Using Schedules to Clean Your Mac Automatically

You've seen how to clean specific items manually, but Washing Machine can also clean your Mac automatically, without you having to remember to do so. To do this, you can set schedules. Here's how:

  1. Click the Library icon in the Sources column
  2. Drag any item or combination of items to the Schedule source. (You can schedule empty items as well, but first you have to make them visible in the Library: see Item Viewing Options below.)

You'll see a window that looks something like this:

Each item has its own schedule, which displays in the bottom pane when you click on any of the items in the top pane.

Note: If you have purchased Washing Machine via the Mac App Store, the first time you set up a scheduled cleaning, a dialog will display asking you to confirm the launch of a helper application that Washing Machine needs to be able to run scheduled cleanings.

Taking a closer look:

  • The top popup menu lets you choose how to clean the selected item: either Clean or Secure Clean.
  • The text to the right of the Clean menu is a reminder of which item you're changing.
  • The next row is where you set the schedule for cleaning that item, for example every day, week, or month at the same time. (Selecting Every Month will clean the items at midnight on the first day of the month.) The last choice in that menu allows you to clean the item at other regular intervals, for example every five days.

By clicking on the plus sign in the far right of the scheduling row, you can add other times. For example, you might want something cleaned every morning at 9 am, with a special cleaning on Friday at 5 pm. This is how the window would look:

To temporarily turn off the schedule for a specific Item, simply uncheck the box at its left; to remove it entirely from the Schedule, click it and press the Delete key. As elsewhere, you can remove multiple items by Shift-Clicking or Command-Clicking.

In addition to adding items to the Schedule, you can also add cleanlists. Just drag them into the Schedule icon, where they show up and act just like items. Here's a Schedule containing both an item and a cleanlist:

Cleanings occur regardless of whether the Washing Machine program is launched; Washing Machine has a background program that watches the clock and performs the cleanings at their scheduled times.

Finally, if you have other commercial Intego software installed, you have a choice of whether a Task Manager window displays when Washing Machine performs scheduled cleanings. (Other Intego software is required, because these programs install Intego Common Services, needed for the Task Manager to operate.) Open Washing Machine's preferences by choosing Washing Machine > Preferences… (or pressing Command-, ), then check Display scheduled cleanings in the Task Manager.

Note: If you have purchased Washing Machine via the Mac App Store this preference is not available.


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