How to find and delete duplicate files on Windows

File Duplicators scan unnecessary duplicate files on your hard drive and help you remove them, freeing up space. Here are our choices for the best duplicate file finders, whether you are looking for something easy to use, an application that you may have already installed, or a powerful tool with the most advanced filters.

You should not use these tools to delete duplicate files found in system folders such as Windows folders and Program Files. Windows and the programs you use may need these duplicate files in different places to work properly.

 

The best easy-to-use tool: Auslogics Duplicate File Finder

 

 

Many duplicate file finders are rather complex and packaged with many different options. Auslogics Duplicate File Finder is different from most, offering a simple interface that guides you through the process. It has other handy features that everyone should enjoy, such as an integrated preview pane that allows you to view images, listen to music files, and preview videos to see which files you are deleting.

Some comments have hit Auslogics to bundle additional junkware with this app, but they have cleaned up their act somewhat since then. However, the installer offered to install Auslogics Driver Updater when installing the Duplicate File Duplicator. Be sure to uncheck any additional software offered during the installation process because you do not need a driver update program.

This app has reasonable default settings offering a simple wizard that will guide you through the process. It looks for non-system folders by default on all connected drives, but you can easily select the drives and folders you want to search in the sidebar. By default, it searches for images, audio files, video files, archives, and applications, but you can only select one file type or search for all file types. You can easily tell it to search for files with a specific word or a bit of text in their name if you are looking for a specific file.

Once you have done a search, you will see a list of duplicate files and you will be able to easily view previews and other information. Or, to refine things, you can click on the “Filter” button and filter by date, size or file type. Select the files you want to delete and click the “Delete selected files” button to send them to the trash.

 

The best tool you may have already installed: CCleaner

 

 

CCleaner is a popular tool, chances are you already have it installed. The main feature of CCleaner is its unwanted file solver, which frees up space on your hard drive by removing unnecessary temporary files, but it also has a number of other built-in tools, including a duplicate file finder .

Launch CCleaner and click Tools> Duplicate Finder to find this feature. It is available on all CCleaner versions, so you do not have to pay for CCleaner Pro to use it.

The default settings of CCleaner make sense and allow you to find duplicate files on your C drive while ignoring system files and hidden files. You can also choose to search for a specific directory by clicking the “Add” button in the Include pane and selecting that folder. Be sure to select the “Include files and subfolders” option when adding a new folder to make sure that CCleaner also searches for all folders in the folder you specify.

The interface of this tool to view duplicate files is not sophisticated, and does not have all the same Auslogics Duplicate File Finder preview options. However, it allows you to easily select the files you want to delete and even save the list of duplicates in a text file. but it is a basic interface that allows you to select the files you want to delete and even save the list of duplicate files in a text file. You can right-click on a file in the list and select “Open Containing Folder” if you want to see the file itself on your system.

 

The best tool with advanced filters: SearchMyFiles

 

 

SearchMyFiles is a more advanced application with more customizable filters. It can search for files created, modified, or accessed only between specific dates and times that you specify, for example.

This tool is created by NirSoft, which also creates many other useful free tools that never contain bundled junkware. Like many other NirSoft applications, it is a portable application.

Launch it and you will see a complex looking search dialog. You must select “Duplicates Search” in the Search Mode field at the top of the window, then choose the folders to search by clicking the “Browse” button to the right of Base Folders. For example, you can select C: \ to find your entire C: drive for duplicates. Configure any other settings that you like and click “Start Search” to search for duplicate files. You will see a list of duplicate files organized in groups, and you can select the ones you want to delete.

Many websites recommend dupeGuru as one of the best duplicate file search tools, but it is no longer officially supported on Windows. You should no longer download an older version of dupeGuru, the developer says he has seen bug reports on Windows 10 and does not have time to fix them.

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