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Windows: Find and delete duplicate files

Duplicate files accumulate when copies are made or when identical data is repeatedly downloaded from the Internet. Not only do they take up unnecessary space on the hard drive, they also lead to confusion as to which is the right one. GIGA shows you how to find and delete them.

Over time, more and more files will accumulate on a computer. By copying and moving, they can sometimes be found twice or three times on the hard drive. Then it’s time to clean up thoroughly! But first you have to find the duplicate files! We’ll show you how you can track down identical files with different names yourself.

You can make your images smaller – but then you will never find them as a duplicate file …

Find, compare and delete duplicate files

The free tool “AllDup” lets you search for duplicate files and can be set very precisely. For example, if you are concerned with it, you will even find identical text documents that have inadvertently been saved under the name of images. Nevertheless, it is very easy to use.

The search for duplicate filenames is the fastest. It only checks whether the file DSC08575.JPG appears more than once in the specified folders. If your in search omits the file format and only after DSC08575 searches, files like DSC08575.PNG, DSC08575.DOCX or DSC08575.TXT found. If you’re after the identical file size you can happen to find pictures that are the same size as an Excel spreadsheet. In such a case you should add parameters such as the file extension or use the next filter right away. The search for identical file contents is the most thorough. This is where we really compare whether all bits and bytes are the same. the Method takes the longest, but takes care of one hundred percent hits. With fast hard drives, time is no longer a relevant factor.

Ultimately, you still have to check the found list, which is easiest if you want to find duplicate images.

Find duplicate files and delete them after checking

In the beginning, you should always limit your search to certain file types. First of all, you all have to duplicate files to find that same name to have. AllDup starts with an extensive settings dialog for the search and there the process can be easily narrowed down. Since a comparison of the content takes a long time, especially with large pictures, you should better yourself first limited to the file name and size. When AllDup is done with the search, the program presents you with an overview of the result. And there you can see directly whether the files differ.

It is not recommended to use the creation date or the modification date in the search. If an actually identical copy was saved in another location just a second later, the program can no longer find the duplicate files here, although a comparison of the file contents would result in a duplicate.

Depending on the number of files to be searched, the search takes some time and at the end the tool presents you with an overview of the duplicate files. Is the option “Preview window“Activated, you can immediately see if the pictures are the same.

A quick look at the file size and you just have to decide which one you want to do without. Unfortunately, this built-in preview only works with graphics. For other file types, AllDup calls the associated program. However that is often not necessarybecause already one look at the file size and name is enough to be sure. These searches take some time, but in the end you not only save hard disk space, but you can also be sure that you are always processing the right file.

It cannot be repeated enough: You will find a lot of duplicate files, but you should only delete them if you are sure! If possible, you should Compare file contents and don’t delete drivers or system files just because they’re duplicated.

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