Windows

How do I search for duplicate files with Auslogics Duplicate File Finder?

Installing a simple application like Duplicate File Finder to contain wide-spread file duplication across a company can save thousands of dollars.

How many duplicate files do you have on your machine? Do you have any idea? Have you ever looked? My guess is that the majority of PC users have never bothered to search for duplicate files and don't realize that after a couple of years of use, a PC can pile up enough duplicate files to take up more space than you would like. Although hardware has become quite cheap, installing a simple application to contain widespread file duplication across a company can save thousands of dollars.

Auslogics Duplicate File Finder offers the following features:

  • Finds files by content, not just name
  • Includes an easy-to-use interface
  • Checks local drives and removable drives
  • Supports Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7

But is Auslogics Duplicate File Finder the solution? Let's install it, use it, and find out.

This blog post is also available in PDF format in a free TechRepublic download.

Getting and installing

Installing Auslogics Duplicate File Finder is as simple as installing any other Windows application. Download the installation file from the TechRepublic Software Library. Once you have that file, just double-click it to begin the installation. You will not run into anything out of the ordinary during the installation.

Once the installation is complete, you can either run the application immediately or close the installation out and run the application from the Start menu.

Starting and using the application

If you open the Start menu, you will find a new entry labeled Auslogics. Within that directory, you will find three entries. The entry you want to click to start the application is labeled Auslogics Duplicate File Finder. When you click it, the application will run, revealing the main (and only window) for this tool, as shown in Figure A.

Figure A

The simplistic take on the GUI makes using the tool exceptionally easy.
After you select what drive (or directory) you want to scan, you will be greeted with a second widow (Figure B) that allows you to configure the criteria for your search. From this window you can get somewhat granular with your search by dictating the tool search for duplicates in Name and/or Date, Size, Contents, or Image type.

Figure B

If you want, you can ignore files smaller than a certain size, which can speed up your search.

Once you have configured your criteria, click the Scan button, and the Duplicate Finder will do its thing.

I have found that searching for duplicate files larger than 1MB will often lead to fewer matches but a faster scan. If you are primarily concerned with saving space, you will most likely want to search for larger files first. When your results are displayed (Figure C), you can then go through the listing and delete all the files you want to delete.

Figure C

This is the results of a fairly new installation of Windows 7, so there will not be many duplicates found.

Obviously you will want to use caution when deleting duplicate files. You will inevitably find files that have the same name but either are not for the same application or serve different functions. So when you are faced with deleting files whose names you are not sure of, make sure you check the path the files are located in before you delete them. This isn't such an issue when you check the Ignore Files Smaller Than option, because most critical system files are going to be smaller than 1MB.

If you opt to scan file contents for duplicates, you might want to run this scan overnight, because it does slow the scan down considerably. A scan that would take less than 30 seconds (on my nearly fresh Windows 7 installation) takes nearly ten minutes. Understand that is a Virtual Machine installation on a VM that is under 10 gigs. A much larger drive, with many more files, will take considerably more time. The results, however, paint a far more accurate picture.

Issues

I have found this application to be outstanding for locating duplicate files from installations and downloads. On the contrary, Duplicate Finder is not so great at locating user-created files. I have run tests on both Windows XP and Windows 7 for .txt and .doc files saved before and after the installation of Duplicate File Finder, and the application could not locate the duplicate files. The only way around this is to uncheck Match Date and Time, Match Size, and Ignore Files Smaller Than. You will also need to check All File Types. You will get a warning indicating that "The selected file matching the following criteria are not safe." Go ahead with the scan, but use caution when deleting files.

Outside of that issue, I have found the application to be a simple, quick method to reduce duplication on your hard drives.

Final thoughts

If you keep your operating systems running for months and years, this tool might well be one that you should be employing. By scanning for duplicate files, you can gain back precious hard drive space and keep that PC running smoothly.

Stay on top of the latest XP tips and tricks with TechRepublic's Windows XP newsletter, delivered every Thursday. Automatically sign up today!

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

28 comments
allancass
allancass

I use a free Duplicate File Finder and Duplicate Image Finder. The difference is that the image finder compares image content and can find similar images.

lambchops
lambchops

Are they all duplicates, or both original and duplicates showing in results.

yogi_john
yogi_john

I previously downloaded Duplicate Cleaner (www.digitalvolcano.co.uk) and finally used it for the first time yesterday. I don't have experience with other finders, but I felt it was fast (about 9 minutes for over 9 GB in around 21,000 files). You can check for same content (CRC) same file name, size and date; specify a min and a max file size. If comparing music files you can search for same artist, title or album and then select whether to keep the best sample rate, etc. With the duplicates found you have options for selecting the files (e.g., based on path). You can delete the selected ones or create hard-links to replace all except one copy of the file. I have not tried all the options, but I was pleased with the results. Found multiple copies of photos (which I knew I had as I was copying originals to a folder to make a CD). John

adgorn
adgorn

I use the freebie EasyCleaner. I seems to ID dups pretty well, then I manually select which to delete. I also have used Dupicate File Finder and Find-duplicates.net. I have used Dup Detector from Prismatic Software for images.

