How to find and delete duplicate files

By Liz Cornwell | January 24, 2010 |

greater than 2 minute

Duplicate Files

Most computer users create and download files every day. We all like downloading songs, trying out new software, uploading and editing photos, and watching movies.

After some time you might notice that your hard drive is almost full and there’s nearly no free space left – it got absolutely packed with all the files you’ve downloaded and created! So, what to do? Well, some people would go and buy a larger hard disk, or perhaps a second one, or transfer some files to a flash drive or an external hard drive – there are dozens of different options. However, they all cost money. So a lot of people just start deleting files and end up deleting something important. Not good. But there is a better way to increase hard drive space – all you need to do is find and delete duplicate files.

You will be amazed how many duplicate files are cluttering your hard disk space. All those songs that have been downloaded twice, holiday photos uploaded multiple times, documents copied and pasted so that you have them in two folders at once – sounds familiar, doesn’t it? All you have to do is delete duplicate files and you’ll have lots of free disk space again.

Apart from using up hard drive space, duplicate files can slow down your computer. Deleting them will help you speed up computer performance, defragmentation, Windows search, and anti-virus scans.

But how to find them? Well, you can always spend hours trying to identify duplicate files when looking through folders on your computer. Or you could use Windows search to find files with the same file name. Sounds like a tedious job, doesn’t it?

Fortunately there are many free programs that will help you find and delete duplicate files. There both general duplicate files removers and software that focuses on specific file types, for example iTunes duplicates, MP3s, or pictures.

When choosing a duplicate file remover, make sure it has a preview option and can match files by content using byte-by-byte comparison. That way you will never delete an important file that looks like a duplicate, even if there are two files sharing the same file name.

Here are some free programs you might want to consider:

  • Auslogics Duplicate File Finder – a lightweight application with all the necessary features, like matching files by content and multiple drive support
  • Duplicate File Finder – can detect and delete empty files
  • Fast Duplicate File Finder – allows you to preview images and songs
  • Easy Duplicate File Finder – supports multiple drives

 

I hope this tip on how to speed up your computer by deleting duplicate files will make your experience better.

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