How to Find and Remove Duplicate Files in Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP

How many times it has happened that you are short on space in your hard drive and cannot find anything to delete? Most of us have a habit of collecting various media files on our hard disk and there comes a time when you run out of space. I faced this issue recently and this is the method I used to find and remove duplicate content from my hard disk.

The tool we are going to use in this tutorial is called Duplicate Cleaner. This tool provides a 15 day Pro version trial and there is also a free version available of this tool. In this tutorial I’m using Version 4.0.3 (provides 15 days trial of Pro version), but I have also used Version 3.2.7 and it works well too. Either version is available for download here. The reason for choosing this tool is its nice and easy to use interface and it does its job well. So let’s get started.

Download Duplicate Cleaner

Use the following URL to download either v4.0.3 or v3.2.7:

You will have the file named “DuplicateCleanerPro4_setup.exe” (v4.0.3) or “DuplicateCleaner_setup.exe” (v3.2.7).

In this tutorial, I’m using v4.0.3 and you can use the same.

Install Duplicate Cleaner

Following are the steps to install Duplicate Cleaner:

  • Run the setup file you have downloaded
  • Select “Yes” at User Account Control popup (if applicable)
  • Choose “Installer Language” and Click OK
    Duplicate Cleaner 4 Installation - Step 1 Installer Language
  • Proceed on to Welcome screen of the setup, click Next
    Duplicate Cleaner 4 Installation Step 2 Welcome
  • Read the license agreement and if you agree, proceed by clicking “I Agree”
    Duplicate Cleaner 4 Installation Step 3 License
  • Choose components and click Next
    Duplicate Cleaner 4 Installation Step 4 Components
  • Set the install location and click Install
    Duplicate Cleaner 4 Installation Step 5 Install Location
    Installer will start extracting files:
    Duplicate Cleaner 4 Installation Step 5.1 Install Progress
  • Once installation is completed, Click Finish to complete
    Duplicate Cleaner 4 Installation Step 6 Install Complete

Run Duplicate Cleaner

If you have followed the above steps, Duplicate Cleaner should start by itself after you click finish. If it’s not started then launch it from your Desktop or its install Path. Once Duplicate Cleaner starts, you will see following logo:

Duplicate Cleaner 4 Start Welcome Logo

Next you will be prompted to select Language:

Duplicate Cleaner 4 Start Choose Language

Click OK on next screen to proceed with using Trial edition:

Duplicate Cleaner 4 Start Registration

Welcome to Home Screen of DuplicateCleaner4, click on New Search on below screen:

Duplicate Cleaner 4 Start Home Screen

Set the search criteria parameters as per your requirement, in this basic tutorial, I’m going ahead with default settings:

Duplicate Cleaner 4 Start Search Criteria

Once search criteria is defined, Click on “Scan Location” tab to view following screen:

Duplicate Cleaner 4 Start Scan Location

In the left pane select the folders/drives you wish to scan and add them using Add folder button or “->” button

Duplicate Cleaner 4 Start Scan Location After Adding Folder

Once ready, click on Start Scan.

This is start a process consistent of multiple steps and you will come across screens titled “Discovering Files”, “Calculating Hashes”, “Performing Checks” etc. Let the tool do its job and wait for the process to complete. Once the analysis is complete, you will see a screen similar to this:

Duplicate Cleaner 4 Start Scan Complete

Click on Close button.

You will be displayed an overview of files along with their details.

The files displayed will be either of 0 bytes or the ones which have duplicates.

Duplicate Cleaner 4 Duplicate Files Overview

Click on All but one file in each group to select a bulk of files and leave only one out of each duplicate group.

Duplicate Cleaner 4 Duplicate Files Mark

You can then proceed with removal process to remove the duplicates. Select the files you wish to remove and click on “File Removal” button (visible in above screenshot, below Scan Location tab).

For this tutorial, I unmarked all and selected only three files and proceeded with file removal:

Duplicate Cleaner 4 Delete Files

Click on Delete files and Confirm on alert message:

Duplicate Cleaner 4 Delete Files Confirmation

You will be confirmed that files were deleted:

Duplicate Cleaner 4 Delete Files Complete

You can now empty the recycle bin to delete the files permanently (or restore if necessary)

Some useful points:

  • Be cautious if you are running this tool on some kind of server. Sometimes 0kb files might include flag files which might be used by schedulers, third party applications, etc. Even though a 0kb file might appear to be of less importance, always ensure that it is safe to delete it.
  • Always remember to move files to Recycle Bin. This way, in case you accidentally deleted some important file, you still have a chance to recover it.
  • Trial version allows deletion of files from Group 1 to Group 100 only. Use the data from the first scan and you should be able to filter out certain folders which are just copies or contains bulk of duplicates. Take care of these files first and do a re-scan. Second scan should take hardly some time.

There are a lot of other options available with this tool, but we have focused only on finding and deleting duplicate files in this tutorial.

If you have some doubts with this tool, free to post a comment below.

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