Did you know that everytime you download something on your Mac, it records it in a handy log file? Yeah….thanks for that Apple. I can hear the illegal downloading crowd crying out in a panic as they frantically scrub their hard-drives.

The good news is that you don’t have to scrub your hard-drive. You just have to wipe the log file and remember to keep doing it. Stopping illegal downloads would also be a good next step but that is up to you.

Table of Contents

    So Where Is This Nefarious File?

    You will probably now be asking yourself where this file is and why Apple keeps it in the first place. It is probably generated for troubleshooting purposes in case you download something you shouldn’t have (just a guess) but there is no way to switching the logging function off. You’re stuck with it.

    Instead, all you can do is delete the log file and make a mental note to keep deleting it once a week or so.

    To view the file, open a Terminal window and type :

    ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.LaunchServices.QuarantineEventsV* 'select
    LSQuarantineDataURLString from LSQuarantineEvent' 

    This will then give you your download log in all of its glory since the last time you wiped it. If you have never viewed it before, it will go right back to day one when you got the computer.

    In my case, the log went back almost an entire year.

    In some ways, it can be fascinating to take a glimpse back and see what you were downloading last year. But if an inquisitive spouse/flatmate/record company were to look and discover you weren’t downloading innocent Bible passages, that could put you in an awkward spot.

    Thankfully you can nuke the list right away and it only involves one command. Type :

    ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.LaunchServices.QuarantineEventsV* 'delete from

    This deletes the lot. You can confirm it’s all gone by running the first command again and the list should come up empty.