The Best Duplicate File Finder for Mac (2019 Update)
Utilities • Updated on Feb.26, 2019
Duplicate files is a silent killer as far as your Mac is concerned.
You won’t know their impact until you see a ‘Disk Space Full’ warning from your Mac.
As it happens, however, you cannot prevent macOS from creating duplicate files. When you add music into iTunes, for instance, duplicate files are created. The same goes for the case of Apple Photos.
On top of these, you will be adding duplicate copies of photos, documents, music and videos on your own. In short, your Mac gets filled up with excess files the more you use them.
So, what’s the solution? Well, regularly removing duplicate files would certainly help you.
The benefits of removing duplicates from Mac
The biggest benefit is that you will be saving a lot of space and keeping you mac clean. Let’s consider this scenario: when you add around 2GB of music to iTunes, you are practically spending 4GB of space from the Mac. For a device that has 128GB or 256GB of onboard storage, that’s not easy.
Removing duplicate files would also help you organize your Mac in a better way. You will not stumble upon duplicate results when you are searching for a file. If you are someone who uses Spotlight way too often, this is great.
After making duplicate removal a part of my digital routine, I also observed better performance on my Mac. Naturally, when it has fewer files to index and process, the macOS system would perform better. We believe that’s indeed a convincing reason.
Now that you know duplicates are bad, how do you remove them?
Meet the best duplicate file finders for Mac
Because you cannot sit idle and go through individual directories, developers have built software to do that.
Duplicate file finders will analyze your Mac for duplicate files and organize them neatly. Then, in just a single click, you can remove them all.
So, in a minute or two, you will have a more free, organized and well-performing macOS system. Impressive, huh?
As is the case, there are a number of duplicate file finders for Mac in the market. And, we wanted to present you the best.
To do that, we had set up some basic criteria as well.
- Easy to Use UI is a necessity when it comes to duplicate file finders. You must have an easy option to scan the Mac and analyze the results in the quickest time possible. Because you have to select which files are to be deleted, this is important.
- The best duplicate file finder must work with iTunes and Photos. As we said, most of the duplicates are found in Photos and iTunes. If the tool can’t search inside the two apps, that’s a bummer.
- Filter options are also great when it comes to these tools. Sometimes, you want to delete duplicates that are of certain and sometimes, you just want to delete certain types of files. In either case, you’ll have to use filters.
- Search option also comes in handy. Sometimes, you know that there are certain duplicate files on a Mac. Using the Search function, you can find and get rid of these files in a jiffy. This would also come in handy while filtering files out.
- Last but not least, we also looked for some additional features in the best duplicate file finder. It must have, for instance, file preview and custom-delete option. Both these will help you confirm that you are deleting the right duplicate.
With all these pointers in mind, we chose the following best duplicate file finders for Mac.
Best overall for most people: Gemini 2
Gemini 2 has been the gold standard for Mac duplicate removal for some time. After testing tens of tools for duplicate file removal, we think Gemini 2 deserves the top position.
Gemini 2 is one of the most popular duplicate file finders and removers for Mac. Developed by MacPaw, the tool allows you to accurately scan your Mac for duplicate files and remove them. It’s very easy to use and is regularly updated with awesome features. A lot of people choose Gemini 2 when they want a smart way to remove duplicates from their macOS system.
See Gemini 2 in action from the developer:
What does Gemini do?
As we said, Gemini 2 will help you remove duplicate files from your Mac and make it free, organized and of course better-performing. There are a bunch of steps involved in the process, though.
First of all, Gemini 2 would scan your Mac directory for duplicate files. You can also perform custom scans if you want. Anyway, once the scanning is done, you will have a list of duplicate/similar files. Then, in a single click, you can get rid of the unwanted files.
The best part here is that Gemini 2 is so smart. 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.
Is Gemini safe to use?
Yes, Gemini 2 is completely safe to use.
This tool has been designed to spot duplicate files from a normal directory and leave important areas alone. It means that Gemini 2 won’t be touching system files or directories. As an extra step, Gemini 2 would move deleted files to the Trash first. It’s up to you to delete them further.
So, even if you completely leave the action to Gemini 2, there won’t be trouble.
Gemini 2 in-depth review
Shall we now see how well does Gemini 2 perform when it comes to dealing with duplicates?
Let’s cut to the chase.
Note: We really recommend backing up your Mac using Time Machine or online backup tools before trying to remove duplicates. So, even if something goes wrong, you will have a backup.
Gemini 2 offers multiple modes to scan folders and directories in your Mac. You can choose between Home Folder scan, Pictures Folder scan, Music Folder scan and Custom Folder scan. The first three modes are nearly automated while the fourth one wants you to provide the folder details.
