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duplicate finder pro icon

Duplicate File Finder


Overview

Duplicate File Finder allows you to quickly find and remove duplicates, and then organize your files and folders properly to avoid cluttering the disk space with useless data. There are four steps to remove duplicate files and folders from your Mac:

1. Scan folders or disk volume

When you launch the application, you will see the first dialog window that invites you to drag and drop the folders you want to scan. Just move individual folders to the window or click the Add Folder button to choose folders or whole disks (it supports both external and internal volumes). You can also scan your Home folder or Photos Library in one click right from this window. Then click the Scan button.

find duplicates in photos library
best duplicate photo finder mac

2. Preview the results

When duplicate scanning starts, an animated chart is displayed to reflect search results. The entire search process takes from one to five minutes.

duplicate file finder

After the scan is complete, Duplicate File Finder will display the Overview tab. Here you can view your duplicate files and folders. You can choose to preview the details in either a bar chart or pie chart. In addition, if you have similar folders (folders that contain a mix of duplicate and unique files), this tab provides information about their size. Cleanup Hints are an added bonus, which help make the selection of the duplicates easier and more efficient.

double files finder

3. Select the duplicates

At the top of the window you will see different tabs. Click on Duplicate Files to preview duplicates within different file types (music, video, documents, etc.) There is also an All Files category, where you can preview duplicates of all file types.

Preview the files and select those you want to remove. If you have thousands of duplicates and need quick ways to select duplicates, use the Auto Select button. It will select the duplicates automatically and you will just need to preview them and confirm their removal.
duplicate files mac

4. Remove the duplicates

The last step is to delete duplicates by clicking the Review & Remove button. You will see the list of all selected duplicates. Preview them and confirm by clicking on Remove. If you want to keep some of the files, just uncheck the checkboxes by the names of the files and they will not be deleted.

mac duplicate photo finder
 


Hints & Tips

Duplicate File Finder provides the Cleanup Hints option for a better user experience. For example, you may want to remove the largest duplicates, remove duplicates in Similar folders, or remove duplicates with the most copies. You can find these Cleanup Hints in the Overview tab. They indicate which files to remove in order to free up as much disk space as possible.

cleanup hints

Three hints are given at a time. Each time you click the Pointer button you get new tips. In the screenshot below, you can see three types of tips for a fast and thorough cleanup.

cleanup hints section

To use the hint*, click it to view the preselected items. Preview the details and confirm removal.

*Please note that the Cleanup Hints option is only available in Pro mode.


Similars

Duplicate File Finder allows you to find not only duplicate files and folders, but also Similar folders. Similar folders are nearly identical, and contain both duplicate and unique files. They are presented in a convenient way for you to quickly compare them and identify unneeded copies.

It may happen that one folder has several similar folders at the same time. The app shows all similar folders in one list, so it’s easy to review them and decide which files to remove and which ones to keep.

Similar folders

Under the visual representation, both duplicate and unique files are displayed. Please note that the app prevents the removal of unique files, so you don’t have to worry about unintentionally removing files you need to keep. Only identical files are able to be selected for removal.

When you select the files, a red circle appears over the current folder icon and shows the number of items selected within it. There is also a gray-white sign, which shows how many duplicates are kept in a similar folder.

find similar folders on mac


Similar Photos

If you like to make many pictures to get the best one, then you may have plenty of unnecessary similar photos. Apart from finding absolutely identical photos by size and binary data, Duplicate File Finder also finds and displays similar photos. Here’s how to manage your similar photos, quickly sort them, organize, and remove unwanted pics.

  1. Switch to the Similar Photos tab.
  2. Here you will see photos grouped by similarity.

    similar photo

  3. Review each group of similar photos and select unneeded ones. The green frame and violet frames indicate which photos from the list are displayed in the Preview section.

    similar photos switch

  4. You can also use the Auto Select feature to automatically keep one picture in each group and select all other files.
    similar pictures finder
  5. Once you have selected all unwanted photos, click on Review & Remove and confirm their deletion.
    remove similar photos

Select Duplicates in Folder

To select unecessary copies within a specific folder, use the Select Duplicates in Folder option.

