How to Find Duplicate Files in Two/Multiple Folders/Directories

Updated to Remove Duplicates Tips by Amy on Aug 22, 2022 | Approved by Cesar C

If you are reading this, then it means you have a duplicate file problem or you are unable to find duplicate files on your computer. Whatever the case is, knowing how to find duplicate files in two folders and delete them is an essential skill as they can easily creep up on any computer user. Thankfully, it is not all manual labor either and there are multiple ways that you can not only find duplicate files in two folders and delete them but also prevent them from appearing again. In this article, we will share everything you need to know on how to find duplicate files in multiple folders with different methods.

Quick Navigation
Part 1. How to Find Duplicate Files in Two/Multiple Folders/Directories with Manually Method
Part 2. How to Find Duplicate Files in Multiple Folders with Software
Part 3. How to Find Duplicate Files in Multiple Directories on Mac
Part 4. Frequently Asked Questions for Finding and Deleting Duplicate Files

Part 1. How to Find Duplicate Files in Two/Multiple Folders/Directories with Manually Method

We start off by talking about some of the options that you can find in your operating system by default. This means no installation requirements and no additional tools to learn and use. Let us explore each method to find duplicate files in two folders that you can utilize on any Windows machine.

Method 1: Use Windows Views to Search for Duplicate Files

Windows offers its users several ways to view the files and folders on their computer drives. Thankfully, this also makes it quite convenient for people to find duplicate files. The options you can see in Windows Views lists include Small Icons, Medium Icons, Large Icons, Extra Large Icons, Tiles, Details, List, and Content. From these, the most useful options are the details view as it provides a lot of information regarding the files that you are viewing.

If you have duplicate files, you can easily compare two files with the same name, size, creation date, etc. to determine if they are duplicates. For further surety, you can also enable the preview pane which lets you see what the file contains, and this can be helpful when comparing Microsoft Office documents, images, etc.

Method 2: Sort Files with Explorer Details Pane to Detect Duplicate Files

To further explain the Details view option, this is something that can prove to be extremely useful for anyone trying to find duplicate files in multiple folders. The idea is to leverage the additional file information that Windows can provide to determine what each file is all about. This can be anything from the file name, file type, file size, creation date, last modified date, file format, and several other parameters as well.

Each of the parameters can be used in a different way to identify certain file types and find anything you want about each file to figure out if there are two of the same things in your folder. The effort required to do this is certainly a lot, but you can be quite thorough if you commit to this method.

Method 3: Use Search Feature to Locate Duplicate Files

Last but certainly not least in this list is the built-in search feature of Windows. This can drastically reduce the time you spend to find duplicate files in multiple folders and remove them. However, a key requirement for this method to work is knowing exactly what you are looking for. The most obvious information to know here would be the name of the file, as in most cases, the file names are what tell you if a file has a duplicate on your computer.

To narrow your search down a bit, you can search for specific file types in the search bar to make it easier to find what you are looking for. This can also help you a lot in cases where the file type is a rarely used one.

As you must have noticed, while each of the methods described above can be used to find duplicate files in multiple folders, it is quite tedious in most cases and even impractical if you were to clean an entire disk.

Part 2. How to Find Duplicate Files in Two/Multiple Folders/Directories with Software

Using manual methods like the ones listed above can be time-consuming and, in many cases, almost impossible to do the job completely. With so many duplicate files to find, you need a solution that is easier and much more effective as well. Thankfully, there are plenty of software that you can find out there that provides a great selection of feature options you can use to make your life much easier. We are sharing some of the top options that you can choose from to find duplicate files in multiple directories.

  1. iBeesoft Duplicate File Finder
  2. There are several options that you can find online to find duplicate files in multiple directories, but this one takes the cake for us. Being one of the most powerful and feature-rich solutions, iBeesoft Duplicate File Finder can help you find the duplicate for almost any file type. However, it goes beyond the basics and provides more useful features that make your life easier. This includes redundant file finding, support for many file formats, automatic removal of duplicate files, and segmentation of results to let you know how much space each type of duplicate files is taking.

    A great option that this software offers is the ability to preview the duplicate files that it has found. This allows users to choose the correct file for deletion, thus the 100% accuracy claim. The free duplicate file remover for Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7 also makes the scanning process incredibly straightforward and easy to use. It is also fast and can scan almost any internal or external drive or other storage devices.

    Pros
    File previewing option allows users to delete correct files
    Support for almost any file format you can think of
    Search filtering for reduced search time
    Cons
    Full drive searches for larger drives can take longer to finish
  3. CCLeaner
  4. CCLeaner has earned itself a respectable reputation for the many things it can do in a single package. However, that may be good for some people but not so much for others. Regardless, it is certainly a capable option when it you need to find duplicate files in multiple directories. The tool is built in a clean and minimalistic design and is intuitive to use. It offers users many filtering options, including hidden files, system files, specific file size limits, and more. You can also select the file attributes you want to consider in your search.

    CCleaner also lets you choose which drives or directories you want to include or exclude in your search to make it more focused. The overall experience is simple enough for inexperienced users to get through it easily.

    Pros
    UI is easy to understand and use
    Multiple filter elements to choose from in search parameters
    Scanning speed is also among the best of all tools available
    Cons
    Contains advertisements in the free version
  5. Remo Duplicate File Remover
  6. If you want to find duplicates in two folders with an easy-to-use tool, then Remo Duplicate File Remover is an option worth considering. There are plenty of great features that you can enjoy with this software, the best ones being file previewing option to select correct duplicates, scanning both internal and external drives to find duplicates in two folders, information about the amount of space you can free up after removing duplicates, and more.

