How to remove duplicate files

No matter how organized you work, it is inevitable that certain files end up in multiple places on your hard drive. A waste of space. Fortunately, there are ways to easily remove those duplicate files, for example with a program like Duplicate Cleaner Free.

To download

Before you download this program, it is good to know that there are two versions. With the free version, you can easily find and delete duplicate files on your hard drive. If you want to get started with something more specific and, for example, want to remove duplicate images and songs from your hard drive, you need the Pro version. This costs barely 28 euros; you can try the program first for 14 days and maybe you can get the job done during that time. You can download both versions here. For this article we test the free version.

Set scan location

When you have downloaded the program, it is time to indicate where you want to search. Duplicate files are not always a bad thing: you may have a backup folder and would like to keep the duplicate files in it. Click on the tab Scan Location. In the left pane, you'll see a list of available folders. Navigate to the folders you want to search and click the right arrow in the center to add them to the list. This way you can specify very specifically which folders should be searched. For each folder you add, you can indicate whether its subfolders should also be searched.

Search criteria

Finally, you must indicate where exactly you want the program to search. The easiest mode is to choose Same content. In this mode, this program does not care if the file name is different: if the content is the same, it is considered duplicate. Click on Ignore content, then you can define all kinds of criteria, such as duplicate file name, same file extension, same creation date/time and so on. Under the heading Search filters you can specify additional filters so that certain names, extensions, etc. are not taken into account. When you have entered everything, click on Start scan. The search takes a while; after that you will immediately see a list of results and you can decide what you want to throw away.

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