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You can easily have multiple duplicate files without you even realizing it. Duplicate files are not noticeable as they create themselves as you go. It’s only at a later stage that they seem to have taken over the system. By the time you notice them, your Mac will be riddled with so many duplicate files, causing it to run low on storage.
Managing duplicate files on Mac is crucial as most of them are often useless and complicate file management. In other words, a load of duplicate files means fewer resources for your Mac, leading to a slow machine. Well, removing duplicate files on your Mac frees up additional space and improves the overall performance of your machine. Empty Trash to delete duplicate files from your Mac entirely. Designed for Mac users, Cleaner-App is a simple program which allows you to find and remove duplicates in a few minutes. Besides that, Cleaner-App is a handy tool to detect and delete downloads, installers, screenshots, and photo series from your Mac. Get more free disk space by removing unnecessary duplicate files and folders from your Mac. Remove duplicate files on any mounted disk or folder. Use Duplicate File Finder FREE to find and remove duplicate files. Get the PRO version to delete duplicate folders, merge similar folders, mass select duplicates and more.
For the everyday macOS consumer, the thought of finding duplicate files is a rare occurrence. Fortunately, finding duplicate files isn’t rocket science. After a while, the Mac storage system starts filling up with the entire collection of files and folders. Usually, before modifying any large media file, users duplicate it. Such duplicates are then left around unattended. Over time, they occupy such a large portion of the macOS they cause serious system lags.
Despite that, deleting and getting rid of duplicate files can be easy. Since not all file duplicates are visibly displayed on the screen, it becomes necessary to find them manually. Use smart folders to find duplicates files and get rid of them to clear your system.
Using Smart Folders to Find and Delete Duplicate Files on Mac
Finding all duplicate files that are occupying your space is rather simple. If you want the process to be easy, then follow the steps outlined:
Pro Tip: Scan your Mac for performance issues, junk files, harmful apps, and security threats
that can cause system issues or slow performance.
- Go to your Mac’s desktop and under the menu bar, click on File.
- A drop-down menu will appear. Select New Smart Folder from the list of options.
- A new window will open. Under the new window, locate and click on the ‘+’ icon next to the Save option.
- Narrow down your search for duplicate files by selecting the Kind drop-down menu, then click on the file type you want to start with.
- Starting with the selected file type, thoroughly go over all the files that are stored on your macOS. Scroll through the file, one grid after the other until you find the duplicate files that interest you, then delete. Organize files by their name such that duplicates are replicated under the original and they are easier to identify then delete.
- Do a double-take to confirm that you’re deleting duplicates before proceeding. Quickly select Get Info and check the information on each file. Alternatively, you can opt to open both the original and what appears to be the duplicate then manually compare the contents. Go through all the sections including Pictures, Downloads, Documents, Music, Desktop, Videos etc.
- Right-click on a duplicate file and select Move to Bin/Trash to remove it from your Mac. After deleting, go to your Trash Bin and review. If you’re certain that deleted files are duplicates and what you wanted to delete, then right-click on the Trash Bin and permanently remove the files.
- Your Mac will be rid of duplicated and unwanted files leaving you with so much free space for new and necessary files.
Now you know how to find and delete duplicate files on mac with smart folders. Using this simple built-in feature on your macOS only requires your time and concentration. Even so, you can still use other programs to find duplicate files on your system.
How to Find Duplicate Files on Mac Using Third-Party Finders
In addition to Smart Folders, there are means of finding these unnecessary files on your system. These are apps found on the App Store and available for every Mac user to select and use as they see fit. Some third-party duplicate file finders for Mac are more thorough and thus churn out better results than Smart Folders. So, they might be worth your while.
Although there are many utilities out there that promise to find duplicate files and leave your Mac system clean, there are a few that live up to the end of their deal. Therefore, it’s important to choose wisely when opting for a third-party finder software.
