Remove Duplicate Files Mac

Remove Duplicate Files Mac

Sometimes even a mother can’t tell her twins apart. It’s as if one soul has been split apart in a blind act of nature or a divine authority and put into two bodies with indistinguishable genetic markers. Identical twins share dimples, rosy complexion, and other facial and body features that make one cute. The mirroring formula so habitually utilized by nature is also familiar to a Mac. It is not uncommon to have a drive stuffed with files that are virtually indistinguishable one from another. However, unlike twins, the duplicates are far from being cute. People show their affection for twins because they are rare and unusual. Duplicate files, on the other hand, can hardly surprise anyone who has owned a Mac for even one year. Typically, we are becoming aware of duplicates when there’s no free space on external hard drive or SSD for useful files and programs. After discovering that perfect copies of documents, songs, photos, and other files have inundated your Mac, it’s time to expunge them from computer. “How to get rid of duplicates?”, you ask. The short answer is to download a duplicate remover app from the Apple software store. Freeware for OS X and macOS is also available in droves on the Web. The long answer is complicated. Keep on reading to find the best way to remove duplicates from your Mac.

remove duplicate files

How to Find Duplicate Files Mac Manually

The very height of futility is to zero in on individual duplicates in an attempt to free up precious SSD space. If your Mac is swarming with duplicates, it will take an eternity (or two) to get rid of them. The manual deletion of file clones is not dissimilar from the extermination of clone troopers in Star Wars: ship-mounted weaponry does a much better job than personal-ranged weaponry does. In this analogy, ship-mounted weaponry is a professional program for finding and removing duplicates; personal-ranged weaponry is the manual approach. Even though it is possible to find identical files on computer with the help of Terminal, the manual approach is less efficient than the software way. Taking into consideration the fact that Apple App Store is replete with freeware for OS X and macOS, which you can download and use to remove clone files from your Mac or external hard drive, the choice of the best approach is easy. However, if you are neither interested in free nor commercial duplicate cleaners, you can resort to using Terminal. Here’s how to do it:

Launch Terminal from the Utilities folder (alternatively, use Spotlight search to do so);

Go to a folder you want to search;

Enter the following command verbatim: 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

Press the Enter button.

The execution of the command will result in the creation of a txt file containing a comprehensive list of identical items within the folder. At the risk of beating the Star Wars analogy into the ground, let me, please, point out that the manual approach is about as accurate as a sustained fire of personal-ranged weaponry (hint: it’s not). The method lefts out a large percentage of duplicate files. Furthermore, you still have to find the duplicates from the list and remove them, which is why it is recommended to stick to the software approach.

How to Delete Duplicate Files Mac Automatically

Since the Terminal search is unreliable and slow, I prefer the software or automatic approach to finding duplicates on my computer. Instead of entering long Terminal commands myself and doing other tedious and complicated stuff, I prefer using a free cleaning program. The best software for duplicate removal is capable of extracting identical files from the farthest corners of a MacBook Pro. If you are wondering “Can I use a duplicate cleaner to find files with a specific extension?”, the answer is “Yes.” How to go about this task depends on the utility itself; however, rest assured that all quality software for removing duplicates has multiple options for searching and sorting clone files. When it comes to the financial side of the issue, the commercial apps are usually performing better than their free counterparts. For one thing, they are super fast. For another, their toll on CPU and RAM resources of a Mac is less noticeable.

How to Find Duplicate Folders Mac

If you’ve been a Mac user for quite some time, you already know how to delete duplicate folders using the manual approach. You also know that the method is extremely inefficient and almost criminally slow. Instead of looking through the names and contents of your folders one-by-one trying to understand whether files in them are identical, it’s much better to use the help of a free duplicate remover. Of course, you can get your hands dirty and do it manually if there are only a few folders on your Mac. But who are we kidding? It is stuffed to the gills with hundreds of folders and folders within folders and folders within folders within folders the mind-bending magnitude and complexity of which can drive crazy even the creators of the Inception movie. For this reason, you will be much better off using a professional duplicate finder. Which one? It’s entirely up to you, my friend.