When we’ve got a couple of terabyte hard drives laying around, it’s easy to lose track of data. It’s easy to create duplicate copies of your photo library or Photoshop files for backup but as time goes, not only does it complicate things when it’s actually time to look for them but also takes up space that could be better used. If you’ve got multiple copies of your photos laying around, it’s time to clean them up and upload them to the cloud. Some services will let you upload up to 50 GB of data for free.
But cleaning up isn’t enough. Actually there’s a lot you can do wrong when cleaning up duplicate files manually. I’ve been guilty of permanently deleting important files accidentally in the name of spring cleaning only to spend hours trying to recover them (sometimes fruitlessly).
But there’s no need to fear. There’s a way to get over this human error tendency by using apps that are programmed to do this, and do this well. Below are the two best options for your every need if you are a Windows 8 user. Quick and easy and detailed and powerful.
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Easy Duplicate Finder
Easy Duplicate Finder really lives up to its name. All you have to do after installing the app is drag in the folder you want to scan and click the Scan button. EDF is also fast. It scanned a 15 GB folder filled with music in a couple of seconds and brought forward reliable results.
Once the scan is done, you can click the green Go Fix Them button and you’ll be presented a detailed list of all the duplicate files with copies already check-marked. From the Manage Duplicates button you can either choose to move them to a different folder, rename them or delete the files entirely.
Once you’ve scanned the folder, you can sort the files in different formats like documents, music, pictures, video, archives etc.
Duplicate Cleaner Free
If you’re looking for a bit more control over the finding process than dragging and dropping a folder, you might want to look at Duplicate Cleaner Free. It comes with a lot of options to help you narrow down the search pool so you can find duplicates faster and easily. There’s also a search filter feature that targets duplicate files that only include certain characters. If you know what you’re not looking for, try excluding those characters.
You can also narrow down by the size of the file. This is especially helpful with small code files or log files that always seep through when searching for the big ones. Lastly, there’s a search filter for dates so you can choose to search for files created/modified between specific dates only.
The pane next to Search Criteria is Scan Location. This is the classic folders area. You can browse for specific folders or entire drives on the left pane. Drag them to the right pane or click the arrow button to send them to the Search panel. There are options to select the subfolders or to manually assign a folder name. Once you’ve narrowed down the list of folders you want to scan, click the Scan Now button from the top toolbar.
When the search is complete, the duplicate files will show up in the Duplicate Files panel and folders will be in Duplicate Folders panel. Check the duplicate files you want to delete and press the File Removal button from the top.
Easy Duplicate Finder Vs Duplicate Cleaner Free
EDF is easy to use, no doubt. This is the program you can send to your computer illiterate relatives and they’ll still know how to use it.
DCF is the program for people who know what they are doing. It is for the people who are well aware of the locations of the files that need to be sorted out or need specific search tools to narrow down a large pool of duplicate files.