How to Find and Clean Duplicate Files On Your Computer

A new PC computer is pretty fast out of the box. As time goes on and files add up the seek time for the computer gets slower and slower. Duplicate files can take up space and freeing up this space gives more workability back to your PC and a bit more speed as well. Our family camera is shared among all of us. Its a high megapixel camera and every upload of the memory card is at least 1gigabyte of space. Things happen and duplicates in the multigig area are found. Here's eHow to find and deal with those duplicate files.



Step 1

Find yourself a good program that will search and sort out the duplicate files. I use a freeware program that does exactly this. "Easy Duplicate Finder" is that freeware program that I am not affiliated with nor do I work with them. There are many other programs just like this one, all with features that may entice you. Choose a good program to work with, many of them have trial periods so you may choose the best for your needs.



Step 2

After the install open up your new program. In most cases, you'll be able to select which folders the program will scan. You may scan a few folders at a time, or an entire root drive.


Be mindful that some files are important to the computer. Stick with the files that you know you have placed on the computer yourself and don't mind deleting. Deleting system files by accident may cause serious unwanted problems for your PC. Easy Duplicate Finder and most programs have a checkbox to ignore system files.



Step 3

After the scan you may view the duplicates the program has found. With my computer there were gigabytes of files that were duplicates and taking up precious space.


Instead of routing through each file listed individually, i decided to check folders of the multiple files and delete that folder. Keep in mind that you must be sure that you did not, at some time, add a file to that folder that wasn't a duplicate.



Step 4

Lastly, run a system check on deletable files and ultimately a defragmentation check. This will scan your drives and tell you if it is so cluttered that it slows down your PC. This is a long process with today's larger drives. I run my defragment processes overnight.




Tips & Warnings

don't delete something you need


softwares are only as good as the programmer. don't rely on them 100%. use your judgement in dealing with duplicates.


maybe backup your files prior to an external drive and then delete the backup after your cleanup job is found to be successful and no needed files are deleted by accident.



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