When you try to remove duplicates with Duplicate File Finder, the application may give you the notification that some files were not removed for various reasons. In this article, we will explain why you face some issues and how to troubleshoot them.

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You Can Find Duplicates But Can’t Remove Them

It may happen that, when you are trying to scan an external drive, Duplicate File Finder gives you a notification that you can find duplicates but cannot remove them.

read only

This means that you can scan the volume to find duplicates, you can preview the duplicates and select them, but you will not be able to remove them. There are two reasons for this:

  • Your folder is located on an NTFS volume. You cannot make any modifications or remove files on such a drive unless you install a special driver app for NTFS disks. If you want to continue and just find and see your duplicates, click Add Folder to Scan.
  • Your folder is located on a volume with Read Only access. In this case, you will need to change your volume permission in order to be able to remove duplicates from the scanned folder.

Files Can’t Be Removed Due to Being Located on an NTFS Formatted Disk

Why does this happen?

The reason is that NTFS-volume is a Windows OS default file system format and has some restrictions for operating files when you open it on your Mac. You can check the format information of the drive with the Command+I key shortcut, or open the context menu and click Get info.

NTFS format disks require special drivers to be installed on Mac to make it possible to operate files from the drive. If later, you try to remove duplicate files from a disk of NTFS format, you will get the following messages:
NTFS formatted disk

To be able to remove duplicates from a volume of NTFS format, you should install a driver app for NTFS disks. Such apps will allow you to change and delete files on Mac from NTFS disk volumes. There are a large number of apps on the Internet (Tuxera, Paragon, Mounty for NTFS, Fuse, Seagate, and so on), designed to help you solve such issues. You can choose paid or free apps depending on your requirements.

As soon as you have Read & Write permission for your disk, you can move duplicate files to Trash or permanently remove them.

For the app downloaded from our website, you will need to confirm moving files to Trash.

If you downloaded the app from the App Store, you will be able to remove duplicates permanently only. Click Yes to remove the files.

remove files

Files Can’t Be Removed Due to Being Located on a Disk with Read Only Permission

Sometimes, when you try to delete duplicates from an external disk, you may get the notification that files cannot be removed or moved to Trash. The application displays such a message because your disk has Read Only permission.

Read only permission

After clicking Ok or if you downloaded the app from the App Store, then you will see the following messages in the Removal window:

Read only folder system

The reason for this issue:

  • Some disks may be mounted with third-party software tools as Read Only. This means that if your duplicates are located on such a disk, you cannot remove or move files on it, you don’t have Write access to make any changes on it. To be able to remove duplicates, you need to remount your disk as Read & Write using the same software you used to make it Read Only. Also, you can use other programs for this task, such as Tuxera, Paragon Mounty for NTFS, and so on.
  • Another reason why you can’t remove duplicates is that you have a Micro SD card with an option to lock and unlock the card right with a special switch button on it, check whether your card is unlocked.
  • And finally, there are some disks which by default don’t provide a possibility to write to them. Once you saved any data on such disks, then you can’t make any changes on them, including removing duplicate files.

Files or Folders Were not Removed Due to Lack of Permission

It may happen that, after removal confirmation, Duplicate File Finder displays a message that some files were not moved to Trash due to lack of permission.

Such messages appear when the application does not have the right to remove duplicate files without your confirmation. For example:

  • You try to remove duplicate files or folders which have Read Only access.
  • You try to remove duplicate files located in a folder with Read Only access.

If you downloaded Duplicate File Finder from the website, the app will require your confirmation in the Finder. Click the Confirm button to allow the application permission to remove the selected duplicates.
read only folder

If you downloaded Duplicate File Finder from the App Store, you will see the message that you don’t have permission to remove the file. You will need to manually change the permission settings for the file or folder.

read only not moved
read only folder system

To check the permission status of a file or folder, make a right click on it and select Get Info in the context menu. On the info window in the Sharing & Permission section, you will find the information about which type of access you have.

information about which type of access you have

Right here, you can change the user privilege. But please note, you would need to have the administrator rights for changing the permission type:

  1. Click the Lock icon.
  2. Enter your username and your password.
  3. Select Read & Write from the privilege type.
  4. If you change the privilege for the folder, then click the Settings icon and click Apply to enclosed items.

Files Were not Removed Due to Being Locked

Sometimes, when you are trying to remove duplicates with Duplicate File Finder, you get the message that the files were not removed (or moved to Trash) due to being locked.

If you downloaded the app from the website, then you would need to click Confirm to allow the app to remove the selected items.

locked file
locked files

Such a message appears when the files and folders you want to remove are locked or located in locked folders. For example:

  • The file you want to delete is locked.
  • The folder you want to delete is locked
  • The unlocked file you want to delete is located in the locked folder.
  • The unlocked folder you want to delete is located in another locked folder.

