Utilities • Updated on Jan.13, 2020
From Thomas Tempelmann: Find Any File searches your local disks for files by name, creation or modification date, size, or type and creator code (not by content, though).
Duplicate files is a silent killer as far as your Mac is concerned. They have troubled you for the past years, and they might trouble us in 2020 as well. But how about getting rid of them for a new year’s resolution?
Duplicate files are shady. You won’t know their impact until you see a ‘Disk Space Full’ warning from your Mac.
As it happens, however, you cannot prevent macOS from creating duplicate files. When you add music into iTunes, for instance, duplicate files are created. The same goes for the case of Apple Photos.
On top of these, you will be adding duplicate copies of photos, documents, music and videos on your own. Think of those repeated file downloads as well. In short, your Mac gets choked with excess files the more you use them.
So, what’s the solution? Well, regularly removing duplicate files would certainly help you, and it’s certainly the way to go in 2020 as you would want a much cleaner and quicker Mac this year.
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Benefits of removing duplicates from Mac
The biggest benefit is that you will be saving a lot of space and keeping you mac clean. Let’s consider this scenario: when you add around 2GB of music to iTunes, you are practically spending 4GB of space from the Mac. For a device that has 128GB or 256GB of onboard storage, that’s not easy.
Removing duplicate files would also help you organize your Mac in a better way. You will not stumble upon duplicate results when you are searching for a file. If you are someone who uses Spotlight way too often, this is great.
After making duplicate removal a part of our digital routine, we also observed better performance on our Mac. Naturally, when it has fewer files to index and process, the macOS system performs better. We believe that’s indeed a convincing reason.
Meet the best duplicate file finders for Mac
It’s not the best option just sit idle and go through individual directories. Developers know it, and that’s why they have built software to do that.
Duplicate file finders will analyze your Mac for duplicate files and organize them neatly. Once these duplicates are identified, you can just remove them with a single click. Pretty cool, isn’t it?
So, in a minute or two, you will have a more free, organized and well-performing macOS system.
As is the case, there are a number of duplicate file finders for Mac, we wanted to present you the best to help clear the clutter.
To do that, we had set up some basic criteria as well.
- Easy to Use UI is a necessity when it comes to duplicate file finders. You must have an easy option to scan the Mac and analyze the results in the quickest time possible. Because you have to select which files are to be deleted, this is important.
- The best duplicate file finder must work with iTunes and Photos. As we said, most of the duplicates are found in Photos and iTunes. If the tool can’t search inside the two apps, that’s a bummer.
- Filter options are also great when it comes to these tools. Sometimes, you want to delete duplicates that are of certain and sometimes, you just want to delete certain types of files. In either case, you’ll have to use filters.
- Search option also comes in handy. Sometimes, you know that there are certain duplicate files on a Mac. Using the Search function, you can find and get rid of these files in a jiffy. This would also come in handy while filtering files out.
- Last but not least, we also looked for some additional features in the best duplicate file finder. It must have, for instance, file preview and custom-delete option. Both these will help you confirm that you are deleting the right duplicate.
With all these pointers in mind, we chose the following best duplicate file finders for Mac.
- Gemini 2 – Best overall for most people
- Tidy Up 5 – Most powerful for advanced users
- PhotoSweeper X – For duplicate photo finder and cleaner
Disclosure: We sometimes use affiliate links which means that, at zero cost to you, we may earn a commission if you buy something through our links.
Best overall for most people: Gemini 2
Gemini 2 has been the gold standard for Mac duplicate removal for some time. After testing tens of tools for duplicate file removal, we think Gemini 2 deserves the top position.
Gemini 2 is one of the most popular duplicate file finders and removers for Mac. Developed by MacPaw, the tool allows you to accurately scan your Mac for duplicate files and remove them. It’s very easy to use and is regularly updated with awesome features. A lot of people choose Gemini 2 when they want a smart way to remove duplicates from their macOS system.
See Gemini 2 in action from the developer:
What makes the app great?
Gemini 2 is great for many reasons. It addresses the three main elements that make a duplicate scanning app great — a user-friendly app design, ability to scan and delete duplicate files with ease, and the integration with photos and media. Here, we will look at each of these factors to find out what they really have to offer.
On the design front, Gemini 2 is well-recognized and has been a favorite for long. It was awarded the Red Dot Communication Award in 2017 in the Communication Design category.
Commenting on the app’s design, Red Dot GmbH had said:
“Its simple ‘scan-clean-done’ mode allows the user to do this job without digging deeper into the interface. Unlike many utilities, the app does not look utilitarian: its design uses the space theme, unwittingly set by its name, to lighten the mood. The sci-fi-inspired visualisation of the achievements gives the user a sense of reward, makes a tedious process more fun and helps to accomplish vital product goals, such as increasing engagement.”
