Depending on your type of work, you might end up in a scenario where you have multiple duplicate files on your Mac. Sometimes this goes unnoticed, but sometimes your Mac will run out of storage space and you might want to free up space by finding and deleting the duplicate files from your Mac. Luckily, finding duplicate files on macOS isn’t as difficult as you might think.
If you’ve used the same Mac for some time, it might have accumulated a large collection of files that could potentially include duplicates which are taking up valuable storage space on your device. This can happen especially with large media files, as a lot of times users will duplicate video files, projects, or PSD files before further modifying them. By deleting these unnecessary files, you can reclaim some of your storage space which can be used for other data or something more important. This is especially true given the fact that the SSD in most modern Macs is not user-upgradeable.
Finding these duplicate files is the hard part, but if you can’t figure it out, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will discuss how you can use smart folders to find duplicate files stored on your Mac.
How to Find Duplicate Files on Mac
Regardless of whether you have a MacBook or iMac or Mac Pro, finding duplicates is actually a fairly simple and straightforward procedure on macOS. Just follow the steps below to get started.
- Click “File” on your Mac desktop menu bar.
- Now, select “New Smart Folder” from the dropdown menu.
- This will open a window on your screen. Click on the “+” icon located next to the “Save” option as shown in the image below.
- Select the “Type” drop-down menu and select the file type for which you want to refine the search.
- Now, you will be able to browse all the files stored on your Mac, by file type whether it be documents, applications, music files etc. Scroll through this grid view to find the duplicate files you want to delete, It helps to order the list of files by ‘name’ so you can easily identify duplicate files.
- Confirm that the file is a duplicate by opening it and comparing the document in question, you can also use “Get Info” on the file to make sure the documents are the same file size
- You can right click on one of the duplicate files and select “Move to Trash / Bin”. To permanently delete it from your system, you just need to right click on the Trash Bin on your Mac desktop and empty the Trash bin.
Quite a few are there. Now you’ve learned how to easily find duplicate files on your Mac using the built-in smart folder feature which uses the search tool on Mac to narrow down folders by file type.
Third Party Duplicate File Finder for Mac
While the approach we just discussed is one of the ways to find and remove duplicate files on your macOS device, there are several third-party apps available on the App Store that make this process easier and smoother as they are specially designed for this purpose. . This application can automatically search your system and display duplicate files which can be removed.
For example, you can try an app like DupeGuru, which we’ve discussed for this purpose before, Gemini 2, or Duplicate File Finder Remover which is free to use but offers paid enhancements for full features, and you might find it useful for tracking data redundancy.
If you have had any particular experience with third party duplicate file finders for MacOS, of course share your thoughts on it in the comments!
Free up storage? There’s more to try
Apart from deleting duplicate files, you can also free up space by deleting “More” data as well as deleting applications, documents, files and backups that you no longer use. Make sure to check your Mac’s storage space regularly to see if you have enough space for new software, as well as to perform at its best, as macOS intends.
If you subscribe to iCloud, have a solid internet connection, and like using a cloud storage service, you can also move some files, photos, and documents to iCloud when your storage space is running low. For example, you can use iCloud Photos on your Mac to seamlessly share pictures between your Mac (and iPhone and iPad) while not taking up too much local storage space. ICloud files are automatically synced across all of your Apple devices, which only adds to the convenience of switching between devices.
Are you able to find and delete duplicate files stored on your Mac? Have you ever used a third party application for the same purpose? Which method is your preferred approach for finding duplicate data on your computer? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section.