How to Remove ‘Other’ Data on Your Mac
Mastering how to use Smart Folders on a Mac is only complete if you also know how to remove the ‘other’ data. Even if you identify and delete duplicate files, if you leave ‘other’ data, then your macOS storage is still riddled with unnecessary loads. Periodically check your Mac for unwanted files and remove them to keep the system light and free.
If you want a permanent and more sustainable solution. Then consider using iCloud. Move most pictures, music and video files to the cloud. You can always access them from any Mac as long as you log in. This option leaves you with enough room to do as you please and at the same time, keep your Mac clear and clean of duplicate files and memory occupiers.
Find and Remove Duplicates
The bad news is that duplicate files are eating up space on your Mac potentially causing your Mac to slow down and perform poorly. The good news is that there is an easy way to get rid of duplicate files with just a couple of clicks. The easy way is to use the best duplicate file finder for Mac.
There are a number of apps to find and delete the duplicate photos, videos, music files, documents and other types of duplicate files on a Mac. They vary in performance, ease of use and more. In this article, you will find a list of them along with a review for each.
What makes a reliable duplicate file finder for Mac?
Capability of identifying duplicate files
A duplicate file finder is an app designed to detect duplicate files. Such apps use particular algorithms to compare files and identify the duplicates. Different apps may use different algorithms. For example, the algorithm PhotoSweeper uses can only handle images, resulting in its inability to find other types of duplicates. Easy Duplicate Finder uses SHA-256, which is a bit slow. Cisdem Duplicate Finder uses a combination of algorithms, leading to high performance in the detection of various types of duplicate files.
Safe support for Photos and iTunes (now Music)
Unlike on Windows where photos and music files are stored in normal folders, the photos and songs on your Mac are typically stored in Photos Library (managed via Photos app) and iTunes Media (managed via iTunes app) respectively. The fact is that many duplicate file finders for Mac will consider Photos Library and iTunes Media normal folders when searching for duplicates in the two places. As a result, they will damage your library or cause the loss of files or related data. To safely delete these duplicates, you need to use an app designed for Photos and iTunes.
There are other criteria to consider. The two ones above are the most important.
The best duplicate file finders for Mac
#1 Cisdem Duplicate Finder
Compatibility: macOS 10.10 or later, including Big Sur
Cisdem Duplicate Finder is the best of its kind due to its high performance, safety, ease of use, etc.
Thanks to the advanced algorithms it uses, the app can quickly identify true duplicate files by content and find duplicate photos, audios, videos, Word documents, PDFs, presentations, archives and other types of duplicate files on your Mac and external storage devices (e.g., external hard drives, SD cards and more). It also finds near-duplicate photos, which is a plus for making the app a great duplicate photo finder for Mac.
Designed for Photos and iTunes, Cisdem Duplicate Finder will scan your Photos Library or iTunes Media, display the found duplicates for you to view, and remove the unwanted duplicates from within the Photos app or iTunes app with your permission, just like a human would when removing photos or songs. Your Photos Library and iTunes Media will be safe and unaffected except being duplicate-free.
Once the app finishes scanning Photos, iTunes or Mac folders for duplicate files, it will display the detected duplicates in its results window for you to easily view and preview. What’s more, its smart Auto-Select feature will automatically select duplicates for you to mass delete with a single click. Click the Delete button, and now all dupes are gone! If not satisfied with auto-selection, you can manually select or use the selection rules provided.
- Quickly find all types of duplicate files on Mac based on content
- Also find near-duplicate images
- Support Mac and external storage devices
- Safely remove duplicates from Photos, iPhoto, Music and iTunes
- Come with 3 preview modes, including a side-by-side mode
- Provide a smart Auto-Select feature and up to 8 selection rules
- Offer 3 deletion methods, including Move to Trash
- Support Apple silicon
#2 Gemini 2
Compatibility: macOS 10.10 or later
In addition to the best duplicate file finder for Mac, there are other great apps available to help rid your Mac of duplicate files. Gemini 2 is one of them. People are often impressed by how good looking the app is. But a beautiful interface can only be the cherry on top. What’s important is the ability to find duplicate files on a Mac.
