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Wildcard Delete

Wildcard Delete ScrenshootWildcard Delete is a program which deletes (or moves in the recycle bin) files which do you not want (anymore) from your hard disc. So Openoffice/Libreoffice generate ~lock files which don't allow to write by another instance of the program - if Openoffice hangs, the files still exists after terminating the program. Also I'm a programmer. The system i use to program generates additional many files i normally not need, like map files or Debug symbols. You can also clean with Wildcard Delete temp directories or Cache Folders very easy.

The Program has so less features, that this Download page is also the whole help page for the program.

Jump to the Download

Settings

The first thing you have to do, is to set which files you want delete and where they are located. For that the program works with the table at the bottom on the Window. The two Edit fields and the Checkbox above hold the elements of one Row:

Folder: Folder which should searched after files. The Search will include all subfolders up to file level. (First Column). (the same effect as the /s switch in DOS command Del).

Filter: Mask for the files. The Mask is normal DOS/Windows Mask with the Special Chars * (any char of any length) and ? (one any char), see here for explanation. You can add multiple filters for one folder with a semicolon (fourth line). (Second Column)

Exclusion: Is this Checkbox not marked, all files which were found were deleted. If this Checkbox is checked all found files will excluded form deletion, even if they matched conditions before. This allows you to set a general rule and make an exception of the rule. For example "all Files like ~.*" will be deleted with exception of the files which have only one Char after the "~".  (line 2 and 3). If this Checkbox is marked you see an "Yes" in the third column, otherwise an "No". A combination of Folder, Filer and Exclusion is a rule.

You edit the List not directly, you do it by the Fields above. Click on a row and the Edit fields / Checkbox hold the Values of this row. Now you can change the Values and Click on "change" to apply the changes to the list or you can click on Delete, to delete this row from the list. With "Append" you add the row at the end of the list.

The list is saved automatic when the program terminates. You can also save individual Settings by clicking on the Disk Symbol and open them by a click on the Open Symbol.

Deleting files

All Functions of the program are part of the toolbar at the top. A Hint will inform you about the function, if you move the mouse above the buttons.

At fist use of the Software you should make an "Check run". (First Symbol: "Checker"). This run will process the list, find the files, add messages to the protocol, but it won't delete any file. One thing is important: the list will processed from the start to the end. So if you use the exclude feature, you must define an include rule before an exclude rule. After every function is done, you can check the protocol (fifth icon with the document symbol). There you can read the messages and results from the action. Such an protocol looks like this:

As you see at the text "would have been deleted" this is the result of an test run with the Tool button.

The next Tool button with the Trash will also not delete your files. Instead they will moved to the Windows Recycle bin. From there you can restore them again. They still occupy space on the hard disc. But it is save.

The last tool button with the program icon will really delete your files. You can't "undelete" them with Window Functions, you need special software for that like Recuva.

You can abort any search for files or deleting of files by clicking on the Abort Icon, the fourth icon from left.

After a deletion or check Task, you should have a look on the protocol which is made from all actions. This is done by the fifth button from left with the document icon.

Reverse Wildcards

With the Exclusion Feature you can realize what i call "reverse Wildcards" meaning "Mark every file which does not match the wildcard". For that it is useful to understand how the program works. In a first pass the program will create a list of all files matching the filters beginning from the first entry to the last entry. However, for the rules which are marked as "exclusion" a founded file will not be added but deleted from the list. So if you first set an inclusion rule for a directory and then an exclusion rule after the first rule you will get marked all files which fit the first rule but not the second rule. If all rules are processed the deletion / moving in Trash or only adding to the protocol will start.

Here an example how to use this. I normally have associated with mp3 Files several other files like "desktop.ini" from Windows, "thumsb.db" from Picasa or playlists in several formals (*.nfo,*.m3u and so on). A filer matching all this formats is quite complex. Also there are often pictures form the albums which i don't need. If i want to clean my mp3 collection from all files except mp3 i write the both rules:

Folder Wildcard Exclude
F:\MP3 *.* No
F:\MP3 *.mp3 Yes

The first rule will mark all files in the folder and all subfolders. The second will exclude all files which end with mp3 from the operation. The result: All non mp3 files will deleted.

Since Version 1.10 the sequence of the rules is unimportant so an exclude Rule can stand before an include Rule.

Other functions

ReplaceThe binocular icon allows you to change a text global in the first two columns in every row of the list. This is useful, if the folder structure has changed or a filter must be adjusted in more than one row. If the replace text contains the search text, you have to mark "Replace only once" since you get an indefinite loop. If you check this box, the replace text will replaced once every cell of the first two columns.

The Add to desktop Icon creates an Shortcut on the Desktop, an Icon which allows you to start Wildcard Delete with an simple Click.

The Help Button will show the help file (which contains the same as this).

The info Button shows an Dialog where you can visit the homepage, (this page), write an Email (your Email client will open), get information's about the program or check if there is a new version.

For the last point a remark. Since Wildcard Delete is like all my program only a single executable file the download will just download an Zip Archive. When the archive is open by the default program for that (or windows) you must close Wildcard Delete and extract it to the folder where you have installed it.

Version History

Version 1.0

Initial Version

Version 1.10

Also deleting files with RSH-Attributes set. List is processed in two steps so that the sequence is not relevant.

Download von Wildcard Delete (Version 1.10)

Wildcard Delete is Freeware. It runs on Windows from Windows Vista, (Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 and 10). It has no installer, simply extract the Zip-Archive in an Folder of your Choice.

If you like the program you can donate via PayPal. You decide how much the program is worth for you.

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© des Textes: Bernd Leitenberger. Jede Veröffentlichung dieses Textes im Ganzen oder in Auszügen darf nur mit Zustimmung des Urhebers erfolgen.
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