Mac App To Find Duplicate Files

  1. Duplicate File Finder Mac Os
  2. Remove Duplicate Files On Mac
  3. Best Mac App To Find Duplicate Files

Finding duplicate files on your Mac takes either superhuman patience, or a duplicate finder app. In this post, we’ll go over both manual and app-powered ways to remove all the useless copies that waste your disk space.

There are dozens of apps available in the Mac App Store which can find and remove duplicate files. Some are free whereas others charge a small fee. They all do pretty much the same thing but some have much more comprehensive features and allow you to filter by filename only or the actual content. Find and delete duplicate files, photos, videos mp3 for OS X and Mac drive. Download Duplicate Files Fixer to recover disk space on Mac OS X.

So, here’s how you can find and delete duplicate files on Mac:

  • Use a duplicate file finder app
  • Find duplicates with a Terminal command
  • Hand-pick the copies using Smart Folders in Finder

There’s a chance you don’t feel like digging through all your folders or messing with the command line in pursuit of duplicates. If that’s the case, just get yourself an app. We recommend Gemini 2: The Duplicate File Finder — it lets you scan your whole disk, review the duplicates, and delete them with a click of a button. Or, if you’re ready to get your hands dirty, there are still the manual options, and we’ll take a closer look at them now.

How to find duplicate files on Mac

Over time your Mac is going to fill up and run out of storage space. And most likely, it will fill up with duplicates that take up all of your valuable space. Sure, you can try to sort through all of your files, searching for those duplicate documents, photos, and music files. But if you’re already at the point of your hard drive being full, that means you’ve got a lot of files to sift through. And it’s going to take you a very long time to go through them one-by-one.

Get rid of duplicate files and folders using Gemini 2

There’s a ton of duplicate finder tools out there, but we’ll take Gemini 2 as an example, because we’re 100% sure it works. So, let’s say you want to scan all folders on your Mac for duplicates. Here’s what you do:

  1. Download Gemini 2 and open it.
  2. Add your Home folder or drag-and-drop it into the app. Hint: in case you don’t know where the Home folder is, just enter your user name in Spotlight search to find it.
  3. Hit Scan for Duplicates.

When the scan is over (which doesn’t take long), you get two options: Review Results and Smart Cleanup.

Smart Cleanup means you’ll automatically delete all duplicate files, and the originals will stay where they are. It’s called smart, because the app knows which files are duplicates and makes sure at least one copy of a file — the original — remains on your Mac.

If you want to make sure you remove the right duplicate files, hit Review Results. This will open a window with all your duplicates listed. You can preview files (even play music and videos), see how they differ, and select them for removal the way you want. When you’re done, hit Remove.

That’s pretty much it: Gemini 2 will delete duplicate files in your Photos, Downloads, Mail Downloads, iTunes, and all the other locations on your disk. By far, it’s the easiest way to find all duplicates on a Mac. Download Gemini 2 and you’ll see how simple it is.

Find duplicate files with a Terminal command.

Before we dig deeper into this one, make sure you know your way around Mac’s Terminal, because you might mess things up with it. We’ve tested the command below and nothing bad happened, but just be careful what you type into the command line.

So, here’s how you search for duplicate files with Terminal:

  1. Find Terminal in the Utilities folder or using Spotlight search and open it.
  2. Navigate to the folder you want to scan with the cd command. For example, if you want to scan Downloads, type in cd ~/Downloads and hit Enter.
  3. Copy and paste this command:
    find . -size 20 ! -type d -exec cksum {} ; sort tee /tmp/f.tmp cut -f 1,2 -d ‘ ‘ uniq -d grep -hif – /tmp/f.tmp > duplicates.txt and hit Enter.

This will create a text file in the folder you’ve specified, with a list of your duplicates inside. But there are two “buts” here: first, Terminal overlooks a lot of duplicates, and second, you’ll still need to find those duplicate files and sift through them to separate the copies from the originals. So, this command is more like a crystal ball: it gives you hints, but you still have to go and do stuff yourself. Which brings us to the third option, where you hardly have to do anything at all.

