Space-hogging duplicate files can build up quite quickly and litter your hard disk, especially if you use your computer regularly. You can reduce this clutter and free up hard disk space by simply using free duplicate file finding software. As well as using this special software for streamlining your music library, you can also remove multiple copies of photos, videos, and other types of files. In this tutorial, we're going to use Duplicate Cleaner (Windows) to show you how to remove multiple copies of the same songs on your hard disk.
For MacOS, Linux, and Solaris, try Duplicate Files Searcher.
Adding paths to scan: Before you can use Duplicate Cleaner, you have to tell it where to scan. Click on a folder (or entire disk volume) that you want to add to the search list and then click on the Add Path icon (blue right-arrow). You can double-click folders to select sub-folders if necessary. To add more locations, repeat the process.
Choosing what to search for: Configure the search criteria by clicking on the Select button next to the File Filter box, and choose the Music Data option to search for duplicate music files (MP3, WMA, M4A, etc.) -- you can also type in a specific file extension if necessary. Click Select to make your choice.
Starting the scanning process: Click Go. When the searching process has completed, a statistics screen will be displayed giving you a detailed report on the duplicates that have been found. Click Close to proceed.
Selecting files to delete: If the duplicate list is large, then click the Selection Assistant button near the bottom of the screen. There are a number of options that you can use to select files based on file size, modified date/time, etc. For example, to select the oldest files in the modified date/time section, make sure the radio button is selected next to the Oldest Files in Each Group option and then click Select. Click Close to exit the Selection Assistant.
Removing the duplicates: Click the Remove Selected button. There are a number of methods to remove duplicate files, here are the main two:
- Delete selected files to the Recycle Bin: Make sure the Delete to Recycle Bin option is enabled. Click the Delete Files button, followed by Yes > OK.
- Move files to safe folder: Rather than deleting them straight away, you can click on Select Folder (yellow folder icon) to choose a custom location -- click OK when you have selected one. Enable the box next to Keep Folder Structure at Destination and then click Move Files.
What You Need
- Duplicate Cleaner (or alternative program for MacOS, Linux, Solaris)