Best Free Duplicate File Remover

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Introduction

If you often find that you create duplicate files as you rename or use files in another context, or just backup more than you had intended, Duplicate File Detectors help you find and/or delete these duplicates and regain the storage space they previously occupied.

Judging from some of the recent comments, it would appear that some cautions should be noted before using this type of software. One might also note that with the cost per gigabyte rapidly decreasing, redundancy is no longer such a bad thing.

Don't ever just blindly run the program, find all the duplicates and then click "remove". This can be disastrous in the sense that even though filenames are the same, the content is sometimes different. For example, you may have multiple icons with the same name, but of differing sizes; or you may have a photograph that has been modified when placed in a different folder but retains the same filename.

Don't scan too much at once. A complete scan of drive C: would not be smart. However, scanning a few related folders at one time is much more efficient and the results less overwhelming. Despite the best software, human intelligence may still have to be used. It is best, like eating an elephant, to take one bite or one small scan at a time.

 

Rated Products

SearchMyFiles  

Perform duplicate file searches in a simple layout


Our Rating: 
5
License: Free
Easy to use, plenty of search options, searches run quickly.
Search results appear in separate window.
Read full review...

Duplicate Cleaner Free  

A fast duplicate file cleaner in a streamlined user interface


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free (Limited features)
Fast scan, selection assistant, music search mode.
Installer is bundled with unwanted components. Requires Microsoft .NET Framework version 2+ to be installed.
Read full review...

Anti-Twin  

A powerful program with the ability to search Unicode files


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free (Private/Educational use)
Easy to use, search process is speedy, system files can be excluded, helpful search suggestions, can search images, performs unicode searches.
n/a
Read full review...

CloneSpy  

One of oldest and smartest programs in its class


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free
Detect duplicates by CRC, by file name, by CRC and file name, and by file name and size.
A bit slow, a lot of confirmation clicks.
Read full review...

Auslogics Duplicate File Finder  

A fast duplicate file remover with some addons


Our Rating: 
3.5
License: Free
Fast scan, clean interface.
Incorporated other software you may not need such as BoostSpeed.
Read full review...

Other Duplicate File Removers

  • Fast Duplicate File Finder is fast and easy to use. It also features two specialty searches:  Graphics and music. However, these functions are now limited in the free version.
  • Exact Duplicate Finder is fast and easy to use, does a credible job and it has enough options to satisfy most users.
  • Double Killer is fast and easy to use and does a credible job and it has enough options to satisfy most users.
  • AllDup is yet another option. It is fast and easy to use, does a credible job and it has plenty of options.

 

Editor

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Comments

SearchMyFiles was great as is all Nirsoft prms. simple, easy to use. same files are color coded. It even warns you if you try to delete both files of a set. Also warns if you try to straight out Delete rather than send to Recycle bin.

The program searchmyfiles failed when I ran the duplicates screening on pictures. It picked up 2 pics and called them duplicates when there was only 1 pic on the hard drive.

I think the problem occurred because I have 2 different pic viewers -- one is the Windows Multimedia and the other is Olympus Viewer 3.

Any thoughts ?

Pictures is the only thing I do not use searchmyfiles for. I use VisiPics that compares the pictures visually too and has a slider to adjust how much the searcher should be strict or loose about his choices, that can range from choosing pictures that have a lot of the same background color (like all pictures that have a lot of white or a lot of black) to pictures that must be completely identical with each other. Recolored pictures can be found as duplicates too. Playing with the slider needs a bit of testing, but it is the best program I know of.

Has anyone come across a duplicate file finder that can be activated from the Windows Explorer Context Menu, or added to the 'Send To' menu, so that whichever folder you right-click on is automatically added to the program as the search folder?

DupeGuru is now free. It has a 64-bit version as well as Mac OS X and Linux (Ubuntu, Arch) versions. http://www.hardcoded.net/dupeguru/

Search my files lack a simple but useful function -- to search files in the same name, or same size, etc. It more focus on content comparison, maybe based on MD5 indexing first. However, sometimes two txt document are almost same, 1 emtpy line would create different md5.

Duplicate cleaner free and double killer supports name and size match. Glary utilities also has duplicate clean function, however, I am not sure it does content check. Of course, we can do a standard search using search my files, then sort the list by name or size to find the similar files, apparently it is awkward.

I used to use double killer till it started to have problem with my vista. It is a nice one but as the development stops at 2007, I am not sure it works with win7 and later windows, especially 64 bit system. Download.com indicates it supports up to vista, while softonic thinks it supports up to xp.

I just gave that a quick test drive on a folder of 5000 pictures - it flagged 6 images which aren't even close to being matches.

Read the user's manual. Files in the list aren't identical to each other.

Oops, yes that was a bit hasty of me sorry.

I see now what happened ... the test folder I ran it on contains quite a few similar images some of which are also dupicated, so when the program finished and presented the list, it looked as if it had flagged the similar images as duplicates.

Cheers : )

Duplicate Cleaner Free no longer has any toolbar bundling - it's completely clean (and free).

Auslogics is fast? By what standard? I am in the process of deleting 50,000 duplicates in 2 folders on a 3rd generation i5 4 core Win 7 64 bit computer with 8mg RAM, with nothing else running. It's been over 5 hours and still has about 40% to go. If this is fast, what is slow?

I have tried Auslogics but I am not sure of it end of run interface seems limited. On the matter of speed or performance I run a number of "boxes' none of them the latest But I dont think it may matter much as file seaching by exact bits particuly large image or video files have to be by the very nature indepth and precise and this does take time over a large number of files Stuhindl

Although this category title focuses on the *removal* of duplicate files, the current reviews would be better described as being for a Duplicate File "Finder" category. Each review should focus seriously on the removal process, since that is by far the most time-consuming for users' hands-on efforts.

