8 Best Duplicate File Finders for Mac of 2020: Free and Paid

2020-09-10 21:54:13 / Posted by Megan Charles to Utility Follow @ Megan

The duplicate file finder Mac software is designed to find and delete duplicate files on MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, etc. When compared to the manual method of removing duplicate files, using software is far more effective, easier and quicker. If you are overwhelmed by all the choices, this article can help by providing a list of the top-rated Mac duplicate file finders.

All the ones on the list are versatile and comprehensive, supporting all common file types such as photos, videos, audios and documents. And dedicated duplicate photo finders for Mac don’t make their way onto this list even though some of them are very useful.

Part 1. A list of the best duplicate file finders for Mac

A typical duplicate file finder works this way. Scan for duplicate files in the folder or drive of your choice. Let you view, preview and select unwanted duplicates for deletion. Delete the selected files. When it comes to macOS, such software should also have the ability to remove duplicates from Mac Photos app, etc. For each Mac duplicate file finder on this top list, we will mainly review these aspects and talk about what makes it so great. Some of them are paid, and some are free.

#1 Cisdem Duplicate Finder

Compatibility: macOS 10.10 or later

Cisdem Duplicate Finder is considered the best duplicate file finder by Mac users due to the high performance, high ease-of-use and great customization it offers.

You can use it to quickly search for duplicate images, videos, audios, Word documents, PDFs, presentations, spreadsheets, archives and other types of duplicates. Supporting both Mac’s internal disk and external storage devices, it allows you to find duplicate files in one or across multiple folders/ volumes/drives.

overview

Using MD5 value checksum algorithm and byte-by-byte comparison, it quickly scans for and identifies true duplicate files based on content regardless of filename. In our test, it only took Cisdem Duplicate Finder 31 seconds to scan 1,820 files and find 409 duplicates taking up 3.67 gigabytes of space.

scanning for duplicate files

Once the scan is done, you will be presented with the results window. Under the All tab are all the duplicate files. You can also view them by file type such as Images, Music and Videos. The built-in preview feature provides three modes: Thumbnail, List and Info. The Thumbnail mode is great if you want to preview and compare duplicate photos side by side. You can use the List mode to conveniently preview duplicate pictures, videos, songs and documents.

view and preview

Duplicate files are listed in the results window, appearing in groups. In each group, there is a desirable copy that you want to keep, and you need to select the rest copy (or copies) for removal. The good news is that this duplicate file finder for Mac automatically selects the unwanted duplicate copies in all groups for you to effortlessly remove with one click. If you think this doesn't meet your specific need, you can select a selection rule. Once the unwanted duplicate files are selected, click the Delete button to get rid of them all at once.

Dedicatedly designed for Mac, this duplicate file remover can delete duplicate photos in Mac Photos app (click to see how) and remove iTunes duplicates (click to see how).

photos app

Pros

  1. Quickly find duplicate photos, videos, music files, documents and more
  2. Also find similar images
  3. Remove duplicates from Photos, iPhoto, iTunes and Music
  4. Work with Mac, external hard drive, memory card, Google Drive, etc.
  5. Let you exclude folders and files from scan by location, file size or file extension
  6. Offer 3 preview modes, allowing side-by-side image preview
  7. Automatically select duplicate files for you to delete with 1 click
  8. Also provide up to 8 selection rules
  9. Offer 3 deletion options: Move to Trash or Folder, or Remove Permanently
  10. Support macOS 10.10 and later, including Catalina
  11. Easy to use with simple intuitive interface
  12. Help free up space on Mac

Cons

  1. No support for macOS 10.9 or earlier

Free Download

#2 Gemini 2

Compatibility: macOS 10.10 and higher

Gemini 2

There are also other great apps to find and delete duplicate files on Mac. Developed by MacPaw, Gemini 2 is one of them. It uses smart scanning algorithms to detect duplicate files. It supports common file types like images, audios files and video files. In addition to regular folders on a Mac computer, it can also scan for duplicate items in Photos and iTunes libraries.

