Clone hunter

Root out duplicate files in your system with this free tool.

With hard disks in the terabyte range, many users think they don't need to worry about duplicate files, but duplicates still waste useful space and resources, slow your system down, and fragment your archives. Heatsoft's free Clone Cleaner Lite is ready to help you root out duplicate files on your system. It identifies duplicates by several methods and gives you the option to remove them or copy them to a specified directory, so you can clean up and organize your files without accidentally deleting anything important.

Clone Cleaner Lite's businesslike interface features resizable main panels for adding and editing search paths and viewing and modifying search results. Clearly labeled icons, rotating tool tips, and wizards make this program easy to use, but not too easy; the rap on duplicate file finders has been that they either miss obvious duplicates or delete files that aren't duplicates. Clone Cleaner Lite offers plenty of information on the files it identifies as possible duplicates, including name, size, and other attributes, like similar tools. But it also has a Content Comparison wizard that examines files for actual duplicate content and displays the results for review. We clicked Add Path, selected My Pictures, and clicked Search. The program scanned some 10,000 files in 629 milliseconds; the Content Comparison analysis took just over 10 seconds and found 163 full clones. Perhaps the only extra we'd like to see is a thumbnail option for visual confirmation. We like the masking options, though, especially the Smart Mask tool. It simplifies the process of marking files To Keep or To Clean to ensure the wrong files aren't deleted. The scans offer so much detailed information about your PC's contents, and so well organized, that Clone Cleaner Lite seems as useful as a file management tool as a duplicate finder.

As file archives grow in size, so does the potential for duplicates, even multiple copies of the same files. No one needs five copies of the same JPEG on one disk. Apply Clone Cleaner Lite to your files and reclaim some territory.

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