If your Mac starts to slow down, our first tip is to check the remaining storage space. It is generally advisable to have a minimum of 10% for optimal operation. If you only have a few GB left, it’s time to clean up and reclaim some space.
Over time, your hard drive is likely to accumulate many duplicates which end up taking up this precious space. However, spotting and deleting them can take a long time if you do it one by one. So in this article, we show you the fastest ways to get rid of them.
Why do you have duplicate files?
Most often, these are erroneous downloads (caused by double clicking on a link), attachments to emails and messages, etc. Unless you are a particularly picky Mac user, duplicates will occupy your computer in one way or another.
Manually find duplicates via Finder
Duplicate files can be located using Finder’s New Smart Folder feature.
- Open the app Finder.
- Go to File, then click on the option New smart folder.
- Click “+” in the upper right corner.
Now you can search for documents, photos, music, or several other types of files. Then sort the results, sorting them by name, you should easily spot duplicates.
Remember to check the date to see if it is a real duplicate, you wouldn’t want to delete the wrong version of an important document …
Certainly this is doable but it is far from the best solution … The time spent going through the long list of files could be better spent using a third party program.
Use dedicated third-party applications
The Mac App Store has a number of programs that allow you to detect duplicates and remove them.
Most third-party apps provide similar functions, the app scans your hard drive, then presents you with a list of duplicates, along with the original file, so you know which ones are safe to delete.
In general, you will have to upgrade to a paid version for the advanced functions like deleting duplicate folders, hidden files, etc.
Not only does this app allow you to find duplicates of all types of files saved in your hard drive, it also scans external drives and cloud services, such as Google Drive and Dropbox. All of this comes with the ability to immediately recover any accidentally deleted files.
All the apps offered above will help you to reclaim space on your Mac. You can always start with the free offers and then upgrade to a paid version for more options.