When the scan is complete, you can click the Review Results button to view and deal with the found duplicate files. If you quit the app, the scan results will be restored the next time you open it again so that you can continue with the process.

This duplicate file finder for Mac offers two view modes, enabling you to preview duplicate images without leaving the app. However, according to our test, the preview function needs some improvement. Users can switch between list view and grid view, but neither mode is handy enough for an instant preview and comparison. With both modes, it takes several clicks to preview all items in a group of duplicate photos.

By default, it will automatically select duplicate copies to eliminate, which is convenient. There are multiple removal options, letting you to move the undesired duplicates to Trash or a specific folder, or to delete them permanently.

All it all it's a good tool to locate and get rid of duplicate photos and other duplicate on Mac. But it's not perfect. One main complaint from users is the Smart Cleanup feature. Once the scan is finished, the Smart Cleanup button will show up. Some users clicked the button only to find the app wrongly deleting files. For local files, it's possible to restore them from Trash. If the files are deleted from an external storage device, they will be gone for good.

Pros

  1. Impressively good-looking user interface, which is also easy to use
  2. Good at finding various types of duplicate files such as duplicate picture
  3. Support iTunes and Photos
  4. Come with multiple options to view, preview and remove duplicates
  5. Automatically select duplicates for elimination
  6. Remove duplicates in a safe manner by moving them to Trash

Cons

  1. Sometimes crash when scanning a large number of files
  2. Need improvement in preview and Smart Cleanup features
  3. A little bit expensive, costing $44.95 for a lifetime license

#3 Easy Duplicate Finder for Mac

Compatibility: OS X 10.6 - 10.14.2 Mojave

Easy Duplicate Finder

Available for both macOS and Windows, Easy Duplicate Finder uses SHA256 checksum to check if two files are identical. You can use it to get rid of common kinds of duplicate files like duplicate photos and songs. Instructions and available features are presented on the interface, which makes this duplicate file finder for Mac easy to use even for beginners.

After adding a folder or drive to scan, before you click the Start Scan button, you can include or exclude specific files by selecting file types or setting file size limits. Its scan speed is lower when compared to that of the best duplicate file finder for Mac ranked first on the list.

The Remove All Now feature will become available following the completion of the scan, which lets you immediately delete the found duplicate files. But it's recommended to click the Go Fix Them button to check out and preview them first. Thanks to the built-in preview feature, you are able to preview and compare files without having to open them with associated apps. In addition to the Auto-Select feature, there are also several rules to mass select files to delete.

Easy Duplicate Finder provides the PhotosScan mode and iTunesScan mode to deal with the duplicate items in apps. This versatile tool can also find and remove duplicate contacts. However, use caution with this feature because it may not be able to identify them with high accuracy.

Pros

  1. Search for duplicate photos and other common duplicate files
  2. Easy to use and understand interface
  3. Provide multiple scan modes
  4. Allow you to exclude files from scanning
  5. Let you effortlessly preview files
  6. Come with Auto-Select feature along with multiple useful selection rules

Cons

  1. Relatively slow scanning
  2. Occasionally fail to work
  3. A price tag of $59.95

#4 Tidy Up

Compatibility: macOS 10.12.0 or greater

Tidy Up

Developed by Hyperbolic, Tidy Up is a versatile tool to find and remove duplicate files on Mac computers. The latest generation is Tidy Up 5. Its interface may be a little bit overwhelming for new users. But as users get familiar with this Mac duplicate file finder, they will become impressed with its versatility and efficiency.

It comes with two scan modes: Simple mode and Advanced mode. With both modes, you can choose to look for a specific type of duplicate files such as duplicate photos or to find all types. To set this tool to scan for all duplicates regardless of file type, you need to click Other Files and select the option All file kinds. In addition, there are also a number of other scan options and criteria. You can select or unselect based on your need. The Advanced mode allows more customization and is more complicated to use. As advertised, Tidy Up is designed for "pro users". So it comes with a relatively steep learning curve.

