3 Smart Ways To Find And Delete Duplicate Files On Mac

Find and delete duplicate files on Mac

If you’ve been using your Mac for a while, chances are your system may have accumulated a lot of duplicate photos, songs, documents, and other files. Apart from these are lots of duplicate files that don’t even know. Think of a scenario, where you moved/copy some files to another location or external drive, but forget to delete the original copies. These unwanted copies not only consume lots of space but also makes the system slow.

While, Mac systems do offer a good amount of storage. But yet depending on your work, you may slowly end up having space and you either need to delete them or buy some external drives.

But undoubtedly, finding and deleting duplicate files may be a tedious and time consuming task for any of us.

So, in this article we will explain to you 3 smart ways to find and delete duplicate files on Mac.

3 smart ways to find and delete duplicate files on Mac

It’s a good idea to remove duplicate files that will make way for other useful apps, photos, music, documents and many more things. And you should do this regularly, so that you have enough space on your disk to perform new updates.

  • 1# Find And Delete Duplicate On Mac Using Smart folders in Finder
  • 2# Find And Delete Duplicate On Mac Using Terminal commands
  • 3# Find And Delete Duplicate On Mac Using Duplicate Finder App

How To Find & Delete Duplicate On Mac Using Smart folders in Finder?

Smart Folders is one of the most helpful built-in tools on the Mac which lets you apply filter based on types, and subject and helps sorting the files. Smart Folder are not actually normal folders, but they are a kind of updated/saved searches of your files on the Mac.

So, a Smart Folder on Mac makes finding duplicate files much easier than manually opening each of the folder and finding the them. But to make out most of it will surely takes some time and patience.

How To Find And Delete Duplicate Documents On Mac Using Smart Folders

  • Open a new Finder window, now click on File > New Smart Folder;
    Create Smart Folder On Mac
    Create Smart Folder On Mac
  • By default, system chooses “This Mac” for the search, else you can choose external drives, or Shared files;
  • Next, click “+” icon in the top-right corner of the window;
    Find And Delete Duplicate files Using Smart Folder 2
    Find And Delete Duplicate Files On Mac Using Smart Folder 2
  • Here, you will see two drop-down menus Kind and Any. From first drop-down, you can select kind of file format/parameters like last opened date, last modified date, created date, name, and contents;
  • And from the second drop-down, you need to choose Documents; (To further fine tune your search, you can again click on the + icon and choose options from the drop-down menus.)
  • Then, click on “Save;”
  • You will see a pop-up window asking to put up folder name and location you want to save the Smart Folder;
  • Now, open your saved Smart Folder, where you will be able to see your duplicate documents on Mac. You can further order the file based on name, size, or created date to ease out the finding duplicate files.
  • Now, select the duplicate files you want to delete;
  • To delete duplicate files on Mac, right-click and choose “Move to Trash“.


Similarly, if you need to find out duplicate photos, then you can search for last opened and from second drop-down choose “Images.” If you don’t get your desired results, then hit “+” and finetune your search or start a fresh search with different parameter like file size and

Although, using Smart Folders makes finding duplicates a bit easier, than searching through the entire Mac to find duplicates. But it still requires patience and correct search parameters to get the duplicates. Also, even if you have found them, then it is a daunting task to check each one of them and delete them manually. But still, you can use Smart Folder to find and delete duplicate files on Mac.

How To Find & Delete Duplicate On Mac Using Terminal commands?

Terminal is yet another powerful Mac utility that can be a savior for you in many instances. Like, if need to reset Safari without opening it, you can use terminal commands to do so.

So, Terminal can also be useful in manually finding duplicates on Mac and deleting them. By using commands you will be able to detect the duplicate files more easily than hunting through each of your folders.

However, before using this method you should you few things:

  • Oftentimes, the search does not brings the exact data, either some files will be missed or it can even pick up plenty of files. So, yet again you will have to manually check those files before deleting them.
  • The Terminal saves a “.txt” file within the folder location you have performed the search, so you need to manually locate those duplicate files mentioned and delete them one-by-one. So, still this involves plenty of manually work.
  • If you are not used with the Terminal commands then you should be very cautious of doing so. As any wrong command may cause issues.

Now, here is how you find and delete duplicate files on Mac:

  • On a Finder Window, choose Applications > Utilities > Terminal;
  • Once the Terminal window opens, you need to navigate to the folder you want to scan for the duplicates. You need to use cd ~/foldername to run the scan;
  • Suppose, you want to search for duplicate downloads, then type in cd ~/Downloads, and press “Enter;”
  • Next, copy and paste the below command on the Terminal-
    find . -size 20 \! -type d -exec cksum {} \; | sort | tee /tmp/f.tmp | cut -f 1,2 -d ‘ ‘ | uniq -d | grep -hif – /tmp/f.tmp > duplicates.txt
  • Hit Enter.

Once you do so, it will create a .txt file within the folder you mentioned. So, you have to open the file and where you will see the list of duplicate files inside. Now, you will have to open them one-by-one and delete the duplicates.

How To Find & Delete Duplicate Files On Mac Using Duplicate Finder App?

If you have accidently created tons of duplicate files on your Mac, or don’t want to spent much time on using Smart Folder or Terminal, then you can always use third-party duplicate finder apps.

Although, you may find plenty of options, but here we are recommending Gemini 2. It is a product of MacPaw that is a trusted brand and has plenty of Apps for notarized by Apple and Mac like CleanMyMac X, ClearVPN.

Download Gemini 2
Download Gemini 2

Gemini 2 is a very user-friendly interface and works like a charm. It scan through the whole Mac OS to gather tons of duplicates from Photos, Documents, Downloads, Videos, external drive and more. It’s the best duplicate file finder tool for Mac. You can download the trial version for free that lets you try most of the premium features.

How To Download And Install Gemini 2
How To Download And Install Gemini 2

How To Use Gemini 2 To Quickly Remove Duplicates?

  • After you have installed the app, open Gemini 2;
  • The app will automatically create a map of your Mac that helps to easily find and delete duplicate files on Mac, so click on the “+” icon;
    Scan With Gemini 2
    Scan With Gemini 2
  • Next, select your hard drive whatever you have have named it;
  • Now, click on Scan for Duplicates;
  • Although, the scan doesn’t take much time, but let the scan be completed. After which you will see two options:
    Review Results Gemini 2
    Review Results Gemini 2
    • Review Results and
    • Smart Cleanup.

The Smart Cleanup feature will let you find all the duplicate files as well as unnecessary files that is accumulating the disk space. The Smart Cleanup will automatically delete the duplicates and will leave original files in place.

Smart Cleanup in Gemini 2
Smart Cleanup in Gemini 2

While, the Review Results feature will let you see the results so you can manually select the ones you want to keep or remove.

Find And Delete Duplicates With Gemini 2
Find And Delete Duplicate Files On Mac With Gemini 2

The deleted files by default are sent to the Bin of your Mac, so you if think something has been deleted or removed accidentally, then you can restore it.

That’s it how you can quickly find and delete duplicate files on Mac.

Gemini 2 also lets you find and delete duplicate Mail downloads, iTunes, downloads, Photos and more to various other locations. The best part it, Gemini 2 has “duplicate Monitor” feature that instantly detects any copies of files and delete them quickly.

Duplicate Monitor With Gemini 2
Duplicate Monitor With Gemini 2


Nupur is a tech writer at TechGeekSpace. She loves exploring latest tech, gadgets and have been writing on various topics related to technology, software, Gadgets, Windows, Mac, Internet, Android, and the latest tips and tricks.

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