duplicate finder pro icon

Duplicate File Finder


Duplicate File Finder is an application to find and remove duplicates on your Mac. It also allows you to organize files, merge folders, compare files for duplicates, and find similar pictures and music files.

When you launch the application, you will see the first dialog window that invites you to choose a folder you want to scan. From the sidebar, you can switch between different options to work with duplicate files:

  • Find duplicates – the application will scan the chosen folders and disk and find duplicates of all types of files, duplicate folders, similar media files, and similar folders.
  • Find duplicate pictures – the app will scan your folders, disk, or Photos Library and find duplicate and similar pictures.
  • Find duplicate music – the app will scan your folders, disk, or Music Library and find duplicate and similar music files.
  • Merge folders – here, you can choose two folders to merge and organize your files.
  • Compare folders – compare two folders to check whether they are duplicates or not.
  • Compare files – compare two files if they are 100% identical.
Duplicate File Finder showing the start window with selected items to scan

Here is how to use Duplicate File Finder:

  1. In the Find duplicates option, choose the folders you want to scan.
  2. Click the Find Duplicates button.
  3. See the results and select all unneeded duplicates.
  4. Click the Review to Remove button and confirm the action.
Duplicate File Finder showing duplicate pictures

Now let’s see in more detail how to find and remove duplicate files and folders from your Mac:


How to find duplicate files

Step 1. Choose a folder and start scanning

When you launch the application, you will see the first dialog window showing the “Find duplicates” option and inviting you to choose the folders you want to scan. You can scan your Home folder or сhoose individual folders. Note that you can even add an external disk for scanning. Duplicate File Finder supports both external and internal volumes. Choose folders to scan for duplicates

Step 2. Get the results

When duplicate scanning starts, an animated chart is displayed to reflect search results. The entire search process time depends on the volume’s size. duplicate scaning chart After the scan is complete, Duplicate File Finder will show you the list of found duplicate items.

Step 3. Select duplicates

At the top of the window, you will see different tabs, allowing you to switch between the following categories of items:

  • Duplicate files (with a drop-down menu allowing you to see separately duplicate pictures, music, movies, documents, and archives).
  • Duplicate folders.
  • Similar photos.
  • Similar audio.
  • Similar folders

Preview the files and select those you want to remove. If you have thousands of duplicates and need a quick way to select all duplicates, use the Auto Select button. It will select all duplicates and keep only one copy in each group of duplicates on your Mac.

Duplicate Finder Auto Select

Step 4. Remove duplicates

The last step is to delete duplicates by clicking the Review to 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. Duplicate Finder Auto Select

Duplicate Pictures

If you want to find only duplicate pictures, use the appropriate option in the sidebar.

  1. Click Find duplicate pictures in the app’s sidebar.
  2. Choose the folders you want to scan (you can scan even your Photos libraries).
  3. Click Find duplicates. Duplicate File Finder showing the option to find duplicate pictures
  4. Select unneeded duplicate or similar pictures.
  5. Click to remove them.
  6. Finding duplicate pictures on Mac

Duplicate Music

If you want to find your duplicate music files, use the appropriate option in the sidebar.

  1. Click Find duplicate music in the app’s sidebar.
  2. Choose the folders you want to scan. You can even scan your Music library.
  3. Click Find duplicates.
  4. Duplicate File Finder showing the option to find duplicate pictures
  5. Select unneeded duplicate and audio files.
  6. Click to remove them.
  7. Duplicate File Finder showing similar music files

Merge Folders

Duplicate File Finder provides two options to merge folders on your Mac. You can merge similar folders the app found during the duplicate scan process. Also, you can choose any two folders on your Mac and merge them, no matter whether they have duplicate files or not. The steps of these two options slightly differ.

