Find duplicate files with Windows 10 File Explorer

Windows 10 unfortunately does not yet offer the possibility to detect duplicate files. Fortunately, there are many tools that help you with this. If you don’t actually want to install extra software for this, you can still search and find duplicate files within Windows by means of a (somewhat cumbersome) trick.

Unfortunately offers Windows 10 Not (yet) the ability to detect duplicate files. With free software such as CCleaner or other programs for which you have to pay you can find duplicates, but not everyone likes to have to install a separate tool on his or her computer for this. With a (quite cumbersome) trick you can use Windows Explorer to find duplicate files yourself. Also read: 10 tips for Windows 10 File Explorer.

Before you start cleaning, it is a good idea to create a backup in case you accidentally delete something that you would rather keep.

Sorting and filtering

If you are looking for duplicate files, it is important to sort and filter them correctly. The better you do this, the more likely you are to encounter duplicate files. And the more information you can find about files, the better you can compare them.

Searching, sorting, the Explorer is getting smarter.

Customize the view

In Windows Explorer you can choose many different ways in which your files are displayed. Some views are better suited for comparing files.

For example, you can visually compare photos and videos with the extra large icons. With the details view you can see a lot of extra information about all your files in a list, and it is possible to sort by these parameters.

By on Alt + P You can open a panel with a preview of the selected file, allowing you to view a file directly from the Explorer without having to open it. This does not work for all file types, but it is very useful for images and documents.

By on Alt + V and then on Alt + D You can immediately switch a panel with details about the file in question.

In Windows 10 you can decide how your files are presented to you.

Compare data

Duplicate files have the same extension, so try to target only one file type at a time.

Note: For example, if you have an mp3 file and a wav file of the same song, you could consider this as a “duplicate”, or not because they differ in file type, sound quality and application. So think in advance about how you want to treat such cases. I always choose to at least keep the file in the highest quality.

The size of the file is very important for all file types. Duplicate files have exactly the same file size, so sorting by size can quickly exclude all kinds of files as candidates.

Duplicate multimedia files are the easiest to identify because they contain a lot of metadata. For example, photos often contain information about the date and location they were taken, and sometimes also the type of camera. Music sometimes contains metadata about the artist and song title.


Of course, third-party tools are much faster and more accurate than this method with Windows Explorer, but if you prefer not to install new software, these tips will go a long way.

Still CCleaner

If you still want to try it with a tool, choose for exampleCCleaner. Within the software, go to Tools – Duplicate File Finder and indicate which drive you want to search. If necessary, click on Ignoreon System filesto prevent such files from being deleted. CCleaner is (as the name suggests) also a handy tool to clean your PC.


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