Once it finishes checking for duplicate files on Mac, the results window will appear. There, you can sort, view and preview groups of duplicates that have been found. Multiple selection options are available including Automatic Mark. Deleting the unwanted duplicate copies simply requires a click of the Remove button.

Pros

  1. Come with two scan modes
  2. Offer an array of useful scan criteria
  3. Support all common kinds of file types and formats
  4. Let you effortlessly preview duplicate files before deletion
  5. Provide multiple options to sort, preview and mass select files
  6. Support Photos app on Mac

Cons

  1. A bit complicated to use for beginners
  2. Popup reminder constantly asking users to upgrade to new version

#5 Duplicate File Remover PRO

Compatibility: macOS 10.12 or later

Duplicate File Remover PRO

Duplicate File Remover PRO is user-friendly with intuitive interface. With support for all popular file kinds, it can meet most duplicates removal needs of Mac users. It will give users tips and hints throughout the whole process, which is very helpful to new users.

In Preferences, users can choose to scan or skip hidden folders. There is also an option to set the app to ignore small files when scanning. Its Skip List feature enables you to exclude files, folders and extensions. And there are already some pre-added folders and extensions such as .framework. Thanks to the Auto Select feature, you don’t need to select unwanted files to eliminate one by one. Under the Remove tab, you can select a desired elimination method.

However, it’s slightly inconvenient if you need to preview files especially images. There is only one view mode. You can’t preview and compare files side by side. Also, a zoom feature is missing. To zoom in, you have to maximize the app’s window.

Unlike most similar software, this one has a dark interface design. If you are not a fan of dark interfaces, this could be a drawback. It doesn’t have a light theme, and you can’t switch between light and dark themes.

Pros

  1. Support various file types and formats
  2. Features like Help Desk and Cleanup Hints are useful to beginners
  3. Multiple selection rules including Auto Select
  4. Allow users to exclude folders from scanning
  5. Support removing duplicates from iTunes and Photos

Cons

  1. Users can’t zoom in/out preview
  2. No side-by-side preview

#6 Duplicate Detective

Compatibility: OS X 10.7 or later

Duplicate Detective

Duplicate Detective looks less sophisticated due to its simple unattractive interface. It actually excels at identifying duplicates on Mac. It supports image files, music files and some other types.

In Preferences, you can choose removal method, set Auto Select setting, specify file size and exclude file extensions or folders. After scanning, this Mac duplicate finder and remover will list all the spotted duplicates. The preview window is big enough for comfort viewing. You can preview images, videos, PDF files and documents without problem. However, there is only one preview mode. You can set the tool to automatically select all the oldest or newest copies in each group of duplicate files.

When it comes to the scan speed, this Mac duplicate file finder is even slower than Easy Duplicate Finder. So it won’t work efficiently with large file collections.

Pros

  1. Supports various file types and formats
  2. Let you view and preview duplicate files on Mac by file type
  3. Allow lots of flexibility and customization
  4. Enable you to create an alias when deleting duplicates

Cons

  1. Slow scanning
  2. Limited filtering, view and removal options
  3. Sometimes crash

#7 dupeGuru (free)

Compatibility: macOS 10.10 or later, discontinued in 2016

dupeGuru

If you are looking for the best free duplicate file finder for Mac, dupeGuru can be the choice. This cross-platform duplicate file remover has been discontinued and maintained since 2016. There is little chance of any future update for the latest or upcoming macOS versions. It is able to work on newer macOS versions, but there could be compatibility issues.

This open-source, freeware duplicate file finder can find duplicate photos, documents and audios. In the test, this app found 418 duplicates, whereas Cisdem Duplicate Finder found 1162 results. After dupeGuru finishes scanning, you can delete selected duplicates to Trash or move them to a folder of your choosing.