Sometimes files won’t be flagged as duplicates because they have slightly different file names. But every file has what’s called an md5 hash, which is a unique identifier that stays with the file. So even if you move or rename a file, it’s md5 hash will remain the same.

Best free dvd burning software. Similar to the Terminal command above, you can generate a list that shows the md5 tag to verify all of the duplicates in a particular folder. Follow the steps below to create that list.

  1. Open Terminal from the Utilities folder.
  2. For this example, we’ll scan the Documents folder. Type into the Terminal window: ~/Documents.
  3. Copy and paste this code: find ./ -type f -exec md5 {} ; awk -F '=' '{print $2 't' $1}' sort tee duplicates.txt and then hit enter.
  4. Then, open a Finder window and navigate to your Documents folder.
  5. Open the Documents.txt file.

This generates a list of all of the files in the folder you’ve specified, but you’ll at least be able to see the md5 tags to know which files are copies of each other.

Duplicate File Finder Mac Os

How to find duplicates on Mac manually

Remove Duplicate Files On Mac

The truth is duplicate files can live anywhere on your hard drive, which makes finding them that much trickier. But thanks to a feature in Finder called Smart Folders, you can narrow your search down based on specific criteria. Say you want to search all of the documents on your Mac, then you’d follow these steps:

Mac App To Find Duplicate Files
  1. Open a new Finder window.
  2. Click File > New Smart Folder.
  3. Make sure This Mac is selected.
  4. In the top-right corner, click +.
  5. From the first drop-down menu, select Kind.
  6. In the second drop-down, choose Documents.
  7. Click Save.
  8. A pop-up window will come up, letting you name the folder and choose where to save the Smart Folder.
  9. From there, you can see all of your documents. Click to order the files by either name, size, or date created to help you quickly spot duplicates.
  10. Select the files you want to delete.
  11. Right-click (or hold down Command and click) and then click Move to Trash.

While using Smart Folders is a lot faster than hunting through your entire hard drive for duplicate files, it still requires a bit of patience. Manually going through each of your files one-by-one can take some time, even after you’ve narrowed them down.

Find duplicate files in specific folders in Finder

You can also use Smart Folders to look for duplicates within specific folders. This is particularly helpful in instances when you have multiple folders in a folder. To set up a Smart Folder that searches a specific folder:

  1. With a new Finder window open, go to the folder you want to search.
  2. Click File > New Smart Folder.
  3. In the Search bar at the top of the window, you’ll see This Mac and the name of your folder. Click the folder name.
  4. Then, click + in the top-right corner.
  5. Set your other search criteria.
  6. Click Save.
  7. From the pop-window, name your Smart Folder and choose where to save it.
  8. Organize your files by name, size, or date created to help you see the duplicates.
  9. Select the files you want to delete.
  10. Right-click (or hold down Command and click) on one of the files and then click Move to Trash.

Find duplicates of specific file types in Finder

Because you change the search criteria with each Smart Folder, that means you can search for specific types of files or files of a certain size. To create a Smart Folder for a certain type of file, like pictures, you can open a new Finder window and follow these steps:

  1. Click File > New Smart Folder.
  2. Then, in the top-right corner, click +.
  3. From the first drop-down menu, select Kind.
  4. Choose Image from the second drop-down.
  5. Click Save.
  6. Then, give your Smart Folder a name and choose where you want to save it.
  7. After it’s saved, you can select the duplicate files, right-click or command-click, and click Move to Trash.

Find duplicates by file sizes in Finder

If you want to only search for files by their size, which is particularly helpful to get rid of larger duplicates, do the following:

  1. Open a Finder window.
  2. In the top right, click +.
  3. Click on the first drop-down to choose File Size. If you don’t see it, click Other… and then search for size, to add it to the menu.
  4. Set your file size criteria.
  5. Then you can click Save, name your folder and choose where it’s saved.
  6. Once your Smart Folder is created, you can select the duplicates, right-click or command-click, and then click Move to Trash.

