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

2020-03-02 03:09:37 / Posted by Megan Charles to Utility Follow @ Megan

If you are overwhelmed with choices when looking for a duplicate file finder for Mac, this article will help. Here you can find a list of the top 8 free and paid deduplication software for Mac. All of the apps featured here are comprehensive and work with common file types such as photos, audios, videos and documents. So dedicated duplicate photo finders don’t make their way onto this list even though some of them are very useful.

How we tested and picked

To evaluate the usability, capability and performance of each app, we installed and ran the apps on the same Mac and tested them using the same folders.

What makes a good duplicate file finder for Mac? Here are the basic criteria we consider when testing and reviewing.

  • Ease of use It should be easy to use with user-friendly interface so that even new users can efficiently navigate the software and use it to look for and delete duplicates. There should be a balance of basic and advanced options for different deduplication needs. Also, high scanning speed can be a plus.
  • Capability The best deduplication software should be able to compare files and detect similarity by content so as to accurately find true duplicate files. Also, it’s important to have support for common file types and formats such as photos, music files, documents, etc.
  • Support for Apple's stock apps like iTunes The best duplicate file finder Mac users can use should does a good job of removing duplicates from iTunes, Music, Photos and iPhoto. With these apps, duplicates are a common issue.
  • Multiple scan and removal options High flexibility and customizability can also be a big plus. Users should have control over the process of detecting and deleting dupes.
  • Preview It’s a must-have feature and is an especially important criterion when it comes to choosing the best duplicate photo finder.
  • Removal in one go Features like mass selection and mass deletion will make a duplicate file finder remover desirable.

The best duplicate file finder for Mac 2019 - 2020

#1 Cisdem Duplicate Finder for Mac

With these criteria in mind, we picked Cisdem Duplicate Finder. It can quickly scan for duplicate photos, songs, videos, documents, archives and other types of duplicates and delete them all at once. There is an array of options for scan, preview, selection and removal, along with useful features like Auto-Select.

Pros

  1. Find duplicate photos, audios, videos, docs, packages and other duplicate files
  2. Also detect similar images with adjustable similarity level
  3. Remove duplicates from Photos, iPhoto, iTunes & Music
  4. Allow you to add multiple folders and drives to scan
  5. Work with Mac's internal storage, external HD, SD card, Google Drive and more
  6. Offer multiple scan modes, filtering options, selection rules and removal methods
  7. Provide 3 preview modes including side-by-side comparison
  8. Come with features like Ignore List, Auto-Select & 1-Click Deletion
  9. Compatible with macOS 10.10 or later, including 10.15 Catalina
  10. Help free up disk space and better manage files

Cons

  1. No support for macOS versions prior to 10.10

Free Download

At a glance

Supporting all common file types and formats, the best duplicate file finder for Mac can quickly and accurately find duplicate images, audios, videos, movies, Word documents, PDFs, spreadsheets, ebooks, packages, etc. and delete them all at once.

It uses the MD5 value check-sum algorithm and can do byte-by-byte comparison. The high performance makes it the best choice. A test speaks louder than words. 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

results overview

In addition to supporting Mac’s internal hard drive, it can also be used to look for and eliminate duplicate files on external SSD and HDD, memory cards, digital cameras, USB flash drives, cloud drives and more.

It's also considered the best duplicate photo finder for Mac due to its perfect support for Photos app and excellent preview feature. Additionally, you can also use it to search for similar images on your device. The level of image similarity is adjustable.

The interface is simple and intuitive so that even new users can use it to easily get rid of unwanted files and free up space. There are a number of features and options, including both basic and advanced ones.

Free Download

How to delete duplicate files on Mac in 4 easy steps

Step 1Add folders or drives to scan

Download and install Cisdem Duplicate Finder. Launch it. Click the add icon the add icon and add one or multiple folders or volumes or disks. Click the Scan button.

You can customize settings before clicking Scan. We will talk about this in the In depth section.

add folders

Step 2Preview duplicates

Once the scan is finished, you can find all the duplicate files under the All tab. They are grouped into seven categories. For example, duplicate photos are listed under the Images tab.

There are three preview modes, including side-by-side comparison. You can zoom in or out for better view.

preview

Step 3Mass select files to remove

The best duplicate file finder for Mac will automatically select duplicate copies for you to delete with one click. There are also four selection rules provided. In addition, you can select or deselect manually.

select duplicate files on Mac to delete

Step 4Remove duplicate files on Mac with one click

Click the Delete button in the bottom right corner.

click the button to delete duplicate files


In depth

There are a number of things that you can do to make the deduplication even more efficient. Let’s take a closer look.

Before scan4 things you can do

Before you click the Scan button, click the settings icon settings icon in the top right corner, which will bring up a new window with three tabs: General, Ignore List and Selection.

