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by JB Burke

Q: I have backed up and moved files so often, that I find I have many duplicate files. How can I find and delete the duplicates without spending a lot of time?

A: Even though today’s computer disks are very large, duplicate files can still be a logistical problem. There is an easy solution, and it’s free. There are utilities available that will search your folders or disks looking for duplicates, and then allow you to easily delete the duplicates, or move them to a different folder. The program that I recommended is called “Fast Duplicate File Finder”. This program can be found here on MindGems web site.

On the MindGems screen, click the Download button next to the program title. Save the file to your Downloads folder or the desktop – somewhere you can find it. Double click on it to install, answer the Windows security questions, accept the license, answer all the questions and it will quickly install.

There is a link to a tutorial on the MindGems web site, and I suggest you review that. In a nutshell, all you do is start the program, click on New Project, select one or more drives or folders by clicking in the box to the left of it, and click on Scan. How many files are in the drives or folders will determine the length of the scan. Once the scan is complete, you can click on Move Checked Files or Delete Checked Files. Look over the list, to make sure the files really are duplicates. You can click on the file name in the list to open the file.

In my experience, the program is very accurate, but you don’t want to accidentally delete important files.
There are several options you can choose on the program screen. Generally the defaults are fine, but familiarize yourself with them just to be safe. Good luck cleaning up your files.

Published: Courier 6/17/12 - Page 3C