How to Find and Remove Duplicate Files on Mac

find remove duplicate files mac

Having duplicate files on your Mac can potentially slow down its performance. Over time, it’s common to accumulate a significant number of duplicate photos, songs, documents, and other files without realizing it. These duplicates can occupy a substantial amount of space on your Mac’s storage. If you’re facing storage constraints or running out of disk space, fortunately, you will have a couple of options to find and remove those duplicate files and free up valuable storage space.

Find and Delete Duplicate Files with Smart Folder

  1. Open Finder.
  2. From the Menu bar, go to File – New Smart Folder.
  3. Click the + icon on the top right corner to start a new search.
    Start a new search with Smart Folder
  4. You can use the filter to find files through their names, types, sizes, and so on. You can also create several filters at the same time to further narrow down the search.
    Use filters to narrow down the search

Find and Remove Duplicate Files with Terminal

If you have experience with Mac Terminal, using command lines or scripts can also be a fast option to identify duplicate files. You can follow the following steps:
1. Command+Space to launch Spotlight.
2. Type Terminal **to run Terminal Application.
3. Type **cd ~/Folder Name
to navigate to the folder you want to scan. For example, you can type cd ~/Downloads and hit return to move to the Downloads directory.
4. Copy and paste the following command lines and hit enter.
find . ! -type d -exec cksum {} \; | sort | tee /tmp/f.tmp | cut -f 1,2 -d ‘ ‘ | uniq -d | grep -hif – /tmp/f.tmp > duplicates.txt
The command lines will generate a text file to the folder you’ve specified.
find duplicate files with command lines
1. The text file only list all the duplicate files path names, so the list might be rather long.
2. If you want to delete those files, you will need to manually navigate to those files and manually delete them.
3. Keep in mind that only if you are familiar with the command lines, otherwise you might meet some issues with your Mac.

Delete Duplicates with One Click

Although Smart Folder can be very helpful, it still requires you to have a general picture of what kinds of duplicate files exist on your Mac. However, most of the time, we cannot remember the exact files that have been duplicated. If you want to find and delete duplicate files effectively, it is better to use a third-party app.
Cleaner One Pro is an all-in-one tool for Mac cleaning and performance optimization. The Duplicate Files feature will scan and find duplicate files in your selected folders automatically, saving you time from searching Smart Folder manually.
Scan for duplicate files
After the scan, it offers a preview of the duplicate files so you can check again before deleting.
Preview the contents before deleting duplicate files
With other strong features such as Smart Scan, Junk Files, and real-time monitoring for your CPU and Network usage, Cleaner One Pro will make sure your Mac is always at its best performance.


  1. Meera June 8, 2021
  2. Orest October 5, 2021

Add Comment