8 Best Duplicate File Finders for Mac of 2021: Paid and Free

Megan Charles
time April 30, 2021 Preview 119.1K
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The bad news is that duplicate files are eating up space on your Mac potentially causing your Mac to slow down and perform poorly. The good news is that there is an easy way to get rid of duplicate files with just a couple of clicks. The easy way is to use the best duplicate file finder for Mac.

There are a number of apps to find and delete the duplicate photos, videos, music files, documents and other types of duplicate files on a Mac. They vary in performance, ease of use and more. In this article, you will find a list of them along with a review for each.

What makes a reliable duplicate file finder for Mac?

Capability of identifying duplicate files

A duplicate file finder is an app designed to detect duplicate files. Such apps use particular algorithms to compare files and identify the duplicates. Different apps may use different algorithms. For example, the algorithm PhotoSweeper uses can only handle images, resulting in its inability to find other types of duplicates. Easy Duplicate Finder uses SHA-256, which is a bit slow. Cisdem Duplicate Finder uses a combination of algorithms, leading to high performance in the detection of various types of duplicate files.

Safe support for Photos and iTunes (now Music)

Unlike on Windows where photos and music files are stored in normal folders, the photos and songs on your Mac are typically stored in Photos Library (managed via Photos app) and iTunes Media (managed via iTunes app) respectively. The fact is that many duplicate file finders for Mac will consider Photos Library and iTunes Media normal folders when searching for duplicates in the two places. As a result, they will damage your library or cause the loss of files or related data. To safely delete these duplicates, you need to use an app designed for Photos and iTunes.

There are other criteria to consider. The two ones above are the most important.

 

The best duplicate file finders for Mac

#1 Cisdem Duplicate Finder

Compatibility: macOS 10.10 or later, including Big Sur

Cisdem Duplicate Finder is the best of its kind due to its high performance, safety, ease of use, etc.

Thanks to the advanced algorithms it uses, the app can quickly identify true duplicate files by content and find duplicate photos, audios, videos, Word documents, PDFs, presentations, archives and other types of duplicate files on your Mac and external storage devices (e.g., external hard drives, SD cards and more). It also finds near-duplicate photos, which is a plus for making the app a great duplicate photo finder for Mac.

Designed for Photos and iTunes, Cisdem Duplicate Finder will scan your Photos Library or iTunes Media, display the found duplicates for you to view, and remove the unwanted duplicates from within the Photos app or iTunes app with your permission, just like a human would when removing photos or songs. Your Photos Library and iTunes Media will be safe and unaffected except being duplicate-free.

Free Download

Once the app finishes scanning Photos, iTunes or Mac folders for duplicate files, it will display the detected duplicates in its results window for you to easily view and preview. What’s more, its smart Auto-Select feature will automatically select duplicates for you to mass delete with a single click. Click the Delete button, and now all dupes are gone! If not satisfied with auto-selection, you can manually select or use the selection rules provided.

list of duplicate files found on a Mac

Pros

  1. Quickly find all types of duplicate files on Mac based on content
  2. Also find near-duplicate images
  3. Support Mac and external storage devices
  4. Safely remove duplicates from Photos, iPhoto, Music and iTunes
  5. Come with 3 preview modes, including a side-by-side mode
  6. Provide a smart Auto-Select feature and up to 8 selection rules
  7. Offer 3 deletion methods, including Move to Trash
  8. Support Apple silicon

Cons

  1. No support for macOS 10.9 or earlier

Free Download


#2 Gemini 2

Compatibility: macOS 10.10 or later

In addition to the best duplicate file finder for Mac, there are other great apps available to help rid your Mac of duplicate files. Gemini 2 is one of them. People are often impressed by how good looking the app is. But a beautiful interface can only be the cherry on top. What’s important is the ability to find duplicate files on a Mac.

The app supports finding the double files in normal folders, iTunes and Photos and is capable of detecting duplicate photos, duplicate audios, duplicate documents and some other types of duplicates. It does a good job of deleting duplicate files in folders even the large ones. But it occasionally fails to work when scanning a big Photos Library. In such a case, try to re-scan.

In February 2021, Gemini 2 introduced the Duplicates Monitor feature aiming to better help users get rid of duplicate files by notifying users when new duplicates appear. The feature does what it’s designed for. But it uses lots of CPU and may slow down your Mac.

Gemini 2 interface

Pros

  1. Comes with a beautiful interface
  2. Scan your Mac for various types of duplicate files
  3. Support Photos and iTunes
  4. Let users directly preview files within the app
  5. Provide an innovative Duplicates Monitor feature

Cons

  1. Incompatible with macOS 10.9 or earlier
  2. Expensive

#3 Tidy Up 5

Compatibility: macOS 10.12 or later

Designed by Hyperbolic for “pro users” (as advertised), Tidy Up 5 is a good duplicate file finder for Mac for experienced users. Inexperienced users may find its interface overwhelming and confusing.