The app supports finding the double files in normal folders, iTunes and Photos and is capable of detecting duplicate photos, duplicate audios, duplicate documents and some other types of duplicates. It does a good job of deleting duplicate files in folders even the large ones. But it occasionally fails to work when scanning a big Photos Library. In such a case, try to re-scan.
In February 2021, Gemini 2 introduced the Duplicates Monitor feature aiming to better help users get rid of duplicate files by notifying users when new duplicates appear. The feature does what it’s designed for. But it uses lots of CPU and may slow down your Mac.
- Comes with a beautiful interface
- Scan your Mac for various types of duplicate files
- Support Photos and iTunes
- Let users directly preview files within the app
- Provide an innovative Duplicates Monitor feature
- Incompatible with macOS 10.9 or earlier
#3 Tidy Up 5
Compatibility: macOS 10.12 or later
Designed by Hyperbolic for “pro users” (as advertised), Tidy Up 5 is a good duplicate file finder for Mac for experienced users. Inexperienced users may find its interface overwhelming and confusing.
Supporting all popular file types such as images, Tidy Up 5 can detect and delete the duplicate files in Mac’s folders and Photos. Although the app offers an option to scan iTunes for duplicate items, it does a poor job. In the test, it failed to find any duplicates, which do exist, in my iTunes.
The app comes with two modes: Simple mode and Advanced mode. New users can start with the simple one. Both modes offer an array of scan options and criteria. Each scan for duplicates requires (at least) a little configuration. Compared to the other best Mac duplicate file finders talked about above, this one is less easy to use.
- Search for a variety types of duplicate files on Mac
- Find and delete duplicates in Apple Photos on Mac
- Provide 2 modes for users to choose from
- Highly customizable
- Support hard links
- Don’t support macOS 10.11 or earlier
- Not good at finding duplicates in iTunes
- Not that user-friendly
#4 Easy Duplicate Finder for Mac
Compatibility: macOS 10.6 or later
Easy Duplicate Finder is available for both macOS and Windows. Highly compatible, it works well on a Mac running Big Sur, Catalina, Mojave or High Sierra or even an earlier version.
Its wizard-style interface is simple to navigate and use, guiding users through the whole process of the identification and removal of duplicate files, which is especially helpful for novice users.
This piece of file deduplication software can scan your MacBook Pro, MacBook Air or iMac, etc. for duplicate songs, duplicate photos and more. When the scan is complete, it will give you two options: using Auto Remove to immediately eliminate duplicates or using Manual Review to view duplicates and then remove the unwanted ones. The latter allows you to examine the files you are handling and deleting and is more reliable.
The app excels at looking for the duplicates in iTunes and normal folders. However, when searching for duplicate photos in Mac Photos app, it will return no results or false positives. If you allow it to deduplicate, your Photos Library will get damaged.
- Capable of detecting common types of file duplicates
- Support iTunes
- Provide an Auto Remove feature for quick duplicate removal
- Very user-friendly interface
- Relatively slow scan
- Poor support for Mac’s Photos
- A bit expensive
#5 Duplicate Detective
Compatibility: macOS 10.7 or later
Mac Os Find Duplicate Files
This Mac duplicate file finder and remover looks less sophisticated due to its unpolished interface. It actually does a fair job of scanning for and removing duplicate files on Mac.
You can use it to scan folders and Photos. However, it can’t identify all the duplicates in a given folder or library. Some dupes will be missing. And also, it can’t provide consistent performance. If you want to clean up duplicates in iTunes, this app won’t help. In the test, the duplicate songs it found didn’t even exist in my iTunes.
- Support all common file types
- Can find the duplicates in Photos on Mac
- Offer an option to create an alias when deleting duplicates
- Easy to use
- Incapable of finding all duplicate files in a location
- Can’t work well with iTunes
#6 Duplicate Sweeper for Mac
Compatibility: macOS 10.8 or later
Duplicate Sweeper is another lightweight macOS duplicate file finder and deleter. The app’s minimal interface is easy to use and navigate. Its welcome screen provides users with brief usage instructions. Even someone who is completely inexperienced can easily use it.