Switch to the Select Duplicates in Folder tab. You will see a new window with a list of your folders and detailed information about how many duplicate and unique files exist.

duplicate file mac

If you want to select duplicates in a folder for removal, tick the checkboxes near the folders’ names. If you want to keep all files in a folder and select their duplicates in other folders, click the Star icon near the folder’s name. Then click the Review & Remove button.

similar file finder

Preview the files once more and if everything is in order, click to Remove them. 

duplicate document finder

Note that when you remove duplicates in the Select Duplicates in Folder window, you can be assured that you will not remove all copies by accident. At least one duplicate will be kept because the application makes it impossible to select all folders and duplicate copies.

Read more about the Select Duplicates in Folder option.

 


Merge Folders

Duplicate File Finder allows you to merge scanned folders. This option is helpful if you need to quickly organize your duplicate files and folders. When you merge folders, the application moves unique files from one folder to another. Here are the steps on how to merge folders:

  1. Scan your folders or disks and switch to the Merge Folders tab. You can also click the Merge Folders button in the Similar Folders tab.
    merge folder mac
  2. Select the source and destination folders to move or copy the content.
    merge folders on mac
    merge folder with duplicate finder
  3. Before merging folders, you can specify the preferences for the action. Click the gear icon in the top right corner or go to PreferencesMerge tab. Choose whether to move or copy unique files from one folder to another. If you wish to add color tags to the merged files, choose the color for each group.

    merge preferences

Once you have set up all the necessary preferences, click on Review & Merge. In the next window, you will see which files are going to be copied/moved. If everything is right, confirm the merge by clicking the Merge button.
review merge folders
If you still have questions, read the article How to merge folders with Duplicate File Finder or drop us a line at [email protected]. We will be happy to help you.


Restore Removed Files

By default, the application moves all these files to the Trash when you remove duplicates with the application. If you have removed some files by accident and would like to restore them, follow the steps below.

  1. Go to the Menu BarDuplicate → select Restore Removed Duplicates or use Command+Y shortcut.Also, you can just click the Show Removal History button in the removal window.
    duplicate file finder history
  2. Select the files you want to restore using the checkboxes for files and groups of files. Then click the Restore button.

Restore removed duplicates

Please note, if the duplicates are deleted from the Trash, you will not be able to restore them. It is only possible to restore files in the Trash folder or have duplicates in other folders. You can see next to each file name whether it is Restored, Restorable or Not Restorable.

Moreover, to be able to restore the duplicates, the option Log Removed Duplicates has to be enabled. You can check it in PreferencesRemove tab. Tick the checkbox to always save your duplicates’ removal history.

Read more about restoring files in the article How to restore removed duplicates with Duplicate File Finder.

 


Preferences

Duplicate File Finder can be finely-tuned for a quicker and more efficient duplicate search process by adjusting its settings or by using its helpful options.

To open Preferences, use the Command(Cmd) + Comma sign (,) key shortcut or go to the Menu bar → select Duplicate File Finder → click Preferences.

Here you will find six tabs:

  • General
  • Skip list
  • Auto Select
  • Remove
  • Merge
  • Advanced

Let’s take a closer look at each section of the settings.


General Tab

The application allows you to even scan hidden folders. To enable this option, just tick the Scan Hidden Folders checkbox. Please note that this option may slow down the scanning speed, depending on how many hidden files you have.

check all duplicates.png

The Full-scale duplicates scan option means that the application will perform an extra check when comparing duplicate files.

By default, Duplicate File Finder skips scanning small files.This helps to speed up the scanning process by finding only the largest duplicates. However, you can set the minimal file size you want to be scanned. Choose from the options in the General tab, depending on your needs:

  • Skip small files
  • Skip files smaller than… and select the file size on the size line.
  • Check all files

skip files

The last option in this tab is Save and Restore Scan Results. This means that if you close the application, the history of scanned folders will be saved. When you run the app the next time, you can quickly view the results of the previous scan.
scan drive for duplicate


Skip List Tab

In this section you can select the folders, files or extension types to be skipped from the scan. Click the Plus button to add items or use the Minus button to remove items from Skip list.