Depending on the storage space, consumed space and performance of your Mac, the scanning process may take a few seconds to a few minutes. We would not really mind this — as long as Gemini 2 finds all duplicate files present. When Gemini 2 is scanning the directory, you can see the amount of duplicate files it has found on the side.
Removing duplicate files
Once the scanning is done, Gemini 2 intelligently selects which should be deleted. You have two options as of now.
First, you can choose Smart Cleanup. This method is automated and remove all the duplicate files as selected by Gemini 2. As you can see in the picture, Gemini 2 has automatically selected 738MB as the ones to delete from the whole 1.84GB of duplicate files it has found.
Second, if you need more control over what is deleted, you can choose Review Results. This would open up a window where you can find the list of potential duplicate files. As you can see, the whole interface is quite detailed. From the sidebar, you can view each type of duplicate files. On the Preview pane, you can preview each file on the list.
Gemini 2 also offers an option to customize the whole deal. You can change how duplicate files have been sorted. Once you have made the changes to the selection, you can click on the Remove button. All the selected files would be deleted.
Finding and removing similar files
Duplicate files and similar files are different, you know. But, both can be a curse for your storage space at a time.
Gemini 2 has a smarter way to recognize and remove similar files from your Mac. When you scan a folder or directory for duplicate files, Gemini 2 would also find similar files. You can access this section from the main sidebar. It goes even a step further while listing two similar files. You can see the difference in terms of file size, modified date or the directory.
We would not say that the system is perfect. It often includes non-similar photos in one pack. Anyway, this is way better than going through individual files. Just like we did in the case of duplicate files, you can choose one (or more) files to be deleted.
Then, in a single click, Gemini 2 would remove all of them from your Mac.
It’s worth noting that, despite the simple UI, Gemini 2 offers a bunch of customization options to go with.
You can change a few aspects of how Gemini 2 works in finding and removing files. For instance, if you go to the Smart Selection section, you can set up smart selection rules. Here, for instance, Gemini 2 does not select images that have been edited using Instagram.
On the other hand, in the Removal section, you have an option to select where the files go after removal. Its options include Trash, Permanent Deletion or a specific folder. You can also set up Gemini 2 to remove empty folders from the system.
All in all, the options are impressive indeed.
Gemini 2 offers an option to review the files you just deleted. Unless you clear the Trash, you will be able to put back those files whenever you want. This is quite an amazing feature when you are dealing with some important files on your Mac.
It’s also great that Gemini 2 is well-integrated with iTunes and Photos. During the Scanning process, Gemini 2 will open both apps and scan the content. So, you will be see the complete list of songs, videos and photos in the ‘Review’ pane.
Multiple View options are also something to love in Gemini 2. You can choose between the Grid View and List View while viewing duplicate or similar files. This view provides a better experience of choosing between the actual files.
Pricing and availability
Gemini 2 is available for Mac only. While you can download it for free, constant use requires purchase.
You can purchase Gemini 2 via Subscription model or as one-time purchase. 1-Year subscription costs $19.95 while one-time purchase is at $44.95.
And, as we said earlier, Gemini 2 is available on Setapp as well.
Considering all these, Gemini 2 is indeed the best duplicate file finder for most people. It packs a simple UI, a set of useful features and offers control over the process. We also loved the smart algorithm at work, which makes it a hassle-free task to remove duplicates from the macOS system.
Most powerful for advanced users: Tidy Up 5
There are times when you need better control and customization over the duplicate file finder and removal process in your Mac. In other words, when you are an advanced user, you need a more powerful duplicate finder tool. Fortunately, we have come across the most powerful tool — Tidy Up 5. In comparison with the previous tool, Tidy Up 5 offers a lot more.
Getting started with and using Tidy Up 5 is easier than it seems. You can choose between the Simple Mode and the Advanced Mode. Even the Simple Mode offers better control over the search process. You can tell the app about the type of content you want to find — Images, Photos, Music, Folders, Documents etc. You can also decide if you want to search for a particular file format in the results.
In the Advanced Mode, you can go to further depths of finding the right files. For instance, while searching for Photographs, you get a variety of filtering options. You can even select photos that were captured at a particular place on earth. In the case of songs, you can set up criteria based on name, size and the genre that the track is from.
In other words, the performance levels offered by Tidy Up 5 is off the charts. Even when you are looking for the most specific files, Tidy Up 5 would not have trouble in helping you find them. Just so you know, you can also change the Source files and Drives from the left sidebars. Altogether, customization is the core element when it comes to Tidy Up 5.
