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If your Mac is starting to run slowly, the first thing to do is to check if you’re running out of memory. In general, it’s recommended that you free up 10% of your Mac’s total disk space to get the most out of it. If you only have a few GB left, it’s time to clean up and reclaim some space.
Over time, a Mac’s hard drive is likely to accumulate a large collection of duplicate files that take up valuable space, so it’s a good place to start. However, searching for and deleting these files can take a long time if you search for and delete them one by one. In this article, we will therefore show you faster ways to clean your system of these duplicate offenders.
In most cases, these are accidental downloads (caused by double-clicking on a link), attachments to emails and messages, or a variety of other ways. Unless you’re a particularly demanding Mac user, duplicates will appear one way or another.
iTunes for your MP3 files
The laziest way to find duplicate music files on your Mac is through the iTunes application. iTunes is a versatile tool for playing, downloading, and managing your media. No wonder it has its own menu for duplicate files. Click File > Library, and then select “Show Duplicates”. That’s all you have to do. You’ve got the duplicates in front of you. However, you’ll be able to see files with the same name. If you’re manipulating MP3 clips for creative purposes, you may find that this list contains different versions of a file stored under the same title.
If you want to limit your search to exact copies of the same file, you can hold down the Option key and select “Show exact copies”. This way, you limit the list to files that are true duplicates. In any case, you will see an ordered list of files, but it is up to you to choose which ones you want to delete.
Although iTunes is limited to your media library, you shouldn’t ignore this convenient way to manage duplicate files on your Mac. After all, media files are the largest objects that take up space on your hard drive. Plus, the application is always there, so it’s a simple, native, and hassle-free method, even if it’s not the most comprehensive.
Using the Finder to Find and Delete Duplicate MacOS Files
If you prefer to avoid installing a third-party application, use the Finder to find and remove duplicate Mac files instead. This method is incredibly time consuming and can lead to more errors, but it doesn’t compromise your security.
When using the Finder, you should examine every file on your Mac to see if you can find duplicate files yourself. The easiest way to do this is to create a Smart Folder that allows you to sort each file by name. Then look at the names to find exact copies.
- Open the Finder on your Mac and go to File > New Smart Folder.
- In the window that opens, click the + (plus) symbol in the upper right corner to create a search filter for your Smart Folder.
- From the first drop-down menu, select Type, then from the second drop-down menu, select the type of files you are looking for.
- After you do this, the Finder window should fill with all matching files on your Mac.
- Click Name to sort the results, then browse the list one by one to find duplicate files.
If you find two files with duplicate names, select each one and press the space bar to preview them. Make sure that the contents of each file are identical before you put the duplicates in the Trash.
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CCNA, Web Developer, PC Troubleshooter
I am a computer enthusiast and a practicing IT Professional. I have years of experience behind me in computer programming, hardware troubleshooting and repair. I specialise in Web Development and Database Design. I also have a CCNA certification for Network Design and Troubleshooting.