Duplicate files are abundant on most hard drives without the user knowing it. These are created when a file is saved multiple times in different locations or possibly when a backup file is created by a system recovery program. However the file is created, the duplicate files need to be removed. Doing so not only frees up a large amount of hard drive space, it speeds up the system as well.
Download and install "Duplicate Finder" (see Resources). Load the program (double-click the desktop icon or select its program tab under "Start," "All Programs"). Click "Scan" and the program searches the hard drive for identical files. Depending on the amount of files stored on the computer, the process may take several minutes to complete. Once finished, the list of duplicate files is displayed at the bottom of the screen. Click a file to see the contents, then click the box to the left of the file and select "Delete" to remove the selected file.
Download and install "Glary Utilities" (see Resources). Load the program, then click the "Files & Folders" tab on the left side of the screen. After the main menu changes, click "Duplicate Files." A new window appears with a scan feature on it. Click "Scan" and Glary Utilities scans the entire hard drive. Once complete, a list on the right side of the program window appears. Check off the files you want removed and click "Remove" to delete the duplicate files from the computer.
Download and install "Auslogics Duplicate File Finder" (see Resources). Load the program, then check off the drive you want scanned. Once the scan has finished, view all the duplicate files and check off the box to the left of the file and click "Next." A window appears asking if you want the files removed. Select "Yes" and the duplicate files are deleted from the hard drive.