How to monitor a folder for changes

OS X comes with somewhat of a hidden feature straight out of the box. That’s the ability to fire AppleScripts on folder actions. Those actions could be anything from files being added, changed or deleted from a folder.

This can be handy if you need notification of when a file has finished downloading or need to rotate log files etc.

AppleScript is a powerful language, which to the beginner may even seem quite daunting. Luckily there’s a script all ready and waiting which notifies you of folder changes.

To switch on this feature, navigate to the folder you’d like to monitor. Now pull up the context menu (right click) and select folder actions setup.

Folder Actions

 

From here select the ‘add – new item alert.scpt’

Add Item

Once added, you have the opportunity to modify the Apple Script should you wish. If you are happy with the notification popup, simply close down the open windows and wait..

That’s all there is to it really, if you need something a little more advanced, you’ll have to break open the AppleScript editor. Or post a response below, and I’ll post a tutorial on how to do what you need!

Mike Hudson

Mike Hudson is a Infrastructure Analyst living and working in Kingston Upon Hull. With extensive experience in Microsoft and Apple technologies, ranging from desktop OS’s to Server OS’s and hardware. By day working as part of an infrastructure team, and by night ridding the world of IT issues through blog posts..

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