Safari "delete" question

Recently - I’m not sure when, but I think in the last few weeks - when I download a zip archive, Safari expands it (good) and then asks me if I’m sure I want to delete it (bad). Is there a way of stopping it from asking? Of course I want to delete the archive: it’s been unzipped and the folder/files are sitting there.

I don’t see anything in Safari’s Preferences. Is there a defaults command, perhaps?

Latest Safari, latest Monterey.

Is it asking if you want to delete the files you just expanded? I’ve not used Safari for a couple of weeks, but when I’ve seen that dialog I assumed it was asking about the archive (which seems to be what you’d want).

It’s asking if I want to delete the archive, which is absolutely what I want. Why would anyone not want to delete the archive after it’s been expanded? Until recently, it would just do it. Now, it needs my approval. I’ve changed nothing, so I presume it’s something Apple has introduced.

I’d rather like to be able to give permanent approval.

“Why would anyone not want to delete the archive after it’s been expanded?”

Because I archive installers so I still have them if they disappear from the net, and I’d rather archive a zip or dmg than a folder of loose files. I also keep 'open safe files" firmly off, because I don’t consider any auto-opening to always be safe, and even when actually safe, it’s really annoying because I almost never want to open something immediately after download (which could be hours after I start the download).


Our needs differ. I may download zipped archives of papers several times in a day and I never want to keep the archive after it’s been unzipped; it’s just clutter. There’s a preference which allows safe files not to be opened, and you avail yourself of it; I wondered if there was one to avoid the new and (to me) irritating and unnecessary question. It would appear that either there isn’t one or if anybody here knows what it is, (s)he is keeping quiet about it.

It may just be that it’s surprisingly difficult to track down this particular answer. I’m a little embarrassed to admit to the amount of time I just spent trying to find the answer to your question, only to reach an inconclusive result. I’m usually pretty good at this.

There are a few suggestions that adjusting the settings on the macOS Archive utility will do the trick. However, in my hands, Safari seems to use a different mechanism for processing downloaded zip archives (perhaps, so the Archive settings don’t seem to affect the result. Clearly there is a setting to be set somewhere, but I haven’t found it yet.

You may wish to contact Apple support directly.

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One solution, which is a bit of a hassle, would be to create an AppleScript droplet that passes whatever is dropped on it to Archive Utility and then deletes it. Then set the AppleScript droplet to be the app assigned to zip archives.

Thanks, @josehill and @jzw. I too pride myself on my ability to find answers online but I’d drawn a complete blank on this one. The idea of a droplet isn’t a bad one; it may be a bit of a hassle, but not much. Alternatively, Keyboard Maestro might come to my aid.

If I find a solution, I’ll report back.

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Still using Big Sur and Safari 16.5, so there may be changes in your OS/apps. And what I see in Safari Prefs seems only tangentially related to your question. I have this pref setting in my version of Safari: General → Remove download list items: After one day/When Safari Quits/Upon successful download/Manually
I use the Manual choice and often move the downloaded archive to another drive. (I don’t trust always having a connection to the interweb! It’s all magic, anyway ya kno!!)
Of course, this setting talks about the Download List, not the actual download. :crazy_face: And we all know Apple nevur maeks ay mizteak… espeshaly en wurding! :roll_eyes: Gude Luk!

Another thought: I use Hazel to monitor the Downloads folder. It moves installers and disc images into a dedicated folder on the desktop after a day. It would be one more step to have it sweep that dedicated folder each day for files 30 days old and up, and then delete them. It would be two more steps to have it ask about each file and either delete it or move it to a permanent archive folder depending on my response. There’d only be one or two, on some days, that it would be bother me about.