How To Find And Delete Duplicate Files

In the course of loading files from the internet you probably never worry about the space that these files consume. This is no big deal -in the beginning – for a large hard drive. It usually takes a pop up on the bottom right hand side of the screen warning you about the low hard drive space for you to take notice.

When this happens PC users usually scramble through their files wondering which ones should be deleted. Ten to fifteen minutes later they sit in confusion and realize that there are no files that they care to delete. You can delete a couple of files, but none are significant enough to change your low disk space warning. You sit and ponder a little longer about a true method to free up disk space. If you’re not willing to buy a bigger hard drive at the spur of the moment deleting files is your only choice.

It occurs to you that in all of your downloading you may have incidentally downloaded the same file twice. There is software on the market that you can purchase for finding duplicate files, but the freeware honestly works just as well. You can go to sites like which is ran by CNet to find free software to detecting duplicates.

It is important to realize that software does not exactly account for files the way humans would. There are obvious flaws as a result of this. For instance, if you have pictures from your camera or videos from you phone stored on your hard drive that you fail to name there will be a problem. Camera and other devices assign name tags for pictures. Something strange happens if you take out your memory card, dump these pictures to your hard drive, reload the memory card, and repeat this process. If you failed to name the pictures when you transfer the pictures to your drive again in another area they will have the same tag names as the first set of pictures you dumped. When you run the software program for detecting duplicate files these files will register as duplicates because they have the same names. The pictures may be different, but the software is totally unaware of this.

You may also find this problem with files that are named the same for software programs. There may be executable files in different locations with the same names. These programs are vital to executing the programs on your hard drive, and they are different files. The computer doesn’t see any of this. It just knows that the names are a match, and that makes them duplicate files.

The software isn’t completely bad, but another more effective method is to go and conduct a wild card search. This is done by typing in an asterisk, period, and the file name extension. Start with video extensions such an AVI or MKV file formats. The videos are typically the large space mongers, and a wild card search will help you find all the files for a specify category. The best method is to group the results by size and open up a couple that are similar in size. There are times when you can download two files with non-descriptive names that are actually the same file. There’s just no way to know this unless you open the files.

It is probably best to utilize a combination of your own decision making skills and software. Everything just becomes tedious if you try to open every file yourself. Leaving your entire duplicate file search to the mercy of software, however, may become more trouble than it’s worth if you delete important files. Using a combination of both will provide you with a timely search for duplicates and a much more accurate method of sorting the files that can be deleted. Finding duplicates through your basic search results is the most effective.