Deleting Cloned Music Files Using Duplicate Cleaner

Free-up space on your computer by eliminating multiple copies of songs

What to Know

  • Install the free version of Duplicate Cleaner. Choose Search Criteria and switch to Audio Mode via the Search Criteria menu.
  • Choose Scan Location, go to your song library, select the Arrow icon, and choose Start Scan.
  • Choose the duplicate items to delete, then select File Removal > Delete Files. Optional: send to recycle bin or remove empty folders.

As you build up your music library, it's common for multiple copies of the same song to appear from time to time. We show you how to reduce clutter and free up hard drive space using a duplicate file finding software tool for Windows.

Use Duplicate Cleaner for Audio Files

As well as using this special software for streamlining your music library, you can remove multiple copies of photos, videos, and other types of files. In this tutorial, we're going to use the free version of Duplicate Cleaner (Windows), which has a special mode just for audio files.

Duplicate Cleaner has a free, 15-day trial, after which you must pay to keep using it.

If you use a different operating system, such as macOS or Linux, try Duplicate Files Searcher.

Follow these steps to use the program and clear those duplicate files.

  1. Click Search Criteria.

    The "Search Criteria" tab in Duplicate Cleaner 4
  2. Switch Duplicate Cleaner to audio mode. This setup specifically searches the metadata in audio files to try and find duplicate songs or pieces of music. To switch to this mode, select the Audio Mode tab via the main Search Criteria menu screen.

    To filter out specific audio formats, use the exclude search function. For example, type *.flac to filter out any files in this format.

    The Audio Mode option in Duplicate Cleaner 4
  3. Before you start to scan for duplicates you need to tell the program where to look. Select Scan Location from the menu near the top of the screen.

    The Scan Location tab in Duplicate Cleaner 4
  4. Use the folder list in the left pane to navigate to where your song library is stored. Highlight a folder (or entire disk volume) that you want to add and then select the Arrow icon (white right-arrow). You can also double-click folders to select sub-folders if necessary.

    If you have music stored in more than one location, add more folders in the same way.

    The folders list and arrow icon in Duplicate Cleaner 4
  5. Select Start Scan to begin searching for duplicates.

    The "Start Scan" button in Duplicate Cleaner 4
  6. When the process has finished, a statistics screen will appear with a detailed report on the duplicates that the program turned up. Select Close to proceed.

    The "scan complete" report in Duplicate Cleaner 4
  7. Click the box to the left of the duplicate items you want to delete.

    Selection boxes for duplicate items in Duplicate Cleaner 4
  8. If the duplicate list is large, select Selection Assistant. Hover your mouse pointer over the Mark sub-menu and then choose an option. Examples include file size, modified date/time, auto tags, and more.

    Selection Assistant in Duplicate Cleaner 4
  9. Once you have marked the duplicates you want to remove, select File Removal near the top of the screen.

    The File Removal button in Duplicate Cleaner 4
  10. To send the files to the Windows recycle bin rather than deleting them directly, make sure the Delete to Recycle Bin option is enabled.

    The "Delete to the Recycle Bin" option in Duplicate Cleaner 4
  11. To also remove folders that don't have anything inside them, ensure the Remove Empty Folders option is checked.

    The "Remove empty folders" option in Duplicate Cleaner 4
  12. When you are happy with the way the duplicates will be removed, select Delete Files.

    The "Delete files" button in Duplicate Cleaner 4
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