Software

Remove duplicate files on your Mac more efficiently with Gemini 2

Duplicate files consume often valuable disk space. MacPaw's updated Gemini app adds intelligence for Mac users seeking to streamline removing unnecessary files.

Image: MacPaw

Many duplicate file removal applications grace Apple's App Store, and for good reason. As solid-state disks—frequently possessing less storage capacity—largely replace mechanical drives in laptops and desktops, free disk space becomes a greater challenge. Some reliable duplicate file finding and removal apps include Rocky Sand Studio's The Duplicate Finder, Trend Micro's Duplicate Finder, and Pocket Bits' Duplicate File Cleaner.

MacPaw's updated Gemini 2 app is worth with a special look. In addition to its new, refreshed interface, Gemini 2 adds helpful intelligence for Mac users seeking to streamline removing duplicate, unneeded files to reduce cloud and disk file storage and lessen backup requirements.

SEE: Portable storage policy (Tech Pro Research)

Gemini 2 possesses a new Smart Selection algorithm to help it learn a user's behavior and remember rules for duplicate file identification and removal, thereby enabling the app to more intelligently process duplicate file-finding and file-removal tasks each time the program runs.

Because the program scans among other sources iTunes and Photos (which are common locations for large numbers of duplicate and similar files), unnecessary files—including different formats of the same song and photo retakes—can be more accurately identified.

With Gemini 2, files need not be identical to be identified as duplicates. The program scans using numerous parameters—including file name, dates, and file extensions—to help locate similar files that, while not identical duplicates, might safely prove eligible for deletion.

I've noticed music and image files have proven particularly problematic on Macs I administer. I've often leveraged time-consuming manual reviews to select and delete five or six versions of the same landscape, product, or portrait and even songs when tidying files to free disk space. Gemini 2 helps accelerate the task.

SEE: 5 steps to a clean and healthy Mac

Many Mac professionals' often hectic and peripatetic schedules don't always lend themselves to uninterrupted time windows sufficient for completing maintenance tasks, either. Gemini 2 helps accommodate such schedules by enabling a user to start a scan, suspend the operation, and resume it at a later time. Because scan sessions are restored, the program doesn't need to begin scanning operations from scratch—it can continue from where the application last left off. It's just more efficient.

The program, which requires OS X 10.10 or later and 65 MB of disk space, doesn't automatically remove files it flags as similar or redundant; instead, the application includes a Review Results button upon scan completion (Figure A).

Figure A

reviewresults.jpg
Image: Erik Eckel/TechRepublic

Clicking the button opens a detailed view from which files labeled as Exact Duplicates and Similar Files can be reviewed prior to removal (Figure B). Selecting the corresponding drop-down option lists details for each file, including the file's name, size, and disk location. For many photos, even geolocation information is included.

Figure B

fileremoval.jpg
Image: Erik Eckel/TechRepublic

As a safeguard, the program places removed files in the Mac's Trash. Users will still need to empty the Trash to ultimately free the corresponding disk space, but if a file is mistakenly removed it can be easily restored (before the Trash is emptied). Users working with large numbers of photos, videos, and music files might choose to archive the deleted files on an external hard disk. Either way, Gemini 2 makes it easier to spot similar and duplicate files for processing.

Gemini 2 costs $19.99. Version 1 users can upgrade for half that price.

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