Most of us end up with several different copies of the same file on our computers. Getting rid of the duplicates manually can be a time-consuming and error-prone pain. Fast Duplicate File Finder is a great free tool that makes it much, much easier.
It’s easy to duplicate files by accident. For example, dumping all the pictures off your phone, and then doing it again into a new folder a few weeks or months later. Copying a folder when you meant to move it. Saving an email attachment which you’ve forgotten you already saved. Having more than one installation or backup of the same program. Combining your mp3s from several disks or computers onto a single media server.
It’s a waste of disk space, and it can also cause you problems. If you’re working on a file, then next time you open it you work on a different copy, your changes will be lost. You can spend hours trying to work out which is the “right” version. Removing duplicate files will free up hard disk space, possibly make your computer run faster, and reduce the chance of you working on the wrong file. But going through folders looking for duplicate files can take a long, long time, and there’s always the risk of deleting the wrong thing or missing files that don’t appear to be identical. In the example shown above, we detected over 100,000 duplicate files, totalling over 50Gb!
Fast Duplicate File Finder for Windows (sorry, no Mac version) will analyze your disk, or a section of your disk and identify duplicate files. Unlike many other similar tools, it’s smart. It doesn’t just compare the filenames (after all, you could have many different images called logo.jpg, for example), but it checks the actual files. So if you’ve got identical files called bookreport.doc and bookreport(1).doc, it’ll tell you that they’re duplicates. It checks not just text, but images, music, and video.
When it’s found all the files on your disk (which took about 10 minutes for a dual 750Gb disk setup when we tested it), you can opt to deal with the duplicate files manually, move them all to a separate folder and sort them out later, or have them automatically deleted.
- More about Fast Duplicate File Finder and free download