Find duplicate pictures in your Photos library

You move a bunch of new photos onto your Mac, import them into Photos, and start sorting them out. What you probably don’t know is that all of those pics now exist in two copies: one in the initial folder (say, Documents), and one in Home > Pictures > Photos Library. So, if you save photos onto your Mac first, and then import them into Photos, every single pic is duplicated. That’s where gigabytes of your disk space go.

Now, how do you find these duplicate photos and get rid of them? Depends on how much you rely on Photos for viewing and organizing your pics. If you never liked the app anyway and have backups of all pics in other folders, just go ahead and empty the Photos library. Remember two things here, though:

  1. Delete your pics in Photos only when you’re 100% sure there are copies of them in other folders. Would be a shame to lose memorable shots.
  2. When you delete duplicate files in Photos, they are not removed — just moved to a Recently Deleted folder. This means they still exist on your disk, so if your goal is to free up disk space, don’t forget to empty that Recently Deleted folder.

In case you use Photos as your primary app for images, keep in mind that it only displays files stored in Home > Pictures > Photos Library. So, to keep using Photos for your pics, you’ll have to remove those other copies that are stored elsewhere. Here’s how you can find them:

  1. In Photos, open the Photos tab to see all your pics sorted by date.
  2. In Finder, open All My Files to view all your pics in bulk, not in a dozen individual folders.
  3. Sort the files by Date Created, so that your pics in Finder are listed more or less in the order they’re listed in Photos.
  4. Now comes the tedious part. Take a group of pics in Photos, created within the same day — say, April 17, 2015. Go to Finder, spot the 2015 section, and find that identical group of pics (they will be located together, so you just need to look carefully).

Repeat step 4 for all the pictures you have in your Photos library. That way, you’ll find and remove the duplicate photos that are stored in other locations, and keep only the pics in your Photos library.

As you may have guessed, this is going to take a while, especially given that All My Files will include documents, videos, and other files you have, not just your photos. So, to save you a few hours, we suggest you use a duplicate finder app for the job. Gemini 2, for example, easily finds duplicate photos and shows you where each of them is located. It even autoselects the duplicate pics that are stored outside your Photos library, so all you need to do is hit Remove, and they’ll be gone. You can download Gemini 2 for free and see how it works.

How to find duplicates in Mail Downloads

Here’s a common scenario: a colleague emails you a document, and you open the attachment in Mail to take a look at it. You’re going to need this file, so you download it onto your Mac for safe keeping. No duplicates, nothing to talk about here. Right?

Not exactly. See, the Mail app has quietly downloaded this attachment the moment you opened it, and stashed it in its very own downloads folder. So once again, you now have two copies of the exact same file on your Mac.

The Mail Downloads folder is not what you’d call “intuitively located”: to access it, you need to know where to look. Do the following to find it:

  1. Open Finder.
  2. In the Menu bar, click Go > Go to Folder
  3. Type this address:
    ~/Library/Containers/ Downloads
    and hit Go.

This will reveal the folder you’re looking for, so open it and look through the contents. In this case, you don’t even have to compare them with the contents of your other folders: everything in here is simply local copies of the attachments you’ve opened. They are downloaded by Mail just so attachments open faster, and Mail can re-download them any time from your emails. So, even if these files don’t have duplicate counterparts somewhere else on your Mac, they’re pretty much useless for you. Make sure there’s nothing you would miss, and empty the folder altogether.

Smart Folders are a great way to search by file name or file type across your entire Mac or even within specific folders. This feature helps you organize and view your files so you can more easily spot duplicates, but it’s not without its flaws. You’re still left to delete files manually, which leaves room for errors, and that’s not to mention just how painstakingly slow it can be to delete files one at a time.

Your other option for finding and deleting duplicates is to use the app, Gemini 2. It will quickly scan your entire hard drive or individual folders, presenting you with the duplicate files to review. Or you can even choose to use the Smart Cleanup feature, which will automatically delete duplicates and leave the original files in their place. It really can’t get any easier than that.

