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 three types of duplicate file finders.
Compatibility: macOS 13 Ventura or later
Our take: Find duplicates in the Photos app for free
The Photos app included with macOS Ventura or macOS Sonoma has a 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 immediately work either.
There are three possible disadvantages. It’s only available in newer macOS versions. It only supports images and videos. It only works with files that exist in the Photos library. The obvious disadvantage is that there isn’t an option to mass remove duplicates, which makes this tool inefficient in deleting duplicates.
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 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.
Note: macOS itself does provide a way to help users automatically search for duplicate files in a folder, which is to use the Terminal app. However, this method requires command line knowledge and isn’t for everyone, which is why I don’t take a look at it in the article.
I tested most of the popular third party duplicate files finders available for macOS and picked 6 best ones. Let’s first look at a brief comparison of them.
|Find duplicates||Remove duplicates||Support for Photos||Ease of Use|
|Cisdem Duplicate Finder||Great||Great||Yes||Great|
|Duplicate File Finder by Nektony||Great||Great||Yes||Good|
|Easy Duplicate Finder||Great||Great||No||Good|
Below you can find the review of each app.
Compatibility: macOS 10.11 El Capitan or later
Latest version: 6.4.0, released in June 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, 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 one folder/drive or in and across multiple locations. It also supports scanning Photos, iPhoto, Music and iTunes for duplicates.
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.
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, which 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.
Compatibility: macOS 10.13 High Sierra or later
Latest version: 7.3.2, released in October 2023
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 standard mode to scan one or multiple folders for duplicate files at a time. The two additional modes are dedicated to pictures and music respectively, but they do nothing more than automatically adding Picture or Music folder for scanning.
Once duplicate files are found, they will be listed in a window. You can view file details such as name and size. In each set of duplicate files, you can manually select the redundant ones for removal. You can also use the Auto Select feature to automatically do the selection for you.
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 unpolished interface. It actually does a good job of scanning for and removing duplicate files on Mac.
It can find duplicate files in a folder or in and between two folders. The finding process will be slow if there are a large number of files. In addition, it can search for duplicate folders.
If you want to find duplicates in your Mac’s Photos app, check out Duplicate Detective 2, which adds support for Photos. However, I found that several duplicate photos were not detected after I used it several times. There may be some image formats are not within its detection range.
It’s worth mentioning that the app ignores certain files (such as certain system files) when it scans for duplicate files. This helps keep your important files safe and untouched.
Compatibility: macOS 10.6 Snow Leopard or later
Latest version: 126.96.36.199, released in November 2023
Our take: Easy to use and versatile, helping you find duplicate files on Mac, Google Drive and Dropbox
Note that 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.
There are ten scan modes. To scan for duplicate files in folders, the first 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.
Note: But none of the ten modes supports scanning the Photos app for duplicates. Don’t worry. There is actually a solution. Just install an older version (like version 188.8.131.523) of this app. It has a Photos scan mode, which works pretty well.
To help uses efficiently select unwanted duplicates for elimination, it offers a helpful set of selection rules.
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.
Compatibility: macOS 10.15.7 Catalina or later
Latest version: 5.3.1313, released in October 2023
Our take: A data recovery app that can 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. 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.
Compatibility: macOS 10.13 High Sierra or later
Latest version: 3.1.1, released in June 2021
Our take: A free cleaner app with a tool to get rid of duplicate files in Mac’s folders
Shorui is a free app to help Mac users to analyze the disk space, handle duplicate files and better organize files in folders.
Duplicates, one of the three tools offered by this app, can look for duplicate files in and across folders. This simple tool is rather basic and hardly customizable, but its identification of duplicate files is quick and accurate. Its Fast Selection feature makes it also quick to eliminate duplicates.
However, the way it displays the found duplicate files for users to view can be improved. And the Fast Selection feature also needs improvement to offer more flexibility to meet users’ different needs.
What makes a good duplicate file finder for Mac?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Having trouble with duplicate files? just use "DuplicateFilesDeleter program"
The duplicate file finder you recommend is only for Windows.
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? :)
5 out of 5 stars for this only program Cisdem DuplicateFinder. I used this duplicate file finder for years. Others are definitely not recommended.
Hi, Vonnegut, thank you for the support of our product Cisdem DuplicateFinder. We will keep up the good work.
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.
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.
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.
You can subscribe by clicking "SUBSCRIBE" on the lowest right corner of the page and inputting your email address, then clicking "Subscribe".
Regards our friends,
Try DuplicateFilesDeleter. Helped me few months ago.
where can I find a mac version?
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.
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.
Useful article, useful tool. I tried the first one as it seemed better than others. Actually, it did well.
Writer recommended so many duplicate finders, I tried the first one. It was great!!! Thank you!!!