Duplicate files can be very annoying for a couple of reasons – they take up valuable disk space and they make managing your files a nightmare. Just imagine going through your photos and continually stumbling upon the same shot in different folders! Luckily, there is an easy and free way to delete duplicate files with a program that you may already have – CCleaner.

CCleaner is a really useful Windows maintenance and cleanup tool. With its help you can delete junk files (I’m talking about useless Temporary Internet Files, Windows Temp files, logs, cookies and so on), manage your Windows startup list to make your PC boot faster, uninstall programs, clean the registry, and even shred files and wipe free disk space to protect your privacy. But it gets better and better – the latest version of CCleaner includes a duplicate file finder.

To find and delete duplicates with CCleaner, you’ll need to open the program and go to the Tools tab.

CCleaner tools tab

Then click on the File Finder button to open the duplicate finder. You will see a number of options already pre-checked for you. While you can keep them all as is, I recommend that you uncheck Modified Date under Match By and File Size Under in the Ignore category. Make sure you don’t uncheck the option to ignore system files because deleting a system file that appears to be a duplicate can ruin your PC.

CCleaner File Finder

And now is the time to select the files and folders you want to check for duplicates. By default, CCleaner will have all your drives selected. But scanning your whole PC will take a really long time. So, it’s best to select one or two folders that you think might have duplicates. I’ll add my Images folder for the scan.

To select a folder, click on the Add button. A new window will open where you need to click on the Browse button to select files and folders.

 CCleaner browse

When done, click on the Search button to start the scan.

CCleaner search

When the scan is complete, CCleaner will show you the list of duplicate files that it found. Pairs of duplicates will be displayed together, which makes it easy to select the files you want to delete. Simply check the relevant checkboxes and click on the Delete Selected button. CCleaner will ask you to confirm that you really want to delete the files you selected and then it will do the rest.

CCleaner delete duplicates

As you can see, deleting duplicate files with CCleaner is quick and easy. Not to mention very useful.

~ Liz D.