Duplicate File Finder does not have the right to remove locked items without your permission. So click the Confirm button to allow the app to unlock these duplicates and permanently remove them or move them to Trash.


If you are trying to remove duplicates with Duplicate File Finder downloaded from the App Store, you get the message that the files could not be moved to Trash because you don’t have permission to access them.

locked files mac
Locked file system

You would need to manually check if your duplicates are locked or if they are located in a folder which is also locked. To check it, click Get Info from the context menu and look for it in the General Information section.

unlock folder

If the folder is locked you can’t remove the files in it. Uncheck this option to be able to modify or remove the folder.

After getting the permission to operate the files, you will be able to remove your duplicates with one click using Duplicate File Finder.

Files Can’t Be Removed Because Your External Disk Doesn’t Have a Trash Folder

Another reason for the duplicate removal error is again connected with the external drive, but this time with its Trash folder. According to the architecture for Trash on Mac, each user has his own Trash folder located in his Home folder. If you have an external hard drive or internal drive (except for networked drives), then the volume has its own Trash folder.

By default, Duplicate File Finder moves files and folders to the Trash bin. That means that, if there is no Trash folder, the app can’t remove the files.

  • If you downloaded Duplicate File Finder from the website, then the app may ask your confirmation to create a Trash folder and move selected files there. Click Confirm.

no trash folder

  • If there is any system issue with your Trash folder or you downloaded Duplicate File Finder from the App Store, you will be able to remove files permanently only.

cannot removed trash

Files Can’t Be Removed Due to Being in Use

If your files are being used by another application simultaneously, then you can’t remove them by Duplicate File Finder. Just quit the third-party app that is using your duplicate files; then click the Remove button again. If that doesn’t help, check with Activity Monitor whether the background processes might be using the file.

Files Can’t Be Removed Due to Being Located on a Remote Disk

The Remote disk is a network-attached folder or volume which can be located on a server, networked computers or external network storage.

Please note that it may happen, when you are trying to remove the duplicates from a Network Disk that the Duplicate File Finder app may show you the following message:

remote disk

Why do you get this notification?

The most common reason is that, by default, network volumes do not contain a Trash bin. But, when you click to remove duplicates with Duplicate File Finder, the application has to move the selected files to Trash (its default removal setting). As a result, your files can’t be moved to the temporary Trash folder and will be removed permanently. That’s why the Duplicate Files Finder shows you the confirmation message to make sure you understand that these files will be non-restorable after confirmation.

If the selected files couldn’t be removed, you will see the following message:

remote disk system view
The reason for that may be any of the issues described above. So you need to check the Remote disk for these issues:

Files Require Administrator Access Rights to Be Removed

In some situations, Duplicate File Finder needs your confirmation in the Finder to remove files or folders.

If you use the app downloaded from our website, the application will show you the appropriate message.
read folder

The reason for such a message is that, to remove files, you need to enter your admin user password on your Mac.

Please click the Confirm button and enter your password to allow Duplicate File Finder to remove the file or folder you selected.

Removing of the Deleted or Edited Last Copy Prevented.

  • In the case you restored the previous session, but recently removed or edited any copy of a file without Duplicate File Finder, you will see this message.
  • To warn you from deleting all copies of the file, the app will inform you to prevent their removal. To solve this issue, you should rescan your files.

Files Cannot be Deleted from Photos

When you first launch Duplicate File Finder, it requests access to the Photos app. This will allow Duplicate File Finder to look for identical and similar images in the Photos library on your Mac.

access to control Photos

If you do not allow Duplicate File Finder to manage the Photos application, but try to remove duplicate images in the Photos library, you will see the following information in the uninstall results window:
– The files you want to remove from Photos is highlighted with the red color.

There is a red exclamation mark exclamation mark next to a file’ name. Click on the exclamation mark to see the details of this issue.

If you want to grant the Duplicate File Finder app access to Photos to remove unwanted duplicate pictures, complete the next steps:

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Select Security & Privacy.
  3. Click on the Privacy tab and select the Automation section.
  4. Click the Lock to make changes.
  5. Select Photos under the Duplicate File Finder app to provide access to the documents and data of the Photos app.
  6. Click the Lock to save changes.

access to photos
Then, launch the Duplicate file Finder app and rescan your Photos library to find and remove unneeded duplicate images.

Unknown Error

  • If you use Duplicate File Finder downloaded from our website, in some cases, you may get a permanent removal confirmation message.

not move trash
unknown error

    The reason for such an issue is undetectable. You can remove the selected files permanently only. If it’s ok for you, click Confirm. But please note that the app will ask for the administrator password to confirm the removal.

  • If the removal couldn’t be completed or you are using Duplicate File Finder downloaded from the App Store, you will see the following notification.

read only folder system

In this case, please, contact our support team. We will help you to find the reason for the issue and solve it.


If you still have questions about Duplicate File Finder, contact us directly at [email protected]