The design is laid out in a way where all the features stand out prominent in an intuitive user interface. The icons are large, and they manage to express the functionalities of the app really well.
The intuitive user interface is pleasant on the eyes and it is fun to use. Besides, Gemini 2 also supports 12 languages, so that’s always a plus point.
What’s better than a duplicate finder working to clear the clutter in an intelligent way, saving you a lot of time and trouble?
One of the best parts of Gemini 2 is that it is so smart. The app can also aptly be said as an ‘Intelligent Duplicate File Finder’. That is because it uses an exclusive algorithm, which not only helps you identify duplicate files, but also spots and detects similar files, easily telling copies from originals, and adapting to the way you work with it.
While using Gemini 2, we found out that it provided us with multiple options to scan folders and directories on our Mac. We could choose between Home Folder scan, Pictures Folder scan, Music Folder scan and Custom Folder scan. The first three modes are nearly automated while the fourth one wanted us to provide the folder details.
Depending on the storage space, consumed space and performance of your Mac, the scanning process may take a few seconds to a few minutes. As a user, you would not really mind this — as long as Gemini 2 finds all duplicate files present.
Another great part which we liked was that when Gemini 2 scans the directory, we could see the amount of duplicate files it has found on the side — it was amazing to have a live track of things.
Once the scanning is done, Gemini 2 intelligently selects which should be deleted. We got two options here.
We could choose between Smart Cleanup and Review Results.
Smart Cleanup is an automated process which removes all the duplicate files that are selected by Gemini 2. As you can see in the picture, Gemini 2 automatically selected 738MB as the ones to delete from the whole 1.84GB of duplicate files it found.
The Review Results option opened up a window where we could find the list of potential duplicate files. As you can see, the whole interface is quite detailed. From the sidebar, we could view each type of duplicate files.
On the Preview pane, we could preview each file on the list.
Gemini 2 also offers an option to customize the whole deal. We could change how duplicate files have been sorted. Once we made changes to the selection, we could click on the Remove button to delete all the selected files.
Finding similar files, and photos
Duplicate files and similar files are different, you know. But, both can be a curse for your storage space at a time.
Gemini 2 has a smarter way to recognize and remove similar files from your Mac. We tried this feature and the results were great.
When we scanned a folder or directory for duplicate files, Gemini 2 also found similar files. We could access this section from the main sidebar. The app goes even a step further with listing two similar files. Thanks to its intelligent design, we could see the difference in terms of file size, modified date or the directory.
Then, with a single click, Gemini 2 removes all of them from the system.
This works particularly well with photos on your Mac. For instance, if you have a series of burst photos stored in a folder, the difference between them might not really be noticeable, but the space occupied can be large. With Gemini 2, you can browse through the duplicate photos, pick the ones you want to keep, and discard the rest. Everyone’s set of files are different, but judging from the scan of our Dropbox folder, this feature could save Gemini customers a lot of additional storage space.
Pricing and availability
Gemini 2 is available for Mac only. You can purchase Gemini 2 via Subscription model or as one-time purchase. 1-Year subscription costs $19.95 while one-time purchase is at $44.95. Gemini 2 is available on Setapp as well.
Most powerful for advanced users: Tidy Up 5
There are times when you need better control and customization over the duplicate file finder and removal process in your Mac. In other words, when you are an advanced user, you need a more powerful duplicate finder tool. Fortunately, we have come across the most powerful tool — Tidy Up 5. In comparison with the previous tool, Tidy Up 5 offers a lot more.
What makes the app great?
Tidy Up 5 has numerous features that can help you fine tune the entire process of removing duplicates from you Mac.
To begin with, it is so easy to get used to Tidy Up 5. You can choose between the Simple Mode and Advanced Mode. Even the Simple Mode offers better control over the search process. You can tell the app about the type of content you want to find — Images, Photos, Music, Folders, Documents etc. You can also decide if you want to search for a particular file format in the results.
A powerful Advanced mode
In the Advanced Mode, you can go to further depths of finding the right files. For instance, while searching for Photographs, you get a variety of filtering options. You can even select photos that were captured at a particular place on earth. In the case of songs, you can set up criteria based on name, size and the genre that the track is from.
Handy customization features
In other words, the performance levels offered by Tidy Up 5 is off the charts. Even when you are looking for the most specific files, Tidy Up 5 would not have trouble in helping you find them. Just so you know, you can also change the Source files and Drives from the left sidebars. Altogether, customization is the core element when it comes to Tidy Up 5.
We wish, however, if Tidy Up 5 had a more intuitive UI. It does not feel that easy to use the app for finding and removing files. While the extra power is commendable, the UI does not worth the overall praise. If you have not used a duplicate remover before, you may have trouble with Tidy Up 5. At the same time, we think the Review page is not so bad.
