"Cleaning up" your computer from time to time, even when there are no errors preventing it from working properly, is a good habit: you should learn how to do it too.
On the other hand, think about it, how many files have you downloaded in the last few weeks? I bet hundreds. Indeed, there will be thousands of applications, documents, photos, videos and music tracks! And not only! Many of them - I bet - have been downloaded more than once giving rise to "duplicates", ie duplicate files that take up a lot of space on the disk in a completely useless way.
The problem must be remedied. How? I'll explain it to you right away. There are several programs, almost all free, that allow you to locate duplicate files and delete them quickly. This frees up a lot of disk space and tidies up your files. Duplicate files can be identified based on various criteria: their content, their name, the date they were last modified, and more. To find out in more detail how and learn how to delete duplicate files from Windows, macOS and Android, keep reading: everything is explained below.
Delete Duplicate Files on Windows
Do you have a Windows PC? Well then here are a couple of free applications that should help you identify and remove duplicate files. Please, use them to delete only the files you are sure you can do without. If you find files that you know nothing about located in the program folders or in the system folders, do not delete them, you could seriously endanger the stability of the system!
CCleaner is one of the best Windows system maintenance software. It allows you to clear temporary files from your PC, repair errors in the system registry and, what interests you most right now, locate duplicate files on the disk.
To download CCleaner on your PC, connect to its official website and click on the item Piriform.com which is at the bottom of the first column of the table (the one relating to CCleaner Free). Once the download is complete, launch the CCleaner installation package (ccsetupxx.exe), select theItalian from the menu for choosing the language and first click on Si and then Install and then Start CCleaner to conclude the setup.
At this point, to start searching for duplicate files with CCleaner, start the program and select the item first Means and then that Search for duplicates from the left sidebar. Then click on the button Add to choose the folders in which to search for duplicate files (drive C should be selected by default 🙂 and presses on Research to start the search for duplicates in the selected paths. The operation could take a few minutes.
If you want, when selecting the paths to search for duplicate files, you can also put the check mark next to the item Types of files and indicate the types of files to which to limit the search (eg. JPG and MP3 to limit the search to photos in JPG and music in MP3 format). Also, through the options under the heading Correspondence for - in the main CCleaner window - you can choose whether to search for duplicate files based on name, size, date of last modification and / or content, while using the options located under the heading Ignore you can choose to ignore certain types of duplicate files (eg read-only files, files smaller than 1MB and so on).
At the end of the search, put the check mark next to the names of the duplicate files you want to delete from the computer, click on the buttons Delete selected e OK And that's it. Please, delete only the files that you are sure you can delete: if duplicate files are detected in the folders that host the programs or, worse still, in the system folders, leave them in their place or you risk compromising the correct functioning of the computer.
Note: CCleaner includes a real-time monitoring feature that constantly analyzes system status and alerts you when there are unnecessary files to delete. In my opinion it is a function that unnecessarily consumes computer resources, I recommend disabling it. To do this, go to the section Options> Monitoring software, uncheck the options Enable monitoring e Enable system monitoring and respond affirmatively to the warning that appears on the screen.
If CCleaner seems "oversized" to your needs, give it a try CloneSpy: it is a free historical software to delete duplicate files that identifies files with the same content, the same name and / or with other characteristics in common and allows them to be easily deleted.
To download CloneSpy on your PC, connect to its official website and click on the first link Download EXE-file found under the heading Download. Once the download is complete, open the executable caspyxx.exe and click in sequence on Next, I Agree, yet Next three consecutive times, install e Finish to conclude the setup.
Now, start CloneSpy, click on the button OK and select the folder (or folders) where you want to search for duplicate files by dragging it to the box Pool 1 or by clicking on the button add folder which is next to the latter.
Make sure, therefore, that the options are selected in the drop-down menus located at the top right Compare files within Pool 1 e Duplicates, make sure there is a check mark next to the item Ask user and click on the button Start scanning (bottom right) to start the search for "duplicate" files.
During the scan, windows will appear with duplicate files found from time to time in the selected paths. Then choose the elements you want to delete (by double clicking on them) and confirm their deletion by clicking on the button Delete all marked files.
If you want to automatically select the newest or oldest files, expand the drop-down menu Preselect files located at the bottom left and select the item Mark older files (to select older files) or voice Mark newer files (to select the most recent files).
Please note: if you want, during the installation process of CloneSpy you can choose whether to create a "portable" version of the application to be copied to a folder on your PC or to an external drive (eg a USB key) and start without having to perform tedious procedures installation.
