Best duplicate file finders for Mac

Our Macs get filled up with excess files the more we use them. If you are hyper vigilant, you can keep your folders from getting bogged down by duplicates of the same content. Most of us, however, usually just let the copies pile up until it becomes a nightmare of a chore to tackle. Duplicate file finder programs will hunt down items in your hard drive and show you ones that are exactly alike, or even similar, so you can quickly remove unwanted doubles. Here are our favorite duplicate file finders for Mac.

Gemini 2

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Gemini 2 is a flexible, user-friendly duplicate file finder that lets you scan your entire computer or individual files for duplicates. Whether you are trying to track down songs, movies, photos, or documents that are doubles, Gemini has you covered. This is a great app for people that are a little nervous about going around deleting files from their computer.

It has a great looking interface with clear and understandable instructions. You can select a folder to scan. Then, review the duplicates, select the ones you want to get rid of, and hit the Trash button. It is simplified, but still gives you the freedom to scan your entire computer or just specific folders you want to check.

If you want to clean up your Mac, but are trepidatious about digging around in your files and accidentally deleting something important, Gemini 2 has a lot to offer and makes the whole process very simple.

The Duplicate Finder

The Duplicate Finder is a barebones, no-nonsense program for finding doubles of content on your computer. As soon as you open the app, you are asked to get started. Either drag a folder into the app window, or select a folder from a list of items in your computer. It scans your chosen folder and shows you the results. You can manually select which duplicates to delete, or check the option to automatically select all but one duplicate. Then click on the trash button and everything gets dumped. It's quick and easy with no fuss or muss.

If you are a no-nonsense kind of person that wants a program that does the job quick with no frills, the Duplicate Finder is the right app for helping you clear your hard drive of unwanted doubles.

Tidy Up

Tidy Up finds duplicate files in your Photos, iPhotos, Aperture, iTunes, and Mail apps on Mac. It scans your computer for copies of file types and folders in your local and external hard drives. It also finds empty files. So, if you've got a bunch of temporary files cached in your hard drive, Tidy Up will suss them out and give you the option to trash them if you don't need them.

Tidy Up utilizes two ways to scan your computer. You can use Simple Mode, which does a basic search of predefined criteria. Or, you can use Advanced Mode, which gives you control over specific items you want to check as a duplicate or needing removal. For example, you could ask it to check images that were taken on the same date, location, or pixel size. Items found can be trashed, moved to a different folder, or copied to a disc or jump drive.

Tidy Up is an extraordinarily versatile duplicate finder. It is perfect for people that feel comfortable making changes to their computer and want the ability to deeply control the types of files that a duplicate finder searches for.

Duplicate Detective

Considering the price is significantly lower than the top duplicate finder apps, Duplicate Detective is surprisingly good. You can choose a folder to scan and select files to delete manually or automatically. It doesn't have quite as many tools as some of the more expensive duplicate finders, but it does a great job with the features it does offer. It runs a little slow when scanning files like pictures and videos. But, it is otherwise fairly speedy at looking for duplicates on your Mac.

If you want an app that will track down duplicate files on your Mac, but don't want to spend a lot of money, Duplicate Detective does a great job at the right price.


If your biggest problem is too many duplicate pictures stored on your Mac, PhotoSweeper is great for weeding out the extras so you can free up space. It is designed to find duplicate and similar photos based on such parameters as size, aspect ratio, length of time between shots, file names, bitmaps or histograms, and more. It works with the built-in Photos app, as well as iPhoto, if you haven't yet migrated your library. It also works with Aperture, Adobe Lightroom, and Capture One. So if you've got pictures spread across a bunch of different apps, Photo Sweeper will help you track them down and remove duplicates.

Once duplicates are found, you can allow PhotoSweeper to automatically mark the extras for deletion. One thing I really like about this feature is that the program always seems to find the better version of two similar pictures – like someone's smile is better in the saved photo versus the one marked for trash.

If the only thing you want to find and delete on your Mac is duplicate pictures, PhotoSweeper is dedicated to clearing the copies for you.

Your favorites?

What is your go-to duplicate file finder? Why is it special to you? Let us know in the comments.

Lory Gil

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).