2017-18 Best Duplicate File Finder & Remover for Mac

Utilities   •  Updated on Aug.19, 2018

Your Mac gets filled up with excess files the more you use them.

Especially if you frequently use Photos or iTunes at the holiday season, you definitely have plenty of duplicates hidden in the depth of it.

Duplicate files is a problem, …which apparently takes a lot of space on the system.


Finding duplicate files on your Mac seems a very laborious task. And, who in the world has so much time to sit and weed out extra photos, documents, and other media files single-handedly?

Luckily, there are duplicate file finder programs will hunt down items in your hard drive and show you ones that are exactly alike, or even similar, so you can quickly remove unwanted doubles to keep your Mac clean.

Given that there are many Mac duplicate files finder available on the web, we had to skim through them to stumble upon the best.

So, which one is best of 2017-2018?

Quick navigation:
Criteria for the best duplicate finder app
The pick: Gemini 2
What’s Gemini?
What does Gemini do?
Is Gemini safe to use?
Who else is recommending Gemini 2?
The competition: TidyUp 4
Other contenders
Wrap up

Criteria for the best duplicate finder app

We defined the following metrics to help us select the best duplicate file finder for Mac.

  • Easy and fast to use: have a fast scan engineand an intuitive interface to efficiently find true duplicates
  • File filter: filter duplicate files by size, name, type…
  • Search setting: set the size range of duplicate files
  • Delete option: you can move duplicate to trash or delete permanently
  • File preview: allow you to preview files before you delete them
  • Works with Photos and iTunes: integrate with iTunes and Photo(iPhoto)and delete duplicates from these libraries.

The pick: Gemini 2

The best duplicate file finder for mac OS is Gemini 2($19.99). See Gemini 2 in action from the developer:

What’s Gemini – the Eggs? the Twins?

We’ve been an active user of Gemini software since its inception. But for those of you who are new to Gemini, it’s an app developed by MacPaw Inc. About the name, the developer explained below:

“Gemini is a constellation in the Northern Hemisphere, also known as the ‘twins’. Duplicate files are identical, like twins or two eggs, which is why we used these themes in the name and the logo.”

What Does Gemini Do?

Gemini 2 is a flexible, user-friendly duplicate file finder that lets you scan your entire computer or individual files for duplicates.

Whether you are trying to track down photos, movies, songs, or documents that are doubles, Gemini has you covered.

The app can also aptly be said as an “Intelligent Duplicate File Finder.”

That is because it uses an exclusive algorithm, which not only can help you identify duplicate files but also spot and detects similar files, easily tells copies from originals, and adapts to the way you work with it.

Impressive, eh?

Let’s have a closer look at how it works.

NOTE: Before using this, we would suggest you first take a backup using Time Machine or copy all your important files to an external hard drive or an online cloud backup service – just to be safe.

Scanning folders

Gemini is easy to use no matter your skill. It has a great looking interface with clear and understandable instructions. It’s the FIRST Mac app to get the Red Dot Design Award in UI Communication Category for its user interface design.

You may click the huge plus + sign or simply drag-and-drop the folder or drive you wish to scan into that screen. After that, click Scan for Duplicates.

It will take a couple of minutes and you’ll need to provide access to your photo and iTunes libraries. Note that although Gemini’s scanning is fast and efficient, the more folders you select to scan, the more time it will take to scan them.

We began by asking Gemini to scan our entire Home folder, of which it made quick work. The entire process took less than a minute. In those sixty seconds, Gemini identified about half a gigabyte of duplicates from a hundred gigabytes of files.

Finding and removing duplicates

Once it’s done, you’ll get a view that shows you how many GBs of duplicate files it found. The app also recommends you a list of files it thinks are a total match and can be deleted using just a click.

We would suggest you don’t do that. When dealing with work files, it’s best to double check. So click on Review Results instead.

This will open a new, 3 paned window.

Gemini divides up your duplicates by file type so you can easily delete the unnecessary stuff.

You can still sort files by Size, Name, Count and Selected Count and select the viewing style: grid or list. You can also see the total size of the data to be deleted.

Gemini 2 gives us the option not to select files manually. Copies are automatically marked for deletion, and to remove them, you just need to click Remove. Once you have clicked Remove, the removal process begins.

In our case, it found 38GB duplicate files on our MacBook Air, and we safely removed 10.1 GB of them within ten minutes.

Detecting and deleting similars

Just like duplicates, similars are space wasters. With Gemini 2, it not only hunts for duplicate files, but also similar files.This includes files that are not 100% the same, but similar enough that a difference between them might not be recognizable.

For example, imagine you went out on a photo shoot and took a few hundred photos. At the end of the day not all the photos would be exactly the same, but some could be similar enough that it would be okay to delete them.

The search algorithm is smart enough that it’ll even identify images that are the same or similar even when they don’t have the same name and they aren’t in the same directly. This is some next levels stuff. And it actually works.

In our testing, we pointed it to our Photos library and it found 32 photos from a photo shoot that were all nearly identical, same scene and day, and we were able to quickly go through and delete nearly all of them.

Photos and iTunes cleanup

Since Photo is a default program on every Mac, there are duplicate folders or images that you created to move or edit, and forgot about them. Then when you sync galleries on different Macs, or migrate them from one to another, or sync it with a device you’re taking pictures with, and the device re-downloads some images for the second time.

Besides, we frequently download remixes of songs, or variants of the same songs, and sometimes duplicates of them sneak into our iTunes library without we knowing, too.

The process of removing Photos and/or iTunes duplicates is much the same as finding other duplicate files on your Mac.