  • Choose a scan method You can set the app to scan and identify duplicate files by content (the default method) or filename.general settings
  • Set file size range Go to the Select Minimum and Maximum file size section. If you want the scan to skip files smaller than, say, 50 MB, just the set minimum size to 50 MB.
  • Add folder exclusion Go to the Ignore List tab, click the add icon and add folders or files, which will set the scan to exclude specific folders or files.the ignore list
  • Add file type exclusion Under the same tab, you can tell the app to ignore files of specific formats.
Selection rulesHow it mass selects items for removal

Once the scan is completed, the app will automatically select duplicate files to eliminate. It's convenient. If needed, you can re-select by choosing a selection rule.

choose a selection rule

With Select by Priority, you need to set it up before scan. Go to Settings the settings icon > Selection. Check Select duplicates for removal from prioritized location. Set priorities based on your need and according to the instruction provided.

set priorities

Removal methodsHow it deletes files

Under the General tab, choose a desired method. Move to Trash is the default method, which makes it easy to restore deleted items.

Similar imagesHow it deals with similar images

The best duplicate file finder for Mac can also find similar photos and pictures. You can customize the image similarity level under General.

similar images

After the scan, find the images by going to Images > Similar. For them, there are eight selection rules available. To find out more, please check out this guide.

eight selection rules

Free download the best Mac duplicate file finder and explore what it has to offer!

Free Download


#2 Gemini 2

Pros

  1. Impressively good-looking user interface which is also easy to use
  2. Good at finding various types of duplicates such as duplicate pictures
  3. Fast scanning
  4. Supports iTunes and Photos
  5. Offers multiple scan filtering options and removal methods
  6. Can remove duplicates in a safe manner by moving them to Trash

Cons

  1. Memory hungry
  2. The preview feature is not handy enough
  3. Smart Cleanup may cause wrong deletion
  4. A bit costly

preview

There are also other great duplicate eliminating tools for Mac users to choose from. Gemini 2 is a Mac-only duplicate finder and remover developed by MacPaw. Using smart scanning algorithms, Gemini 2 does a good job of detecting duplicate files on Mac. The app supports common file types such as images, music and documents. It also supports removing duplicates from iTunes and apps.

It provides multiple scan filtering and removal options, allowing users to control how it looks for and removes duplicates. By default, it will automatically mark duplicate copies to delete, which is convenient. In addition, there are some useful minor features such as restoring previous scan results.

In the latest update, which was rolled out on October 9, 2019, it added the ability to find duplicates in the new Apple Music app. The app is regularly updated, and we can expect a new version earlier 2020.

However, according to our test, the preview function needs improvement. Users can switch between list view and grid view, but neither mode is handy enough for an easy preview and comparison. Also, it occasionally fails to preview PNG images.

One of the main complaints from users is the Smart Cleanup feature. After the scan process, the Smart Cleanup button will show up. Some users clicked the button only to find the app wrongly deleting files. For local files, you are able to restore them from Trash. If the files are deleted from an external storage device, they will be gone for good.

It requires a yearly subscription, and users have to pay every year to continue using it. The price of $19.95 per year is a bit expensive.


#3 Easy Duplicate Finder

Pros

  1. Can find duplicate audios, videos, pictures and more
  2. Multiple easy-to-set settings for scan
  3. Multiple scan modes
  4. Lets users easily preview duplicates
  5. Ability to search for duplicates in Google Drive and Dropbox
  6. Automatically marks files for deletion

Cons

  1. Expensive, costing $39.95 for one-year subscription
  2. Slow scanning
  3. Some scan modes such as iTunes Scan and Email Mode are actually not helpful

view and preview duplicates

This duplicate file finder for Mac uses SHA256 checksum and byte-by-byte comparison to find duplicate images, videos, music files and more. The interface is simple and easy to understand. Even those who are new to such software can easily navigate and use it.

You can easily specify file types for scanning. When scanning your entire Mac for duplicates, you can exclude folders if needed. For quick removal, you can click the Remove All Now option, but it’s recommended to check out and preview the found duplicates before removal. With the built-in preview feature, you can view and compare files without having to open them. There are several rules to batch mark files. In addition, Auto-Select makes it easy to select and remove duplicates all at once. It also allows users to scan Google Drive and Dropbox, which requires decent Internet connection and may take hours.

In our tests, its scan speed was about three times lower than that of the best duplicate file finder for Mac. Easy Duplicate Finder is versatile and powerful and even enables users to scan for duplicate contacts and emails. However, use caution when you try these features. It’s not able to find duplicate contacts or emails with high accuracy. For the sake of data safety, don’t delete the detected duplicates without checking them out. The iTunes Scan mode and Photos Scan mode don’t work for some users.


#4 Tidy Up

Pros

  1. Two scan modes: Simple mode and Advanced mode
  2. Offers an array of scan criteria
  3. Supports various file types and formats
  4. Lets users easily preview duplicates before deletion
  5. Multiple sorting options and preview modes

Cons

  1. Complex to use
  2. Not very user-friendly interface
  3. A bit costly
  4. Popup reminder constantly asking users to upgrade to new version

use simple mode to scan for duplicate files

This duplicate file finder for Mac is good at looking for duplicates with high accuracy and is reliable to use. The developer has released several generations, with Tidy Up 5 being the latest. Users can choose between two scan modes: Simple mode (default) and Advanced one. It can find duplicates of a variety of types such as photos and music. If you have no idea how to use this app, the wizard can help you out.

