How to Delete Your Quarantine Download History

September 13, 2013

On Mac OS X, Launch Services keeps a list of everything you’ve ever downloaded. Launch services quarantine is what triggers the warning about opening files downloaded from the Internet, consequently it has a list of everything you’ve downloaded.

This command will list all the files in your quarantine list.

sqlite3 ~/Library/Preferences/* 'select LSQuarantineDataURLString from LSQuarantineEvent'

You should see something that ends up looking like this.

Quarantine image

You can also append | sort to the end of the command to sort the output. And if you are confident with SQL you can write more advanced queries to explore your download history.

To clear your history run this command.

sqlite3 ~/Library/Preferences/* 'delete from LSQuarantineEvent'
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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.