Must Have Hazel Rules



My new Mac mini just came in and so I now have a Mac that can remain always on and run things like Hazel, Plex, etc. In light of this, I thought I would ask the community:

What is your must have or best Hazel rule? This can be something that saves you tons of time, has a really interesting purpose, or even something that is simply crafted cleverly.


My favorite Hazel rules are the ones that automatically file downloaded or scanned invoices, statements, bills, or other notices. But apart from that I have a set of three rules that watch a folder in Dropbox where all photos from my wife’s iPhone are automatically synced. The Hazel rules import them into Photos on my Mac, moves the imported photos to a folder on my NAS, and then deletes them. (My wife’s phone is logged into my Dropbox account rather than hers, which works for us but might not work for others, and the Dropbox app on her phone autouploads whenever she enters a geofence around our house.) This solves the problem of not having a single Photos library for our family photos.


What are you looking to do with Hazel. My rules mostly deal with my movie collection.


Desktop cleaner: move all files on the desktop that are older than a week and have not been opened in the last 2 days to a “workbench” folder in documents.

Temp file cleaner: I park some files in the temp folder. Ex, exported selection of slides that I want to email, part of a pdf etc. This rule deletes files older than a week.

Download folder rules: I have a bunch. Depends on your usage. The downloads folder is where most of the Hazel action happens for me.


Download folder:
~ Move all pdf’s and images to Desktop.
~ Some people like to add colored labels to files that have been downloaded longer than 7 days or so.

~ Turn file extensions on for images - I like seeing extensions in filenames.
~ Remove app shortcuts, put their sometimes when an app updates.
~ Some people like to use Hazel to keep their Desktop clean. I do not.

~ Various apps keep backups - I copy them into a folder in Dropbox to have a backup of backups.
~ Some apps keep up to 10 backups - I reduce this to 3.

Special case:
~ I have a sort folder where a script examines the name of a file and moves it to a folder based on a student’s initials and the chapter number. The student folders are linked to shared Google folders.

MacSparky talks about an action folder or inbox folder that sorts all of his scanned pdf’s into bills, clients, etc. His pdf’s come to him OCRed, but you can add a rule to OCR a pdf first then sort.

Automatic Trash removal:
~ Hazel will automatically empty the trash based on your preference.
~ App Sweep - Hazel will also remove associated preference files with apps that are placed into the trash.