Removing Synology @eaDir files

Synology NAS has a very annoying indexing service implementation that places indexed files’ thumbnails alongside your actual media files.

The thumbnail photos and videos reside in @eaDir directories in every single media directory you have, nested as deep as your directory structure goes.

So if you will ever want to move out your data elsewhere outside from your NAS, there are high chances that you will be moving the @eaDir together with your media.

Delete it safely with the following bash command before you move your data. It will also print their names as they are being deleted (to see the progress):

find . -type d -name "@eaDir" -print -exec rm -rf "{}" \;

Explanation of the Command

Let’s break down the command for clarity:

  • find . : This part tells the find command to start searching from the current directory.

  • -type d : This option restricts the search to directories, ensuring that find only looks for directories and not individual files.

  • -name "@eaDir" : This tells find to match directories that are exactly named @eaDir.

  • -print : This option instructs find to print the path of each directory it finds to the standard output (your terminal or console). This happens before the -exec command is executed, so you’ll see the name of each directory as find processes it.

  • -exec rm -rf "{}" \; : This part of the command is responsible for deleting the directories that find locates. The explanation for this part remains the same as before:

    • rm -rf "{}" tells rm to forcefully remove the found directories and their contents. The {} is replaced by the path of each directory found by find.
    • \; marks the end of the command to be executed for each found item. The backslash is used to escape the semicolon so that the shell interprets it as part of the find command rather than as a command separator.

What The Command Does

This command will search the current directory and all subdirectories for directories named @eaDir. For each directory found, it will:

  1. Print the path of the directory to the terminal, allowing you to see which directories are being processed.
  2. Execute the rm -rf command to delete the directory and all its contents.

This approach is useful when you want to keep track of the progress of the deletion process, especially if dealing with a large number of directories or a directory structure with deep nesting. It provides visual feedback in the terminal, showing you exactly what’s being deleted in real-time.


When running the command find . -type d -name "@eaDir" -print -exec rm -rf "{}" \;, encountering errors such as “No such file or directory” is normal and typically not cause for concern.

These errors occur because find attempts to access directories it had planned to search or act upon, but those directories have already been deleted by the command itself during its execution. Essentially, find notes down paths to visit and actions to perform at the start, and if those paths are altered (e.g., directories are removed) while it’s still running, it might try to access something that no longer exists. This behavior is a byproduct of how find traverses and modifies the directory tree in real-time, and since the primary goal of deleting the specified directories is achieved, these error messages can safely be ignored. They simply indicate that find is doing its job and the directories are indeed being removed as intended.

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