Delete your duplicates with PackIt

Free up valuable hard-drive space with this simple utility.

Duplicate files can take up a lot of room on your hard drive, and they can accumulate faster than you might expect. Importing and renaming images, inadvertently downloading files twice, and other run-of-the-mill activities can result in a computer clogged with files you don't need. Fortunately, there are plenty of programs out there that can help you root out and delete duplicates. PackIt is a basic rendition of this software, with some useful features and a few drawbacks as well.

PackIt's interface is quite plain, and it wasn't immediately clear how to get started; there was an empty screen with a handful of menus across the top, and we had to click around a little bit before we found what we were looking for under the Search menu. We selected a folder full of files to scan, and PackIt let us choose the search strategy it would use; options include size, checksum, CRC32, and Contents. The program scanned the 1,600 files in the folder in less than a minute using CRC32 and found 445 duplicates, which was no surprise to us; the particular folder we selected was our desktop equivalent of a junk drawer. We liked that PackIt gave us several options for searching and seemed to do a quick and thorough job, but we didn't love the way it displayed the results, as they were in one long list with duplicates all grouped together. We've seen similar programs that display their results in two side-by-side panes, making it easy to compare files and ensure that duplicates really are duplicates before deletion. PackIt does display the file name, folder, date and time modified, target, and size of each file, so it's not impossible to compare them, but it does take a little longer. PackIt has no Help file, so if you have any questions about how it operates, you're out of luck. Overall, PackIt is not the most sophisticated program of this type that we've seen, but it works well and quickly, and sometimes that's all you need.

PackIt installs a desktop icon without asking and leaves a Start menu item behind upon removal.

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