How Do You Find Duplicate Files (or Compare Them)?


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How many files do you have on your computer? You probably have too many, and you probably have a lot of duplicate files. Finding those duplicate files can be a challenge without the right software. What if you need to compare files? Again, this can be a challenge. Thankfully, I have a couple of pieces of software to tell you about – one for Windows, and one for OS X.

WinMerge is an Open Source differencing and merging tool for Windows. WinMerge can compare both folders and files, presenting differences in a visual text format that is easy to understand and handle. You might need to see the difference between one revision of a document and another one. Using something like WinMerge makes this much easier on you.

Then, if you want to detect duplicate files on your Windows system, you might want to check out this donation-ware called CloneSpy. You might want to scan for duplicates to get rid of ones that you don’t need. This was a big issue back when we had tiny hard drives – like my first hard drive of 420 MB. Yes – I said MegaBytes!

For those of you on OS X, you can check out Araxix. They have two utilities that can help you out with your files. Araxis Merge allows you to compare text, images and binary files. Then you have Araxis Find Duplicate Files, which helps you find, view and manage files that have duplicate content, regardless of name.

There you go – solutions to help you manage the files on your computer, whether you’re using a Mac or a PC. If you know of other utilities that can help all of us, please let me know of them!

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4 thoughts on “How Do You Find Duplicate Files (or Compare Them)?”

  1. Funny that I posted the first hard drive size question over a week ago on the Geeks! site. I’ve gotten over 10 pages of responses so far!

    As I said my first drive was 40 meg…yes 40 mb. You’re 420 meg was a hundred times bigger than my first drive. LOL. I would have been in my glory if I had that drive. 🙂

    1. I take your 40mb and raise you 10mb. I was just thrilled to not have to swap floppy disks on the IBM XT.

  2. Oh man, this is great! I have many many dup files. I ran another program but it wasn’t detailed enough and I was afraid i’d delete important system files; so I left it alone. I only have 6gigs on this oldie and about 350megs available! I’m going to try the one Chrs recommends and hope I don’t fart it up. You see, i’m a 60yr. old granny tech, who LOVES TECHING. I have revised 3 old throw away computers I have to keep running for my grands. Atleast the previous owners thought they were too far infected, etc. and had the blue screen of death, but granny took care of that!! 🙂
    So, thanks again Chris!

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