Check tutorial of How to Find Duplicate Files on Mac with DupeGuru
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Worried about duplicate files on Mac? While most Mac users shouldn’t be bothered by duplicate files as very few, if any, files likely exist, there are situations when they can be found, adding unnecessary clutter to a Mac file system. For example, the user ~ / Downloads folder is a common place for duplicate files, usually when someone downloads a file, image, zip, movie, installer, or app somewhere, forgets it, and then proceeds to download the same item again, causing a duplicate from the same file. Or maybe you just make copies of files often and they slowly accumulate over time, whether necessary or not.
This one guide will demonstrate a method for how to find duplicate files on Mac.
This one tutorial is intended for advanced users and requires great attention to detail to correctly find and confirm whether files, images, movies, archives and other data are indeed duplicates or not. The article uses a free third-party tool called DupeGuru to find duplicate files on Mac. And not that we’re covering Windows here, but DupeGuru is available for that Mac, Windows, and Linux, so if Mac isn’t your only computer, you can use the same tools elsewhere.
Dupeguru is a very powerful tool to find all kinds of duplicate files and by using a variety of different search methods, but for our purposes here we are going to keep the usage as simple as possible. We will not demonstrate how to edit or delete any of the found files because each file must be independently confirmed as duplicate before any action is taken.
How to Find duplicate files on Mac with Dupeguru
Back up your Mac with Time Machine or your backup method of choice before you start. If you don’t have a backupup can lead to permanent data loss.
- Download DupeGuru here by downloading it from the developer
- Mount the image and open Dupeguru *, possibly copy it to your / Applications / folder to install it on the Mac
- Select a specific folder or drag a folder into the Dupeguru window then choose “Scan” – DO NOT SELECT YOUR ENTIRE HARD DRIVE **
- Let the scan complete, it may take a while depending on the size of the directory being scanned for duplicates
- When you have finished scanning the directory, a list of possible duplicates will appear on the screen
You will see that any duplicate items, files, images, zippers, archives, etc. found will appear as a name with an intended possible match under each item. Pay special attention to the “Match%” probability, as you generally want to ignore anything that is not 100%.
You can double-click an item – original or duplicate – to open it in the Finder, or you can open it in its own default app. For example, if you double-click a text file, it will be launched in TextEdit.
Dupeguru allows bulk action for deleting, moving or copying found duplicate files, but due to the ability to accidentally delete or permanently delete data, we will not focus on this here. If that interests you, go to the ‘Action’ menu after successfully finding duplicates in a directory.
Note: Always attach duplicate files before modifying, moving or deleting them
You should manually double check to confirm any set of duplicates found, especially before taking any action with the files in question.
Do not delete or modify any duplicate files without knowing what the files are and whether you need them or not.
Also, DO NOT delete or modify files labeled as duplicates without support up the Mac and the files in question.
If you do not manually confirm duplicates or if you do notup you may delete files that are not really duplicates. This can lead to permanent data loss of files.
For users without duplicates but who still want to try this tool, or if you want to try a test with some known duplicate files, you can use the “Duplicate Exactly” feature in Mac OS with a file and then run DupeGuru where that file is included . It’s a good way to see how the app works.
* You may need to right click and choose ‘Open’ to bypass the unidentified app warning from Gatekeeper in Mac OS, depending on your app’s security settings.
** Technically you could choose to select an entire hard drive, but apart from the fact that the scanning takes a long time, it is also more likely to find faulty duplicates and this can potentially lead to problems, For example, a common library can be found across multiple apps and removing it could break the functionality of those apps, or for another example, you may have intentionally duplicate copies of a photo (or from the Photos app) and removing it could be a mistake. So it is best to select specific user folders, don’t scan an entire disk unless you are an advanced user and extremely detailed.
There are other ways to find duplicates on a Mac, and dupeguru offers only one option. You can also find duplicate songs in iTunes, the Photos app, or by using different Finder search parameters, you can find files with duplicate names that can also help track down copies.
DupeGuru will continue to work for the time being although apparently it is no longer actively maintained but it is on Github and open source so if you are a developer and feel like choosing up the cause, have fun.
Do you have any preferred method or app to find duplicate files on Mac? Let us know in the comments below.
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