How to Find and Delete Duplicate Files in Mac OS X

remove Mac duplicate files

Duplicate files like photos, documents, audio, video, etc can occupy your precious memory space of your Mac system and you might even not realize it. Maybe you’ve stored files into several folders or drive and extra copies could exist in the mail downloads folder. You might even stored duplicate music files in iTunes, normally since various albums from the same artist might contain the same tracks.

Hence, it is a good idea to remove those unwanted duplicates files which are occupying a large amount of space of your system, particularly when you are running low disk space.

Fortunately there are several ways to find and delete duplicate files in Mac OS X. They are as follows:

Method 1 – Use Finder to Find Duplicate files

Duplicate files can be easily located using Finder. The procedure is slow since you have to manually decide which files you want to keep and which to delete, however, with a little and patience you can find most duplicate files. Follow the steps below:

Step 1 – Open a new Finder window

Step 2 – In the search area, enter asterisk (*)

Step 3 – Make sure that the Size and Kind columns are displayed

Step 4 – Filter the results by Kind, and you will view the list of similar files.

This method is fairly correct since it display identical files listed by name, type and size. Now you can delete the duplicate files that you won’t want to keep, but before deleting make sure that they are really duplicate files. The main disadvantages with this method are the amount of time it takes to go through files one at a time.

Method 2: Use a Terminal Command or Script

It is likely (but not recommended to novices) to use “shell commands” in Terminal to list and delete duplicate files. Follow the below mentioned steps to see the list of duplicate files:

Step 1 – Open Terminal from Utilities folder or from Spotlight

Step 2 – Change to the directory (folder) you want to find from (including sub-folders) using the cd command. At the command prompt type in cd <folder name> for example cd ~/Documents to change directory to your home Documents folder

Step 3 – At the command prompt, type in the following 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

This method applies an easy checksum to recognize whether files are identical or not. The names of duplicate files will be displayed in a file name duplicate.txt in the current directory. Open the files to see the name of duplicate files.

Now you have several options to delete duplicate files. To delete all files in the text file, type in while read file; do rm “$file”; done < duplicates.txt in the command prompt.

Note – with this method, you must first copy one of each duplicate file to another folder before you enter the command because it deletes entire file listed.

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Method 3: Use a Third-Party Tool

There are several app available on internet which can help you in finding and removing duplicate files. Some of them are free and some chargeable. But if you are looking for genuine and trusted tool then you can use an excellent third party tool known as TidyUp for Mac. It easily finds and removes the duplicate files. Though the duplicate files may have different file name or saved in different drive or folder but have same content. TidyUp for Mac provide an easy way to clean the system junk files, user download files, caches and more just by one click. Hence it offers an easy way to keep your Mac clean and allow it run faster and smoother. So, try TidyUp for Mac for free and delete the duplicate files and clean your system now.