Option 1 – Merge any folders

If you want to merge any two folders on your Mac without scanning them for duplicate content, do the following:

  1. Switch to the Merge folders option in the sidebar.
  2. Choose the folders you want to merge. You can drag and drop the folders right to the application’s window. Merge multiple folders
  3. Click Review.
  4. Choose a destination folder – the location where the content from the source folder will be moved to. Also, you can choose a new empty folder for moving the content of merged folders.
  5. Duplicate File Finder showing the Merge folders window
    Note: Before merging folders, you can specify the preferences for the action. Go to the app’s Settings → Merge tab. Choose whether to keep the source folder after merging. If you wish to add color tags to the merged files, choose the color for each group.
    Merge options in the Settings window
  6. Confirm the action by clicking the Merge button in the next window.
  7. Confirmation window to merge folders
If you still have questions, read the article How to merge folders with Duplicate File Finder.

Option 2 – Merge similar folders

Similar folders contain duplicate and unique files. To merge similar folders, follow these steps:

  1. Select and scan your folders or disks using the “Find duplicates” option in the sidebar.
  2. Switch to the Merge multiple folders section or use the Merge Folders button in the Similar Folders tab. Merge button Merging multiple folders
  3. Select the source and destination folders to move or copy the content. You can select multiple source folders. Simply check the checkboxes for the required folders. Merging multiple folders
  4. Click Review to Merge and confirm the action. Settings window showing the Merge tab

Compare folders

With Duplicate File Finder, you can compare two specific folders and find which duplicate files they have. Here’s how to compare two folders on Mac for duplicate content:

  1. Launch Duplicate File Finder.
  2. Click Compare folders in the sidebar.
  3. Drag and drop two folders to the appropriate sections in the app’s window.
  4. Click Compare Folders. compare folders
  5. In a moment, you will see the results showing the duplicate files both folders have and unique files. The duplicate items are marked with an equal sign and grouped in the list named Duplicates. Duplicates
  6. If you want to delete duplicates from one of these folders, simply select those duplicate files and click Review to Remove. Then confirm the deletion. duplicates
  7. You can also merge the content of these two folders. For this, click the Merge Folders button at the bottom.
  8. Choose the merge option selecting to which folder you want to move files.
  9. Click Review to Merge and confirm the action. Merge option

Compare files

Duplicate File Finder accurately compares the files and detects whether they are duplicates or not. If you are not sure about the results or just want to compare two specific files to see whether they are duplicates or not, you can use the Compare files feature.

Here’s how to compare two files on Mac:

  1. Launch Duplicate File Finder.
  2. Click Compare Files in the sidebar. compare files
  3. In the next window, you will see whether these files are different or duplicates. In the example, you can see that the two files have different sizes, which means that they are different. different files


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

Here you will find eight tabs:

  • General
  • Scan
  • Skip list
  • Auto Select
  • Remove
  • Merge
  • Advanced
  • Disk Access

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

General Tab

In the General tab, you can choose what you want to find:

  • Find duplicate folders – the folders that contain duplicate content
  • Find similar folders – the folders that contain both duplicate content and unique files
  • Find similar audio files – the audio files that contain the same audio track, however, they are not 100% identical
  • Find similar photos – the photos that look very close or almost identical
  • Full-scale scan for similar photos – find similar photos of different sizes. The Full-scale duplicates scan option means that the application will perform an extra check when comparing duplicate files.
  • Find hidden duplicate files and folders – scan hidden content to find duplicates.
Duplicate File Finder preferences showing the General tab
Note that the last two options may make the scanning process longer.

Scan Tab

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 Scan tab, depending on your needs:

  • Skip small files
  • Skip files smaller than…
  • Check all files
Duplicate File Finder showing the Scan tab of preferences

Also, in the Scan tab, you can switch on and switch off the following options:

  • Scan options for files sizes
  • Full-scale duplicates scan
  • Open the Music app to synchronize detected duplicates in your Music library
  • Save and restore scan results. This means that if you close the application, the scan history will be saved. When you run the app the next time, you can quickly view the results of the previous scan.

