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Free duplicate finder

Find and remove duplicate files accurately with this freeware edition.

Fast Duplicate File Finder is a free version of a shareware tool. If you've tried duplicate finders before and are still recovering, not to worry: Fast Duplicate File Finder uses advanced algorithms that compare the actual binary content of a wide range of file types, not just name, size, and other attributes that may or may not be accurate indicators of duplicate files. It can search not only for 100 percent duplicates but also for similar files based on a variable level of similarity. As with all duplicate file finders, we recommend checking carefully before you delete anything it finds.

Fast Duplicate File Finder's interface has a familiar layout, with a main window and panels with draggable borders. We clicked Add Folder on the toolbar and selected a folder of digital snapshots, opting to scan subfolders as well. Our selections appeared in the Folders panel, including, surprisingly, the parent folder. We didn't want to scan the parent folder (it's large) so we clicked Remove Folder just below in the Scan options. We selected a 100 percent similar scan, though we also tried the feature that lets you scan for similar files based on a variable percentage of similarity that we selected from a rotary button, a useful feature that takes longer but finds resized and lower-quality copies. We clicked Start Scan, and the program quickly displayed all pairs and groups of duplicates in the main display, including size, directory, and other information, with the duplicates all checked for removal or deletion sorted by date and size of the file. The Preview pane let us see each file for visual verification. We simply checked those files we wanted to remove, unchecked those we didn't, selected a destination folder for the duplicates, and clicked Move Checked Files, though we could just as easily have deleted them. We opened the original and duplicate folders and verified that only duplicates had been moved. Fast Duplicate File Finder also lets users create, save, and return to Projects for regular checks.

The Free version of this program disables some of the Pro version's features, such as the Filters button, and limits some of its capabilities. It did a good job of finding duplicates, though, which is all we were hoping for.

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