Pros

  1. Free to use
  2. Offer 2 scan types, allowing users to scan by filename or by content
  3. Let users exclude files by file size
  4. Easily scan iTunes library
  5. Provide 2 removal options
  6. Supports PSD files

Cons

  1. Low scan speed when compare to its paid counterparts
  2. Sometimes crash when scanning an entire hard drive
  3. No side-by-side preview available
  4. Users need to manually select duplicate files to delete
  5. Not maintained any more

#8 Araxis Find Duplicate Files (free)

Compatibility: OS X 10.6.8 or later, discontinued in 2013

Araxis Find Duplicate Files

The free Mac duplicate file finder supports a variety of formats just like its paid counterparts do. You can set it to scan selected folders for all duplicates or for certain types of duplicates such as such as images, movies and music files.

It will list all found duplicates in a window, allowing you to sort them by name, format or size. You can zoom in/out in the preview window, but the preview is still not helpful with some images. It can automatically select duplicate items excluding the first occurrence in each group. You can choose to move selected files to Trash or to a folder.

Just as with many freeware apps, this one hasn’t been updated for several years. Another drawback is that it can’t find all duplicates in selected folders. In the test, there were still hundreds of duplicate files that were missed. Also, the selection and deletion functionalities are not very reliable. You need to be cautious with the removal.

Pros

  1. Freeware
  2. Allow users to filter by file type before scan
  3. Various supported file types and formats
  4. Multiple options to select and delete duplicate files on Mac
  5. Auto-select duplicates

Cons

  1. Not updated since 2013
  2. Limited preview feature

Part 2. How to use duplicate file finder

How can I delete duplicate files on my Mac using software? This part will use Cisdem Duplicate Finder as an example and walk you through the process.

  1. Download and install the software. Open it.
  2. Click the plus icon to add a folder, volume or drive.add folder to scan for duplicate files on Mac
  3. This step is optional. Click the settings icon in the corner and customize settings.customize settings
  4. Click Scan.
  5. Once the process is done, view and preview duplicate files found on your Mac.preview duplicate files
  6. Duplicate files are automatically selected for removal. If not satisfied, select a desired rule.select unwanted duplicate files to delete
  7. Make sure that the undesired duplicates are selected. Click Delete.
  8. Click Yes to confirm the deletion.confirm deletion

Conclusion

Why is my Mac duplicating files? There is more than one reason. For example, you have imported the same files from an external hard disk to your Mac twice without realizing it. Duplicate files are useless. They also take up precious storage space. Whatever the reason, if you want to easily get rid of them, it’s important to pick the duplicate file finder for Mac that best suits your need. This way, things can be much easier and more effective. In addition to using software, there are also two possible ways for Mac users to manually find and delete duplicate files. Use Finder's Find command. Or, use Mac's Terminal to locate duplicate files and then eliminate them by hand one by one.

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17 Comments Leave a Reply

  • brownclark

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

    3 years ago REPLY
  • Gina

    The duplicate file finder you recommend is only for Windows.

    3 years ago REPLY
  • 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? :)

    3 years ago REPLY
  • 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.

    3 years ago REPLY
  • Rosa Reyes

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

    3 years ago REPLY
  • 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.

    4 years ago REPLY
  • 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.

    4 years ago REPLY
  • 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.

    4 years ago REPLY
  • Rosa Reyes

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

    4 years ago REPLY
  • gabapentinea

    Regards our friends,

    4 years ago REPLY
  • angelo

    Try DuplicateFilesDeleter. Helped me few months ago.

    4 years ago REPLY
  • pachy

    where can I find a mac version?

    4 years ago REPLY
  • Nina

    As far as i know, this duplicate file finder has no mac version, so I tried Cisdem duplicate finder on my macbook pro, it worked perfectly.

    4 years ago REPLY
  • 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.

    5 years ago REPLY
  • 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.

    5 years ago REPLY
  • Chris

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

    5 years ago REPLY
  • Barbara123

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

    5 years ago REPLY