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I've written to you about this during the Beta... no reply, no implementation in the app. So, here we go again: OmniFocus should only keep a number of backups. My backup folder is too large by now and I'm sick and tired of having to clean it out myself. Please provide a preference for the user to decide how many backups to keep and let OmniFocus delete the older ones upon quit.
I'll second that - I just checked my backup folder and found countless backups. I suppose an automator task could be written to delete the files periodically.
How about setting up a repeating action to clean up the backup folder in OmniFocus. :0

I use Hazel to clean up my backups. It works quite well and is handy for other things as well.

Still, some kind of preference in OF would be nice.

Last edited by Toadling; 2008-01-26 at 08:46 AM..
Here is a quick script, if your backups are not stored in the standard location, or you want to keep more than 15 days worth of backups, change accordingly.

tell application "Finder"
	set OFBackup to ((path to (documents folder) as string) & "OmniFocus Backups:") as alias
	delete (every item of OFBackup whose creation date is less than ((current date) - (15 * days)))
end tell
Or for those that want to one line of shell script:

find ~/Documents/OmniFocus\ Backups -type d -name "*.ofocus" -mtime +15 -print0 | xargs -0 rm -r
You could add that one line to your /etc/daily.local file and it will run nightly.

(or create your own cron entry)


Last edited by ptone; 2008-01-26 at 01:41 PM.. Reason: added bash option

I came over from the dark side a couple of years ago (Windoze), but have never got into scripts. I have no-one here to learn from either - the joys of living on a small island.

To use your script in an automated way would I add it as a Folder Action to the OF Backups folder?


I've just upgraded to a new iMac with SSD and was surprised that my disk was so full. In fact I had to move all of my photos to the iMac's second drive since they wouldn't fit on the SSD. With the prospect of Lion on the horizon I decided to do some house cleaning and using Disk Inventory X I was *shocked* to find that the OmniFocus backup folder had ballooned to 77.7 GB!

This was never an issue when I was running OmniFocus on my old iMac with a 1TB drive, but it is a serious flaw on a limited capacity SSD.

I assumed that OmniFocus managed the Backup Folder. Can't really believe it doesn't. My workflow is based around OmniFocus and it is a fantastic application, particularly now that I have an iPad.

For now I've changed the Backup location to an external drive, but as others have said Omni really should consider building in a preference to manage removal of older backups.
No question it would be one less thing to do in the system maintenance department if OF pruned its backups automatically (assuming it was implemented in a way that makes sense for your workflow). But it is a zero-sum game is that really the most important change that could be made to OF for you, or for anyone? Disks fill up, it's the nature of computing life, and OF would just be saving you from a relatively trivial task. Your workaround of backing up to another disk is slightly increasing robustness, as doing backups to the same disk where the data lives leaves you vulnerable to a failure of the disk.

Just put in a repeating action to remind you to prune the backups occasionally. It only takes a few seconds. Or go the Hazel route as others have suggested, which costs some money but likely can be put to additional uses. Or wait for this request to become the one with the most votes :-)
I use Hazel. I have it set up to keep the backups for a week then bin them if any older.

It is the most glaring error in OF and I am surprised that it still hasn't been tackled. If you have Hazel though it won't matter a jot!
I found this thread when I was googling for another problem I am having with deleting backups, which is that it takes forever for my trash folder to empty when I do clean out my backups.

This morning, for example, I moved about fifty old OF backups to my trash folder (probably about 300 Mb in total), and then waited for about an hour for the trash to empty.

Why is this? I can delete over 18 Gb of old movies in about a minute, so why should it take so long to clean out OF files? It only happens with OF, so the problem can't be system wide.

Anyone else experienced this, or have any ideas?

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