Skip List Tab

In this section, you can select the folders and files to be skipped from the scan. In the sidebar switch to one of the sections you want to be ignored:

  • Folders
  • Folder names
  • Files
  • File names
  • Extensions

Click the Plus button to add items or use the Minus button to remove items from the Skip list.

Skip list preferences of Duplicate File Finder

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. For this, 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. You will find these configurations in the Auto Select tab of the app’s preferences.

Duplicate File Finder preferences window showing the Auto Select tab

Also, you can add prefixes and suffixes used in the file name. Duplicate File Finder preferences window showing the Auto Select tab and prefixes options

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 options for Auto Select rules of Duplicate File Finder

Remove Tab

When you remove copies of files, some folders may become empty. If you want to remove the empty folders automatically, enable the option Remove empty folders in the Remove tab.

Removal options

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

  • Move to Trash
  • Delete without moving to Trash
  • Move duplicates to a folder
Remove preferences of Duplicate File Finder

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

Remove preferences of Duplicate File Finder

Merge Tab

Besides finding and deleting duplicates, the application allows you to merge the scanned folders. In the Merge tab of Settings, you can decide whether to keep or not keep source folders after merging the content.

Also, you can set Finder color tag to merged files.

Merge preferences of Duplicate File Finder
Note that the application moves or copies unique files, not duplicates.
When you move files using the merge option, the source folder will automatically be removed.

Advanced Tab

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
  • Remind to regularly clean up duplicates
  • Send anonymous usage data
Advanced preferences of Duplicate File Finder

Disk Access

In the Disk Access tab of Preferences, you can check whether you granted Full Disk Access to Duplicate File Finder or not. The application requires Full Disk Access to be able to remove selected duplicate files. If you haven’t done that, you will see the Open Settings to Grant Access button. Click this button, and you will see the Privacy & Privacy section of System Settings where you can grant Full Disk Access.

 Disk Access tab of Duplicate File Finder preferences If you have already enabled Full Disk Access, you will see the appropriate message about that.

Disk Access tab of Duplicate File Finder settings

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 into the Trash.

Sometimes an important file may accidentally be deleted. Fortunately, you can easily recover deleted files and folders with Duplicate File Finder. For this, the app has to have Full Disk Access.

If you see a notification that the app doesn’t have Full Disk Access, your application doesn’t have access to the Trash.

To provide Full Disk Access to Duplicate File Finder and let the app restore items from your Trash, do the following:

  1. Open the app’s settings and go to the Disk Access tab.
  2. Click Open System Settings to Grant Access.  Disk Access tab of Duplicate File Finder preferences

Alternatively you can find the option to grant full disk access in Mac System Settings. Depending on the macOS version you have, follow one of the guides below.

Steps for macOS v.13 and later:

  1. Open System Settings.
  2. Go to the Privacy & Security section.
  3. Click Full Disk Access.
  4. Switch on the toggle button for Duplicate File Finder.
  5. If you don’t see the app in this list, click the plus(+) icon and add Duplicate File Finder.

Full disk access for Duplicate File Finder

A guide for macOS 10.14-12:

  1. Open System Preferences and go to the Security & Privacy section.
  2. Switch to the Privacy tab.
  3. Select the Full Disk Access section.
  4. Click the Lock icon to make changes and provide your user password.
  5. Click the Plus icon.
  6. Full Disk Access option in System Preferences
  7. Add Duplicate File Finder from the Applications folder.
  8. adding Duplicate File Finder to the list of apps with Full Disk Access

  9. Click the Lock icon again to prevent further changes and close System Preferences.
  10. Duplicate File Finder in the list of apps with Full Disk Access in System Preferences

Now, you can easily restore all the removed items from the Trash.

Duplicate File Finder in the list of removal history

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, that 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-SIII
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.nektony.Duplicate-File-Finder-SIII
  • ~/Library/Caches/com.nektony.Duplicate-File-Finder-SIII
  • ~/Library/Preferences/com.nektony.Duplicate-File-Finder-SIII.plist

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

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