10 Best Duplicate File Finders for Mac of 2024: Paid and Free

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Rosa Reyes
February 20, 2024 Preview 135.4K Preview 17
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Using a duplicate file finder for Mac is way more efficient than manually looking for duplicate files. To help you deal with the duplicate files on your Mac in the best possible way, this article talks in detail about two types of duplicate file finders.

  • Built-in ones: They are included in macOS and free to use. If they are useful enough to you, you don’t need to bother choosing a third-party one. They do a decent job of detecting certain duplicate files. But note that they are not efficient in removing duplicates.
  • Third-party ones: They are far more powerful in finding and deleting duplicate files than the built-in ones. Most of them are independent apps dedicated to handling duplicate files. A few of them are part of some apps (like a Mac cleaner app).

 

2 built-in duplicate file finders in macOS

Duplicate detection in Photos

Compatibility: macOS 13 Ventura or later

Our take: Find duplicate photos and videos in the Photos app for free

The Photos app on macOS Ventura or macOS Sonoma has a built-in duplicate detection tool. It detects certain similar photos in addition to duplicate photos.

This duplicate detection tool is completely automatic and works in the background. You don’t need to start or turn on it. You can’t force it to start the detection immediately either.

There are three limits. This tool is only available in newer macOS versions. It only supports images and videos. It only works with files that exist in the Photos library. The possible disadvantage is that there isn’t an option to mass remove duplicates. You need to deal with every set of duplicate files one by one.

the Photos app showing several sets of duplicate files

Pros

  1. Free to use
  2. Included in macOS
  3. Offer an option to automatically merge a set of duplicates

Cons

  1. No support for file types other than images and videos
  2. Not very efficient in deleting duplicates

 

Show Duplicate Items in Music or iTunes

Compatibility: All macOS versions

Our take: Find duplicates in Music or iTunes for free

Like the Photos app in newer macOS versions, the Music app on Mac also has a duplicate detection tool, which is called Show Duplicate Items. The same tool is also available in iTunes, which is replaced by Music since macOS Catalina.

This tool can quickly find duplicates and non-exact duplicates in Music or iTunes. It’s recommended to start with the former type. To ask this tool to find duplicates, press and hold the Option key and go to File > Library to choose Show Exact Duplicate Items. You need to manually delete the unwanted duplicates, which will take quite a while if there are tons of duplicates. To find non-exact duplicates, go to File > Library to choose Show Duplicate Items.

clicking File > Library in Music bringing up the Show Duplicate Items option

Pros

  1. Free to use
  2. Included in macOS
  3. Quickly find music files that are identical or similar

Cons

  1. No support for file types other than audios
  2. Not efficient in deleting duplicates

Note: macOS also provides a way to help users automatically search for duplicate files in a folder, which requires the use of the Terminal app. This method supports all common file types like images, audios and documents. However, this method requires command line knowledge and is very inefficient in removing duplicates. So this article doesn’t talk about it further.

 

8 best duplicate file finders for Mac

I tested most of the popular third party duplicate files finders available for macOS and picked 8 best ones. These apps can vary in features, ease of use, etc. For example, some apps support working with the Photos app, but some don’t. Let’s first look at a brief comparison of the 8 apps.

  Find duplicates Remove duplicates Support for Photos Ease of Use
Cisdem Duplicate Finder Great Great Yes Great
Gemini 2 Great Great Yes Good
Duplicate File Finder by Nektony Great Great Yes Good
Duplicate Detective Good Good Yes Great
Easy Duplicate Finder Great Great No Good
dupeGuru Good Good No Good
Disk Drill Good Good No Great
Duplicate Manager Good Good No Fair

Below you can find the review of each app.

#1 Cisdem Duplicate Finder

Compatibility: macOS 10.11 El Capitan or later

Latest version: 6.5.0, released in December 2023

Our take: Find all duplicate files on your Mac and help you remove them with a click

Cisdem Duplicate Finder is the best of its kind due to its outstanding performance and ease of use.

