In a custom module (amap), I have a custom content entity (contract) created with Drupal Console.
There are standard CRUD functions on this entity.
One of the fields of the entity is a file field:

$fields['file1'] = BaseFieldDefinition::create('file')
  ->setLabel(t('Source file'))
  ->setDescription(t('Source file (may be modified)'))
    'target_type' => 'file',
    'file_extensions' => 'doc docx odt pages',
    'uri_scheme' => 'private',
    'file_directory' => 'contracts',

When I create one contract adding a file (a.pages) to the entity, everything works as expected: a file with permanent status is added to file_managed table and appears in Files tab of content page:
enter image description here
enter image description here

and the corresponding record is added to file_usage table: enter image description here My first problem appears when I want to update the contract changing the file (to Contract.doc, for example):
file_usage table is correctly updated: enter image description here but file_managed table is not! The previous file (a.pages) is still there with permanent status.
enter image description here The second problem is quite the same: when I delete the contract, file_usage table is correctly updated: there is no more record related to these files.
But file_managed table is not! The previous file (a.pages) is still there with permanent status (as in update mode).

My question is: is is normal?
Do I have to handle file_managed table myself?
Why is file_usage correctly updated and not file_managed?
I naively thought it was the case...

  • 1
    I believe there is a hidden core flag now for files that is named something like “mark unused files as temporary” and it defaults to FALSE. I don’t have any code in front of me so I’m not 100%. But I just fixed something similar to your case.
    – Kevin
    Apr 8, 2019 at 13:03

1 Answer 1


I changed file.settings config entry make_unused_managed_files_temporary to true and it seems to do the job.
Just hope there won't be any side effects...

  • The default for that setting is FALSE because some sites were having their files unexpectedly deleted when usage wasn't accurately updated (e.g. I had encountered this with a WYSIWYG editor's file uploader that didn't add a usage entry).
    – gapple
    Apr 8, 2019 at 16:29
  • Yeah, thats exactly why it was added.
    – Kevin
    Apr 8, 2019 at 16:47
  • So, I can use it if I ensure that usage is properly managed?
    – gbmapo
    Apr 8, 2019 at 17:24

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