Availability and pricing
Tidy Up 5 tool is available for Mac and the pricing starts at $29.99. You can always download the free trial to test the tool. For three-devices licenses, you can also get their Duplicate Remover Suite Bundle at 25% Off here.
For duplicate photo finder: PhotoSweeper X
If most of the space on your computer is consumed by photos, then PhotoSweeper is nice and dedicated Mac duplicate photo finder built to help you. As it happens, the interface is different from what you would expect.
What makes the app great?
Let’s look at some of the factors that made us include this app in our list of top picks for 2020.
Effective photo-based filters
Compared to other tools in the list, PhotoSweeper X offers photo-based filters as well. For instance, when it comes to searching for duplicate files, you can set up the right criteria, such as not choosing the photographs that were clicked a long time ago. It’s also great that PhotoSweeper X provides metadata and other data about the image on the sidebar.
Easy photograph comparison
PhotoSweeper X has been designed in such a way that you can compare two photographs with the ultimate ease. The app performs impressively well when it comes to finding duplicate and similar photographs. We think the UI plays the most important role here. You can even choose between the Viewing Modes — such as One by One, Face to Face, and All-in-One.
We should understand that PhotoSweeper X has been designed for duplicate photo finding only. For someone with that level of expertise, it is a privilege to have control over the scanning and removal process. Also, you would not end up deleting an important photograph from the library. By the way, PhotoSweeper X lets you access photo library from Adobe Lightroom as well.
Pricing and availability
PhotoSweeper X is available for Mac and you can download the free trial. The license costs $9.99.
The other duplicate finders we considered
Now, these were some of our top picks, but there are also other options out there that are quite good. Here, we will look at some other options that are out there to clean duplicate files on Mac.
Yes, macOS gives you the option to locate files that are duplicate by using the Smart Folders features that comes in the Finder.
You can do this by navigating to File and clicking on New Smart Folder. Then, you click on the ‘+’ button which is in the upper right corner.
Once you are in that window, you can search for photos, music, documents, and several other file types. The efficiency of your work depends on how well you sort the results. For instance, if you order then my name, you will be able to see duplicates more easily.
Yes, you can take this course to delete duplicate files on your Mac. However, this process is time consuming as the list of duplicates might be long.
Easy Duplicate Finder
If you are looking for a basic duplicate file remover for Mac, you should consider Easy Duplicate Finder. This tool does not have anything fancy to offer here. You have a three-tabbed interface that navigates you in the whole duplicate-finding process. However, we found that the scanning process is comparatively slower than our top picks.
The way Easy Duplicate Finder works is really straightforward. Once you have found the duplicate files, you can go ahead and review the files. Unlike Gemini or PhotoSweeper, Easy Duplicate Finder does not offer any option for customization.
Easy Duplicate Finder is available for both Windows and macOS and free to use. The trial version provides unlimited scanning and lets you manage 10 groups of duplicate files. After that, file management options become locked and the scanning remains available, you should upgrade with the price at $39.95 for 1 computer.
Cloud Duplicate Finder
While you might be busy cleaning duplicates on your Mac, the fact that you might have plenty of duplicates on your cloud storage might just pass by unnoticed. Cloud Duplicate Finder (CDF) is a web application which lets you remove duplicates from the cloud. It supports OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, Amazon S3 and Box.
While you are using this web app, you can be assured that your privacy is well taken care of as it doesn’t access the actual data or content in the cloud.
You can subscribe to the app with a starting price of $5.83 per month for a yearly subscription. The price is cheaper — $4 per month — if you purchase a 2-year subscription.
Duplicate Detective is a pretty straightforward duplicate file remover for Mac. It comes from Fiplab, which has developed a number of Mac utilities in the past. Instead of investing in fancy features, this app is trying to offer the seamless experience. You can select the folder and the app would start the scanning in some time. In the next step, you can review the results as always.
For a simple tool like Duplicate Detective, we think the Review UI is impressive. You can choose between the various viewing modes and easily compare two duplicate files. Even better, Duplicate Detective has separate viewing options for documents, images, music etc. Although not as smart as Gemini, this app too has a Smart Select option, which is more than sufficient.
Duplicate Detective is available for Mac and you can get it for just $4.99. A free trial is also available.
Dupin is an app that manages your duplicate tracks and helps you to delete them. It is compatible with the Finder, iCloud music library and Apple Music, and comes with keyboard shortcuts as well as customizable toolbars.
The app lets you automatically select the “Keeper” tracks from the duplicates through different filtering options. From there, you can consolidate the play, skip, and even access ratings information from all tracks. This way, you can re-populate your playlists by replacing “non-Keeper” tracks with “Keeper” tracks.
