How to Find and Delete Duplicate Files on Mac with Smart Folders

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Duplicate files can accumulate on your Mac without your knowledge, taking up valuable storage space and causing your system to run slow. These files can be created inadvertently and accumulate over time, leaving your Mac cluttered and hard to navigate.

For the everyday macOS consumer, the thought of finding duplicate files is a rare occurrence. Fortunately, finding duplicate files isn’t rocket science. After a while, the Mac storage system starts filling up with the entire collection of files and folders. Usually, before modifying any large media file, users duplicate it. Such duplicates are then left around unattended. Over time, they occupy such a large portion of the macOS they cause serious system lags.

Despite that, deleting and getting rid of duplicate files can be easy. Since not all file duplicates are visibly displayed on the screen, it becomes necessary to find them manually. Use smart folders to find duplicates files and get rid of them to clear your system.

Using Smart Folders to Find and Delete Duplicate Files on Mac

Finding all duplicate files that are occupying your space is rather simple. If you want the process to be easy, then follow the steps outlined:

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  1. Go to your Mac’s desktop and under the menu bar, click on File.
  2. A drop-down menu will appear. Select New Smart Folder from the list of options.
  3. A new window will open. Under the new window, locate and click on the ‘+’ icon next to the Save option.
  4. Narrow down your search for duplicate files by selecting the Kind drop-down menu, then click on the file type you want to start with.
  5. Starting with the selected file type, thoroughly go over all the files that are stored on your macOS. Scroll through the file, one grid after the other until you find the duplicate files that interest you, then delete. Organize files by their name such that duplicates are replicated under the original and they are easier to identify then delete.
  6. Do a double-take to confirm that you’re deleting duplicates before proceeding. Quickly select Get Info and check the information on each file. Alternatively, you can opt to open both the original and what appears to be the duplicate then manually compare the contents. Go through all the sections including Pictures, Downloads, Documents, Music, Desktop, Videos etc.
  7. Right-click on a duplicate file and select Move to Bin/Trash to remove it from your Mac. After deleting, go to your Trash Bin and review. If you’re certain that deleted files are duplicates and what you wanted to delete, then right-click on the Trash Bin and permanently remove the files.
  8. Your Mac will be rid of duplicated and unwanted files leaving you with so much free space for new and necessary files.

Now you know how to find and delete duplicate files on mac with smart folders. Using this simple built-in feature on your macOS only requires your time and concentration. Even so, you can still use other programs to find duplicate files on your system.

How to Find Duplicate Files on Mac Using Third-Party Finders

In addition to Smart Folders, there are means of finding these unnecessary files on your system. These are apps found on the App Store and available for every Mac user to select and use as they see fit. Some third-party duplicate file finders for Mac are more thorough and thus churn out better results than Smart Folders. So, they might be worth your while.

Although there are many utilities out there that promise to find duplicate files and leave your Mac system clean, there are a few that live up to the end of their deal. Therefore, it’s important to choose wisely when opting for a third-party finder software.

How to Remove ‘Other’ Data on Your Mac

Mastering how to use Smart Folders on a Mac is only complete if you also know how to remove the ‘other’ data. Even if you identify and delete duplicate files, if you leave ‘other’ data, then your macOS storage is still riddled with unnecessary loads. Periodically check your Mac for unwanted files and remove them to keep the system light and free.

If you want a permanent and more sustainable solution. Then consider using iCloud. Move most pictures, music and video files to the cloud. You can always access them from any Mac as long as you log in. This option leaves you with enough room to do as you please and at the same time, keep your Mac clear and clean of duplicate files and memory occupiers.

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