Easy Ways to Manage Duplicate Files

Are you sure you don’t have any duplicate files on your computer? Practically every system has at least some duplicate files stored in different folders on the hard drive. Duplicate files waste space and are useless at best. So, here are three best ways how you can manage duplicate files.

Most of the time, duplicate files accumulate if you like to store photos and music on your computer. Photographers and music lovers may have thousands of them scattered in different folders, plus additional duplicates on USB thumb drives and other external media. In the worst case scenario, nearly half of all your photos can be duplicates. So, how does this happen?

If you like to take photos, then you know that sometimes you need to make several photos of the same thing for quality reasons. Sometimes the first shot is out of focus, the exposure is not correct or you simply forget to switch off flash. As a result, you get several photos of the same subject – one good quality and a couple faulty images. Often people don’t delete the faulty ones straight away. So when the photos are uploaded to a computer, the bad images are uploaded as well. These images are nothing but useless duplicate files that waste disk space. You need to manage duplicate files to free up disk space and organize your gallery. Same goes for music compressed with different bit rate, duplicate Word documents and so on.

There are many ways to resolve duplicate files. The first one is the simplest if all we are dealing with are duplicate images and songs. You need to avoid creating duplicates in the first place. So make sure you go through the photos on your camera right after shooting (for example, when you get back to your hotel if you are on holiday) and delete low quality and faulty images. The same strategy will work for songs. Simply check the songs as soon as you download them and delete the copies that are of lower quality. But what to do if you already have duplicates on your system?

The first thing you should do is use your computer’s search feature if you suspect that a file has a copy in a different folder. If the two files share the same name, both will show up in the search and you will be able to delete one of them. This method is not perfect because it can take a really long time and you are bound to miss some duplicate files. Same goes for checking your folders manually and comparing things like file size and modification date. Not to mention that this method is not 100% safe because you risk deleting an important document revision or a treasured photo. That’s why you should use the safest method to manage duplicate files – duplicate file finding software.

There are a lot of good duplicate finders that you can download for free. Just make sure you download from a reputable website and that the program has the following feature:

– the ability to match files by name, size and date
– the ability to match files by content (byte-by-byte)
– have preview options for all types of files

Using software to manage duplicate files will help you remove useless copies without the risk of deleting something important. It will also save you a lot of time and disk space.