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Easy Ways You Can Find and Delete Dublicate Files on Mac

Locate and Delete Duplicate Files on Your Mac

Over time your Mac can get cluttered with file and document duplicates, especially if you don't clear out the storage regularly. Even if you do, there are some places that you don't think about checking or don't know that even exist.

When your Mac is full of unnecessary files, it starts running slower than before, can get laggy, and your storage spaces fill up faster. One of the few solutions to avoid such things happening is to delete all duplicate files.

Easy Ways You Can Find and Delete Dublicate Files on Mac

How Can You Locate and Delete Duplicate Files?

There are few ways you can locate and clear out duplicate files. One of them is using Combo Cleaner. With it, you won't need to waste your time manually looking for duplicates. With a few clicks, it will scan your Mac for duplicate files and documents. All you'll have to do is select which ones to delete.

With the help of a Smart Folder, you can save your searched files in a separate 'folder'. However, you'll still have to search the folder for duplicates yourself.

The Terminal is another way to help you locate duplicate files. It will scan a specific folder and create a text file with the list of duplicates it found. All you'll need are only two commands.

Mail App Creates Attachment Duplicates?

If you use the Mail app, we also recommend checking the Mail Downloads folder. That's because when you open an email with an attachment, the Mail app automatically makes a copy of it and stores it in its Download folder. Now imagine how many duplicate files it keeps.

Video on Locate and Delete Duplicate Files on Your Mac

Table of Contents:

Find and Delete Duplicate Files Using Combo Cleaner

Combo Cleaner will help you find and remove duplicate files in a matter of seconds. It's a great app that will not only save you much time but also help with finding big files, uninstalling apps, and much more.

To remove duplicate files with Combo Cleaner, follow the steps below:

1. Download the Combo Cleaner app from here and install it.
2. Open Combo Cleaner.
3. Go to the "Duplicates" tab.

Go to Duplicates tab

4. Click on "Start Scan" and wait for the app to find all duplicate files.

Click on Start Scan

5. When the scan is done, on the left side, select a file.
6. On the right side, check the box next to the file duplicate you want to remove.
7. When you've selected all duplicate files you want to delete, click on the "Remove" button.

Click on Remove

It's that simple!

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Find and Delete Duplicate Files Using Smart Folders

Another option is using Smart Folders. You'll have to find and remove the duplicates from your Mac manually.

To remove duplicate files using Smart Folder, follow the steps below:

1. Enable Finder.
2. From the menu bar, click on "File".
3. From the quick menu, select "New Smart Folder".

Select New Smart Folder

4. In the top-right corner, under the search bar, click on the "+" button.

Click on the + button

5. Then, click on the "Kind" drop-down menu.
6. If you want to see all files, we recommend not choosing anything. Or you can click on "Other" and choose a specific file kind.

Click on Other

7. Now, click on the following drop-down menu and select "Document".

Select Document

8. When done, click on "Save".

Click on Save

9. Name the Smart Folder and save it where you want.

Name and save the Smart Folder

10. Now, go to the created folder and search for the duplicate files manually. To make it easier, you can sort the documents by name, created date, and other.
11. Select all the duplicate files you want to delete and either drag them to Trash or right-click on the selection and click on "Move to Trash".

Don't forget to delete the files from Trash.

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Find and Delete Duplicate Files Using Terminal

The Terminal is another tool that can help you remove all duplicate files. But before doing anything, you need to understand what your doing as it can mess up a lot if you don't know anything or little about how it works. Use this method at your own risk.

To remove duplicate files using Terminal, follow the steps below:

1. Open Terminal using Spotlight, Launchpad, or the Utilities folder.
2. Choose the folder you want to scan for duplicates and enter it in the terminal window. For example, you need to enter "cd ~/Documents" to scan the Documents folder.

Enter the folder name you want to scan

3. Then, enter the command: 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

Enter the second Terminal command

4. The command will then create a text file with the list of found duplicates. The folder will be located in the scanned folder. In this case, in the Documents folder.

Open the .txt file

Unfortunately, not all duplicate files might be found due to having a different name. So you'll still have to manually go through the folder again to make sure there aren't any duplicated left.

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Find and Delete Duplicate Files in the Photos App

Locating photo duplicates is easier than document duplicates. That's because when you create a photo duplicate, they're named "Version (version number)" or has "copy" written next to its name.

To remove photo duplicates in the Photos app, follow the steps below:

1. Open a new Finder window.
2. Select the "Photos" or "Pictures" folder.
3. In the "Search" field, enter either "version" or "copy".

In the Photos folder, search Copy or Version

4. All photo duplicates will be found. Select them and move the selection to Trash or right-click on it and select "Move to Trash".

You'll have no problem finding photo duplicates this way unless you change the names of the copies. Then you'll have to find them manually.

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Find and Delete Duplicate Files in the Mail Downloads Folder

When you download an attachment from the Mail app, you not only download it to your device, but the Mail app itself quietly downloads it as well to its own Downloads folder. That means you have two copies of the same file on your Mac. If you've been using the Mail app for a long time, the amount of document copies accumulates and takes up space on your Mac.

To remove photo duplicates in the Mail Downloads folder, follow the steps below:

1. Launch Finder.
2. From the menu bar, select "Go" and then click on "Go to Folder".

Select Go to Folder

3. In the "Path" field enter: ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.mail/Data/Library/Mail Downloads

Go to Mail Downloads folder

4. A window with all downloaded files from the Mail app will appear. Select all of them and drag them to Trash. You can also right-click on the selection and click on "Move to Trash".

Don't forget to delete everything from the Trash as well.

We hope you found the information you were looking for.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter to stay informed about the latest tech news or online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

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