Delete Duplicate Files on Mac
Now let's see which applications to use for delete duplicate files on macOS. Even on the Apple operating system, the recommendation made before for Windows users is valid: only the files that you are sure you can do without should be deleted. If in doubt, better desist.
Gemini at MacPaw is one of the best duplicate file search software on macOS. It has an extremely intuitive interface, supports all types of files and includes a function that allows you to locate files that are very similar to each other (as well as duplicate ones). It costs € 19,95 but you can try it for free for 30 days.
To download Gemini on your computer, connect to the official website of the program and click on the button free Download located in the center of the page. When the download is complete, open the file Geminix.dmg, take the icon of Gemini contained in the latter and drag it into the folder Applications say macOS.
At this point, start Gemini, click the buttons apri e Look for duplicates and wait for the software to do its job. If you are asked to open iTunes and / or Photos to search for duplicate music and photos in their libraries, accept.
At the end of the scan, you can choose whether to entrust Gemini with the task of automatically deleting all duplicate files (moving them to the trash, thus leaving you the possibility to recover them) or whether to check the list of "duplicate" files found by the software for yourself. In the first case you have to click on the button Smart cleaning, in the second about that Check the results.
If you choose to manually check the list of "duplicates" to be deleted (a solution that I personally recommend you to adopt), you can browse the elements found by the program based on their type (applications, audio files, archives, images, etc.) and you can view the list of folders in which each item is located by clicking on the arrow (▶ ︎) located next to its title.
To select the items to remove, you can put the check mark next to their name or you can take advantage of Gemini's quick selection system and automatically select the most recent older files via the drop-down menu Select duplicates located at the top left.
After selecting the items to remove, press the button Smart cleaning and wait for Gemini to move all the files to the macOS trash. This may take a few minutes.
If you don't intend to spend money on deleting duplicate files from your Mac and / or Gemini didn't meet your expectations, try dupeGuru. It is a completely free software, available for both macOS and Linux (there was also a version for Windows, but now it is no longer supported) thanks to which it is possible to delete duplicate files based on various criteria. Its interface isn't as intuitive as Gemini's, but its effectiveness is unmatched.
To download dupeGuru on your computer, connect to the official website of the program and click on the button Mac OS X which is on the right. When the download is complete, open the package dupeguru_osx_xx.dmg, drag the icon of dupeGuru in the folder Applications macOS and launch the program. If an error message appears, right click on the dupeGuru icon and select the item apri from the menu that opens to start the software correctly.
At this point, select the tab Standard dupeGuru, drag the folders to be scanned in the main program window, make sure that in the drop-down menu Scan type the item is selected Contents and click on the button Scan to start searching for duplicate files.
At the end of the scan, put the check mark next to the names of the files to be deleted, press the icon ofgear located at the top left, select the item Move the marked items to the trash from the menu that opens and click on the button proceed to confirm their deletion.
If you want to narrow the search for duplicate files to music or photos, select the tabs Music e Picture of dupeGuru and choose the parameters according to which to search for "duplicates" via the drop-down menu Scan type. You can choose to find duplicate files based on tags (for audio files), EXIF data (for photos), and many other technical parameters.
Delete Duplicate Files on Android
The problem of duplicate files not only affects computers, but also smartphones and tablets equipped with Android.
If you have an Android device and want to delete all duplicate files on it, try SD Maid: it is one of the best apps for deleting unnecessary files on smartphones and tablets. Delete temporary app data, "orphaned" app files that are no longer on your device, and more. It is free but to unlock some advanced functions, such as the deletion of temporary files of third-party apps, you need to purchase its full version at a cost of € 2,97.
To find the "duplicate" files with SD Maid, start the application, press the button ≡ che si trova in alto a sinistra e seleciona la voce Duplicates from the bar that appears on the side. Then press the icon of circular arrow located at the bottom right and wait for the device memory to be scanned.
If you have a smartphone or tablet unlocked via the root procedure, grant administrative permissions to SD Maid so that the app can perform a more thorough scan of the device memory.
At the end of the search for duplicate files, you can choose whether to "manually" select the items to be deleted (by holding your finger on them) or whether to let SD Maid select them for you based on various criteria. For example, by "tapping" on the icon of the Magic wand located at the bottom right, by selecting the item Keep newer e pigging your pulse Apply you can select all older duplicate files and then delete them with a simple "tap" on the icon basket located at the top right.