How to remove duplicate files in Windows 10 [Step-by-step]

by Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Windows doesn't include a duplicate file search utility, but you can use some sorting techniques in File Explorer.
  • Duplicate files take a lot of space on your drive so they can clog your system fast.
  • We included some of the most important tools that can find and remove duplicate files on your PC.
Remove duplicate files in Windows

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Duplicated files are two, or more, of exactly the same file. You’ll be surprised just how many duplicated files there might be on your hard drive.

Even if you haven’t intentionally saved any duplicates of documents or images, the software can often have various duplicated files in alternative folders.

Superfluous duplicate files can waste quite a bit of hard drive storage space. So, it’s surprising that Windows 10 doesn’t include a built-in file scanner with which users can find and delete duplicated files.

However, we will show you how to sort and delete duplicate files by using the built-in File Explorer app.

The easiest way to resolve this issue is by using CCleaner. This amazing software can help you remove any duplicates and offers a wide range of other useful options.

There are plenty of third-party system maintenance and more specific duplicate file-cleaning utilities for Windows to scan for and erase duplicates with.

How can I delete duplicate files in Windows 10?

1. Use File Explorer

  1. Click the Start button, type indexing options, and click on the app from the results.
  2. Now, click on Modify and hit the Show all locations button in the next window.
  3. Make sure all the boxes are checked and click the OK button.
  4. Press the Windows key + E to start File Explorer.
  5. Now, go to your user profile from the following location: This PC\Local Disk C:\Users
  6. You need to make a few adjustments to sort the files better:
    • Click the View menu and select Preview pane. This will help you see a preview of the file you’re selecting
    • Then, in the Layout section, choose Details
    • Lastly, look at the Current view tab, click on Group by and select Name, then check Ascending
  7. Now that we’ve prepared our File Explorer window, we can look duplicate files by typing the extensions of the files we’re looking for in the Search tab.
  8. We have prepared a file extension table below to make your work a little easier.
  9. Look at the files’ names, the date their were modified and size and when you find a duplicate, click on the file and hit Delete.
Images .jpg,.jpeg, .png or .gif
Videos .flv,.mov,.avi,.wmv,.mp4 or .3gp
Music .mp3,.wav or.wma
Documents .doc, .docx, .pdf, .txt
Presentations .ppt or .pptx
Excel tables .xls or .xlsx
Programs .exe

Of course, this can be a task that will take a lot of time and attention on your part but in the end, you will manage to get rid of the duplicates.

You can also develop your own technique and select other folders or other settings to view the files but this worked for us.

2. Use Windows PowerShell

  1. Right-click the Start button and select Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  2. Type or paste the following command to set the location to your main drive and press Enter to run it: set-location –path C:\
  3. Paste the following command and replace the search and results folders with the actual ones and press Enter: ls "(search folder)" -recurse | get-filehash | group -property hash | where { $_.count -gt 1 } | % { $_.group } | Out-File -FilePath "(location folder)"
  4. The procedure will take some time, depending on the number of files you have in the search folder but in the end, you can check the resulted .txt file, check the location of the duplicate files and delete them manually.
  5. If you want to delete the duplicates automatically, paste the following command and replace the search folder with the actual one: ls "(search folder)" -recurse | get-filehash | group -property hash | where { $_.count -gt 1 } | % { $_.group | select -skip 1 } | del

3. Use Easy Duplicate Finder

Easy Duplicate Finder is an excellent smart solution that uses the latest technologies to quickly identify all the duplicate files on your PC.

It can be used by anyone and thanks to the drag-and-drop mechanics, you can become a pro in just a few seconds.

Actually, we don’t include any complicated indications on how to use it because it’s just a three-step process to get rid of the duplicate files on your drives.

That implies downloading and installing the software, starting the Wizard tool with one click, and eliminating the duplicate files with another click. Done, you just reclaimed tons of free space on your drives.

However, just because you can deal with this problem with minimum effort, it doesn’t mean that Easy Duplicate Finder is rudimentary.

You can always go into more advanced options because you have over 10 scan modes and search methods for advanced file management at your disposal.

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And if you run out of space on your cloud storage, this software also works on those solutions, including Google Drive and Dropbox. Hit the button below and try this tool in seconds.

Easy Duplicate Finder

Use the smart Wizard tool inside Easy Duplicate Finder to get rid of the duplicate files in seconds.

Free trial Visit website

4. Erase duplicate files with CCleaner

  1. Download CCleaner and install it.
  2. Open CCleaner.
    CCleaner window remove duplicate files windows 10
  3. Click Tools on the left of the window.
  4. Select Duplicate Finder to open the utility shown directly below.
    Duplicate Finder utility remove duplicate files windows 10

Configure the search options

  1. Select the Name and Size Match by checkboxes.
  2. Exclude system and hidden files from the search by selecting the ignore System files and Hidden files checkboxes.
  3. If you prefer not to place any file size constraints on the search, uncheck the File size under and File size over checkboxes.
  4. To scan the full hard drive, select the C: drive option.

Select specific folders and file types to scan

  1. Press the Add button to open the window shown in the shot directly below.
    Include window remove duplicate files windows 10
  2. Click Browse to choose a more specific folder or hard drive partition.
  3. Click the File Types radio button. Then you can enter more specific file types for the scan to search for, such as PNG, MP3, DOC, etc.
  4. Press the OK button.

Exclude folder and files

  1. To leave folders out of the search, select the Exclude tab.
  2. Click the Add button.
    Exclude window remove duplicate files windows 10
  3. Click Browse to select a folder to exclude.
  4. Click OK to confirm the selected folder.
  5. You can select your C: drive and the File Types radio button to specify specific file formats to leave out of searches.
  6. Click OK to exit the Exclude window.

Erase the duplicated files

  1. Click Search to initiate the scan.
  2. Now go through the list of detected duplicates. Select checkboxes for duplicate files to delete.
    Delete Selected button remove duplicate files windows 10
  3. To select all duplicates, right-click a listed file and click the Select All option.
    Select All option remove duplicate files windows 10
  4. Press the Delete Selected button to erase the duplicate files

CCleaner’s Duplicate Finder is a perfectly sufficient utility for purging duplicated files. However, there are many other alternative duplicate file finder software.

Get CCleaner

How do I remove duplicate files in Windows 11?

As you have noticed already, Windows 11 has an improved design and File Explorer is one of the apps that now looks more simple and compact.

However, all the functions from Windows 10’s File Explorer are still there and can be accessed easily to prepare it just like we did in the first solution from this guide.

In Windows 11 it’s even easier to prepare your File Explorer for file search

The only difference is that All the settings we’ve talked about are placed conveniently in the View’s drop-down menu, just like in the screenshot above.

However, we have a comprehensive guide on how to remove duplicate files on Windows 11 that will provide more information.

Also, the tools presented in the other two solutions work seamlessly on Windows 11 so you can get right to work.

So, now you know how to remove duplicate files in Windows 10 by using your built-in File Explorer or some of the most clever tools available.

Our duplicate finder software list provides further details about the best utilities for deleting those unneeded files.

If you happen to know any other convenient way of getting rid of duplicate files, let us know about them in the comments section below.

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