Top 8 Best Duplicate File Finders for Mac in 2019

2019-06-13 22:33:18 / Posted by Megan Charles to Utility Follow @ Megan

Duplicate files are of no use. They also take up precious storage space on your Mac. By using a duplicate file finder for Mac, you can easily find and remove duplicate files. Thus, you can free up Mac space and better organize your files. We have reviewed software for 5 years. After testing a number of well-known duplicate file finders for Mac, we have picked the best ones for you.

How we tested and picked

To evaluate usability, capability and performance of each app, we installed them on the same iMac running 10.14 Mojave. It is powered by a 3.1 GHz Intel Core i5 Quad-Core processor and has 8GB of RAM and 157GB of data stored.

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. It should be able to provide a balance of basic and advanced options for different duplicate removal needs. In addition, high scanning speed will be a plus.
  • Capability The best duplicate cleaner for Mac should be able to identify duplicate copies of files by content. This way, it will accurately find true duplicates. Also, it’s important to have support for common file types and formats such as photos, audios, documents, etc.
  • Support for iTunes and Photos can be the biggest sources of duplicate files on Mac. If a duplicate finder for Mac can’t work with the two apps, it will be of limited use.
  • Scan options Having of customization a big plus. This way, users can have control over the process by setting options.
  • Preview It’s a must-have feature and is especially useful when it comes to removing duplicate photos.
  • Duplicate removal Features like auto-select will make a duplicate file remover desirable. An option to move selected files to Trash will be useful.

Top pick: The best duplicate file finder for Mac

With these criteria in mind, we picked Cisdem Duplicate Finder for Mac. It can quickly scan for duplicate images, music files, videos, documents, archives and other types of duplicates and delete them all at once. It provides an array of options for scan, preview and removal, along with useful features such as Auto-Select.

This video tutorial takes duplicate example and shows you how to use this app to effortlessly find and delete dupes.

Part 1. Review

Find duplicate files

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 for duplicate files on Mac

Here’s a screenshot of the scan results overview.

overview of duplicate files found

Supporting all common file types and formats, this duplicate-finding app for Mac is able to detect duplicate pictures, songs, videos, archives, documents and other kinds of duplicates. It duplicates into seven categories. For example, you can find all the duplicate photos under the Images tab.

In addition to working as a duplicate photo finder for Mac, it can also look for similar photos. In settings, you can adjust the level of image similarity. It can find the resized, recolored, edited versions of the same photo and other types of similar photos.

find similar images

Using and byte-by-byte comparison, this Mac duplicate file finder can identify true duplicates by content. In other words, it can find duplicate files with different names but same content. Fast scanning and high accuracy possible due to the advanced scanning engine and powerful algorithm.

In addition to Mac’s internal drive, it can also work on external hard drive, SSD, memory card and other storage devices. Just connect an external device to your Mac and let this app work its magic.

Another great thing about this duplicate cleaning utility is its ability to delete duplicates in iTunes and Photos all at once without damaging the libraries. All it takes is a few clicks.

Remove duplicate files

Once this duplicate finder and cleaner for Mac finishes scanning, it will use Smart Select to automatically select duplicate copies for you to remove. You only need to click the Delete button, and selected items will be moved to Trash.

Let’s take a closer look.

In the result window, groups of duplicates will be listed under different tabs based on . You can sort duplicates (by name, size and file type) and search among them. There are three preview modes including side-by-side preview, allowing you to easily view and compare pictures, audios, videos, documents and even spreadsheets.

preview and select duplicate files

Duplicate copies will be automatically marked for deletion. There are four selection rules including Smart Select, Select by Priority, Select Newest and Select Oldest. There are totally eight rules for handing similar photos. You can also select or unselect manually.

With the rule Select by Priority, you need to set the priority before performing the scan. To set, click the gear gear icon icon in the top right corner and choose the Selection tab.

selection rules

By clicking Delete, you can get rid of the identical copies all at once, and they will be moved to Trash by default. You can easily restore them from if needed.

delete duplicate files

Settings and customization

Users are able to have control over the scan and removal process by customize settings.

Before clicking the Scan button, click the gear (setting) icon in the upper right corner of the interface.

  • General Under this tab, you can set this app to scan and identify identicalness by content or filename. You can also select removal method, adjust image similarity and set file size range. For example, if you only want to find files larger than 50 MB, just set the minimum size to 50 MB.select scan method and removal option
  • Ignore List You can exclude folders, subfolders and files from scanning. To make scanning skip a specific file extension/format, just add it to the list. At the bottom of the interface, you can also find options to include or exclude hidden files and bundle files.exclude folders or file extensions from scanning

Also, it’s worth mentioning that this duplicate file finder offers lifetime free upgrades. Users don’t need to pay to upgrade and enjoy the improvements and new features the newer versions have to offer. In addition, free trial is available.

Free Trial

Part 2. How-To

This is a basic guide to finding and deleting duplicate files on in 3 easy steps. To make the most of this utility, please read the review above.

Step 1Add hard drives or folders to scan

Download and install Cisdem Duplicate Finder for Mac. Open it. Drag folders or drives into the app.

Step 2​Scan for duplicate files

Click the gear icon to customize settings if needed. Click Scan. It will start scanning for duplicates based on default or custom settings.

Step 3Preview

Once the scan finishes, you can sort files and preview them in the preview window. You can zoom in/out for better viewing and comparing.

Step 4Delete duplicate files

Make sure that the unwanted duplicate copies are selected. Click Delete.

Its paid competitors

There are also other great duplicate eliminating tools for Mac users to choose from.

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

The Good

Gemini 2 is a -only duplicate finder and remover developed by MacPaw. Using “ 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.

The Not-So-Good

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 is a bit expensive considering this fact.


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

The Good

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.

The Not-So-Good

In our tests, its scan speed was about three times lower than that of the two apps mentioned above. 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.


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

The Good

This duplicate file finder for Mac is good at looking for duplicates with high accuracy and is reliable to use. 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.

The Not-So-Good

When compared with the best 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.


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

The Good

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 throughput 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.

The Not-So-Good

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.


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

The Good

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.

The Not-So Good

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

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 finders for Mac

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 duplicate file finder for Mac freeware users can 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 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.


Terminal

Pros

  1. Free to use
  2. No need to download or install third-party software

Cons

  1. Can’t find all duplicate files
  2. You still need to manually delete files

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 familiar with Terminal. Below is how it works.

Step 1. Go to Finder > Go > Utility. Launch Terminal.

Step 2. Use the cd command to change to the folder you want to scan. For example, if you want to find the duplicates files in your Videos folder, just type cd ~/Videos and press Enter.

Step 3. Type the command: find . -size 20 \! -type d -exec cksum {} \; | sort | tee /tmp/f.tmp | cut -f 1,2 -d ' ' | uniq -d | grep -hif – /tmp/f.tmp > duplicates.txt. Press Enter.

Step 4. Open the file duplicates.txt where you will find a list of duplicates on your Mac. You can manually find and delete them.

Free open source duplicate file finders for Mac are also available. 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.

Conclusion

Generally, a good duplicate file 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 one to keep. It can offer flexible settings on certain file types, so you can concentrate on the more wasteful redundancy. Most of all, it should be easy to use with consistent performance. Taken together, Cisdem Duplicate Finder is undoubtedly your best 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"

    2 years ago REPLY
  • Gina

    The duplicate file finder you recommend is only for Windows.

    2 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? :)

    2 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.

    3 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".

    3 years ago REPLY
  • gabapentinea

    Regards our friends,

    3 years ago REPLY
  • angelo

    Try DuplicateFilesDeleter. Helped me few months ago.

    3 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