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How to Find and Delete Duplicate Files on Mac

Managing duplicate files on Mac is crucial as most of them are often useless and complicate file management. In other words, a load of duplicate files means fewer resources for your Mac, leading to a slow machine. Well, removing duplicate files on your Mac frees up additional space and improves the overall performance of your machine. It will also help you find the items you want more quickly. Luckily, finding duplicate files on your Mac is not that hard. Here are a few reliable ways to get rid of these files on your Mac.

Use of Smart Folders in Finder

Navigating through your Mac folders, checking, and locating each document for duplicates can be a daunting and inefficient task. This is because a lot of time and effort is needed. Also, it is easy to overlook some documents since your files are usually spread throughout multiple destinations. However, using smart folders in the Mac finder can go a long way in making your work easier since smart folders are designed to make finding files easier.

To use smart folders, you need to open the Finder window first then proceed to open the Apple menu bar. From the menu bar, select “file’’ and further select ‘’new smart folder’’.  Click on the plus (+) button appearing at the upper top right corner and set the search parameters to use, such as kind, date, name, and file type.  To find more parameters for sorting and searching files, click on “other.”  For instance, to remove duplicate photos, set up the image kind, file extension (.png, .jpg,.gif), size in pixels, etc. As a result, this provides you with a list to help you view all possible duplicate files focusing on file name and size. A smart folder helps you find all sorts of files no matter where they are on your Mac.

Use a duplicate File Finder

There are a couple of duplicate file finders on the Mac App Store, which automatically searches your system and recommends file doubles that can be deleted. An app like duplicate finder Gemini 2 is an excellent tool that can scan your computer’s hard drive and clear out the excess. The beauty is that it has a pleasing user interface and is easy to use. Once you open the app, you will be required to add a folder from your default locations: home, music, or pictures. Else, choose a custom folder instead.  The app then goes ahead to scan for duplicates, after which it shows how many copies have been found and recommends which files to delete. To delete the files that Gemini suggests, you can click on the smart clean up button or click review results to view the duplicate files in detail.

Use of Terminal Command

You can also use the terminal. Remember that the terminal command is a powerful command tool that requires a lot of attention and certainty since changes made to the terminal are not reversible and could have lasting effects on your Mac. It is crucial to double-check everything as you type into the command line to avoid ruining things up.

  1. To use the terminal command, open finder, go to applications, then utilities, and proceed to open a terminal
  2. Enter the name of the folder to check for duplicates with the cd command, for example, cd~/Documents and press enter.
  3. Copy and paste the following text: find . -size 20 \! -type d -exec cksum {} \; | sort | tee /tmp/f.tmp | cut -f 1,2 -d ‘ ‘ | uniq -d | grep -hif – /tmp/f.tmp> duplicate.txt
  4. Open a Finder window and navigate to your documents folder
  5. Open the Documents.txt file.

A list of all files in the specified folder will therefore be generated, although you have to delete them manually one by one.

Wrap up

Sometimes your Mac may be filled up with identical pictures, music, or documents. However, there are efficient ways to find the duplicates either through Mac’s inbuilt features or through third-party apps.  It is essential to be careful to ensure you don’t delete a wrong file since some actions are irreversible. Duplicate files are inevitable, and we hope this article will help you get rid of those files.

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