Most PC users are unaware of how many such duplicate files are out there eating their hard disk space. One of the most tedious tasks in cleaning up your computer to reclaim hard drive space is to find and delete these duplicate files.
If you ever decide to clean up your system you don’t need to go, search and compare each and every file manually. Duplicate Cleaner is a perfect utility for this! We can sweep off these files in just 4 steps after the installation.
So what can Duplicate Cleaner do?
- Find files by contents, not just by name alone
- Search music files based on artist / album / title.
- Searches local drives and removable drives
Downloading and Installing
Duplicate Cleaner is just one click away. Once you download this file, double click the setup and start the installation.
Installing Duplicate cleaner is as simple as installing any other windows application: the only thing that you have to do is to select the installation path and click next and finish. Nothing too complicated here.
After installation you will find duplicate cleaner in the start menu. When you click it, the program will run showing the main window of the application as below,
Select Search Criteria
The criteria for identifying files as duplicates are very flexible, which expedites our search process. File filters support regular expression which can be used to include or exclude files based on extensions and file names.
For example, we can search for only image files by using “*.jpg,*.gif,*.bmp” as the filter. We can also limit the scope of search with the help of date filters and file sizes. Search criteria has two modes of operation: Regular mode allows us to search file based on file contents, while the audio mode search files based on the audio tags.
Select a Target Location
The next step is to select the target location for the scan. This can be folders, partitions or the whole system. But I personally recommend searching a set of related folders, so when the results appear it’ll appear less overwhelming. We can also exclude certain paths from being searched; it can be easily done by selecting the sub folder of the already selected folders so that it is automatically excluded.
Once you are done with the search criteria and target selection, you can press the “Scan now” button. The time taken to search depends on the search criteria and the number of files being searched. The progress window will keep you informed of the scan details.
After the scan, you will be presented with the scan summary. In the scan shown below, it has processed 60823 files out of which there are 8644 duplicate groups. A single duplicate group may contain one or more duplicate file.
Process Duplicate files
After the scan you will be presented with long list of duplicated files, which is presented with varying colors and group numbering.
For easy processing, I suggest changing the default color of the groups under Options->More Options -> Duplicate files.
To remove duplicates, you can select all but one file in each group. We can also use select assist to make our selection process easier, but looking into each group manually will be safe. Once you have done with the selection of file, duplicate files can be removed by clicking “Remove duplicate button “.
Before deleting the file, you will be presented with options to take back up or move the duplicate files to some location.
If you’re curious, the app ships with a lot of options including deleting empty folders, scanning network drives and importing and exporting the results to CSV.
Duplicate Cleaner works on Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, on both 32 bit and 64 bit versions. The speed of the scan depends on a lot of factors including the number of files being searched , search criteria, hard disk speed .
In my case, for the first time scan it took 16 minutes, but for the second time the cached fingerprint will be used. This will speed things up by over 90%. As seen in the screen above, it took around 2 minutes for the second scan.
Don’t ever just blindly install it and run the program, find all the duplicates and then click “remove”. Files can be present in the hard disk more than once for some good reason. So before using duplicate cleaner you must know what you are doing! I personally recommend enabling ‘delete to recycle bin ‘under options menu.
There are many different programs on the market performing the same job, but the user interface and feature of Duplicate cleaner makes it one of the best available.
You can get Duplicate Cleaner free or Pro. The Pro version has additional features like processing zip files, comparing images of different size and few more additional features and costs $29.99.
Are there better, easier to use alternatives? Do let us know in the comments section below and thank you so much for reading!