Dupin is available for a free trial and a registration code can be purchased for $15.
dupeGuru can help you find duplicate files on your Mac by scanning either filenames and contents. The filename scan comes with a “fuzzy matching algorithm” which is known to find duplicate filenames even when the files are not quite the same.
dupeGuru works with your music as well. It scans tags and show the relevant information. For pictures, the app even shows you pictures that are similar, but not the same. It is highly customizable. You can tweak the settings to find duplicates that you exactly want.
Wrapping it up
We hope that this list helped you with finding out the best app to get rid of duplicates on your Mac. With a duplicate-free Mac, you can ensure more productivity along with saving those precious gigabytes. Our best picks — Gemini 2, Tidy Up 5, and PhotoSweeper X — really do the job in a flash with minimal effort.
While most of these apps have a handy interface that make sure that you do not delete your important files and folders, we really recommend backing up your Mac using Time Machine alternatives or online backup tools before trying to remove duplicates. So, even if something goes wrong, you will have a backup.
The Finder is the first thing that you see when your Mac finishes starting up. It opens automatically and stays open as you use other apps. It includes the Finder menu bar at the top of the screen and the desktop below that. It uses windows and icons to show you the contents of your Mac, iCloud Drive, and other storage devices. It's called the Finder because it helps you to find and organize your files.
Open windows and files
To open a window and see the files on your Mac, switch to the Finder by clicking the Finder icon (pictured above) in the Dock. Switching to the Finder also reveals any Finder windows that might be hidden behind the windows of other apps. You can drag to resize windows and use the buttons to close , minimize , or maximize windows. Learn more about managing windows.
When you see a document, app, or other file that you want to open, just double-click it.
Change how your files are displayed
To change how files are displayed in Finder windows, use the View menu in the menu bar, or the row of buttons at the top of the Finder window. You can view files as icons , in a list , in columns , or in a gallery . And for each view, the View menu provides options to change how items are sorted and arranged, such as by kind, date, or size. Learn more about customizing views.
When you view files in a gallery, you can browse your files visually using large previews, so it's easy to identify images, videos, and all kinds of documents. Gallery View in macOS Mojave even lets you play videos and scroll through multipage documents. Earlier versions of macOS have a similar but less powerful gallery view called Cover Flow .
Gallery View in macOS Mojave, showing the sidebar on the left and the Preview pane on the right.
Use the Preview pane
The Preview pane is available in all views by choosing View > Show Preview from the menu bar. Or press Shift-Command (⌘)-P to quickly show or hide the Preview pane.
macOS Mojave enhances the Preview pane in several ways:
- More information, including detailed metadata, can be shown for each file. This is particularly useful when working with photos and media, because key EXIF data, like camera model and aperture value, are easy to locate. Choose View > Preview Options to control what information the Preview pane can show for the kind of file selected.
- Quick Actions let you easily manage or edit the selected file.
Use Quick Actions in the Preview pane
With Quick Actions in macOS Mojave, you can take actions on a file without opening an app. Quick Actions appear at the bottom of the Preview pane and vary depending on the kind of file selected.
- Rotate an image
- Mark up an image or PDF
- Combine images and PDFs into a single PDF file
- Trim audio and video files
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To manage Quick Actions, click More , then choose Customize. macOS Mojave includes a standard set of Quick Actions, but Quick Actions installed by third-party apps also appear here. You can even create your own Quick Actions using Automator.
Use Stacks on your desktop
macOS Mojave introduces Stacks, which lets you automatically organize your desktop into neat stacks of files, so it's easy to keep your desktop tidy and find exactly what you're looking for. Learn more about Stacks.
The sidebar in Finder windows contains shortcuts to AirDrop, commonly used folders, iCloud Drive, devices such your hard drives, and more. Like items in the Dock, items in the sidebar open with just one click.
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To change the items in your sidebar, choose Finder > Preferences from the Finder menu bar, then click Sidebar at the top of the preferences window. You can also drag files into or out of the sidebar. Learn more about customizing the sidebar.
Search for files
To search with Spotlight, click the magnifying glass in the menu bar, or press Command–Space bar. Spotlight is similar to Quick Search on iPhone or iPad. Learn more about Spotlight.
To search from a Finder window, use the search field in the corner of the window:
When you select a search result, its location appears at the bottom of the window. To get to this view from Spotlight, choose “Show all in Finder” from the bottom of the Spotlight search results.
In both Spotlight and Finder, you can use advanced searches to narrow your search results.
To move a file to the Trash, drag the file to the Trash in the Dock. Or select one or more files and choose File > Move To Trash (Command-Delete).
To remove a file from the Trash, click the Trash to open it, then drag the file out of the Trash. Or select the file and choose File > Put Back.
To delete the files in the Trash, choose File > Empty Trash. The storage space used by those files then becomes available for other files. In macOS Sierra, you can set up your Mac to empty the trash automatically.