The #, ~, &, and . commands flag many files for deletion, based on their file names. These commands are useful precisely because they do not themselves delete any files; you can remove the deletion flags from any flagged files that you really wish to keep.
dired-flag-garbage-files) flags files whose names
match the regular expression specified by the variable
dired-garbage-files-regexp. By default, this matches certain
files produced by TeX, and the `.orig' and `.rej' files
dired-flag-auto-save-files) flags for deletion all
files whose names look like auto-save files (see section Auto-Saving: Protection Against Disasters)---that
is, files whose names begin and end with `#'. ~
dired-flag-backup-files) flags for deletion all files whose
names say they are backup files (see section Backup Files)---that is, whose names
end in `~'.
dired-clean-directory)) flags just some of the
backup files for deletion: all but the oldest few and newest few backups
of any one file. Normally
kept-new-versions; that applies only when saving) specifies the
number of newest versions of each file to keep, and
kept-old-versions specifies the number of oldest versions to
Period with a positive numeric argument, as in C-u 3 .,
specifies the number of newest versions to keep, overriding
dired-kept-versions. A negative numeric argument overrides
kept-old-versions, using minus the value of the argument to
specify the number of oldest versions of each file to keep.
The % d command flags all files whose names match a specified
regular expression (
dired-flag-files-regexp). Only the
non-directory part of the file name is used in matching. You can use
`^' and `$' to anchor matches. You can exclude subdirectories
by hiding them (see section Hiding Subdirectories).
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