You download too much crap. Sometimes, you download the same crap multiple times. Even if you need to keep those files, you don't need two of them. To get rid of the dupes, we recommend dupeGuru.
Platform: Windows Price: Free Download Page
- "Fuzzy matching" algorithms can find files with identical or similar file names.
- Matches across file type (i.e. matching a JPEG to an identical PNG).
- Customisable filtering allows you to adjust the rules and strictness of matching.
- Automatically remove empty folders during file deletion.
- One-button selection to delete dupes.
- Move dupes to separate folder.
- Perform custom terminal commands on originals or dupes.
- Specialty versions for music and picture cleanup.
Where It Excels
Of all the duplicate finders we tried out, dupeFinder was the simplest that still packed an impressive punch. To start a scan, you simply add a folder to the main window and hit "Scan". Easy peasy. After a minute or two, you'll get a list of all the files the app found duplicates of. The original file will be highlighted in blue, while the rest will be in black, making it easy to read the list.
Once you have your dupes, you can make quick work of them. A "Dupes Only" checkbox will only show you the secondary copies to make it a little less difficult to read. You can also see the size of the files, as well as a match percentage to quickly determine just how identical a file is. You may have files that are close enough to get caught by the app, but distinct enough that you need both, so dupeGuru gives you the tools to distinguish them.
The best feature of the app, though, is that it actually has two separate companion apps. dupeGuru Picture Edition and dupeGuru Music Edition are specially designed to clean up your photo and music collections respectively. Picture Edition scans the contents of a picture to find dupes that may have wildly different file names or even dimensions, but that are actually the same image. It also includes a picture preview window that compares the original to the
Music Edition can scan special music metadata like tags, bitrate, duration, or the content of the audio. Some of these scans can take longer, but picture and music libraries can get so out of control that they benefit from the extra attention.
Where It Falls Short
In terms of finding duplicate files, dupeGuru is hard to beat. However, it can also require up to three separate downloads to thoroughly check your library, which is annoying. While the interface is fairly clean, it also has a lot of advanced features that can be overwhelming to the average user.
The Picture and Music editions are also fairly slow. This isn't necessarily bad. However, if you have a big collection, you should probably start the scan and go grab a snack. Or watch a movie if your library is really big.
Normally, we don't rule out applications just for including junkware (as long as you can avoid it), but with so many options for duplicate finders that do mostly the same thing, we decided to focus just on the clean ones. For that reason, CCleaner gets an automatic recommendation, since it's already one of our favourite apps. Under the Tools sidebar, select "Duplicate Finder" to scan your system. It's not nearly as feature packed as some of the other tools, but if you already use CCleaner, it's the handiest option you have.
SearchMyFiles is another good option that includes some heavy filtering options and robust comparison tools. You can narrow your search by file size, date and time, specific file extensions and more. It's less useful for super speedy cleanup, but it can give you a lot more control if you want to do the work by hand.
Duplicate Files Finder is another solid, if simplistic option. While it doesn't have a ton of unique features (it's not even the only app with this name), it's easily one of the fastest. It will scan specific folders and find files that have the same size, and then compare them to see if they're identical. Because it only compares identically sized files, it's insanely fast. However, this also limits how effective it can be at finding more vague matches. If you just want to clear up some space, it can do it with just a couple clicks. But don't expect your hard drive to be totally free of junk afterwards.
These are just a few of the options, though. There are roughly 2.7 billion duplicate finder applications per human on the planet (yes, we counted), so you may find others that have different advantages. These are the ones that we think are most worth your attention of the ones we explored. If you have suggestions for something different, sound off in the comments!