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Clearing the lastplayed and playcount from gamelist.xml's

  • I searched for this and didn't find it so I apologize in advance if this has already been addressed and solved. I love the addition of the All/Favorite/Last Played custom collections, but it bugged me that I had do manually removed Last Played, file by file. Again, if this has already been solved, I couldn't find it. It seemed simple so I was surprised it wasn't 'just out there'

    Anyway, I wrote a simple script that if you place it in the same folder as your RetroPie directory, make it executable and run it using ./ it will parse ALL the gamelist.xml's and clear both lastplayed and playcount.

    Stop emulationstation first.

    Here is the script, obviously name it or change the executable name when you run it.


    for f in /home/pi/RetroPie/roms/**/gamelist.xml
    echo "file: $f"
    grep -e lastplayed -e playcount -v $f > "$f.tmp"
    mv -f "$f.tmp" $f


  • I need to test this. I always wished there was a way to clear this in EmulationStation itself.

  • Thanks.

    Just for curiosity, what is the use case here, just to understand?

  • @pjft When I test new roms it makes my last played list huge. Being able to clear the last played and play counts values would be super handy.

  • I can see the use case per ROM, and could be added to the edit metadata menu. Was curious about removing them all and what was the problem with the list's content.

  • @pjft In my case, after testing, I back up the gamelist files. So keeping them without playcounts and last played values is nice.

  • @pjft not sure what you mean by what is the use case, but if you mean what is the purpose, it is simply to clear the lastplayed and playcounter values, hence clearing the lastplayed. I use both the lastplayed and favorites collections. Adding to favorites as I go and in testing/checking different roms the lastplayed gets HUGE.. so I wanted to be able to clear it, nothing more, nothing less.


  • @tanstaafl Thanks. I didn't mean it as in "there's no purpose" - I try to understand the use cases from people to see if this is something that can affect a wider audience vs being niche, whether it'll be recurrent vs rarely used, etc. That can inform future developments.

    I suspect there are a few options there.

    One, which I have ran into in the past, is that probably the play counter should only be incremented if you stay in the game for at least <insert period of time - I was thinking 1 min>. Quite often I launch a game for testing or by mistake, and it adds up quickly. The first game in my Arcade list has only been played perhaps 5% of the times it reports, because of that. Still, this is likely the wrong solution for the problem.

    The other is to allow users to clear the last played/play counter metadata from an individual game. That would probably be the most helpful.

    The last one could be to keep the "Last Played" list shorter, to maybe 100 games or so, tops. There likely isn't much interest in a "Last Played" list that spans a lot of games - even 50 would probably be good as well.

    So that's what I was trying to understand the use case for:

    • Trying out games
    • Leads to long list
    • Wants to remove irrelevant items from list /wants list not to be long (unclear what is the actual goal here, I'm assuming #1 and part of #2).

    Still, this will not be implemented in the short term, unfortunately, as I'll have no access to a development environment for the coming weeks. I'll keep it on my to do list.


  • @pjft changing the code to a specific rom directory would take care of the 'individual game' item. Limiting the number of 'lastplayed' would be moot if you are using this I would think.

    And yes, for trying out games, removing long lists in their entirety (unless you opt to change the code as above) would be the goal.

    I like to keep a tidy ship and that lastplayed list is handy to look back on, but there reaches a point where it is an annoyance so I clear it. If it is a game I want to remember I simply add to my favorites.

  • @tanstaafl
    I was searching for this feature for a while, thank you!
    Since I don't know much about linux systems, what do you mean with "make it executable"?
    What's the correct procedure to use your script?
    I should probably create a new text file called, copy\paste the code you wrote, transfer the file somewhere on the retropie's sd card and.. ?


  • Global Moderator

    @papinist said in Clearing the lastplayed and playcount from gamelist.xml's:

    make it executable

    Run chmod +x to make it executable, then run it by executing with ./

  • @mitu
    thank you very much, I'll try it tomorrow!

  • got this error:

    -bash: ./ /bin/sh^M: bad interpreter: No such file or directory

    I placed the file in roms directory, if this is relevant.

  • Global Moderator

    @papinist That's because of the DOS newline in the file. Run the following command on over the command line, from the same folder where you have the script

    sed -i 's/\r//' 

    then try running the command again.

  • It worked like a charm! Thank you @mitu for the help :)

  • Global Moderator

    @papinist @tanstaafl is the real help here. I'm just browsing.

  • Hey thanks for the script, really appreciate it. I added some stuff, that I‘d also liked to flush for a clean start, Wifi-credentials for example. And I also added a chmod 777 for the gamelist folder afterwards, because the rebuild xmls lacked writing permission.

    Still i couldn‘t accomplish to also remove my favorites by adding „-e favorites“ to the grep line. All xmls that had favorites get screwed up, I can‘t see any metadata for the systems games afterwards.

    I‘m on my way to work now, so I can‘t provide you with any more information. But perhaps someone has already dealt with this issue?

    I‘d also like to remove all registered bluetooth devices with this script. To have just my roms and gamelists left to carry over to another setup. But I couldn‘t find a config file to edit or remove. Ideas?

  • Thanks for the script. I would add a +1 as a feature. After setup and testing I have the first game in each emulator in my list which would be nice to flush before imaging.

  • Very thanks.
    I contribute with a grain of sand, in Spanish, but it is easy to edit, it is a menu with dialog to clean lastplayed and playcount, 3 options:
    1 "home/pi/RetroPie/roms"
    2 "opt/retropie/configs"
    3 "both 1 and 2"
    4 "Exit" 2>"${INPUT}"
    The code, copy paste and give execution permission:

  • Hi all,
    I've tried this usefull script but it doesn't work for me.
    I put it in /home/pi/Retropie/roms folder. Make it executable. Than launch it typing ./ and it says:

    file: /home/pi/RetroPie/roms//gamelist.xml'
    ./ 7: ./ cannot create /home/pi/RetroPie/roms/
    /gamelist.xml.tmp : Directory nonexistent
    mv: cannont stat '/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/**/gamelist.xml.tmp' : No such file or directory

    What's the mistake?

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