Apps using the documents folder: how to avoid?

Discussion in 'OS X Yosemite (10.10)' started by Thijs Moonen, Jan 2, 2015.

  1. Thijs Moonen macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2011

    It has always bothered me that upon installing certain applications, they create a folder in the User > Documents Folder. I like to keep it clean.

    I've worked my way around this by creating my own documents folder called "Documents Pro", but having done a clean install, it is time to reclaim my Documents folder. It's mine!

    So is there a way to force applications to move said folders to some place in the System of Library folder?

    They have no business in the Users folder so far as I'm concerned.

    As always, thanks for your help.
  2. jbarley macrumors 68040


    Jul 1, 2006
    Vancouver Island
    Normal assumption considering the documents these apps create are yours.
  3. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    This is how Unix-based computer systems work, in general. You launch the application, so you "own" the process and any files it creates when you launch the application. If there was another user account on the computer, when the application is launched by that user, the application would be creating files or folders in that user's Documents folder.
    Changing a default save location to something in /System or /Library is just not a good idea and would require insecure permissions in those folders. Also, it will not work with any applications from the App Store as they're sandboxed out of /System and /Library.
  4. Thijs Moonen thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2011
    That makes a lot of sense.

    It doesn't feel like that, really. Folders like cache, MODS, Logs, ModUserData.., It doesn't feel like I own them, so to say. I'd expect all folders and files there to be in human language, and machine language to be located in a different folder.

    But then again, understanding the Unix-logic thanks to your replies has clarified things for me. Much obliged.
  5. TETENAL macrumors regular

    Nov 29, 2014
    Actually the Unix logic is for apps to put their garbage in the user's home folder. Many badly ported Unix/Linux apps do that, often as hidden folders.

    The Mac logic is for apps to put user created documents in the documents folder (or default to that location when showing the save dialog), and put files the user did not directly create somewhere in the ~/Library/Application Support/ folder.

    Some badly behaving applications do their support files wherever they want though, and there is nothing you can do against that except stop using that app.

    I guess this is one of the reasons why Apple restricted apps to their own sandbox container on iOS.

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