david.barry
david.barry

Tune up Utilities Does the duplicate list include the original file? Can oyu open a file from the list to check it while still in Auslogics

TuneUp Utilities
TuneUp Utilities

Great find! Not only will this save companies money, but will no doubt increase performance too as they remove the clutter from their PCs. Have you found any other tool like this that does locate duplicate user-created files?

john3347
john3347

I tried Duplicate File Finder (free version) recently and found it dangerously confusing. When I selected to delete duplicates, after specifying criteria for deleting, it deleted EVERY file. (yes, I had saved 12,000 photos prior to running Duplicate File Finder) I found a similar duplicate file finder that also checks files bite by bite by Ashisoft, simply named Duplicate Finder. (also a free version available) I had much better luck finding and eliminating duplicated photos with this application.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I've got a ton of racing and National Geographic wallpapers I'd like to scan for dups. Did you get a chance to test it on images? Thanks.

raymosely
raymosely

A simple hash or checksum can be the basis for finding duplicate files. With that in mind, I did a Google search for finding duplicate files. A wealth of tools was the result. Auslogics does not seem to be the sharpest tool in the toolbox.

hbilling
hbilling

If I have Two code trees(obviously with similar sized/same name files), how does this tool fare in that case? Does it show those files as duplicates?

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

When was the last time you searched for duplicate files? How much space can you save from eliminating duplication?

guising
guising

The tool known as fslint provides many similar features and provides the option to "merge" files, which leaves them where they are in the directory structure but creates hard-links so the data is only stored in one place on the disk. It also provides some other useful features, but file duplication is my biggest use.

jlwallen
jlwallen

Auslogics uses MD5 hashes for locating duplicates...so i'm surprised it managed to delete non-duplicates. did you do a test-run first?

jlwallen
jlwallen

Palmetto, I didn't have any trouble using the app to find duplicate images. Just select Images in the file type when you set up your search.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

So what application do you suggest? If you have a better idea offer it up so we can review it.

thegoodiago
thegoodiago

Why wouldn't you use a tool like Beyond Compare for that? It's quite good a comparing folders and directories.

Morris1368
Morris1368

I have been using Ashisoft Duplicate Finder for a while and I think it's great!

Snurre
Snurre

I have been using Auslogics Duplicate File Finder for a while and I think it's awesome!

basil.cinnamon
basil.cinnamon

A couple of years ago I tested about 20 dupe finders, and most fell short on one or another criterion. The Acute Finder from an Icelandic company stood out heads & shoulders above the crowd. I use it all the time. It's not free but it isn't too much, either. http://www.hugmot.is/english/

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

it's more about organization than space. I have a lot of duplicate files created thru my own lack of organization. Duplicate File Finder is good. I'm using Moleskinsoft Clone Remover nowadays (the free version). Clone Remover is working better finding my duplicate photos. IMO. It's been a while since I used either, but you had to be careful with the default settings. It's possible to delete all copies instead of just the duplicates. Also as the article mentioned, uncheck the Match Size, Date and Time, etc. Then before deleting anything check each possible duplicate.

joe
joe

CloneSpy (also free) has an option to replace duplicates with shortcuts or with hard links (on NTFS volumes only). The program has many, many options so it takes a little time to get used to it. But it is very powerful. http://www.clonespy.com/

john3347
john3347

After all duplicates were located and listed, an option such as "save the oldest file in each duplicated set" was present(I forget the exact wording and options). I selected (or intended to select) one such option. WRONG! Everything in the list of duplicated files was deleted. It didn't delete everything from the original folder whether it had a duplicate or not. It only deleted everything in the list of duplicates and appeared to ignore the selection to preserve the oldest file in each duplicated set.

Lovs2look
Lovs2look

with much success. Both are free and seem to work just fine.

scottlaw99
scottlaw99

I use Beyond Compare all the time and love it. I would recommend that too.

Silvester696
Silvester696

t's more about organization than space. I have a lot of duplicate files created thru my own lack of organization. [url=http://www.ashisoft.com]Duplicate File Finder[/url] is good. I'm using Moleskinsoft Clone Remover nowadays (the free version). Clone Remover is working better finding my duplicate photos. IMO. It's been a while since I used either, but you had to be careful with the default settings. It's possible to delete all copies instead of just the duplicates. Also as the article mentioned, uncheck the Match Size, Date and Time, etc. Then before deleting anything check each possible duplicate.