Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Apple OS X Yosemite and Changing Airdrop save location via Automator

So I've been a Mac desktop user now for about 4 years and at times love my Mac and at times hate my Mac.  At work I am a very heavy Windows user and power user. I do desktop administrator at my place of work and know how to customize/tweak the Windows OS to an extreme level.

Lately I've moved over to using an iPhone6 Plus as my main daily driver phone and am trying to use the native cross-functionality of iOS and OS X Yosemite.  A nice feature that I hadn't used up until getting my iPhone 6 was Airdrop.  However now that I see the power and convenience in using it, I have ran into a few annoyances.  The main one being the inability to set the default save location for files that are AirDropped to your Mac.   By default, these files will save to your System Drive > Users > Downloads folder.  There are no ways to change this folder in the OS like you can in Safari.

I have my Mac Mini setup with two drives; my main 500GB SSD that is only for applications and my 1TB platter HDD that is for my data.  Airdrop really messes with my setup since I don't use the Downloads folder at all and have all my apps redirect the default save location to the 1TB.

My solution?  Finally digging deeper into using Automator on OS X and creating a basic Folder action.  This took me a few tries but I thought I'd post my solution for other's annoyed with the lack of a default save option for Airdrop.

1. Create the folder you want to have Airdrop files into.  (I have mine go to my DATA > Downloads > Airdrop folder.

2. Open up Automator.  Choose New Document if asked and then choose Folder Action.

3. At the top where you see "Folder Action receives files and folders added to: ", click on the Drop down and browse to the default Downloads folder.  For me this is at System Drive > Users > Jimmy > Downloads.

4.  Now we will need to add the proper actions from the Files and Folder Library on the far left pane. The first action we will add will enumerate the files in the Downloads folder.

a. Under Files and Folders :  Drag the "Find Finder Items" to the right pane.
--Now click on Computer and browse to our default Downloads folder (same as from step 3).  You can change the filter to only do files or folders or any type of content in this folder.

b. Under Files and Folders : Drag the "Get Folder Contents" to the right pane under the previous step.
--You can check the "Repeat for each subfolder found" in case you have folders, it will get all items in the subfolders too.

c. Under Files and Folders : Drag the "Move Finder Items" to the right pane under the previous steps
--Change the To: to our new Airdrop folder.  In my example located on my 2nd harddrive, Data > Downloads > Airdrop.

5.  We now have our basic folder action created and can now test.  Be sure to put a few test files in the Downloads folder and then once you do click the Run button in the upper right.  This will run a test and you can see the results of it by clicking the Results buttons on each step.  Hopefully you will get green checkmarks on each step and once done just Save your script in File > Save.

The next time you Airdrop a file to your Mac, it will get moved to the new Airdrop folder!