I recently setup a new Macbook. I had a few apps open, and noticed all of a sudden a Finder dialogue window that showed thousands of files being transferred to 'Movies.' I believe it said '...files being copied to Movies.' And it was in the magnitude of 10's of thousands of files.

I quickly cancelled this process because whatever it was, was not intentional. There is nothing now in the Movies folder. And this is a brand new Macbook to which I did not migrate any personal data.

Im now paranoid about what those files were, how that process started, if I have malware, etc.

For my peace of mind I want to see if it's possible to find a log of all activity in Finder that would show details about that unintentional file transfer. I tried looking at the Console application, and system.log file but Im not sure if that's the right place to look.

  • There is no log to look at. Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 18:26
  • It's likely that you accidentally moved/copied some system folder (which contained 1000s of files) to your Movies folder. Cancelling the copy aborted the process. Malware wouldn't bring up a Finder dialog. For maximum peace of mind, erase the volume and reinstall the OS.
    – benwiggy
    Commented Jul 19, 2020 at 21:06

1 Answer 1


There’s no need to review since Finder cleans up a bulk move almost always and when it doesn’t - you will see the files sitting in the new location.

One way way to know what changes from day to day is Time Machine, so for your peace of mind, set that up and now you’ll have a reliable measure to track files even if they move / delete and even better - you’ll have a backup and not just a record of what was lost or misplaced.

  • Well, the concern right now is just knowing what the copying of files was and if it was malicious in some way. There's not time machine backup setup yet because I haven't migrated any personal data yet. Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 20:12

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