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How to Find and Remove Duplicates

August 11, 2020 — Jim Neumann

Duplicate files are not uncommon on our computers. Sometimes we’ve copied a file somewhere, then forgot about the copy. Or maybe we’ve re-imported files we don’t remember importing previously. Along with the large capacity hard drives so common today, it’s easy to end up with extra copies of files.

DEVONthink does have the ability to detect duplicates, but note it is not a duplicate detection utility. Also, the duplicates it finds in its databases aren’t necessarily exact copies of a file. For example if you convert a rich text document to a plain text one, the contents will be the same in both and they will be shown as duplicates. You can force DEVONthink to consider the file type and size when detecting duplicates by enabling Stricter recognition of duplicates in Preferences > General. However, when it comes to avoiding duplicates when importing large numbers of files into DEVONthink, the ideal way is to deal with them before importing or indexing into DEVONthink.

A nice utility, aptly named Duplicate File Finder Remover, may be just what you’re looking for. Use it to scan a Finder folder or a hard drive to detect duplicates. It presents its results beautifully in a bar or pie chart. Select a tab for different categories to view the files, in groups or together, for you to inspect and decide what to delete. Once you’ve finished with the app, you’ll have a cleaned up data set to import into DEVONthink. You can use this utility to help clean your drives and free up space, just for general housekeeping.

The free version is very functional, while the Pro version has some nice options to merge similar sources or restore some files you’ve removed. Check it out.