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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  • D
    August 23, 2012 @07:11 pm

    I’ve Also used Duplicate File Finder and it worked really well. My favorite feature was the protective inability to delete every copy of a particular file. It will group duplicates together and you can either automatically or manually select which copies to delete, but the program will not force you to leave one copy/version of each file. When going through thousands of files and madly clicking away in boredom and frustration, that saved me several times! I just wish it was available for Macs.

  • D
    doyle kemp
    October 30, 2012 @12:12 am

    I have a group of files that are saved under desktop in windows 2010 under a file we will call file one.. There is another group of files saved under a different name under desktop (file2) that contain a huge amount of the same files. When I delete one of the files in file one or two, , it automatically deletes it in the other file also. I am trying to combine the files into one common file, but I cannot figure out a way to do it. Is there a way to merge the duplicate files contained in the two files under desktop without losing the information ?

  • R
    May 22, 2013 @10:30 pm

    Thanks for the information. Also try Long Path Tool. It helped me with Error 1320 on Win 7. 🙂

  • M
    June 10, 2013 @07:36 pm

    I have managed to delete files using auslogics duplicate files finder

  • M
    June 27, 2013 @12:01 pm

    Over a year now I’m using “DuplicateFilesDeleter” it never fails me finding and removing duplicate files and photos.

  • S
    August 14, 2013 @11:42 am

    I have been using Duplicate File Finder for a while. It can even instantly find and remove the largest files that occupy my disk space. I can free up my disk space in seconds!

  • S
    August 15, 2013 @04:59 am

    I’ve been using Duplicate File Finder for long time. I find it useful to find and delete duplicate files from my pc so that i can free up the hard disk space.

  • T
    July 22, 2014 @12:21 pm

    Great Blog! i was looking for a software that can remove duplicates from iTunes. Here i got very helpful information.
    Thankyou 🙂

  • T
    September 23, 2014 @03:40 pm

    duplicate file finder will not load. Comes up with code 5 error. Says please fix and run exe again. Tried 6 times now and same result each time.
    What is code 5 and how do I fix it? Where is it?
    I can easily download other programs but not this one. Why?

    It was previously on my machine and all I wanted to do was to upgrade it.
    Any help would be appreciated?