Auto Select Tab

Using the Auto Select button, you can define folder settings to be selected or never selected. It’s a convenient option when you need to remove duplicates from particular folders. In this case, add the folders you want to the Never Select list to exclude them from selection, and add the folders to the Always Select list to remove them when the Auto Select button is used.
auto select tab

Also, you can add prefixes and suffixes used in the file name.

auto select duplicate

And finally, you can enable or disable other rules for the Auto Select option by marking the appropriate checkboxes and by choosing the preferred option for each.

select duplicates outside photo library


Remove Tab

It may happen that when you remove copies of files, some folders may become empty. So if you want to remove the empty folders automatically, enable the option Remove empty folders.

remove duplicate mac

By default, when you remove files with Duplicate File Finder, they are sent to the Trash. Here you can enable the option to remove your files permanently without moving them to Trash. Generally, you can select one of the following options:

  • Move to Trash
  • Remove
  • Move duplicates to a folder

If you select the third option, you will be asked to choose the folder from Finder.
move to trash duplicates file


Merge Tab

Besides finding and deleting duplicates, the application allows you to merge the scanned folders. In the Merge tab you can set up the preferences for this option:

  • Move unique files when you merge Similar folders
  • Copy unique files when you merge Similar folders (in this case the source folder will automatically be removed)
  • Set Finder color tag to merged files

merge preferences


Advanced Tab

If you have used Duplicate File Finder and know all the app’s options quite well, you may wish to disable some confirmation messages in order to make the duplicate cleanup process quicker. In the Advanced tab of the Preferences window, you can enable or disable the following messages and options:

  • Show the Overview tab after scanning
  • Show confirmation window when using the Auto Select option
  • Show confirmation window after successful removal
  • Allow removal of all duplicates (if you enable this option, you allow the app to remove both the duplicate copy and the original file)

how to remove duplicate


Shortcuts

There are a lot of quick navigational shortcuts in the app that make your duplicate cleanup process even faster and easier.

General Navigation

Cmd+↓(↑) navigate through duplicate groups
Enter select the checkbox
Space QuickLook preview of the selected file (press arrow down or up to switch to the next file preview).
Opt+↓(↑) select the last (first) item in the current list.
Cmd+F search in the search field
Esc reset search results
Cmd+N new scan
Cmd+Opt+O open the Finder window to select the folders for scanning
Cmd+R rescan the current folder
Cmd+O switch to Overview tab
Cmd+1 switch to Duplicate Files tab
Cmd+2 switch to Pictures section
Cmd+3 switch to Movies section
Cmd+4 switch to Music section
Cmd+5 switch to Documents section
Cmd+6 switch to Archives section
Cmd+7 switch to Others Files section
Cmd+8 switch to Duplicate Folders tab
Cmd+9 switch to Similar Folders tab
Cmd+P switch to Similar Photos tab
Cmd+Opt+S switch to Select Duplicates in Folder tab
Cmd+Opt+M switch to Merge Folders tab
Cmd+ switch to upper file group

Similar Folders tab:
In the Similars you can see 3 sections:

  1. A list of all similar folders.
  2. A list of similar folders to a folder you have selected from the first section.
  3. A comparison of two lists of folders selected from the first and second panels.

Here are the shortcuts for these panels:

→(←) show the next or previous picture of the list in the left section of preview window
→(←)+Opt show the next or previous picture of the list in the right section of preview window
Enter select or deselect the picture in the right section of preview window
Enter+Opt select or deselect the picture in the left section of preview window
Enter+Shift(⇑) keep the picture from the left section and select all other pictures for removal
Enter+Shift(⇑)+Opt keep the picture from the right section and select all other pictures for removal
Space open the picture from the left section of preview window
Space+Opt open the picture from the right section of preview window
Double click on the picture open the picture

Selecting the files

select (deselect) file or folder
1…9 select items for removal by a number
↑+1…9 select all items except one with a number
Cmd+A select all duplicates
Cmd+E select newest duplicates
Cmd+L select oldest duplicates
Cmd+K select any duplicates
Cmd+D deselect all duplicates
Cmd+A+↑ select the duplicates in active group
Cmd+E+↑ select newest duplicates in active group
Cmd+L+↑ select oldest copies for removal in active group
Cmd+K+↑ select any copies in active group
Cmd+D+↑ deselect duplicates in active group
Cmd+S show a list of selected duplicates

Other Shortcuts

Cmd+O+↑ reveal file in the Finder
Cmd+I show file information
Cmd+O open the file
Space preview the file
↓ or ↑ preview the next file from the list
Cmd+, open Preferences window
Cmd+Y open Removal History window
Cmd+W close Preferences window
Cmd+M minimize the application window
Cmd+F+^ enter fullscreen mode
Cmd+/ show the context hints

Upgrade to Pro

Duplicate File Finder is free to download from the App Store and allows you to find and remove duplicate files. It also has a PRO mode that provides even more features and is available with in-App Purchase. Let’s take a look at the added benefits.

