Best tools to find and remove duplicate files in Windows 10

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • Finding and removing duplicate files stored on your Windows 10 device could help avoid some issues with your PC in the long run.
  • There are several ways on how you can do that and in this article, we are exploring which tools are best to use.
  • Make sure to visit our dedicated How-To Hub for more related articles and recommendations.
  • Visit our dedicated Software Hub to check out more cool guides!
find remove duplicate files windows 10

There are computer problems that can resurface depending on the way that hardware components evolve.  Finding and removing duplicate files stored on your Windows 10 computer is one of them.

More than a decade ago hard drives were pretty expensive, especially the larger capacity ones, so people opted for the smaller ones that were in a decent price range.

This meant that you had to keep an eye on the free space available and do regular cleanups to remove unneeded files stored on your hard drive.

The first thing people used to look for was duplicate files as this was the most obvious way of freeing up space.

But as time went by and bigger hard drives became more accessible to the masses free space became a problem of the past. Most of us couldn’t be bothered to organize our files library.

Duplicate files can also be a problem when creating backups as the process will take longer to finish and the end result will need more space on the backup destination.

This can also slow down the process of restoring a backup.

In this article, we are going to list a few Windows 10 compatible applications that you can use to find, compare, and remove duplicate files, freeing up precious storage space in the process.

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What is the best tool to find and remove duplicate files in Windows 10?

Copernic Desktop Search

If you are looking for a tool that will help you search files through multiple internal or external drives, all at the same time, then we recommend you use Copernic Desktop Search.

The software completes the search in no time so you will not have to wait long to see the results.

Copernic Desktop Search comes with the Preview function that allows you to first see the found file, before initiating any action. If needed, you can keep the software in the background.

If there are specific files you are searching for, the custom feature allows you to filter the results so that you can only see the desired files.

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Duplicate Cleaner

duplicate cleaner for windows 10

Duplicate Cleaner’s simple interface makes it easy to start searching for duplicate files on your PC. You can customize your search by the type of file, sizes, dates, and more.

You can specify which drives and folders to look in, and you even get an option to search inside Zip archives.

This software will assist you in selecting which duplicate files you want to delete. Its Selection Assistant allows you to select files by dates, drives, folders, and more.

You can select a favorite folder, and remove files that duplicate it another place, or maybe select the smallest images, or the lowest quality mp3. In case you have made a copy of a directory – this is not a problem.

Duplicate Cleaner can scan popular music formats to find duplicates by Artist, Name, or Title. It supports formats such as MP3, OGG, WMA, M4A, AAC, FLAC, and WAV.

It is capable of listing details of the audio files found, including bit rate, sample rate, and length.

Duplicate Cleaner will show you that in the Duplicate Folder browser. Quickly see duplicated directories, and easily get rid of the ones you don’t want to keep.

You also have the possibility to set an input folder to not ‘Scan against itself’. This means you can compare ‘clean’ sectors (archives, cd’s) against other sectors without generating unneeded lists of duplicate files.

You can also save Scan Profiles (just like presets in Winamp) and reuse different settings for different jobs.

Moreover, you don’t have to worry about the important System Files: several safeguards are offered to make sure that these files won’t be touched.

Get Duplicate Cleaner

CCleaner

We are sure most of you have already heard of CCleaner, perhaps the number 1 Windows application when it comes to cleaning junk from your computer.

But what most of you don’t know is the fact that it has a built-in duplicate file scanner that does its’ job really well.

How to find and remove duplicate files in Windows 10 - CCleaner

It has the option to scan the files for duplicate filenames, matching sizes, content, or by their modified dates.

If you are already a CCleaner user than this news can be good for you as you don’t need to look for and install other applications that will use more space on your drive.

The Duplicate Finder in CCleaner can be easily found under the Tools tab.

The problem I have with CCleaner is that it has a lot of other extra features, features that I don’t need, features that I have never used, and that only take up space.

A new feature of CCleaner is the automatic software updater. An outdated software will make your computer more expoed to cyber threats.

CCleaner is a commercial software but it does offer a free version with limited functionality.

Get CCleaner Professional

dupeGuru

dupeGuru has become the industry standard when it comes to searching for duplicate files under Microsoft Windows. It offers 3 versions of the app – the Standard edition, a Music edition, and one for Pictures.

How to find and remove duplicate files in Windows 10 - dupeGuru

The Standard Edition is the default one that can search through all your files, either by filename or the contents of the files.

It features a fuzzy algorithm that can detect files even if the name has been changed or if part of the content matches to other files.

The Music Edition (ME) is dedicated to finding duplicate music files using the following file formats: MP3, WMA, AAC, OGG, and FLAC. It can scan the filenames, tags, and even the contents of music files.

The main advantage of this edition is the fact that it can detect duplicate music files even if they use a different encoder or are saved at a different bitrate, giving you the chance to locate and keep the files that are of higher quality.

The third version is called the Picture Edition (PE) and as the name suggests it can be used to find duplicate image files that use the JPG, PNG, TIFF, GIF, and BMP file formats.

The search engine in the Pictures Edition can match image files even if they use different file formats or have been resized or rotated.

It can even match files that have been slightly edited, helping you find the source of an edited image.

All editions of dupeGuru are free of charge and open-sourced and can be downloaded from their official website.

Get dupeGuru

Duplicate Files Finder

How to find and remove duplicate files in Windows 10 - Duplicate Files Finder

This is another lightweight tool aimed at finding and removing duplicate files stored on your computer.

This application has been around for some years now and even has a version compatible with older, pre NT versions of Microsoft Windows.

It hasn’t been updated in a very long time because well, it doesn’t need to be. It does its job really good, really simple, and really fast and the fact that you can use it even on legacy Windows versions makes it the only tool you’ll ever need to have.

Duplicate Files Finder is stored over on Sourceforge.

Get Duplicate FilesFinder

There are many more software solutions out there that you can use to find and remove duplicate files and these are some of the ones that I have used in the past and that we recommend for everyone to try.

If you have experience with others please let us know in the comment section below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in August 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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  • To use ‘Clean up system files’:
    Click Clean up system files.
    Go to the ‘More Options tab’ in the Disk Cleanup window.
    Click ‘Clean up…’ under the ‘System Restore and Shadow Copies’ heading.

  • Mary you could run a renamer first perhaps…? I’ve successfully used IrfanView to rename a bunch of photos. You can design your own renaming pattern but this is the one I used:
    ####_$E36867(%Y%m%d)_$E272
    (Sequential Number _ Date taken _ Camera used)
    Which results in a file name like this: 0005_20161204_Canon EOS REBEL T3i.JPG or 0043_20161205_iPhone SE.JPG

    I do it within a given folder because I pre-sort my photos into folders by event, so if I was at a 3-day event I want them to start with 0001 and go up from there. You could use a different renaming pattern if you had a different way of using it.

  • Will these duplicate detectors recognize that some photos have identical file names but are actually different photos? I have jpg files that came from different sources (batch scans, numbered sequentially) so when i organize folders the computer says ‘you already have one, do you want to replace it’ but it turns out it’s a unique photo, so not really a duplicate. I do not want to remove those ‘duplicates’ but am not sure how to efficiently catch them. There are hundreds, thousands of photos so I can’t go through one by one renaming them.

  • Duplicate files deleter software helps you dash off some more space by eliminating copied or unnecessary files in bulk. This software gives forth truly what you would presume based on its name, and it does it effectively and quickly. You would not believe how much space it raids off.