How to Compare Two Folders for Duplicate Files and Delete Duplicate Files

Rosa Reyes
time April 15, 2022 Preview 3.1K
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There can be duplicate files between two folders. Unnecessary duplicate files take up storage space and can lead to disorganization. This article will show you how to compare two folders for duplicate files and mass delete unwanted duplicates easily.

 

Part 1. How to compare two folders for duplicate files on Mac

If you are a Mac user, you can use Cisdem Duplicate Finder to quickly find duplicate files in and across folders and effortlessly remove duplicates.

Cisdem Duplicate Finder finds all types of duplicate files such as duplicate images and duplicate documents. It can scan your Mac and external storage devices for duplicate files. It can also search for duplicates in Photos, iPhoto, Music and iTunes.

You can use the app to scan one folder or multiple folders for duplicate files at a time. When scanning, it will compare all files, including those in subfolders (if any), and detect the identical ones.

Steps: How to compare two folders and find the duplicate files between them on Mac

1. Download and install Cisdem Duplicate Finder. The app is compatible with macOS 10.11 or later, including macOS Monterey.

Free Download

2. Click the plus icon and add the two folders that you want to compare.

two folders are added for comparison

3. Click Scan.

4. When it finishes comparing folders for duplicate files, the All tab will display all the duplicate files that are found. Sort, preview or view them if needed.

The All tab displaying duplicates files found in two folders

5. The app decides for you which duplicate files to remove and automatically selects duplicates for mass removal. If you want, you can customize the selection manually or by choosing a selection rule .

6. Click Delete to delete selected files.

7. Click OK to confirm the deletion.

the deletion confirmation dialog box

Now the deleted files go to Trash. And there aren’t any duplicate files between the two folders on your Mac.

Tip

After you finish the comparison, if you want to control from which folder to remove the found duplicate files, follow this tip.

In step 3, before you click the Scan button, go to Preferences . Click the Selection tab. Select the Select duplicates for removal from prioritized location option. Click the plus icon and add the folders that you compare. Select the folder from which you’d like to remove duplicates, set a higher priority value such as 10. Select the other folder and set a lower priority value such as 1.

the Selection tab showing that priority values are set for Folder A and Folder B

In step 5, highlight all items under the All tab with Command-A. Click the list icon and choose the Select by Priority rule.

A screenshot showing that the Selection tab is chosen

Free Download

Part 2. How to compare two folders for duplicate files in Windows 10 and Windows 11

Windows PC users can also use Cisdem Duplicate Finder to compare folders and delete duplicate files.

The app will take a look in your selected folders, compare the images, audios, videos, texts and all other files in the folders (including the ones in subfolders), and find duplicates based on content. You can then get rid of the unnecessary duplicates.

1. Download and install Cisdem Duplicate Finder. The app is compatible with Windows 10 (64-bit) and Windows 11.

Free Download

2. Drag the folders that you are going to compare into the app.

2 folders are added to compare

3. Click Scan, and the app will start comparing folders and checking for the duplicate files in and across them.

4. Once the scan is done, you will be presented with the results window, which displays all the found duplicate files for you to view and sort.

the results window showing the found duplicate files

5. Select the unneeded duplicate files to delete, which Cisdem Duplicate Finder has already done automatically.

duplicates are selected

6. Click Delete.

The deleted files will go to the Recycle Bin.

Conclusion

When you compare two folders for duplicate files on your Mac or Windows PC, if there are only a few files in the folders, you can manually identify duplicates and eliminate the unwanted ones. But that’s often not the case.

When it comes to folders containing tons of files, the best choice is to use duplicate file finder software. The steps described above are easy to follow. And you have control over how folders are compared and how duplicate files are deleted.

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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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