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How To Install Hazel

  1. Download Hazel here
  2. Double-click the downloaded DMG file. It should be located in your Downloads folder. If not, check your browser’s preferences.
  3. In the window that opens, double-click the Hazel installer.
  4. Follow the instructions from System Preferences from there.

If you have a license file, you can now use it to register your copy.

Otherwise, Hazel will run in trial mode. This will allow you to try out the software for 14 days before purchasing. During this time, all features will be enabled except for exporting rules.

When the trial expires, Hazel will go into demo mode, where it will limit you to monitoring one folder with a maximum of two rules.

I just installed Hazel 5 and the preference pane is still there

When installing Hazel 5, it should remove the old preference pane for you. In some cases, it might fail. It’s not a good idea to have both versions running so do the following to remove it:

  1. Launch System Preferences.
  2. Right-click on the Hazel icon.
  3. Select “Remove ‘Hazel’ preference pane”
  4. Reboot

That will remove the old preference pane while keeping all your rules and settings intact. Whatever you do, do not click the “Uninstall” button in Hazel.

How to purchase an upgrade for Hazel 5

If you purchased Hazel 4 on or after Jan 1, 2020, you are eligible for a free upgrade. Claim your license here.

If you are running a previous version of Hazel, download the latest version and install it over your current version. Do not uninstall anything.

Once installed, you can either purchase in-app or via the site. Note that if you want to use PayPal, you must use the web store.
To purchase in-app:

  • Under the “Hazel” menu, select “License”
  • Click “Purchase”
  • If your copy was registered for any previous version, it should show you the upgrade option. If it is showing the full version, use the web store or contact support.
  • Fill out the fields as prompted.
  • When your purchase is complete, your old license will be uploaded for you (to check eligibility) and your new one downloaded.

To purchase via the site:

  • Go to web store.
  • Enter “1” in the field for the Hazel 5 upgrade. Note that if you have a family pack, you still only need to purchase one upgrade.
  • You will be prompted to upload your license file. If you cannot find it:
  • Complete your order as indicated.
  • When your purchase is complete, you will be presented with links to download the software (if you hadn’t already) and your license file. Once the software is installed, double-click the license file to register the software.


How To Uninstall Hazel

Before uninstalling, keep in mind that doing so will remove all settings & rules associated with Hazel. If all you want to do is update/install a new version, no uninstallation is needed. Just install the new version over the current one.

To uninstall:

  1. Go to Hazel’s “Info” section.
  2. Click on the “Uninstall” button.
  3. Confirm that you want to uninstall.

If you find that you ever want to re-visit Hazel and install it again, just follow the steps here.

How To Purchase Hazel

You can purchase a license from directly within Hazel itself (in-app) or via the web store.

The recommended way is to purchase in-app as it is the easiest method. It will automatically download and register your copy for you. Also, if purchasing an upgrade, Hazel’s in-app store will automatically detect if you are eligible and upload your old license for you.

In-app purchase does not support purchasing via PayPal so if that is your preferred payment method then you must use the webstore.

Note that regardless of which store you use, your information is encrypted and safe.

To purchase using the in-app store:
  1. Go to Hazel’s “Info” section.
  2. Click on the “Purchase” button.
  3. Specify which type of license you wish to purchase and then click “Next”
  4. Fill in your payment info then click “Purchase”
  5. Hazel will download your license and register your copy. You will also receive an email with your receipt/license file.
To purchase using the web store:
  1. Navigate to the web store here
  2. Enter the quantity for the type of license you wish to purchase.
  3. Select the payment method and then click “Continue”
  4. Enter your payment info and then click “Place Order”
  5. You will be presented with links to download the software and your license file. For instructions on how to install Hazel, click here. To register Hazel, click here. Make sure the software is installed before registering.
  6. You will also receive an email with your receipt/license file.

Hazel 3.3.8 Release Notes

User interface changes:
  • New installer. Previously, Hazel was provided as a pref pane file that when double-clicked would launch System Preferences to install it. Unfortunately, Apple broke Gatekeeper in 10.11.4 where it (incorrectly) rejects any non-app software even when properly signed. Since the installer (being an app) is allowed by Gatekeeper, it will hand off the pref pane to System Preferences to continue the installation.
Core changes:
  • The “Bring to front” option in the Open action is now working again.
  • Internal updates

