Deleting duplicate files from your computer can be time consuming and frustrating sometimes. Image and audio files tend to occupy a lot of space on your hard drive, and if you have a large media library, housing duplicate files can significantly slow down your system. You can delete duplicate files from your music player or picture viewer application; however, this might remove such files from the application itself, but not necessarily from your system. There are a couple of ways you can remove them completely, including running free software that does the job for you.
Search for Duplicates, Sort and Delete
Click on the "Start" menu and select "Search." Click on the "Pictures, music, or video" option. In the "Look in" drop-down menu, select the folder where you store your music or pictures, depending on the search you're performing at the time.
First search for "Music and Audio files only," then search for "Pictures, photos and images only." If necessary enter corresponding file extensions in the Search field, such as ".jpg" or ".gif" for images, or ".mp3" or ".wav" for audio files.
In the Search Results windows, click on the "View options" and select "Detail view" to see the contents in the "Size," "Location," "Name" and other columns for sorting purposes.
Click on the "Name" column to sort by file name. Locate the duplicates by identifying those with identical file name. Make sure they are duplicates by checking additional information in the detail section, such as size or type.
Select multiple duplicates by holding down the "Ctrl" key and simultaneously clicking the duplicate files you wish to delete. Right-click on any of the selected tracks and choose "Delete." Repeat the same steps to remove any other duplicate files.
Delete Duplicate Songs With Windows Media Player
Launch Windows Media Player and press the "F3" button on your computer's keyboard. An Add to Library by Searching Computer window opens up, and you are prompted to browse through your files to locate the folder that contains your music and duplicates.
Locate the folder containing your music and duplicate songs through the Browsing window. Then click on the "Search" button. Windows Media Player locates and removes duplicates.
Note: If you don't know the folder location, click on "Library" on Windows Media Player. Click on the "View" menu and click on "Choose Columns." A pop-up window opens up. Check the "File Path" option. Confirm by clicking "OK." Enable the "File Path" column in your Windows Media Player track list, and view the folder location for your music and duplicates.
Prevent duplicate files from being added to your computer. Click on the "Tools" menu and choose "Options." Click on the "Player" tab and clear the check box corresponding to "Add music files to library when played."
Delete Duplicate Songs With iTunes
Click on "Music" under the "Library" section on the left panel. Make sure all your music is displayed in the track list. Go to the "File" menu, and select "Show Duplicates" from the drop-down menu.
Click on the "Name" column to sort by track name. Browse through the duplicate tracks displayed in alphabetical order. Make sure they are in fact duplicates by checking the information under Album, Time and Artist Name, and preview them if necessary.
Select multiple duplicate tracks by holding down the "Ctrl" key (in Windows) or "Command" key (in Macs) and simultaneously clicking on each of the duplicate files. Right-click on any of the selected tracks and choose "Delete."
Empty the Trash or Recycle Bin.
You can also download free software that removes duplicate media files from your computer. See References and Resources.