Supporting all popular file types such as images, Tidy Up 5 can detect and delete the duplicate files in Mac’s folders and Photos. Although the app offers an option to scan iTunes for duplicate items, it does a poor job. In the test, it failed to find any duplicates, which do exist, in my iTunes.

The app comes with two modes: Simple mode and Advanced mode. New users can start with the simple one. Both modes offer an array of scan options and criteria. Each scan for duplicates requires (at least) a little configuration. Compared to the other best Mac duplicate file finders talked about above, this one is less easy to use.

Tidy Up 5 interface

Pros

  1. Search for a variety types of duplicate files on Mac
  2. Find and delete duplicates in Apple Photos on Mac
  3. Provide 2 modes for users to choose from
  4. Highly customizable
  5. Support hard links

Cons

  1. Don’t support macOS 10.11 or earlier
  2. Not good at finding duplicates in iTunes
  3. Not that user-friendly

#4 Easy Duplicate Finder for Mac

Compatibility: macOS 10.6 or later

Easy Duplicate Finder is available for both macOS and Windows. Highly compatible, it works well on a Mac running Big Sur, Catalina, Mojave or High Sierra or even an earlier version.

Its wizard-style interface is simple to navigate and use, guiding users through the whole process of the identification and removal of duplicate files, which is especially helpful for novice users.

This piece of file deduplication software can scan your MacBook Pro, MacBook Air or iMac, etc. for duplicate songs, duplicate photos and more. When the scan is complete, it will give you two options: using Auto Remove to immediately eliminate duplicates or using Manual Review to view duplicates and then remove the unwanted ones. The latter allows you to examine the files you are handling and deleting and is more reliable.

The app excels at looking for the duplicates in iTunes and normal folders. However, when searching for duplicate photos in Mac Photos app, it will return no results or false positives. If you allow it to deduplicate, your Photos Library will get damaged.

Easy Duplicate Finder interface

Pros

  1. Capable of detecting common types of file duplicates
  2. Support iTunes
  3. Provide an Auto Remove feature for quick duplicate removal
  4. Very user-friendly interface

Cons

  1. Relatively slow scan
  2. Poor support for Mac’s Photos
  3. A bit expensive

#5 Duplicate Detective

Compatibility: macOS 10.7 or later

This Mac duplicate file finder and remover looks less sophisticated due to its unpolished interface. It actually does a fair job of scanning for and removing duplicate files on Mac.

You can use it to scan folders and Photos. However, it can’t identify all the duplicates in a given folder or library. Some dupes will be missing. And also, it can’t provide consistent performance. If you want to clean up duplicates in iTunes, this app won’t help. In the test, the duplicate songs it found didn’t even exist in my iTunes.

Duplicate Detective interface

Pros

  1. Support all common file types
  2. Can find the duplicates in Photos on Mac
  3. Offer an option to create an alias when deleting duplicates
  4. Easy to use
  5. Lightweight

Cons

  1. Incapable of finding all duplicate files in a location
  2. Can’t work well with iTunes

#6 Duplicate Sweeper for Mac

Compatibility: macOS 10.8 or later

Duplicate Sweeper is another lightweight macOS duplicate file finder and deleter. The app’s minimal interface is easy to use and navigate. Its welcome screen provides users with brief usage instructions. Even someone who is completely inexperienced can easily use it.

The app can only delete duplicate files in the folders on a Mac. In other words, you can’t use it to weed out the duplicates in your Photos or iTunes. Therefore, it may not be desirable for Mac users. But it can be a choice to consider if the duplicate files on your Mac do reside in folders.

Duplicate Sweeper interface

Pros

  1. Able to look for photo duplicates and other common types of duplicates
  2. Lightweight
  3. Ease-to-use interface

Cons

  1. Can’t identify the duplicates in iTunes and Photos
  2. Sometime fail to detect all dupes
  3. Limited customization

#7 dupeGuru for Mac (free)

Compatibility: macOS 10.12 or later

There are also free Mac apps available for the removal of duplicate files. What is the best free duplicate file finder for Mac? dupeGuru may be the answer.

dupeGuru is free to use and open source. There is some sort of maintenance, but the app hasn’t been properly updated for years. Therefore, there can be compatibility issues with newer macOS versions.

The freeware app comes with three modes: Standard, Music and Picture, allowing you to look for and delete duplicate pictures, duplicate music files and some others in folders on Mac. It’s not designed for Apple Photos and iTunes. Even though it allows you to scan Photos Library, its deduplication algorithm will damage your library and cause data loss.

dupeGuru interface

Pros

  1. Completely free to use
  2. Open source
  3. Offer 3 modes to handle different types of duplicate files
  4. Fairly configurable
  5. Can find certain visually similar pictures

Cons

  1. Possible compatibility issues
  2. No support for Photos and iTunes
  3. Can’t find all dupes in the folder it scans

#8 Disk Drill for Mac (free)

Compatibility: macOS 10.12 or later

Disk Drill is actually a data recovery app, but it offers a feature called Find Duplicates. The feature is available in the free and paid versions of Disk Drill, which makes the app available as a free duplicate file finder.

