitor for automatically deleting files. Select the desired folder and click OK.
A dialog box displays asking you to enter a descriptive title for the selected folder. The name of the folder is used as the default name. If you want to use a different name, enter it in the edit box and click OK.
The Temporary Internet Files folder for Internet Explorer you specified is added to the Folder settings list. To add the folder for Firefox listed above, click Add Folder again and select the appropriate folder for the version of Windows you are using.
Specify Settings for Selected Folders
To specify conditions for automatically deleting files, select the folder for which you want to specify conditions from the Folder settings list.
You can specify to delete files that are older than a specified number of days based on the date Modified, Created, Accessed, or both Created and Modified. Enter the desired number of days in the edit box and select the radio button for the type of date to use.
You can specify how to delete the files in the selected folder. Select Send files to trash to send the files to the recycle bin. Select Secure delete files to securely delete the files so they cannot be recovered. You can also move the deleted files to a folder of your choosing. To do this, select Move to folder and click the Browse button to select a folder to where you want the deleted files moved.
If you want all files within subfolders in the selected folder deleted according to the timing specified in addition to the files at the root of the selected folder, select Include subfolders. You can also select to Delete empty subfolders to automatically remove subfolders containing no files.
Specify Filters for the Deletion of Files and Folders
You can also specify the types of files to delete or not delete using filters. We added the Firefox profile folder to AutoDelete and added filters to only delete certain files within that profile folder. To do this, select the Use file and folder filters check box. Select a radio button below the Use file and folder filters button indicating whether AutoDelete should not delete the specified files/folders or only delete the specified files/folders.
Click Add Filter.
The first file we decided to add to the filters was the file containing all the stored cookies for Firefox. To do this, enter “cookies.txt” (without the quotes) in the edit box on the dialog box that displays. Click OK.
We also decided to add the following files to the filters, as files that will be deleted automatically:
- history.dat – Contains a database of all visited web pages. You can delete the content using the user interface, but sometimes it’s easier to delete this file.
- downloads.rdf – Contains a list of all downloaded files.
- history.mab – Contains all the collected addresses in a temporary address book.
For more information about the files used by Firefox and about the location of the profile and other files, see http://www.holgermetzger.de/pdl.html.
Once we added the four files to be deleted, we chose to delete files whose Created dates are older than 15 days.
Save Settings and Exit AutoDelete
Once you have all your folders selected and the settings selected for each folder, click Save and exit to save your selected folders and settings and close AutoDelete.
A dialog box displays telling you that the settings have been saved and asking you if you want to run AutoDelete now. If you want to delete files now according to the settings you chose, click Yes. Otherwise, click No.
Run AutoDelete Manually
AutoDelete runs when Windows starts up, deleting files from the selected folders according to the settings you chose for each folder. It does not run in the background while you are using your computer. You can also run AutoDelete manually from the desktop shortcut, if you chose to put one on your desktop, or from the program group on the Start menu.
In this post, we covered adding folders to AutoDelete, specifying settings and filters for selected folders, saving your settings, and running AutoDelete manually.
In Part I of this series, we covered installing AutoDelete, keeping a log of deleted files, and showing protected operating system files so we can add the Temporary Internet Files folder for Internet Explorer.
AutoDelete does exactly was it says on the tin and it can help you keep your computer free of unnecessary files without having to manually delete the files yourself.
by Lori Kaufman