One of the biggest eaters of disk space in your hard drive is duplicate files. If you just read that and sniggered, thinking of course you don’t have any duplicate files on your computer, you are in for a rude shock. These hidden culprits can waste over 30% of your disk space, if they are not identified and weeded out regularly.
So, how do you find duplicate files in your computer? Well there are a number of softwares that will help you do just that. These softwares can detect duplicate text, image, videos, or music file, and even duplicate binary files. Duplicates are searched by the criteria of file names, file size, and file content. Go ahead and scan your entire drive, or if you feel that one particular folder is a bit susceptible to duplicate files, you can scan selectively too. But be careful about sidestepping filters, as they may cause some folders to be excluded from the scan. The scanning process is not instantaneous; you may have to wait a few minutes to half an hour, depending on the size of your scan, but the wait will be worth it. The program will return a list of all the duplicate files that it could find in your system, along with a preview of each file. This lets you see which files you are deleting, and prevents the accidental deletion of a file you may actually need.
Very often, we accidentally store images, eBooks, and movies in multiple places in our system, possibly because we forget that we have the original stored somewhere, or because we find it temporarily convenient to have a copy of the file handy in a folder we have currently opened. Another source of duplicate files is the download folder which stores whatever we download. These files are copied in to the music or movies folder, but not deleted from the duplicate folder. However, later, when we need to clear out files to make disk space, these duplicate files become very hard to locate, and we often leave them alone because we are not certain that they have a duplicate, and end up compromising by deleting files that have no copies.
The duplicate file detector softwares make your task of finding duplicate files a piece of cake. In fact, you don’t need to do anything. Just specify the search area and criteria, and sit back and watch the detector perform miracles. Once the detector prepares a list of duplicate files, it is your call, you need to make a decision about which ones to delete and which ones to keep. You will probably be stunned at the sheer number of duplicate files the detector finds, and how much disk space you are able to free by deleting them. And what’s more, you don’t have to worry about losing any original files by mistake.
If you are anxious about which detectors you should use on your system, relax, we have for you a list of the five most efficient duplicate file detectors.
This is a very fast and streamlined program that will scan files for their CRC Checksums along with other search criteria. The user interface is simple and easy to understand.
Anti-Twin comes equipped with Unicode capabilities, and what is more, it is fast and efficient. Plenty of people around the world swear by this duplicate file detector.
This is one of the older detectors, and it is not as fast as some of the others, but it lets you manually customize a lot of criteria, which is a huge bonus if you have all sorts of files strewed around in your system.
This is another fast and efficient duplicate file detector, and it is loaded with all sorts of options that will keep the user satisfied
This program has two special searches, namely, for graphics and movies. However, it has a pro version, so that means there are some feature restrictions in the free version.