Using advanced algorithms, this app identifies duplicate files by content, regardless of filename. It finds duplicate photos, songs, videos, Word documents, PDFs, spreadsheets, presentations, archives and all other types duplicate files. It also finds similar photo files, letting you set the similarity level.

Supporting Mac and external storage devices, Cisdem Duplicate Finder can find duplicate files in and across folders or drives. It also supports scanning Photos, iPhoto, Music and iTunes for duplicates.

Cisdem Duplicate Finder

This app displays the found duplicate files for you to view and automatically selects all duplicates for you to remove with a click. Or, you can decide which files to delete by choosing a selection rule or selecting manually.

Free Download

a list of all the duplicate files that have been found

Pros

  1. Find all types of duplicate files
  2. Scan one or multiple folders/drives/Photos libraries for duplicates at a time
  3. Allow you to exclude folders and files from the scan
  4. Offer 3 preview modes, including a side-by-side preview
  5. Make it easy to delete all duplicate files at once
  6. Offer 3 deletion options: Move to Trash, Remove Permanently and Move to Folder
  7. Provide a Restore from Trash feature
  8. Easy and safe to use

Cons

  1. Incompatible with macOS 10.10 or earlier

 

#2 Gemini 2

Compatibility: macOS 10.10 Yosemite or later

Latest version: 2.9.11, released in October 2023

Our take: A good-looking duplicate file finder with good performance

In addition to the best duplicate file finder Mac described above, there are other great apps to rid your Mac of duplicate files. Gemini 2 is one of them.

People are often impressed by how beautiful Gemini 2 looks. Its performance is equally impressive.

You can use the app to scan folders, the Photos app or the Music app on your Mac for duplicate pictures, duplicate songs and other duplicate files. If you select the Scan for similar files option in Preferences, it will also find similar images and audios, but the scan will take a significantly longer time. If the scan freezes, which could happen occasionally, just quit and reopen Gemini 2 and scan again.

You can manually select unwanted duplicates for removal or let Gemini 2 do that for you. The removed files will go to Trash by default.

There is a Duplicates Monitor feature. Once enabled, this feature automatically detects new duplicate files in real time and notifies users of them. The feature can be helpful, but it uses lots of CPU and may slow down your Mac.

Gemini 2

Pros

  1. Come with a beautiful interface
  2. Quickly find duplicate files and certain similar files
  3. Provide a built-in preview feature
  4. Save users from manually selecting duplicates to eliminate
  5. Can detect newly created duplicate files in real time
  6. Easy to use and customize

Cons

  1. Preview is laggy
  2. Occasionally freezes during scan

 

#3 Duplicate File Finder by Nektony

Compatibility: macOS 10.13 High Sierra or later

Latest version: 8.0.1, released in January 2024

Our take: An easy-to-use app to find identical files and even similar photos

Duplicate File Finder by Nektony is an easy-to-use app to find duplicate pictures, videos, audios and more. In addition, it can find photos or audios that are very similar. Also, there is an optional feature to find duplicate folders.

There are three scan modes. You can use the default mode to scan one or multiple folders for duplicate files at a time. The two additional modes are dedicated to handling pictures and music respectively, but they do nothing more than automatically adding the Picture or Music folder for scanning.

The found duplicate files will be listed in a window. You can preview images and view file details such as name and size. It’d be better if it allowed you to preview a set of duplicate images side by side. In each set of duplicate files, you can manually select the redundant one(s) for removal. You can also use the Auto Select feature to automatically do the selection.

Duplicate File Finder by Nektony

Pros

  1. Find duplicate files as well as folders
  2. Find similar photos, which can be slow though
  3. Provide an Auto Select feature to improve efficiency
  4. Provide a feature to restore deleted duplicates
  5. Provide a tool to compare two files byte by byte

Cons

  1. Put Back option not available for duplicates moved to Trash by this app

 

#4 Duplicate Detective

Compatibility: macOS 10.7 Lion or later

Latest version: 1.99.3, released in March 2022

Our take: A basic but useful app to search for and eliminate duplicate files

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

It can find duplicate files in and between folders. But the finding process will be slow if there are a large number of files. In addition, it can search for duplicate folders. But it lacks advanced features like similar file detection.

