How to Find and Mass Delete Google Drive Duplicate Files

Rosa Reyes
time July 05, 2021 Preview 7.3K
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Google Drive is one of the most popular cloud storage services. It allows users to easily store, share, access and collaborate on files from anywhere. As with any service, it’s not flawless. Users have complained about the Google Drive duplicate files problem.

The duplicate files in your Google Drive account take up precious space. Also, they can make it harder to find the files you need. This article will talk about how to find and delete duplicate files in Google Drive and how Google deals with the duplicate files problem.

 

How to find and delete Google Drive duplicate files in bulk

Here I will show you the best way to find the exact duplicate files in your Google Drive and get them deleted all at once quickly and safely on Mac and Windows.

Exact duplicates are duplicate files (such as duplicate images, documents and songs) that are exactly the same in content regardless of filename.

How to find and remove duplicate files in Google Drive on Mac

1. Download and install the official Google Drive app. Set it up and sync your Google Drive files to computer. This tip shows you how to set it up and sync.

sync your Google Drive files

2. Download and install Cisdem Duplicate Finder, the best duplicate file finder. Open it.

Free Download

3. Click the plus icon , select Google Drive and click Open.

select Google Drive

4. Click Scan.

click Scan

5. Once it finishes scanning Google Drive for duplicate files, you can view and preview the found Google Drive duplicate files.

preview duplicate files

6. This Google Drive duplicate file finder’s auto mode already smartly select duplicate files for mass deletion. If needed, you can choose a desired selection rule or select by hand.

choose a selection rule if needed

7. Make sure the unwanted duplicates are selected. Click Delete to remove these duplicate files from Google.

Now the official Google Drive app will automatically detect and sync back the removal of duplicates to the cloud. As a result, the Google Drive duplicate files in your account are also deleted instantly.

sync back the removal of duplicates

By following these steps, you can effortlessly find and eliminate all the exact duplicate files in your Google Drive, such as duplicate photos, documents, spreadsheets, audios, etc.

How to find duplicate files in Google Drive on Windows PC

1. Use the Google Drive app to sync Google Drive with your PC.

2. Download and install the Windows version of Cisdem Duplicate Finder.

Free Download

3. Open this Google Drive duplicate finder and remover. Add the Google Drive folder on your PC.

4. Click Scan.

5. Once the scan is completed, you will find a list of all the Google Drive duplicate files. You can easily preview and examine them.

a list of all the Google Drive duplicate files

6. The app has already automatically batch selected Google Drive duplicate files for removal. Or, you can select them by hand.

7. Click the Delete button to get rid of all the selected duplicate files in Google Drive.

Tip

You can use the official Google Drive desktop app to sync your Google Drive files to your computer for duplicate removal.

1. Download the Google Drive app from the official website. Install it.

2. Open the app. You can access the Google Drive app by clicking its icon in the top menu bar on Mac or the taskbar on Windows 10.

3. Access the app and click Sign In.

click Sign In

4. Sign in with your Google account. The app will restart.

5. In the Welcome to Google Drive window, click Open Google Drive folder, which will open the Google Drive folder in Finder (Mac) or File Explorer (Windows).

Welcome to Google Drive window

6. Access the Google Drive app and check if all the files are synced to your computer. When the sync is done, you will see the “Everything is up to date” message.

Everything is up to date message

Now, you can start using the guide above to find and remove your Google Drive duplicate files.

How does Google Drive handle multiple copies of same file?

Google Drive does have some measures to prevent unnecessary duplicate files from appearing. Let’s look at them.

Does google drive upload duplicates?

Years ago, if you tried to upload duplicate files to Google Drive, your files would be uploaded and got filenames like this File (1), File (2) and so on, which could cause confusion and made it harder to organize files.

Now Google can skip duplicate uploads. When you upload a file to Google Drive, if you reupload the same file, or if there is already a file with the same name and format in your Google Drive, the duplicate copy will be detected and not uploaded. But there is an option called “Keep as separate file”. If you click it, the duplicate will be uploaded with filename like File (1).

