Almost every computer system contains duplicate files, e.g. image copies. These not only take up valuable disk space but can quickly lead to confusion during edits when changes appear to be ineffective because they were applied to a copy instead. Here's how to rid your system of duplicates quickly and hassle-free.
1. Windows Explorer
Windows Explorer is only of limited use when trying to find and eliminate file duplicates. Though you can use it to search for copies of a specific file, there's no way to scan your entire system for duplicates.
2. Ashampoo WinOptimizer
WinOptimizer is the Swiss Army knife for your PC and comes with an extensive set of optimization tools, including "Duplicate Finder" which is ideal for this scenario.
3. Start "Find duplicate files"
Run Ashampoo WinOptimizer and select "All modules" (1) and then "Find duplicate files" (2).
4. Limit search
Next, select "Settings" (1) to limit the search to file duplicates.
5. Select file formats
Then, select "Search for" to limit the search to specific file formats.
By default, the most commonly used multimedia formats are already selected (2). Feel free to (un)select additional formats to customize the search to your needs. In this example, I'll search for MP3s only. Click "OK" to proceed (3).
6. Start search
Finally, click "Search" to start scanning for duplicates.
7. Delete duplicates
Once the search is complete, you'll see a list of results with duplicates being grouped together. Check the files you with to delete (1) and click "Delete" to proceed (2).
Not all duplicates are redundant and can be safely deleted. Since I've searched for MP3s only, I can safely delete the selected files by clicking "Yes". By default, selected files will be moved into the recycle bin and still remain on your disk until you empty the bin.
Once the process is complete, you'll see quick summary. Click "OK" to close it (1).
That's how you can quickly reclaim valuable disk space. Ashampoo WinOptimizer offers many other optimization tools. For a list of available WinOptimizer online guides, click here: How to's Ashampoo WinOptimizer
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