Hazel 2.2 Release Notes

New Features:
  • Ability to create patterns for matching. Use the “matches/does not match” operator.
  • Ability to create custom tokens. Define them in your match patterns and then use them in your rename/sort/Growl actions.
  • AppleScripts and shellscripts can now be embedded into the rules. No external files needed. Scripts can be edited right in Hazel.
  • Added new GTD-like date matching. Dates can be compared against “Today”, “This Week”, “This Month” and “This Year” which align with the calendar concepts of days, weeks, months and year.
  • Added “is in the next” operator for dates. Useful for dates in the future (like due dates).
  • Added “Subfolder Depth” attribute which is how many levels deep from the top folder (the top folder being at depth 0). Can now control what rules apply to what levels of a folder hierarchy.
  • AppleScripts can now return a record with special keys to communicate back to Hazel:
    • hazelStop: If set to true, Hazel will stop processing the current rule, considering it to have executed successfully. Subsequent actions in this rule will not be run.
    • hazelSwitchFile: If set to an alternate file, subsequent actions will act on this file instead of the original one passed in. You can use this when the file is “transformed” (like turned into an archive) or if you want to re-target another file, like the parent folder.
User interface changes:
  • You can now select multiple rules in the rule list (finally).
  • Added new formatting options for the “domain” token. Clicking on it will allow you to get its “base” domain or strip it down even further by dropping the TLD. For instance, “” can be formatted as “” or “example”.
  • Script pop-ups now keep track of any currently used scripts.
  • Fixed underlining of the “month” token’s menu items. While the numerical forms should have underlines to indicate number of digits, they make no sense for the textual forms (Dec & December).
  • Tweaked the color label picker on Leopard to more closely resemble Finder’s current look. Will also display name and selection frame when moused over.
  • Widened rule window to match width of System Preference’s window (at least, Leopard’s version of it).
  • Fixed multiple duster icons appearing. Note, this fixes the problem from this version onwards. You may still experience it when first upgrading to this version.
Core changes:
  • App Sweep will prompt for a password if any support files’ permissions require it.
  • App Sweep now picks up any installed QuickLook plugins.
  • Fixed bug where extra hazeldb files were being created.
  • Added “ScanInvisibles” default. If set, Hazel will not ignore invisibles, instead processing them like any other file.
  • Added “IgnoredBackupDirs” default. It is an array of directories that when determining whether an app is installed, App Sweep will ignore if that app is underneath that directory.
  • HFS busy flag is now ignored. Files with this flag set will not be considered busy. It was unclear whether any program uses this correctly and there were cases where programs were setting the flag incorrectly.
  • Fixed error messages being logged when uninstalling files even when it was successful.
  • Fixed memory leaks.

How To Update Hazel

The best way to update Hazel is to use the in-app updater.

  1. Go to Hazel’s “Info” section.
  2. (Optional) Check “Include anonymous system profile”. This sends system configuration information which is useful for planning of future features. You can click “More Info” to see what information is sent.
  3. Click “Check Now”
  4. You can also set Hazel to automatically check for updates by setting the “Check for updates” pop-up to anything besides “Never”.

You can also update Hazel manually by installing the new version over your current one. For instructions on how to do that, click here.

Hazel 5 FAQ

What is Hazel 5?

Hazel 5 is the next version of Hazel. It makes a major change to how you use Hazel in that it will no longer be a preference pane. Instead it will be a standalone app. This had to be done to avoid many bugs and issues Apple introduced in Catalina in regards to preference panes.

What’s new in Hazel 5?

In the conversion to an app, Hazel has UI has been modified a bit. The folder list, rule list and rule editor are all in one window now, allowing for quicker navigation and viewing of rules. The rule editor is detachable, allowing you to compare rules side by side. Folders can now be grouped together. There are other improvements throughout the UI.

Hazel 5 also adds support for lists and tables. With the new custom list item attributes, you can match against a list, either entered directly into Hazel or read in from a file. With custom table attributes, you can match against a table, again enterable directly into Hazel or loaded via file. Once a custom table attribute matches, it keeps track of the row it matched. This allows you to use values in the same row from the other columns in other parts of your rule.

What are the system requirements?

Version 5 requires a Mac running macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) or later.

Is there Big Sur support?

Yes. Note that all efforts for Big Sur support are directed at Hazel 5. Because of the major changes from version 4 to 5, Hazel 4 will not be seeing these changes.

Is there Apple Silicon support?

Yes, though note that being a new platform, it will not be as well tested.

When will Hazel 5 be released?

Hazel 5 is available now.

How much will Hazel 5 cost?

Hazel 5 is $42 (USD) for a single user license while the family pack is $65.

Will there be upgrade pricing for existing users?

Yes, you can upgrade from any previous version for $20. The price is the same regardless of whether you have a single user license or family pack. Also, the upgrade will maintain the same type of license (single user to single user, family pack to family pack).

Wait, I bought Hazel recently. Do I have to pay again?

There are free upgrades for purchases made during 2020, because let’s face it, it’s been a horrible year. Click here to claim your free upgrade license.

How do I purchase a license for Hazel 5?

Check out this guide.

Will Hazel 5 keep all my rules and settings?

Yes, they should all carry over. That said, it’s always a good idea to keep good backups just in case you need to downgrade.

How do I install Hazel 5?

Download it from here. That will download a disk image. Open it and double-click the app inside. From there Hazel will instruct you on how to proceed.

Will Hazel replace my previous version?

Yes, it will remove any previous version you have from System Preferences. Do not click the “Uninstall” button in Hazel 4 and earlier as that will delete all your rules and settings. Hazel 5 shares rules and settings with previous versions, though it may update them on first launch.

I updated but the preference pane is still there.

Ok, so Hazel failed to remove the old one. You’ll want to remove it. See this article.

Since Hazel is now an app, do I need to keep it running?

No, Hazel still uses a helper app that runs in the background to run your rules and perform other duties. The app is only for viewing and editing your configuration/rules.