How to Find Duplicate Files with Different Names on Mac and PC

Rosa Reyes
time May 25, 2021 Preview 822
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Duplicate files are taking up space on your computer but are no longer useful. You need to find and delete them. Some duplicate files have the same filenames. Some duplicate files have different filenames, and in such a case you need to identify them based on content. This article will show you the best way to quickly find duplicate files with different names but same content for a one-click removal on Mac and Windows.

How to find duplicate files with different names on Mac

If you are a Mac user, Cisdem Duplicate Finder is the best solution. The software finds all types of duplicate files on your computer for you to delete with a single click, no matter whether they have the same names or (slightly or wildly) different names.

Cisdem Duplicate Finder main features:

  • Find duplicate photos, videos, audios, documents, archives and more
  • Find true duplicate files by content regardless of filename
  • Also help detect near duplicate photos
  • Work with computer’s internal hard drive and external USB drives
  • Support Mac’s Photos, iPhoto, Music and iTunes
  • Provide a built-in preview feature
  • Automatically select duplicate files for you to eliminate with a click
  • Also let you select by hand or choose a preset selection rule
  • Safe, fast and easy to use
  • Also available for Windows

Steps to find duplicate files

1. Download and install Cisdem Duplicate Finder. Open it.

Free Download

2. Click the plus icon and add a folder or drive. If you want to find duplicate files between two locations, add them both.

add a folder

3. Click Scan. And the software will start searching for duplicate files by content regardless of filename.

4. Once it’s done, all the found duplicate files are displayed under the All tab. You can also view and preview them by file type such as Images.

view and preview duplicate files

5. The software already smartly and automatically selects all duplicates for you to remove at once.

If the auto-selection doesn’t meet your needs, highlight all items under the All tab with Command-A and choose a desired selection rule.

choose a selection rule

6. Now the unwanted duplicate files are selected. Click Delete.

A few extra steps may be needed when you remove duplicate photos from Mac Photos app. See the official user guide for details.

The best duplicate file finder can effectively find duplicate files on a Mac or a Windows PC, no matter how they are named. Use it to effortlessly get rid of duplicate files and free up space!

How to find duplicate files with different filenames on Windows

Windows PC users can also use Cisdem Duplicate Finder when they want to find the differently named duplicate files on their computers. When comparing files for duplicates, this free duplicate file finder compares only the content of the files and ignores the filename.

1. Download and install Cisdem Duplicate Finder. Open it.

Free Download

2. Click the plus icon to add a folder.

3. Click Scan.

4. When the scan is finished, you can examine the detected duplicate files in the results window.

the results window

5. The boxes next to duplicates are automatically selected for elimination, saving you from manually selecting them. Or, you can do it by hand.

6. Click Delete.


Does the filename matter when you find duplicate files?

Duplicate files are files that are identical in content regardless of filename. It’s possible for them to have the same or different names.

When you manually search for duplicate files, some filenames can give you a hint. For example, duplicates created by copying and pasting are likely to have the word “copy” in the filename. These filenames are easy to sort and spot in a file manager app such as File Explorer, and such duplicates are somewhat easy to find.

When you use the best duplicate file finder software, the filename doesn’t matter or help at all. Such a piece of software uses hashing algorithms (e.g. MD5) or other algorithms to compare files and identify the duplicates.

When a human being identifies duplicate PDF files or photos, he or she will look at the filename and size and view the files in a PDF or image viewer. To make the identification, a duplicate file finder will check the hash value, size and file type or the hash value only (but not the filename), which is automatic and fast. This is why it is quick and effective in finding differently named duplicate files.

check MD5 hash value of a file

How do you manually find duplicate files that have different names?

Also, you can get the job done by hand, which could take hours or longer though. Window’s File Explorer and Mac’s Finder can help. Here I will show you how to do this on a Mac.

1. In Finder, open the folder from which you want to remove duplicates.

2. Control-click Finder in the Dock and choose Find.

3. Switch from This Mac to the folder in question.

4. For convenience’s sake, here I show how to find duplicate photos with different names. Click the Any pop-up menu and choose Image.

the Any pop-up menu

5. Switch to Finder’s Cover Flow view mode and sort image files by size.

6. Now you can find duplicate files by size, kind and preview.

You can move unwanted duplicates to Trash one by one by hand.

These steps are helpful even if the filenames are completely different.


When you find duplicate files with different names but same content, you can do it by hand or using a duplicate file finder. The latter is recommended due to its efficiency, effectiveness and accuracy. It can use advanced algorithms to calculate the hash values of files and determine whether two or more files are identical or not without looking at the filename at all.

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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