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Apple Mac OS X tips and tweaks

How to delete Automator actions and services

Automator is a great utility for OS X on the Mac and it can be used to create workflows, applications and services that perform various actions. It's perfect for repetitive tasks that would otherwise be tedious to perform. You can create these yourself with no programming knowledge or you can download workflows, services and actions from the web. Suppose you create or install a service or add an action to Automator that you decide you don't need and you want to remove it? How do you do this? It's quite easy when you know how.

When you install actions into Automator or import them on the File menu, they are stored in your home/Library/Automator folder. To remove actions you no longer need you can simply drag the actions to the Trash. If you drag an action to the workflow area in Automator you can right click (Ctrl+click) the title bar of the action and select Show in Finder. It's probably a bad idea to delete actions you are using, but it's a useful way to open the folder where actions are stored.

If you install services created using Automator, then deleting them is also quite easy. They are stored in the home/Library/Services folder and you can drag them to the Trash to remove them. You must restart the Mac though because they are loaded on startup.

Instead of deleting a service you don't need, you can disable it instead. It's then hidden, but if you ever need it again you can just enable it. In Snow Leopard, go to the Apple menu in the top left corner and select System Preferences. Click Keyboard and then the Keyboard Shortcuts tab. Select Services in the left-hand list and you'll see a long list of services on the right. Find the service you don't need and clear the tick box to disable it.

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