View Full Version : Downloads automatically get purged.

04-21-2013, 06:09 PM
I just noticed something disturbing with my iMac. When I download something and just leave it in the Downloads folder, it will eventually purge that file, as in *poof* gone without asking you; I don't know the timeframe when this happens. I've downloaded a few movies / clips and pics, etc. for later viewing and if I don't put them away in a file, they will disappear. I was frantically searching for a pic from a couple of months ago with no luck. Then, I looked at my Download file and saw that it was nearly empty. I know for a fact it was a mile long
shortly after when I first started using this thing in August. This also explains why my disc usage is so low, something else that perplexed me.

Is this normal behavior (or am I nuts?) and can I set it to leave my downloads alone?

04-21-2013, 06:32 PM
I've never heard of the downloads folder being purged. Unless you're running some third party cleaning utility, it shouldn't happen. Are you by chance using MacKeeper or Clean My Mac? Both of those will automatically purge the downloads folder and temp folders.

04-21-2013, 06:39 PM
No, I'm not running anything like that.

If you are saying that this is not normal behavior for an iMac, then I concede that it's possible I did something stupid that resulted in deleting a whole bunch of downloads.

However, I can see Apple designing it this way to keep the garbage level low (and potential problems). I remember with Windows every piece of junk that I downloaded really cluttered up things.

04-21-2013, 06:59 PM
Are you by chance logging into and downloading from a Guest user account? Those accounts purge a variety of files, including downloads I think, when the user logs out. I don't think you get a warning about the download folder specifically just a general warning.

04-21-2013, 07:20 PM
No, I use my Apple log in info.

I just check my disk usage. Incredibly, it shows just 28 out of 500 used. However, 499.25 "free" according to the pie chart, so on top of everything else those numbers don't jive.

04-21-2013, 07:40 PM
Running AV software or MacKeeper by chance? Or a third party download manager?

Should never ever happen.

04-21-2013, 09:44 PM
Do you share your user account with anyone else? The Download folders is just a folder... it doesn't work in any specifically different way.

04-21-2013, 09:56 PM
No Mackeeper and I'm the sole user. I do run "Avast!" a/v...I know, I know, not necessary!
I'm going to keep track and see if a download disappears on its own with time.

04-21-2013, 11:35 PM
I'm not familiar with the settings in Avast so the following may be a wild goose chase. Fortunately it won't take long to check. Is there a setting in Avast that would cause it to clean/purge a fodder after a period of time?

Also, something else occurred to me: Have you set up any kind of folder actions that would explain this behavior?

04-22-2013, 01:02 PM
No Mackeeper and I'm the sole user. I do run "Avast!" a/v...I know, I know, not necessary!

Worse than that, it's a resource hog. If you must run A-V, download ClamXV.

04-22-2013, 01:45 PM
As the others have said, this is not a normal behavior of OS X, so either you or something you've added is deleting those files..I have files in my Downloads folder from back in 2009 when I first got my Mac and going all the way to the latest download..nothing gets deleted unless I want it to be..

Is the purging only happening to files in the Downloads folder?

04-22-2013, 04:13 PM
Yeah, just the d/l files that I don't move to their proper destination. Makes sense on some level that it purges (IF it actually does that). I mean, why waste GB space and have potentially risky downloads just sitting in a computer?

Anyway, I downloaded this thread and I'll keep track of it.

04-22-2013, 04:17 PM
No OS is going to decide the safety or longevity of files that you download, that's entirely up to you. There's no aging process in place here as a consumer level OS. I can imagine something like this on a computer that has some NSA-level protection or something..

Based on what's in your download folder right now can you tell how old the oldest file is to get an idea of where the "cut-off" is?

04-22-2013, 04:24 PM
^Just this thread! However, having learned my lesson, I moved what i wanted to the proper files and deleted the rest.

04-22-2013, 04:27 PM
Wait..what are you downloading again? This thread? To keep updated on progress, you should click on the Thread Tools drop-down at the top of the thread and choose "Subscribe to this thread" and you will get an email when anyone posts a reply..

How are you downloading the thread, perhaps that's the issue here..

Are regular files (docs, jpgs, dmg, png, and so on) also getting deleted?

04-22-2013, 06:39 PM
Yes this thread. Not for updates to it, but to see if it self deletes, that's all. Just an experiment.

04-23-2013, 01:08 PM
Yes this thread. Not for updates to it, but to see if it self deletes, that's all. Just an experiment.

As was stated above, nothing gets deleted automatically by the OS. If things are disappearing without your "assistance" something is wrong, or you have some kind of app I've never heard of that looks for things and deletes them. If the latter, the user would most likely have to set it up so it deletes the right things. So, chances are, that's not the case either.

04-23-2013, 06:39 PM
^I agree, it's probably "user error". It wouldn't be the first time as my experience with Mac is...ummm not so stellar. I'm just running this test for my own sanity, and maybe a bit of fun.

04-23-2013, 07:12 PM
And not using any purging software? Did you buy the iMac new, and if not did you format the hard drive and do a clean install?

04-23-2013, 07:14 PM
No, unless it came in the form of malware.