Gemini 2 scans your iTunes and Photos libraries in search of retakes of the same picture or different formats of the same song, and becomes smarter and more precise in automatic selection of duplicates the more you use it.

Gemini found those duplicate files, even when their names and dates were completely different, and let us get rid of them without hassle. All in all, we cleaned nearly 2 GB out of our iTunes library alone.

Gemini 2 settings

The default settings within the app should meet most of your basic needs. If you have some advanced needs or want to customize the app to better fit your using habit, Gemini 2 allows you to set your preferences.

Is Gemini safe to use?

Yes, it is. Gemini 2 is 100% safe to use. Its scanning algorithms keep vital system files intact. You can rest assured that you won’t remove files that can affect your system performance.

Also, in terms of operation security, don’t worry about unwanted files being incorrectly classed as duplicates and potentially deleted: Gemini 2 sends duplicate items to the Trash, meaning they’re not really deleted until you Empty Trash in the Finder.

Who else is recommending Gemini 2?

Not only did Gemini 2 win our pick, but it is also a favorite around the internet…

  • TNW says “Gemini for Mac has been revamped, and version 2.0 brings in a ton of improvements that may make it a must-have app.”
  • MacWorld finds “it’s also much faster, especially compared to digging through thousands of files and folders the old-fashioned way.”
  • Lifehacker touts that it “gots 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. “
  • iLounge named it “an intelligent duplicate finder that can help you recover a ton of space on your Mac by ferreting out duplicate — and even similar — files, and smartly choosing which ones to keep and which to throw away.”

The competition: TidyUp 4

You have a ton of options for finding duplicate files, but only a few really stand out from the rest.

If you’re an advanced expert user and more interested in a ton of filtering options, or don’t mind plodding your way through the program’s confusing interface, TidyUp 4($30) is a solid and free way to get rid of duplicate files on your hard drive.

The program has this good mix of power with responsibility, it comes with Basic and Advanced search modes: we found the Simple Mode did all we needed, but using the second is advisable if you want to custom smart searches.

An example of the additional capabilities can be seen in the Music, while in Advanced Mode, you’ll find you can dig down and search for a few specific Music data types and attributes (file name, modification or creation dates, file extension, type, creator name, item size and more).

You can use the Advanced Mode to build up complex smart searches to help find exact duplicates or even very similar items; it all depends on how you set the search up.

Other contenders:

Easy Duplicate Finder (EDF)

The Easy duplicate file finder ($39.95 for one computer) does hold true to its name, it’s very easy to use. The wizard walks you through each step and there aren’t a ton of confusing options that get in the way.

Start by choosing the folders or hard drives that should and should not be included in the scan, the file types that it should/shouldn’t look for and the maximum and minimum file size to further cut down on the results.

The app has an useful Google Drive and Dropbox Scan Mode that will find and delete all duplicates from your Google Drive or Dropbox, this is a feature not common found in other applications.

The EDF works in our tests, there is however a delay in the ‘progress’ animation when scanning, and files that were only slightly different were not identified after scan.

PhotoSweeper 3

If most of the space on your computer is consumed by photos, then PhotoSweeper($9.99) is nice and dedicated Mac duplicate photo finder built to help you.

PhotoSweeper really has one main goal, and that’s to help you clean up unwanted duplicate or like photos from your Mac, no matter where they’re hiding.

It works with the built-in Photos app, as well as iPhoto, if you haven’t yet migrated your library. It also works with Aperture, Adobe Lightroom, and Capture One.

It can even read in your Photos library structure, allowing you to select by year, moment, or album, or just search for photos from directly within its built-in Media Browser.

The Auto Mark face-to-face feature sits at the heart of the app, and there’s flexibility in how you use it. Auto marking gives you guidance — but does not automatically remove photos.

PhotoSweeper is priced at only $9.99, if you prefer “one-purpose” app, and want a budget solution, this would be worth a try.


If you have a large iTunes library, check out Doug Adams’ Dupin($15) – a tiny iTunes cleanup software. This app goes much further, finding duplicates that iTunes ignores, allowing you to more easily choose which to keep and which to delete.

Dupin can even add all the duplicates it finds to an iTunes playlist, so you can quickly sort through your duplicate iTunes tracks based on your choice of criteria.


dupeGuru is a free app that finds duplicate files on your Mac.

dupeGuru has three modes (Standard, Music, and Picture) for you to choose from depending on what kind of files you want to scan. For pictures and music mode, the app gives you extra search criteria: bitrate, track length, compression and several others.

We used it to check the Downloads folders for duplicates. The scan process was very quick. The results were clearly displayed like a table, and from there we were able to easily identify which ones are copies, as they are marked in blue.

dupeGuru is a great app, and is free, but professional-level tool which is same as Tidy up 4. And in terms of user experience, Gemini 2 is definitely superior: It looks more attractive and has “Smart Selection” and “Smart Cleanup” functions.

Wrap up

Gemini 2 is our pick for the best duplicate file finder for Mac. A great design, great duplicates and similar files finder and remover keeps this app on our home screens.

It’s a paid app, for $19.99 it’s a small investment for your sanity.  The software is also included in Setapp, MacPaw’s Mac software subscription service priced at $9.99 per month.

Gemini is now also available on iPhone as a dedicated photo finder. Similar to Gemini for Mac, Gemini Photos for iOS specializes in finding similar images and even photos that it believes may be notes so you can slim down your photo library to just the images you want to keep.

Gemini is free to download, so you can snag the demo version that’ll scan files but only capable of removing 500MB of duplicate files. When you purchase the full version, you will be able to remove an unlimited amount of duplicates.

By | 2018-10-11T03:23:40+00:00 August 19th, 2018|Utility|