You can find the feature in the sidebar under the Extra tools section. Like dupeGuru, this app can scan only folders for duplicates. To perform a scan, you need to add a folder and click the Start Scan button. There is no instant preview of duplicate files. To preview a duplicate, you need to click the eye icon next to it, which can cause inconvenience when it comes to image duplicates.

Disk Drill interface

Pros

  1. Free to use
  2. Easy-to-understand interface
  3. Scan Mac folders for file duplicates

Cons

  1. Incapable of detecting all duplicate files
  2. Can’t scan Photos and iTunes
  3. Inconvenient preview

 

How to find and remove duplicate files on Mac with a duplicate file finder

I hope the list and reviews above are useful and helps you do a comparison so as to pick the app you need. This part will show you how duplicate removal software typically works.

1. Download and install the software. Open it.

Free Download

2. Click the plus icon + to add a folder or drive. Click Scan.

add Mac folders to scan for duplicate files

3. Once it finishes scanning for duplicate files, you can view and preview the duplicates. It lets you view by file type.

view the detected dupes

4. Duplicates are already automatically selected for mass removal.

If not happy with auto-selection, you can select by hand. Or, highlight all items under the All tab with Command-A and then apply a desired selection rule.

apply a rule

5. Click Delete.

6. Click Yes to confirm the deletion. Now the unwanted duplicate files on your Mac are removed.

click Yes

If you want to remove duplicates from Mac Photos app or iTunes app, it will require a couple of additional steps. Please see the official user guide for details.

By the way, you can also manually eliminate the file duplicates in Mac folders by using Finder’s Find function, which can be a time-consuming and tedious process. Alternatively, it’s possible to find duplicate files on Mac using Terminal, the terminal emulator coming with macOS. But stay away from Terminal if you don’t have some command line knowledge.

 

Conclusion

Removing duplicate files can help free up storage space, possibly making your Mac run faster. Also, it’s easier to manage files on a duplicate-free computer. The best duplicate file finder for Mac can help you effortlessly, effectively and safely root out duplicates from your Mac, no matter where they reside and how deep they hide. In addition, there are other great apps to consider.

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Megan Charles
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Megan has an impressive deal of experience with Mac software and has the ability to explain tech stuff in a simplified, straightforward and easy to understand way.

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Comments (12) Leave a Reply

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  • A Random Guy

    I'm happy with my old iMac in general, but it has little space left. I tried the app you recommended. It found tons of duplicate photos and other duplicates and freed up gigabytes of space. It's amazing.

    22 days ago Reply

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  • brownclark

    Having trouble with duplicate files? just use "DuplicateFilesDeleter program"

    4 years ago Reply

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    • Gina

      The duplicate file finder you recommend is only for Windows.

      4 years ago
  • M. Razali

    In so far tried Cisdem DuplicateFinder and giving it a 5*. Except I was using an unregistered version of the sofeware and thus I can't get it to delete the duplicates. Any chance of a discount coupon? :)

    4 years ago Reply

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  • Vonnegut

    5 out of 5 stars for this only program Cisdem DuplicateFinder. I used this duplicate file finder for years. Others are definitely not recommended.

    4 years ago Reply

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    • Rosa Reyes

      Hi, Vonnegut, thank you for the support of our product Cisdem DuplicateFinder. We will keep up the good work.

      4 years ago
  • Helen Krieger

    Downloaded the free trial, but though it will locate duplicates it won't let you delete the extra ones...so really the free trial is more of a preview I guess.

    5 years ago Reply

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    • Rosa Reyes

      Hi, Helen Krieger, free trial version of many duplicate file finder only allows you to find duplicate files; if you want to delete them, you have to buy.

      5 years ago
  • natamolestr

    Very well written! I will immediately seize your rss as I can’t find your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly permit me recognize so that I may subscribe.

    5 years ago Reply

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    • Rosa Reyes

      You can subscribe by clicking "SUBSCRIBE" on the lowest right corner of the page and inputting your email address, then clicking "Subscribe".

      5 years ago
  • gabapentinea

    Regards our friends,

    5 years ago Reply

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  • angelo

    Try DuplicateFilesDeleter. Helped me few months ago.

    5 years ago Reply

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    • pachy

      where can I find a mac version?

      5 years ago
  • kevinm.lee123@hotmail.com

    Thank you for writing this useful article. I tried Cisdem DuplicateFinder, it really found all of the duplicate files on my Mac. It saved my hard disk storage.

    6 years ago Reply

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  • Richard90

    Cisdem DuplicateFinder is really the best solution. I used it to find duplicate files on my Mac, it did a good job. I like it. Thank you, writer.

    6 years ago Reply

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  • Chris

    Useful article, useful tool. I tried the first one as it seemed better than others. Actually, it did well.

    6 years ago Reply

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  • Barbara123

    Writer recommended so many duplicate finders, I tried the first one. It was great!!! Thank you!!!

    6 years ago Reply

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