Find duplicate files

April 15, 2008

We all have duplicate data files such as pictures on our computers, even if we try really hard not to. So, how do you find, identify, and delete those duplicates that are just taking up space?

One solution is some software from Germany called DoubleKiller. DoubleKiller finds all duplicate files on your system (you can tell it to ignore system files), then you get options to move the duplicates to another folder, send them to the recycle bin, delete them, etc. DoubleKiller searches your files and folders and checks them byte-for-byte to make sure they really are duplicates, and can dig inside the file looking for common information. If you were trying to do this manually, you could only check them by file name and date and a few other attributes, none of which confirm that one file is EXACTLY the same as another.

When I tried the ‘light’ version of DoubleKiller, it found some 21,000 duplicate files just in one (large) directory)! DoubleKiller is a very small application (about 1MB) and doesn’t install anything on your system, so you can run it from a thumb drive.

The ‘light’ version is free, and the Pro version is US$19.95; available from http://www.bigbangenterprises.de/en/

[This article was first published in the March 2007 CyberText Newsletter; link and prices last checked January 2008]

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