Free mode

  • Finds all duplicate files and folders
  • Finds similar photos
  • Deletes duplicate files
  • Scans all drive types
  • Finds duplicates in hidden folders
  • Provides a Quick Look of duplicates
  • Searches quickly among duplicates by category type
  • Skips scanning certain folders, files, files with specified extensions
  • Uses Autoselect option
  • Quickly open duplicates in Finder
  • Regulates minimum and maximum file sizes for scanning
  • Uses Smart Cleanup hints

Pro mode

Includes all the features of free mode and even more:

  • Removes duplicate folders
  • Removes duplicates from Similar folders
  • Merges folders
  • Uses Select Duplicates in Folder option
  • Restores removed duplicates
  • Includes the option to remove duplicates to a specified folder instead of moving to Trash

Thus, if you want to do a deep cleanup, you should upgrade to Pro. Let’s learn how to upgrade:

  1. Click the green Get Pro button from the top right corner of the app’s window.
    duplicate finder get pro
  2. You will see a pop-up window. Click the button with the price.
  3. In the window that appears, enter your Apple ID username and password, and click Sign in.

That’s all. As soon as the in-app purchase is completed, the green button and lock icons next to the features disappear. If no changes occur after purchasing, then reboot your Mac → launch the app → click Get Pro again → click Restore.


If you still have questions, read the article How to upgrade to Pro or email us at [email protected]. We are here to help you.


Full disk access

Duplicate File Finder is a software tool that optimizes and cleans up your Mac from unneeded duplicate files, folders and similar photos. All the duplicates you decide to delete with this app will automatically go to the Trash.

Sometimes an important file may accidentally be deleted. Fortunately, you can easily recover deleted files and folders with Duplicate File Finder.

If you see this window it means that your application doesn’t have access to the Trash.

privacy settings on Catalina

To let the App restore items from your Trash, complete these simple steps:

  1. Go to System PreferencesSecurity & PrivacyPrivacy.
  2. Select the Full Disk Access section. Click the Lock icon to make changes and enter your user password.
    Then click the Plus icon.
  3. Full disk access on macOS Catalina

  4. Go to the Applications folder and add Duplicate File Finder.
  5. applications folder on mac

  6. Click the Lock icon again to prevent further changes and close System Preferences.
  7. add app for full access

  8. Now you can easily restore all the necessary removed items.
  9. restore removed files by Duplicate File Finder


Uninstall Duplicate File Finder

Follow these steps to manually uninstall the app:

  1. Quit Duplicate File Finder.
  2. Go to the Applications folder → remove Duplicate File Finder to Trash.
  3. In the Finder’s menu bar, click Go → Go to Folder → in the window that appears, type ~/Library, and hit Go.
  4. Within the Library folder find and remove Duplicate File Finder service files. Note, depending on the version of the app you use, you will need to find and remove different folders.

If you downloaded the free version of the app from the App Store, find and remove the following files:

  • ~/Library/Application Scripts/com.nektony.Duplicates-Finder
  • ~/Library/Containers/com.nektony.Duplicates-Finder

If you purchased directly the PRO version of the app on the App Store, find and remove these files:

  • ~/Library/Application Scripts/com.nektony.Duplicates-Expert
  • ~/Library/Containers/com.nektony.Duplicates-Expert

If you downloaded the app from the site, find and remove these files:

  • ~/Library/Application Scripts/com.nektony.Duplicate-File-Finder-SII
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.nektony.Duplicate-File-Finder-SII
  • ~/Library/Caches/com.nektony.Duplicate-File-Finder-SII
  • ~/Library/Preferences/com.nektony.Duplicate-File-Finder-SII.plist

Once you removed all service files, empty your Trash bin to completely uninstall Duplicate File Finder.