Free Find / Delete Duplicate Files Utilities

Search for and remove identical files, MP3s, zero-length files, etc

Free Find / Delete Duplicate Files Utilities

The free tools on this page will scan your system and present you with a list of duplicate (identical) files so that you can remove them to reclaim your hard disk space. They are particularly useful if you find yourself mysteriously (or otherwise) running out of hard disk space, and know that you have copies of the same files scattered all over your computer.

Some of the tools will actually check the contents of your files and compare them in order to determine if they are identical (rather than just looking for superficial things like same file names, dates or sizes). Other features typically include the ability to scan only for certain types of files (such as files with a certain pattern in their filenames, eg all files ending in .doc or .mp3, etc), the ability to rename duplicate files, delete to the Recycle Bin (where it can be undeleted if there is a mistake removing it), etc. They typically also give you an easy way to eliminate those duplicate files, so that you don't have to scour your hard disk folder-by-folder to manually delete them. (The tools that provide a byte-by-byte comparison also give you more confidence in deleting because you know for sure that you're not deleting some file that only looks superficially the same.)

Commercial products, like Heatsoft's CloneCleaner Pro are not listed below. Besides the usual features found in the free products, this program includes the ability to save your search criteria as favourites for use in the future, ability to look for dups over the network, smart marking and easy deletion, the ability to copy/move to a particular folder, customizability, etc.

In addition, if you are desperately short of hard disk space, the free or open source software on the Free Disk Usage Management and Reporting Software may also be useful. Those programs will help you identify which folder on your hard disk contains the largest or most files, or which file type occupies the most space, and so on.

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Free Find / Delete Duplicate Files Utilities

CloneSpy (Windows)

CloneSpy lets you search for duplicate files, files with the same name, files with the same name and approximately the same size, and zero-length files. It can delete the redundant files or move it to a folder that you specify, or create a batch file that will operate on those duplicates so that you can act on it later. It looks for duplicates by creating checksums of each file, rather than doing a raw binary comparison. This is a Windows program.

FSLint: Duplicate File Finder for Linux (Linux)

This Linux utility searches for duplicate files on your system by checking its file sizes, making sure that the files are not hardlinked to each other (making them the same file), checking the md5sum of the files and comparing them, and checking the sha1sum of the files and comparing them (for those rare cases where the MD5 checksums collide). Both GUI and command line versions are available. It also comes with support for multiple languages.

fdupes (Linux)

This program identifies and deletes duplicate files residing within directories that you specify. It is a Linux program.

Duplicate Cleaner Free (Windows)

[Note: At the time this was written, the download button for the free edition is at the bottom of the page; the first download button leads to the paid version.] Duplicate Cleaner looks for duplicate files on your computer's hard disks and networked drives by comparing their MD5 hash. For music files, it can also compare files using their internal audio tags, so that you can see if you have the same song by the same artist even if the files have different encoding (compression) and formats. For each duplicate found, you can view its path (that is, its location and filename) as well as its file date and size. For image files, it's possible to also take a peek into the file using an image preview window. Should you choose to remove the duplicates, you have the option to delete them to the Recycle Bin, move them to a new location, or even change the duplicate files into hard links (where both filenames point to the same physical file on the hard disk) if the files are on an NTFS file system. Reports of what you find can be exported (and imported) in CSV format. Multiple languages are supported.

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