Hazel Overview

Meet Hazel, your personal housekeeper. Hazel helps you reduce clutter and save time by automatically moving, sorting, renaming, and performing various other actions on the folders that tend to accumulate lots of files (such as your Desktop and Downloads folders). Hazel’s extensive capabilities fall into two main categories: Folders & Rules, and Trash Management.

Get Started

If you’re new to Hazel, start by reading  Installation & Setup , which includes information on licensing and registration, updates, and (if it should ever become necessary) uninstalling Hazel.

Then move on to  Hazel Basics  to become acquainted with Hazel’s interface and its main features.

Folders & Rules

Hazel can monitor whatever folders you choose, and then automate the management and organization of the items within them. For each folder, you create one or more rules (much like the rules in Apple Mail) that identify items in the folder by their characteristics (name, size, date added, and so on) and then take actions when an item matches (move, copy, rename, add tags, or whatever you need). Hazel can even monitor Smart Folders (with minor limitations), which means it can act on any file or folder on your Mac that follows a well-defined pattern.

To learn what rules can do and how all the pieces of a basic rule work together, see  About Folders & Rules . You can then explore the details in  Work with Folders & Rules , including how to  Manage Folders Create & Edit Rules , and  Manage Rules . Once you have Hazel up and running with a selection of simple rules, you can delve into more advanced features in  Attributes & Actions  and  Advanced Topics .

Trash Management

In addition to letting you manage any number of user-defined folders with rules of your own creation, Hazel provides two automated ways to handle a very special folder: Trash. Hazel can do two special things with your Trash:

  • Automatic deletion:  When you drag a file or folder to the Trash, it isn’t deleted, just moved aside. Ordinarily, it’s only when you empty the Trash (by choosing Finder > Empty Trash) that your Mac frees up the space that was occupied by those items. But Hazel can selectively and automatically delete items from your Trash (thus recovering the space they used) based on how long the items have been in the Trash or the total size of the Trash folder—meaning you never have to empty the Trash manually again. See  Use Automatic Deletion .

  • App Sweep:  You can drag an application to the Trash just like any other file, but because apps often store settings, support files, and other resources in various other places, simply deleting the app itself can leave lots of clutter behind (possibly including programs that continue running in the background). Hazel’s optional App Sweep feature watches the Trash for applications and other software. When you throw away a piece of software, App Sweep checks for other support files and offers to throw them away as well. See  Use App Sweep  for more details.