In Simple mode, you can find an array of search criteria for looking for duplicate images, music files, etc. You can select or unselect based on your need. The Advanced mode allows more customization and is more complicated to use. Once the scan finishes, it will list the detected duplicate copies. You can sort them by filename or size. There are four preview modes, allowing you to conveniently check out duplicates.

When compared with the top rated of its kind, its scanning speed is a bit slow. The interface is not intuitive, especially when it comes to scan filtering. New users will have to spend time getting familiar with how to use the app.


#5 Duplicate File Remover PRO

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

find duplicate files on Mac using Duplicate File Remover Pro

Duplicate File Remover PRO is easy to use with an intuitive user interface. With support for all popular file types, 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 for 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 users to exclude files, folders and extensions. By default, there are already some pre-added folders and extensions such as .framework. Under the Remove tab, you can select a desired removal method. If needed, you can click the Restore Defaults to remove customized settings. Thanks to the Auto Select feature, you don’t need to select unwanted files one by one.

It’s 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, so you can’t switch between light and dark modes.


#6 Duplicate Detective

Pros

  1. Supports various file types
  2. Useful preview feature
  3. Allows users to create an alias when deleting duplicates
  4. Lovely price of $4.99

Cons

  1. Very slow scanning
  2. Limited filtering, view and removal options
  3. Sometimes crashes

duplicate file finder for Mac

Duplicate Detective looks less sophisticated than the best duplicate file finder for Mac due to its simple unattractive interface. It actually excels at identifying duplicates on Mac. It supports image files, audios, documents 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 easily preview images, videos, PDF files and documents without problem. However, there is only one preview mode, and you can’t view and compare files side by side. You can set the tool to automatically select all the oldest or newest copies in each duplicate group.

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

Note: If you are also using or have used Windows, you may have heard of apps like Auslogics Duplicate File Finder and Ashisoft Duplicate File Finder. They are excellent, but unfortunately, they currently don't provide macOS versions.

Comparison of the best duplicate file finders for Mac

  Performance Speed Support iTunes & Photos Scan filter Preview Auto-select
Cisdem Duplicate Finder Great Very fast Yes Yes Yes Yes
Gemini 2 Great Fast Yes Yes Yes Yes
Easy Duplicate Finder Great Slow No Yes Yes Yes
Tidy Up Decent Slow Yes Yes Yes No
Duplicate File Remover PRO Decent Medium Yes Yes Yes Yes
Duplicate Detective Decent Very slow No Yes Yes Yes

The best free duplicate file finder for Mac 2019 - 2020

#1 dupeGuru

Pros

  1. Free to use
  2. Easy to use with a simple interface
  3. 2 scan types allowing users to scan by filename or by content
  4. Allows users to exclude files by file size
  5. Easily scan iTunes libraries
  6. 2 removal options
  7. Supports PSD files

Cons

  1. Slow scan when compare with its paid counterparts
  2. Sometimes crashes when scanning an entire hard drive
  3. No side-by-side preview available
  4. Users need to manually select duplicate files before deleting
  5. Discontinued and not maintained any more

What is the best free duplicate file finder for Mac users to use? dupeGuru is the one we picked. It is a cross-platform duplicate file remover. dupeGuru has been discontinued since 2016. It is not maintained. There is little chance of any future update for the latest or upcoming macOS versions.

This open-source, freeware app 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 specific folder.


#2 Araxis Find Duplicate Files

Pros

  1. Freeware
  2. Allows users to filter by file type before scan
  3. Various supported formats
  4. Multiple selection and removal options
  5. Auto-selects duplicates

Cons

  1. Not updated since 2013
  2. Limited preview feature
  3. Can’t find resized images

scan, preview and remove duplicate copies

The app is easy to use and supports a variety of formats just like its paid counterparts. You can set it to scan selected folders for all duplicates or for certain type(s) of duplicates such as such as images, movies, music files, PDF files, presentations and documents. 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. This freeware app can automatically select duplicate items excluding the first occurrence of each item. You can choose to move selected unwanted files to Trash or to a folder.

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

There are still other free, open-source duplicate file finders for Mac. GDuplicateFinder, for example, is made to find and remove duplicates. You can use it to scan your files and compare them in search for the duplicate ones. It allows you to stop, resume and save the scanning and searching, which is convenient.

In addition, one can also use Terminal. Terminal is the terminal emulator built-in to macOS. It’s possible to find duplicate files on Mac with Terminal, but it’s recommended not to use this method if you are not comfortable with command line.

Conclusion

Generally, a good duplicate finder for Mac can search for files with the same name, the same size, and/or the exact same contents. It helps you examine each file and decide which ones to keep. The best duplicate file finder Mac users can choose should offer flexible settings and enough options. Also, it should be easy to use with consistent performance. Taken together, Cisdem Duplicate Finder is undoubtedly the top choice to find duplicate files on Mac.

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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.

    3 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.

    3 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?

    3 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.

    3 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.

    4 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.

    4 years ago REPLY
  • Chris

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

    4 years ago REPLY
  • Barbara123

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

    4 years ago REPLY