How to Find and Delete Duplicate Files on Mac?

2019-06-05 03:43:10 / Posted by Rosa Reyes to Utility Follow @ Rosa

Your startup disk is almost full, When this annoying hint pops up, it's time for us to find and remove duplicate files that taking up valuable space on your Mac.

Find duplicate files and folders on Mac manually

First, we can use Mac's Finder to sort and find duplicate files by type and size, here is how to do this.
1. Open the Finder.
2. In the menu, navigate to  File → New Smart Folder.
3. Click the '+' button in the upper-right corner, then you can choose a search type like Kind, Date, Name, File type, and others.

The key is how you sort the results. for example, ordering them by name should bring up any duplicates that are easy to spot.

If you are willing to spend some time on it, you can find many duplicates by size and name. 

For finding duplicate folders, we can use Terminal, just follow the below steps:

- Open Terminal and enter cd ~ followed by the name of the folder you'd like to check for duplicates (for example, to search duplicate files in the Downloads folder, you can type: cd ~/Documents) and press “Enter”. 

- Then copy and paste the following command in Terminal: find . -size 20 \! -type d -exec cksum {} \; | sort | tee /tmp/f.tmp | cut -f 1,2 -d ‘ ‘ | uniq -d | grep -hif – /tmp/f.tmp> duplicate.txt

-after a while, you will get a text file named duplicate.txt in the folder that you have chosen. In this text file, it lists all the duplicates in the folder and you can follow the file to delete all these duplicates manually.

Find duplicates in Photos 

Photos has the ability to check for duplicates when you're trying to import a pic that already exists. use the below method you can easily find duplicates in Photos manually. 

sort your images by size, and by default Photos will categorize images by the date the photos are taken, so you can view and find the images that are large in size and visually the same. 

You can also use iCloud to sync all your photos and then re-upload to your Mac after finding and deleting all duplicate photos.
      1. Sign into your iCloud.

      3. Then go to the Photos - All Photos

      4. While looking at pictures icons, press and keep pressing the Command key and start clicking duplicate or visually similar images one-by-one. then click the delete button on the top corner.
    5. Delete all the duplicate photos and re-upload the photos.


Find and delete duplicate music in iTunes

music files are the bulkiest items that take up space on your Mac if you find the same song played multiple times you can use the build in feature of iTunes to find and remove duplicate music files. Here's how to use it.

Open iTunes on your Mac. Switch to the Library tab and then select "Show Duplicate Items". That's it. 
iTunes will list all the duplicates it found in the main window, allowing you to check and delete it easily.

The above method will find duplicate files by name if you want to delete exact duplicate you can hold the Option key on your keyboard and select the "Show Exact Duplicate Items". This will only show duplicates with the same exact name, artist, and album.

Find other duplicate files 

To find all other duplicate files you can search duplicates via Finder. 

Open up Finder and type a wild card asterisk symbol in the search field, 
 making sure you're searching your whole Mac. and both the Size and Kind columns are displayed

The results will start appearing slowly.  Sort the results by Size, and you can begin checking from the largest duplicated items. 

 Choose to sort by Kind.  Now the list will show you all the files with matching titles side by side. See which ones are actually the same and delete the copies.
Filter the results by Kind, and you will see the list of similar items

The process may be time-consuming, as you need to manually check which ones to keep and which to delete.


How to find duplicate files on Mac?

Duplicate files can be everywhere, so it will be a waste of time and energy thing if we find them by our eyes. Here, I will recommend several third applications to help us find and delete duplicate files.

Free Download

Cisdem DuplicateFinder for mac provides a free version, we can try it before we buy. Also after buying it, it also has 30 days money back guarantee.

  • Scan folder(s) or external hard drives

Run the app and drag the folder(s) you want to scan to the interface then click Scan. Of course, it also supports scan external hard drives, just connects them and choose the folder(s) you want to scan.

  • Overview what kinds of duplicate files

After the scan, there will be 7 categories (Documents, Images, Music, Videos, Archives, Packages, and Others) with both the pie chart and tab view in the result page. In this interface, you can know the exact storage and location of them easily.

After finding the duplicate files, keep or delete? That is a question. So how to delete duplicate files on Mac?

How to delete duplicate files on mac

After find duplicate files, the most exciting thing is deleting them. But think twice about deleting duplicate files, after all the god will not give one more chance to recover the files that deleted forever.

Think before you act about deleting duplicate files! Delete the useless duplicate files is a great way to free up space for your mac. But you will be in trouble if the files deleted that they are useful in the future. It will be so regretful.

Before deleting duplicate files on Mac, Cisdem DuplicateFinder provides safeguards for file deletion you can overview them and unselect what you want to keep. If you are sure they are useless. Click delete, let them go to hell.

When deleting the duplicate files, you can decide whether to delete completely, move to a folder or just remove them to trash. In the setting window, you decide where the duplicate files will go.

Video about how to find and delete duplicate files on Mac with Cisdem DuplicateFinder for mac.

Why so many duplicate files on Mac?

But why are there so many duplicate files on Mac? All of them come from two ways:

  • One is generated by the system itself.
  1. Installed programs
  2. System protects you
  3. Installed applications

The Duplicate files generated by those ways are with legitimate reason, so most of them cannot be deleted if you do not know what exactly they do. If you delete these useful duplicate files by mistake, the mac or application will not be operated successfully.

  •  Another is generated by ourselves
  1. After combining Mac files with external drives files
  2. The photos were taken with burst mode
  3. The same picture download several times
  4. Same files exist in different disks

In this way, most of the duplicate files are useless and can be deleted. But how to find and delete duplicate files on mac what in different depth and folders?

Tips on how to reduce duplicate files on mac

The computer becomes more important in our daily life and work. We look through, download and create many files every day, so avoid duplicate files thoroughly is impossible. In this certain, reduce duplicate files can be a great way to free up our computer. Following are some ways I used to reduce duplicate files.

  1. Delete all the application data after uninstalling the app
  2. Classify the files on my mac
  3. Delete useless transcript in time
  4. Clear up the trash regularly
  5. Tidy your folders regularly
  6. Delete duplicate photos, music, and blurry photos regularly

    Caution:  Before deleting every file, ask yourself three questions.

    • What they will do?
    • Does it have any useful information?
    • Do you really not want them?


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