    One thing you may see as a negative point is that there is no free trial option. You can find that for almost every other software to find duplicate files across multiple folders. However, the app does support multiple platforms and their Android app is free of cost.

    Pros
    Allows users to preview files before deletion
    Provides support for remotely connected drives as well
    Customer support is available 24/7 and is quite good
    Cons
    No free options available and review mode is irrelevant now
  7. Auslogics Duplicate File Finder
  8. If you are strictly against spending money on a tool that can find duplicate files across multiple folders, then we have a good option for you too. The Auslogics Duplicate File Finder is a tool that does quite a lot considering that you do not have to pay anything to use it. The simple and easy-to-use interface makes the entire search process quite easy. It supports a good selection of file formats, and the search can also be customized further to make it more focused. The option to select one or multiple drives also makes it quite handy, albeit at the cost of extra scanning time.

    The application is also quite small and has a minimal footprint on your PC while providing a comprehensive solution. You can also find duplicate files across multiple folders based on what is inside the file rather than its name and attributes.

    Pros
    Completely free to use with regular updates provided
    Can identify duplicates based on file content
    Supports both internal and external drives
    Cons
    Not a standalone application download which can be bothersome
  9. Duplicate Cleaner Free
  10. If you want a free tool to find duplicate files in subfolders and main folders alike, then Duplicate Cleaner Free can be an option worth considering. There is a surprising amount of functionality that you can get out of this tool and the search method it uses is also quite efficient for a free tool. The app lets you select from several search criteria to narrow your search and make it faster. It also offers some advance options like zip file scanning, zero-byte size file exclusion, and content search.

    The app can also look through the content of compressed files which is quite impressive when trying to find duplicate files in subfolders anywhere. It is also a small package installation, so you do not have to worry about hogging space on your drive.

    Pros
    Small package size with easy and quick installation
    Support for almost any file format you may have
    Impressive advanced search options including content search in compressed files
    Cons
    The UI is not very clean and can be a bit confusing for some users

Part 3. How to Find Duplicate Files in Two/Multiple Folders/Directories on Mac

Now that you know all the different options available to you on Windows to find duplicate files in two directories, let us talk about the options Mac users have. The problem of generating duplicate files is just as common on Macs and having tools that can help with that problem is certainly necessary. We are sharing a few of the best options to find duplicate files in two directories or more that you can consider as a Mac user.

  1. Disk Drill Duplicate Finder for Mac
  2. Ask any Mac user who knows find duplicate files in different folders and one of the solutions they will suggest to you would be Disk Drill. This is a respectable tool that has proven its ability to perform for years and offers a wide range of options in its Duplicate Finder. The app allows users to select from a wide range of filter options so you can find anything anywhere you want. Another thing that makes Disk Drill Duplicate Finder for Mac such a great option to find duplicate files in different folders is its support for multiple drives. You can connect both internal and external drives to find duplicates.

    The app also has a great UI that is both intuitive and aesthetically pleasing. The software also supports M1 chip Macs which makes it extremely comprehensive among all duplicate finders for Mac.

    Pros
    Completely free to use
    Intuitive and easy to use design with great options
    M1 chip compatibly is great to have
    Cons
    Does not come as a standalone tool
  3. Duplicate File Finder Remover
  4. If you want something built to impress and can find duplicate files between two folders better than most other tools, then you must consider this option. The Duplicate File Finder Remover is one of the most accurate and aesthetically pleasing options we can recommend for any Mac user. The software provides highly accurate search results, and you can also use it on the newer M1 Macs without any problems. The file preview option is particularly great for users with many duplicate photos to go through.

    The scanning speed of Duplicate File Finder Remover is also quite good, and you can use it to scan not only your internal drive but also external ones. The app also supports the recognition of partial duplicates like successively taken photos.

    Pros
    Great option for comparing photo duplicates
    Easy to use and intuitive design
    Supports M1 Macs as well
    Cons
    Does not have any free duplicate removal option
  5. MacKeeper
  6. If you want to know how to find duplicate files in multiple folders and all you want is ease of use and great design, then MacKeeper is a good place to start. This tool makes your life easy by providing an incredibly intuitive and easy to understand interface with a great feature collection. This comprehensive solution allows you to select the drives you want to scan, the specific folders you need to look into, and other options. It is so simple that you do not even need to ask how to find duplicate files in multiple folders because this tool lays it out for you quite well.

    The search speed is also great, and you can also expect to get great customer service with the tool. Another great benefit of using MacKeeper is that you also get access to 10 other great cleaning tools for your Mac.

    Pros
    Incredibly intuitive and easy to use
    Great option for finding similar photos
    Offers a comprehensive bundle of other cleaning tools attached to it
    Cons
    Subscription-based pricing makes it quite costly

Part 4. Frequently Asked Questions for Finding and Deleting Duplicate Files

  1. Does Windows 10 have a duplicate file finder?
  2. Windows 10 has no duplicate file finder installed on it by default. You can either find duplicate files manually or use a third-party tool to find and delete duplicate files in Windows 10 for free.

  3. How do I find duplicate files in two folders Mac?
  4. You can find duplicate files on Mac using a third-party duplicate finder app that can scan your system and show you all the duplicate files on it. Choosing a free duplicate file finder for Mac that supports M1 Macs as well should also be in your consideration for better results.

  5. How do I compare two folders and delete duplicate files?
  6. Some duplicate finder apps have comparison tools built to let you open files from two folders simultaneously and compare them to check if they are duplicates. This is especially useful for people comparing internal drives with external ones.

  7. How do I find duplicate files with different names?
  8. Finding duplicate files with different names requires a content search and you can easily find a duplicate finder software that offers content search as well. This can let you identify duplicate files based on their content instead of their name and other attributes.