Deleting Cloned Music Files Using Duplicate Cleaner

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

Duplicate Cleaner Free
Image © Mark Harris

As you build up your music library it's inevitable that multiple copies of the same songs will appear. These space-hogging duplicate files can build up quite quickly over time and litter your hard drive -- especially if you use your computer to regularly download/rip music CDs.

You can reduce this clutter and free-up hard drive space by simply using a free duplicate file finding software tool.

As well as using this special software for streamlining your music library, you can also 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 got a special mode just for audio files.

If you use another operating system such as Mac OS X or Linux, then try Duplicate Files Searcher.

Using Duplicate Cleaner Free for Audio Files

  1. The first thing to do is switch Duplicate Cleaner to audio mode. This specifically searches the metadata in audio files to try and find duplicate songs/music. To switch to this mode, click the Audio Mode tab via the main Search Criteria menu screen.

  2. If you want to filter out specific audio formats, then you can use the exclude option -- i.e. typing in *.flac will filter out any files in this format.

  3. Before you can start to scan for duplicates you need to tell the program where to look. Click the Scan Location main menu near the top of the screen.

  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 click on 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 then simply add more folders in the same way.

  5. Click the Scan Now button to begin searching for duplicates. When the process has finished, a statistics screen will be displayed giving you a detailed report on the duplicates that have been found. Click Close to proceed.

  6. If the duplicate list is large then click the Selection Assistant button (image of a magic wand). Hover your mouse pointer over the Mark sub-menu and then choose an option. There are a number of options that you can use to select files. Examples include file size, modified date/time, auto tags, etc. If for instance, you want to select the oldest files in the modified date/time section, then make sure you click the Oldest Files in Each Group option.

  7. Once you have marked the duplicates you want to remove, click the File Removal button near the top of the screen.

  8. There are a number of options available to remove duplicate files. If you want to send the files to the Windows recycle bin rather than deleting them directly, then make sure the Delete to Recycle Bin option is enabled.

  9. To also remove folders that don't have anything inside them, ensure the Remove Empty Folders option is checked.

  10. When you are happy with the way the duplicates will be removed, click the Delete Files button.