Although being basic, this app supports finding duplicates in Mac’s Photos app. However, in the test, it failed to find duplicate raw image files in Photos due to its lack of support for raw image formats.

It’s worth mentioning that by default this app ignores certain files (such as certain system files) when it scans for duplicate files. This helps keep your important files untouched.

Duplicate Detective

Pros

  1. Scan your Mac for duplicate files and folders
  2. Let you conveniently preview duplicate files
  3. Offer an Auto Select feature to facilitate the removal of duplicates
  4. Easy for everyone to use
  5. Compatible with old macOS versions

Cons

  1. A bit slow
  2. Preview is laggy
  3. Not that customizable

 

#5 Easy Duplicate Finder

Compatibility: macOS 10.6 Snow Leopard or later

Latest version: 7.26.0.51, released in November 2023

Our take: Easy to use and versatile, helping you find duplicate files on Mac, Google Drive and Dropbox

(This app’ newer versions don’t support old macOS versions like macOS 10.6. Only its older versions do.)

You probably have heard about Easy Duplicate Finder. It’s a very well known duplicate finder for Mac and for Windows PC.

It provides ten scan modes. To scan for duplicate files in folders, the default mode is recommended. The Music scan mode can be the choice is you only want to find duplicate songs. There are even two modes for Google Drive and Dropbox respectively.

However, none of the ten modes supports the Photos app. The fact is that duplicates in the Photos app are often the duplicate files that Mac users want to take care of most. Luckily, there’s a workaround. Some old versions (like version 5.25.0.1073) of Easy Duplicate Finder have a Photos scan mode.

To help uses efficiently select unwanted duplicates for elimination, this app offers a helpful set of selection rules.

Easy Duplicate Finder

Pros

  1. Offer multiple scan modes for different purposes
  2. Let you scan one or multiple folders for duplicates simultaneously
  3. Let you exclude folders and files from the scan
  4. Provide an Auto Remove feature for a quick removal of duplicates
  5. Come with built-in instructions to guide you through the whole process
  6. Easy to use and customize, even for novice users
  7. Versatile

Cons

  1. Pretty slow
  2. Support for Photos not available in newer versions of this app

 

#6 dupeGuru

Compatibility: macOS 10.12 Sierra or later

Latest version: 4.3.1, released in July 2022

Our take: A free and open-source duplicate file finder with fair performance and a rich set of options

Are you looking for the best free duplicate file finder Mac? dupeGuru can be the choice.

This freeware app has three scan modes: Standard, Music and Picture. Each mode has different scan options. The Standard mode allows you to identify general duplicate files by content or name. Identifying by content can find duplicate files with different names.

The Music mode is specialized in looking for duplicate audio files. You can set it to find duplicates by content, name or tag.

Dedicated to working with image files, the Picture mode can help you find duplicate image files. There are a few options available for this mode. For example, you can set the Filter hardness. If the Filter hardness is less than 100, dupeGuru will also find similar pictures.

Note that dupeGuru only supports folders. It’s not a good idea to use it to find duplicates in other places (such as the Photos app) on your Mac.

dupeGuru

Pros

  1. Completely free to use
  2. Provide 3 scan modes to find different types of duplicate files
  3. Can also look for similar images
  4. Offer an option to save the scan results
  5. Let you select all duplicates to delete with a click
  6. Fairly configurable

Cons

  1. Occasionally not responding when scanning
  2. The preview feature needs improvement
  3. No proper support for the Photos app

 

#7 Disk Drill

Compatibility: macOS 10.15.7 Catalina or later

Latest version: 5.4.1426, released in December 2023

Our take: A data recovery app that provides a tool to quickly find duplicate files in folders on a Mac

Paid data recovery app Disk Drill has a bunch of extra tools, which are free. The Find Duplicates tool is one of them. Some other extra tools are S.M.A.R.T monitoring (which monitors the health of disks), and Clean Up (which analyzes disk space to help you optimize storage).

This free duplicate file finder tool can quickly search a folder on Mac for duplicates. It’s actually the fastest of all the tested apps. But note that it only supports working with folders.