We wish, however, if Tidy Up 5 had a more intuitive UI. It does not feel that easy to use the app for finding and removing files. While the extra power is commendable, the UI does not worth the overall praise. If you have not used a duplicate remover before, you may have trouble with Tidy Up 5. At the same time, we think the Review page is not so bad.
Availability and pricing
Tidy Up 5 tool is available for Mac and the pricing starts at $29.99. You can always download the free trial to test the tool.
If most of the space on your computer is consumed by photos, then PhotoSweeper is nice and dedicated Mac duplicate photo finder built to help you. As it happens, the interface is different from what you would expect.
Compared to other tools in the list, PhotoSweeper X offers photo-based filters as well. For instance, when it comes to searching for duplicate files, you can set up the right criteria, such as not choosing the photographs that were clicked a huge time apart. It’s also great that PhotoSweeper X provides metadata and other data about the image on the sidebar.
PhotoSweeper X has been designed in such a way that you can compare two photographs with the ultimate ease. The app performs impressively well when it comes to finding duplicate and similar photographs. We think the UI plays the most important role here. You can even choose between the Viewing Modes — such as One by One, Face to Face, and All-in-One.
We should understand that PhotoSweeper X has been designed for duplicate photo finding only. For someone with that level of expertise, it is a privilege to have control over the scanning and removal process. Also, you would not end up deleting an important photograph from the library. By the way, PhotoSweeper X lets you access photo library from Adobe Lightroom as well.
Pricing and availability
PhotoSweeper X is available for Mac and you can download the free trial. The license costs $9.99.
The other duplicate finders we considered
Let’s have a look at the other great duplicate file finders for Mac that just didn’t make it to the top. You can consider if you have some specific demands or requisites.
Easy Duplicate Finder
If you are looking for a basic duplicate file remover for Mac, you should consider Easy Duplicate Finder. This tool does not have anything fancy to offer here. You have a three-tabbed interface that navigates you in the whole duplicate-finding process. However, we found that the scanning process is comparatively slower than our top picks.
The way Easy Duplicate Finder works is really straightforward. Once you have found the duplicate files, you can go ahead and review the files. Unlike Gemini or PhotoSweeper, Easy Duplicate Finder does not offer any option for customization.
Easy Duplicate Finder is available for both Windows and macOS and free to use. The trial version provides unlimited scanning and lets you manage 10 groups of duplicate files. After that, file management options become locked and the scanning remains available, you should upgrade with the price at $39.95 for 1 computer.
Duplicate Detective is a pretty straightforward duplicate file remover for Mac. It comes from Fiplab, which has developed a number of Mac utilities in the past. Instead of investing in fancy features, this app is trying to offer the seamless experience. You can select the folder and the app would start the scanning in some time. In the next step, you can review the results as always.
For a simple tool like Duplicate Detective, we think the Review UI is impressive. You can choose between the various viewing modes and easily compare two duplicate files. Even better, Duplicate Detective has separate viewing options for documents, images, music etc. Although not as smart as Gemini, this app too has a Smart Select option, which is more than sufficient.
Duplicate Detective is available for Mac and you can get it for just $4.99. A free trial is also available.
We already listed PhotoSweeper X, which is dedicated to finding duplicate photographs from your Mac. In that respect, Dupin is worth the consideration if you want to find duplicate tracks on iTunes. Setting up Dupin can be a bit of a humdrum for some people. You will mostly have to change an iTunes setting to enable full access to the app.
Once the scanning is done, however, Dupin offers plenty of filtering options. If you have built a long list of music content on your Mac, it’s likely that you would have some duplicate tracks. Dupin also performs well when it comes to finding similar tracks in the library. Unlike what one may judge from the simple UI, Dupin is regularly updated and even supports Apple Music.
Dupin is available as a free demo but you have to pay $15 for a license code. It’s also Mac-only.
Are you looking for a simple, completely free and cross-platform duplicate file finder? In that case, you must consider dupeGuru. The only problem with dupeGuru is that it’s not maintained, but you can use the same tool on Mac, Windows, Linux and even get the source code. Once again, we have a tool with a pretty straightforward way of dealing with things.
The UI, however, could be a problem for some people. As you can see, dupeGuru does not have a visually-impressive UI. Instead, it presents the list of duplicate files which you can preview and delete. Needless to say, it goes with the trend of minimalism. But, considering that you are not paying anything, the performance is impressive.
dupeGuru is available cross-platform and costs nothing.
A final tip
We hope you were able to find the most suitable duplicate file finder from our list. By the way, it does not matter which tool you pick, make sure that you back up your information. Nothing would go wrong with an amazing tool like Gemini 2 or Tidy Up 5. Nevertheless, it makes sense to back up your sensitive information to an external drive or an online backup service. So, even in the worst case of corrupted data, you don’t have to worry about anything.