It is hard to avoid accidentally creating duplicate files on the PC’s disk and often we do not know they are there. These Windows apps find and remove them to recover used disk space.
If you are still using a big mechanical hard disk drive then you probably have plenty of space, but modern PCs have solid state drives (SSDs) and these are often quite small. When there is only 256 GB of storage, you cannot afford to waste space with duplicate files.
I am sure Microsoft would like us to get all of our software from the Microsoft Store app in Windows and in fact, has tried to introduce cut down versions of the operating system that can only run Store apps and regular desktop software cannot be installed or run. Read this article if you are stuck in Windows S mode.
Are Microsoft Store apps up to the task though? Some apps are excellent, but this is not true of all of them and there are plenty of trivial and poor apps in the Store.
Here I take a look at utility apps that enable duplicate files to be tracked down on the disk and deleted to recover the space they are wasting. I am only looking at Microsoft Store apps here, not software from outside of the Store.
To install an app, open the Store app and use the search box to find it. There are many apps with almost identical names, so check the developer name to get the right app.
Duplicate File Remover
Price: Free | By: Videopix | Size: 26 MB | Rating: 3/5
Duplicate File Remover aims to clear the disk of duplicate files that are cluttering up the file system and wasting space. It is an advertising-supported app and ads appear when the app is started and there is a banner across the top of the window. A small payment ($1.99) removes the ads.
The Quick Search function works for free and it automatically adds the Pictures, Music and Videos default media folders. It would be useful to auto-add Decoments and Downloads folders, but they can be added by clicking the Add Folder link at the bottom. You can browse the disk and add any folders you want.
The results are displayed after scanning and analyzing and it can take a minute or more depending on the number of files. The results are displayed as a list of files is with checkboxes next to them. They can be organized by name or size.
Duplicates are automatically selected for deletion but the list can be modified manually. However, it would be time consuming and tedious if there were a lot of files. It shows file paths, so you know which duplicates are selected for deletion and you can change the selection if you want to.
Duplicate file remover is OK and it is easy to use. It is not the best utility here, but it is OK and it does the job.
Price: Free | By: Kaeros | Size: 24 MB | Rating: 3/5
Duplicates Cleaner made a good first impression with its range of features and functions, even in the free version and there are some useful extra features in the paid version ($5.69).
A visit to the settings reveals options to really delete files or send them to the Recycle Bin, which provides an opportunity to recover files if you change your mind or delete something you shouldn’t. However, there is also a (paid) backup option so you can back up duplicates before deleting them.
Files are considered to be duplicates if they have the same content, but there are options to check just the name or name and size if you prefer.
One final option is to choose between single and multiple folder mode. The free version of the app is limited to single folders, but the paid version offers both options. You would need multiple folder mode to compare folders on different drives, but single folder mode is OK on one drive because you could select your home folder (C:\Users\YourName) and scan everything. Subfolders are included.
The search results screen uses an eye watering black and white color scheme, which is a bit too harsh for my taste. It shows useful information, like the display of filenames and sizes, and the path to the file. A View File button enables files to be viewed, which is useful when you are not sure which version of a file to keep.
The free version of this app is OK and it does the job of finding duplicate files and deleting them from the disk. I would like a more compact results listing. It’s tedious scrolling through.
Duplicate Cleaner Master
Price: ??? | By: Magik Hub | Size: 23 MB | Rating: 3/5
Duplicate Cleaner Master is an interesting app that has a good range of features, but it also has flaws that are irritating. It could be a useful app for cleaning up duplicates on the disk, but then again, maybe not.
The problem is that it the app looks like it is free in the Store, but you only get a 15-day trial. The price is not displayed in the Store or in the app. There is a Buy button in the app, but you cannot see the price without going through with the payment, which is something I am reluctant to do without knowing how much I would be charged.
It is actually quite a useful app and on the home screen you can choose the type of file to search for, such as documents, pictures, media, all files and so on. You can also choose the match type when looking for duplicates, such as date, size, name or content.
The search results are nicely displayed and duplicates are preselected for deletion, but checkboxes enable you to modify the list. Individual files can be deleted or the whole lot cleaned. Files can be viewed when you can’t decide which version to delete.
I like the app, but I don’t know the price and the link in the Windows Store to the developer’s website does not work, so you won’t find it there. The app does not appear to have been updated for several years. These are all off-putting and I cannot recommend it.
Duplicate Cleaner Free
Price: Free | By: Digital Volcano Software| Size: 74 MB | Rating: 5/5
This is available as a Free version for non-commercial use or as a Pro version costing $39 (£38). The free version is quite comprehensive and is probably all many users need for personal use.
One of the advantages of the Pro version is that it can find similar files, such as photos that have been rotated or stored in different formats, similar music and so on. I use the free app here, which still has a lot of features.
Search filters can be created that enable you to select the type of file to be searched for, such as by filename or extension, within a date or size range and so on. The search can be for the same name, date, size or those attributes can be ignored and only identical content is matched using a hashing algorithm. One or multiple folders can be selected to be included in the search.
The results are displayed in a table that shows the filename, folder, size, created and modified dates and more.
The best feature is the selection assistant panel that provides quick and easy ways to select duplicates. For example, you can select the newest or oldest files, biggest or smallest, longest or shortest filename, most recently modified or oldest date, and more. Deleted files can be moved to the Recycle Bin for safety or deleted directly.
This is the best of the duplicate file finders by far and it has an excellent range of features and worked well.
Speedy Duplicate Finder – Free
Price: Free | By: Qiplex | Size: 170 MB | Rating: 4/5
There are two versions of Speedy Duplicate Finder and the free version is limited to deleting a maximum of 500 MB of files in any one folder. The full version, costing $25, has no limit. If you have a lot of duplicates or very large files like videos, you will soon hit the free limit.
After selecting the folder or folders to scan on the opening screen, the search results are displayed as a circular chart. Each of the colors can represent a file type or an extension, so you can see duplicates in two ways. Let the mouse hover over a color and you are told what it represents.
You can go ahead and delete the duplicates from here, but it is always best to click the Preview button and this produces a file listing that shows the filename, file path, date and size. Duplicates are in groups.
Duplicates are preselected, but you can go through the list and modify the selection with the checkboxes manually. There are options to automatically keep the newest or the oldest copy. The gear icon on the right enables the file or containing folder to be opened. This makes it easy to check that a file is the right one.
This is an easy-to-use utility that finds duplicates and enables you to delete them. It has an attractive design that looks good and the chart is a nice extra. The app free if there are not too many duplicates to delete and it is definitely worth trying out.