The app can only delete duplicate files in the folders on a Mac. In other words, you can’t use it to weed out the duplicates in your Photos or iTunes. Therefore, it may not be desirable for Mac users. But it can be a choice to consider if the duplicate files on your Mac do reside in folders.
- Able to look for photo duplicates and other common types of duplicates
- Ease-to-use interface
Finding Duplicate Files Mac Os X
- Can’t identify the duplicates in iTunes and Photos
- Sometime fail to detect all dupes
- Limited customization
#7 dupeGuru for Mac (free)
Compatibility: macOS 10.12 or later
There are also free Mac apps available for the removal of duplicate files. What is the best free duplicate file finder for Mac? dupeGuru may be the answer.
dupeGuru is free to use and open source. There is some sort of maintenance, but the app hasn’t been properly updated for years. Therefore, there can be compatibility issues with newer macOS versions.
Clean Duplicate Files For Mac Free
The freeware app comes with three modes: Standard, Music and Picture, allowing you to look for and delete duplicate pictures, duplicate music files and some others in folders on Mac. It’s not designed for Apple Photos and iTunes. Even though it allows you to scan Photos Library, its deduplication algorithm will damage your library and cause data loss.
- Completely free to use
- Open source
- Offer 3 modes to handle different types of duplicate files
- Fairly configurable
- Can find certain visually similar pictures
- Possible compatibility issues
- No support for Photos and iTunes
- Can’t find all dupes in the folder it scans
#8 Disk Drill for Mac (free)
Compatibility: macOS 10.12 or later
Disk Drill is actually a data recovery app, but it offers a feature called Find Duplicates. The feature is available in the free and paid versions of Disk Drill, which makes the app available as a free duplicate file finder.
Find Duplicate Files On Mac
You can find the feature in the sidebar under the Extra tools section. Like dupeGuru, this app can scan only folders for duplicates. To perform a scan, you need to add a folder and click the Start Scan button. There is no instant preview of duplicate files. To preview a duplicate, you need to click the eye icon next to it, which can cause inconvenience when it comes to image duplicates.
- Free to use
- Easy-to-understand interface
- Scan Mac folders for file duplicates
- Incapable of detecting all duplicate files
- Can’t scan Photos and iTunes
- Inconvenient preview
How to find and remove duplicate files on Mac with a duplicate file finder
I hope the list and reviews above are useful and helps you do a comparison so as to pick the app you need. This part will show you how duplicate removal software typically works.
1. Download and install the software. Open it.
2. Click the plus icon + to add a folder or drive. Click Scan.
3. Once it finishes scanning for duplicate files, you can view and preview the duplicates. It lets you view by file type.
4. Duplicates are already automatically selected for mass removal.
If not happy with auto-selection, you can select by hand. Or, highlight all items under the All tab with Command-A and then apply a desired selection rule.
5. Click Delete.
6. Click Yes to confirm the deletion. Now the unwanted duplicate files on your Mac are removed.
If you want to remove duplicates from Mac Photos app or iTunes app, it will require a couple of additional steps. Please see the official user guide for details.
By the way, you can also manually eliminate the file duplicates in Mac folders by using Finder’s Find function, which can be a time-consuming and tedious process. Alternatively, it’s possible to find duplicate files on Mac using Terminal, the terminal emulator coming with macOS. But stay away from Terminal if you don’t have some command line knowledge.
Removing duplicate files can help free up storage space, possibly making your Mac run faster. Also, it’s easier to manage files on a duplicate-free computer. The best duplicate file finder for Mac can help you effortlessly, effectively and safely root out duplicates from your Mac, no matter where they reside and how deep they hide. In addition, there are other great apps to consider.
Clean Duplicate Files For Mac Windows 10
Which duplicate file finder for Mac you are using?