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Deleting Files

What It Does

This cleaner is able to delete files and folders on your computer based on rules you create. There is also a set of default rules which you can enable if you wish.

Deletion Modes

For each rule, you have the option to delete various items by selecting a mode in the "What to Delete" column:

* Watch out when using these options!
If you use keywords that are too generic in the Dictionary, chances are that some files that you don't want to be deleted will be. For example, if you have the word "the" in your Dictionary, all folders and files containing "the" in the specified directory and subdirectories will be deleted. That means a file or folder named "theory" would be deleted, as well as one named "themes" or "The New Version".


Black Hole 1.3 and later enable you to add wildcards in a file cleaner rule's path. Specifically, the star character (*) matches any character, any number of times. Here are some examples of wildcards in use:

Path Result
/Applications/*.app Matches all files or folders that end with ".app" in the Applications folder.
/User/John/Documents/D*.txt Matches all files or folders that begin with a "D" and ends with ".txt" in the Documents folder.
/Applications/Utilities/*Utility*.app Matches all files or folders that contain the word "Utility" and that end with ".app" in the /Applications/Utilities folder.

* Watch out when using wildcards!
Wildcards can potentially match files that you didn't mean to delete. Use them carefully and make sure to test your rule on a dummy folder before putting them to use on real data!

Securely Deleting Files

Black Hole gives you the option to securely delete files. The secure deletion process uses srm, a widely used secure deletion utility for Unix-like systems that can ensure a thorough deletion of your sensitive files.

Black Hole lets you choose any of the 3 secure deletion algorythms that srm offers.

Note that securely deleting files takes a lot of time compared to normal deletion which only removes the file from the index on the drive. The number of files affects deletion time more than their total combined size. For example, deleting a folder which contains thousands and thousands of files can take minutes, if not hours, depending on the secure deletion algorythm you choose. You can open the Results window (in the Window menu or by pressing ⌘-2).