macOS: How to Create a Mac Panic Button With Automator

Automator, like the new iOS 12 Shortcuts app, is a powerful Mac automation tool that lets you string together actions and make a workflow or app. And I’ve used it to create a Mac panic button.

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Mac Panic Button

Whatever your reason, you may find yourself in a circumstance where you want to quickly get rid of files, apps, or ahem Linux ISOs. Here’s how the Mac panic button can help. I set it up so that it automatically deletes certain things, and then delete’s the Trash.

  1. Open Automator and create a new document. When it asks you for the type of document, select App.
  2. In the sidebar, drag the following actions. Under Files & Folders, choose Get Specified Finder Items. Then choose Move Finder Items to Trash. Finally, under Utilities, drag and drop Run AppleScript.Screenshot of Automator, with which you can create a Mac panic button.
  3. Inside Get Specified Finder Items, this is where you add the content you want to delete. You can drag and drop or click the Add button.
  4. Inside Run AppleScript, delete all of the pre-written text inside. Copy and paste the following: tell application “Finder” to empty trash.
  5. Press Command (⌘) + S to save your document, and name it whatever you want. I named my panic button “Order 66” :).
  6. Finally, go to iCloud Drive > Automator and drag the new app onto the dock.

You’ll want to create a few test folders to make sure the app works to your liking. If you ever need to execute Order 66, just click the app in the dock.

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