Once the search is complete, you will be presented with the results window. There, you can view the found duplicates and remove the ones that you don’t want to keep. By default, the removed files will go to Trash.

If you happen to have Disk Drill installed on your Mac, you can check out the Find Duplicates tool. If not, it’s better to get a dedicated app, especially if you want to make the Photos app duplicate free.

Disk Drill

Pros

  1. Free to use
  2. Find duplicate picture, videos, audios and some other duplicates
  3. Scan fast
  4. Ease to use for everyone
  5. Come with other helpful tools

Cons

  1. No support for the Photos app
  2. The preview feature is not convenient
  3. Little customizability

 

#8 Duplicate Manager

Compatibility: macOS 10.8 Mountain Lion or later

Latest version: 1.4.4, released in January 2024

Our take: A fairly customizable app to scan for duplicate files Mac’s folders

(An app called Shorui used to be on this list. However, Shorui is now not available for download. Therefore, I replace it with another app.)

As the name suggests, Duplicate Manager is an app dedicated to dealing with duplicate files.

This app can scan one or multiple folders on Mac for duplicate images, videos, documents and other common duplicate files. Although it also allows you to scan for duplicate files in the Photos app, it actually doesn’t properly support Photos. Deleting the duplicates items in Photos that found by this app is very likely to damage your Photos library, which should definitely be avoided.

Duplicate Manager is customizable, allowing you to control what duplicate files to scan for and how the scan works. For example, there are five different modes to compare files to identity duplicates. However, the interface is not that intuitive. Some settings and options are somewhat hidden.

You need to get the paid (or pro) version of this app to mass remove duplicates. Otherwise you need to remove duplicates one by one.

Duplicate Manager

Pros

  1. Find common types of duplicate files
  2. Customizable enough
  3. Provide a schedule feature to regularly find duplicate files

Cons

  1. A little bit slow
  2. May lead to a damaged Photos library
  3. Interface can be improved

 

Frequently asked questions

What makes a good duplicate file finder for Mac?

  • Perfectly compatible with your Mac
  • Find all duplicate files
  • Support Mac’s Photos app and Music app
  • Let you conveniently preview and view duplicate files
  • Automatically select duplicates for removal
  • Give you the option to select duplicates yourself
  • Display confirmation dialog when removing
  • Make it easy to restore mistakenly deleted files
  • Easy and safe to use
  • Give users enough control

How do I use a duplicate file finder?

Step 1. To find duplicate files in a location, add the location to scan. If there are files and folders or subfolders that you want to exclude from the scan, specify them.

Step 2. Start the scan.

Step 3. When the scan is done, decide which duplicate files to delete. Or, let the app decide for you. It’s recommended to explore the selection feature if available, which helps quickly do the selection exactly based on your need.

Step 4. Remove unwanted duplicates. It’s recommended to move them to the Trash, which makes it easy to restore deleted files when needed.

 

Conclusion

Removing duplicate files can free up storage space, making room for new files and 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. Which one is the best? Well, I hope going through the above listed candidates can help you easily answer the question.

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Rosa Reyes
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Rosa has worked in Mac software industry for more than eight years. She believes that the purpose of software is to make life better and work more productively. In addition to writing, Rosa is also an avid runner.

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Comments (17) 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.

    2 years ago commonReply

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  • brownclark

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

    7 years ago commonReply

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    • Gina

      The duplicate file finder you recommend is only for Windows.

      7 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? :)

    7 years ago commonReply

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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.

    7 years ago commonReply

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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.

      7 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.

    8 years ago commonReply

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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.

      8 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.

    8 years ago commonReply

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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".

      8 years ago
  • gabapentinea

    Regards our friends,

    8 years ago commonReply

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  • angelo

    Try DuplicateFilesDeleter. Helped me few months ago.

    8 years ago commonReply

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    • pachy

      where can I find a mac version?

      8 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.

    8 years ago commonReply

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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.

    9 years ago commonReply

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  • Chris

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

    9 years ago commonReply

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  • Barbara123

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

    9 years ago commonReply

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