Keep as separate file option

According to my tests, Google Drive can identify duplicate files only based on the filename and file format. The content isn’t taken into consideration. The identification and detection can still be improved. Also, the detection won’t work if you upload the same file to different Google Drive folders separately.

Why does Google Drive create duplicate files?

Some Google Drive duplicate files are created during upload. Also, Google Drive’s long-time desktop sync solution “Backup and Sync” could duplicate files sometimes, creating file copies with (1) in filename.

Does Google Drive create duplicate files after editing?

When it comes to multiple copies of the same Office file such as a Word document or an Excel spreadsheet, Google Drive will merge them and only keep the latest uploaded version (with the other versions being available for viewing and restoring). For example, to access the older versions of a document, choose to open it with Google Docs. In the menu bar, select File > Version history > See version history.

view version history

Does Google Drive detect and remove duplicate files?

Google Drive doesn’t detect the existing duplicate files in your account, less alone remove them.

How to stop Google Drive from duplicating files?

The Back up and Sync app may create duplicate files due to your settings. For such a case, a Google Drive user figured out a solution and shared it.

a solution

Other ways to eliminate duplicates in Google Drive

#1 Use browser extension to remove Google Drive duplicate files

If you are a Google Chrome or Firefox user, you can use an extension called Duplicate File Finder, Cleaner for Drive to detect and delete duplicates in Google Drive. Note that you will be asked to authorize the tool to access your Google Drive.

... give it permission to do absolutely anything it likes with the files in drive as well as with the contact details of the people that you share those files with! ― by a Google Drive user

1. Install this duplicate files deleter to your Chrome. Click Apps in the bookmark bar and then click this extension.

2. Click Scan the entire drive, and a login window will pop up. Click Login & Authorize and sign in using your Google account.

setting

Please do read the notification and learn about the risks. Click Allow if you want to continue.

ask for access to Google account

3. Copy the code you see and switch back. Paste the code in the box and click Login.

copy authorization code

4. You can choose to scan the entire Google Drive or selected folders for duplicate files. Here we select Scan the entire drive.

use browser extension to scan Google Drive for duplicate files

5. In the Duplicate File Results section, you can find all the detected Google Drive duplicate files. Select the unwanted ones and click Trash All. Once it finishes removing duplicates, the duplicate files in your Google Drive should be gone.

Tip: Before you hit the scan button, you can set filtering settings such as Scan Type and File Type. You can also specify filename and time range.

#2 Find and delete Google duplicate files online

Cloud Duplicate Finder is a web-based app designed to look for duplicate files in Google Drive and a few other cloud storage services. It can work on computer and mobile devices such as an Android phone, making it a Google Drive duplicate finder for Android.

1. Go to https://www.cloudduplicatefinder.com/. Click Create An Account. Log in to your account.

2. Select GoogleDrive. In the left panel, click Add New Drive. Sign in to your Google Account. If you trust CloudDuplicateFinder, then please click Allow to continue.

choose Google Drive

3. Select one or more Google Drive folders to scan for duplicate files. Click Scan. Once the scan is completed, the Result window will pop up showing you the scan result. Click OK to close the window.

4. In the main screen, you can view and sort files as you wish. You can manually mark the files you don’t want to keep. Alternatively, you can click the Select Duplicates dropdown list at the bottom of the screen and choose the selection option you need, say, Retain newest file in each group.

groups of duplicate files in Google Drive

5. Click Select Action > Permanent Delete to get rid of duplicate photos, documents and other duplicates in Google Drive.

delete Google Drive duplicate files

Conclusion

The deduplication feature significantly prevents Google Drive duplicate files from cluttering up the drive. But it’s not enough. There could still be file duplicates. If you want to delete Google Drive duplicate photos and files that are identical in content, you can use desktop software like Cisdem Duplicate Finder. It can work offline and won’t ask for access to your Google account or any other account.

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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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