In comments for a related article ("A Duplicate File Finder That's Simple To Use And Unbelievably Fast"), Century22 and 11bravo pointed out what may be the single most important feature to anyone facing a large number of duplicates: an automated way to protect from deletion one file in each group of duplicates and then to choose between quick, batch deletion of all duplicates that weren't so protected versus manual deletion of selected duplicates. Note that I'm referring only to true duplicates, for which the minimum requirement is that files be identical in content; it would be desirable to have the added option to require duplication in data such as date and name and perhaps other attributes. Without this combination of automated protection and batch deletion, the user is faced with doing that manually for each group of duplicates, which could take countless hours with a large number of duplicates.

The next editor for this software category would do well to add to each program's review a statement of whether the program offers such an automated deletion-with-protection feature, or requires manual selection of each deletion, which is probably more error-prone than a well-designed automated method.

Duplicate Cleaner Free is bundled with OpenCandy now.

Anti-Twin turned out to be what I was looking for. Duplicate Cleaner Free and Auslogics wouldn't do networked drives. I'm not looking to compare audio, video, or family pics. I'm looking to get rid of the 400 copies of plain, old documents that have been created all across my network. We'd been trading core files around with a USB drive. Now we've got a NAS and everybody has their own private copy of every file from the past three years plus their own stuff that all needs to be merged back onto the NAS. I'm OCD, but that's tedious even for me!

Pros for Anti-Twin:
Works on networked drives
Compares by name, content, size, or date or a combination of these
Allows a % match. DCF didn't recognize a lot of these files as duplicates because several have been re-saved with nothing more than a carriage-return or a blank space difference. I don't care! Same date, same file name, same basic file size, same file for my purposes.
Clearly lists all duplicates in matched groups showing file path/name, date, and size.
Allows deletion by directory! After it finds the duplicates, I can check a single folder (like one of the many copies) and it will delete from the copy and leave my original alone.
Interface is clean and user-friendly. I was up and running within minutes, maybe even seconds. Intuitive checkboxes.

Thank you for this listing of duplicate finding programs, and especially for linking to Anti-Twin. I've spent many blurry-eyed hours comparing files. Now I may actually get this project done before my next birthday.

Who is rating those tools?
I am amazed that SearchMyFiles has 5 stars with that unusable ugly interface. I tried all those tools and I can say that the best in this list is "Fast Duplicate File Finder".
It is completely free for "100% Identical files" and "Similar File Names" modes. Actually I do not see even "Similar File Names" mode in the other tools - this is very hand if you have My CV.doc, My Cv (1).doc, My Cv 2013.doc named files which is quite common situation.
Yes FDFF has some small limitations in the free version - the mode for finding files with similar (not duplicate) content lists just 10 groups (which is even usable), but for the average user like me the free version is more than sufficient.

I love Gizmo's freeware, but in my opinion this article is not objective and requires revising.

Thank you for the great site though.

P.S. I just noticed that your version is also outdated - the latest version is 3.7.0.1

DupliateMyFiles by Nirsoft.net works really well. It may be more geared for PC experts than for novice PC users because it doesn't give enough detail for some of the fields. It could use some better instructions but it's free. Maybe some technical writer will improve the instructions for free. I suck at writing or I would.

There is currently no editor for this review. It was last updated over a year ago and won't be again until someone volunteers to take it over. Maybe you would be interested? MC - Site Manager.

Yes I see that other tools like Auslogics are listed with old versions too.
Thank you, I am flattered! I am not sure if I will have the sufficient time for this, but for sure I can try... I will at least correct the current listings.

Thank you for considering us. The video on this page will give you more idea about what is involved with being a Gizmo's Freeware Editor. MC http://www.techsupportalert.com/we-need-you.htm
For correcting the listings, we have an archive manager in the team, who updates the articles without editors, and he will eventually get down to updating this one too, in time. But, what's really needed is an editor, who will maintain the category, testing out different software, add news ones if there are any, and update the article accordingly.

This tool is the best one I've tried so far:

http://malich.ru/duplicate_searcher.aspx

As you can see, this magic free app not only deletes duplicate files but it's even able to replace duplicates files with NTFS hard links as well, a key feature missing in any tool mentioned above.

I'm amazed you didn't mention it!

I think there is an important item being overlooked in the comparision.

Won't affect the selection of Best in Class though.

I'm using Windows 7 64bit, and NAS4Free on a Microserver on the home network. I have a lot of files strewn across USB hard drive. A recent external drive failure caused me to get a NAS solution.

So this duplicate file finder mechanism is really important for home use with the amount of digital information normal families accumulate.

Well, neither "Duplicate Cleaner Free" or "Auslogics Duplicate File Finder" will touch the windows share from my NAS server.

"SearchMyFiles" performs flawlessly.... Love it.

So could TSA add network share capable as part of it's tests please.

Thanks for the awesome work, and awesome site.

Michael

Can any of these applications look inside compressed files (rar, zip, cab...)?

Testing is almost complete. Will have answers for you shortly.

Duplicate Cleaner is clean and doesn't include a Bing Bar (or any toolbar) in the installer - you need to update your listing! My vote for the best though, as it has more features than most of the paid guys.

Thanks for your input. I'm still running through all the duplicate file detectors in this list. I will be sure to update all Duplicate Cleaner's particulars as soon as I get done testing.