Hopefully, this article helps you clean up your Mac and remove those sneaky duplicate files that are eating up all of your storage space.

Find duplicate files and wipe them away with Gemini 2. It's smart, laser accurate, and recovers tons of space on your Mac.

Locate and remove duplicate files, even if they're in remote corners of your system. Gemini 2 scans your whole disk speed-of-light fast, no matter how massive it is. Dig through scan results and hand-pick the files to erase, or better — let Smart Select do all the work.
Just like duplicates, similars are space wasters. Now, Gemini 2 is after them. Spot files that look alike, see how they differ, and delete those you don't need. Because you have better use for all the space they occupy.
Do you really need 10 retakes of the Golden Gate? Probably not. Don't let copies invade your Photos: find duplicate pictures, look at them closely, and zap the extras.
Even if you play the same tune on repeat, one copy is enough. Delete duplicates in iTunes: Gemini scans it to find those five copies of 'Space Oddity' you've stored up.
Gemini is smart. It easily tells copies from originals. It knows which files to keep intact. But the best thing is that it learns to select duplicates the way you do. Gemini's algorithm remembers what you delete and what you choose to keep. It's like an apprentice you are training.
Gemini's carefully crafted to be super simple. Whatever you need to do — view duplicates in detail or quickly destroy them — it takes a few clicks. Because that's what a good duplicate finder does: makes things simpler.
Never worry about losing the wrong file by mistake. Gemini moves duplicates to the Trash and lets you bring them back in a click. If you do want the copies off your Mac, delete them for good. If you just want them out of your way, stash them in a faraway folder. It's always your call.
One of the things users love about Gemini 2 is how good it looks. In fact, even design critics give it five stars: Gemini 2 won the Red Dot award for UI design, so it’s officially the prettiest duplicate finder out there.

Gemini 2 speaks:

  • English

    Cross platform app dev on mac. Probably your best bet is to use. It is the framework behind MyDraw ( - a professional drawing program similar to Visio. It is a cross-platform, C# based User Interface Platform, that implements most of the controls you need to build enterprise-ready applications.

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Don't take our word for it

Last week I actually used up all 500 gigabytes on my Mac hard drive! Gemini app was a revelation.
It’s perfect solution to keep only needed copy, I’m running it every 2 weeks on home server shares as my family is duplicating items
Discovered Gemini from @MacPaw, a great tool to find & delete a MAC’s duplicate files, and recovered 35 gigs.
The best duplicate cleaner ever! I'm consolidating years of files from two computers into one and need to eliminate a lot of duplicates. Gemini saved me literally days of agonizing drudgery. The interface is simple, amusing, and intuitive, and it's also so fast! I am stunned.
Gemini 2 with its ‘learning algorithm’ may be your next must-have Mac app.. The app, which finds duplicate files on your computer and deletes one (or more!) of them can now spot similar files as well.
Gemini, our favorite duplicate file finder for Mac, got a big update today that modernizes the interface and improves the file scanning algorithm so it can find more duplicate files even when they’re not named the same thing.
With Gemini 2 there’s little reason to fear duplicates.. It’s also much faster, especially compared to digging through thousands of files and folders the old-fashioned way.
If you want to clean up your Mac, but are trepidatious about digging around in your files and accidentally deleting something important, Gemini 2 has a lot to offer and makes the whole process very simple.
Gemini 2's new ability to find similar files has the potential to free up even more storage space on your Mac by finding photos and music files that are similar, but not exact duplicates. This works particularly well with photos.
I’ve been an active user of MacPaw’s Gemini software since its inception, and Gemini 2’s release today has made me fall in love with it all over again. In just the initial scan, Gemini 2 found more files and more places where I could intelligently clear and save space on my Mac.

Gemini 2

Scan. Clean. Done.

Finding duplicates manually could take you hours, but with Gemini 2 you’ll be done within minutes. Get yourself a duplicate file finder, and you’ll never have to rummage around in Finder.

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*4.5 - rating for all versions, based on 469 user reviews.

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