Finding Duplicates in a Specific Folder on a Mac

duplicates in folder

It is not a rare occurrence when Mac users have on their computers tons of duplicates without even realizing they are there. That said, these files may occupy an alarmingly large volume of space on the hard drive. It is likewise possible that you’ve copied files into several specific folders or external USB drives without knowing that additional copies have been saved in your Mail downloads folder. You might also discover a few gigabytes of unwanted duplicates in your iTunes folder. This is not so strange because a lot of albums from the same artist may contain the same tracks.

This clogs up useful space on your Mac, and it eventually becomes imperative to take care of those duplicates when you start running low on disk space.

duplicates in folder

Search and delete duplicates in a specific folder manually

Searching manually entails many processes, and duplicates can be found using different techniques. In this post, we will be going through two basic methods.

  1. Searching for duplicates using Finder on Mac

It’s quite easy to locate duplicate files with this method. It’s rather slow, though, because you have to work through it manually. Here is how to go about it:

  • Open Finder and input the asterisk ‘*’ symbol in the search bar (also, ensure that the ‘Name’, ‘Type’, and ‘Size’ columns are shown) and press the Return button;
  • Then, go on to filter the search results by name. As a result, you will get the list of all files sorted out alphabetically;
  • Go through them one by one to detect items with the same name, size and file type – these would be duplicates you wished to get rid of. Leave the original file and delete the clones.

As you can see, this method conducts the search based on name, type, and size of the files you want to search in particular folder. Therefore, it has the limitation of not being able to locate duplicates with different filenames.

  1. Using the Smart Folder option in your Finder

Although this approach may not be that convenient to execute, it is quite popular and effective in removing duplicates. One way to go about this is to sort the files that are peculiar to the folder you want to search using Smart Folders in your Finder. Create a smart folder and select the search parameters you’d like to use in sorting. Hence, the system will search and group files that meet those parameters in the smart folder making it easy to identify duplicates among found items. This method is a bit indirect and may prove a bit techie in nature.

Search and remove duplicates in iTunes

iTunes also has the built-in ability to detect duplicates, ranging from the song you downloaded twice to those that are present in different albums. It detects duplicate songs with the same title and artist. Using this app for searching duplicates involves highlighting the items in your iTunes Library. Then, you have to click the file menu and then press the Display Duplicates option. Duplicates will then be displayed in the iTunes window where you can delete items that you do not want to keep.

Get rid of duplicate files and folders using third-party apps

Using third-party apps makes the task of searching and deleting duplicates on your Mac faster and easier. There are tons of apps on the Mac App Store that will do the job well. An example of such useful duplicate file finder Mac is the Duplicate Cleaner app. It thoroughly scans the folder you choose or the entire system (you can also exempt a folder or several folders from the scan) and comes up with the list of identical items. A user can preview them, select those that should be tossed away, and eliminate them from Mac. Thus, the app lets you easily get rid of duplicates, be those photos, movies, documents, music, or archived files, present throughout the hard drive. All you need do is to:

  1. Install and set up the Duplicate Cleaner app.
  2. Start the app, then select the folder you want to search using the context menu and start scanning.
  3. Preview any duplicate found and then go on to delete the clones.

Some files may exist in a specific folder on your Mac as duplicates but with different filenames. This poses a herculean task for detecting them as duplicates. However, Duplicate Cleaner can detect them due to the smart algorithm that analyzes the file contents on a byte level to resolve if the files are really duplicates.