How-To

How to Find and Delete Duplicate Files in Windows 11

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Running out of storage space on Windows 11? A quick way to free up space is to find and delete duplicate files. This guide explains how.

Duplicate files are unnecessary files. Unless you’re moving them to another device as a backup, duplicate files on your PC are just wasting your disk space.

That’s why finding and deleting duplicate files on your Windows 11 PC is a good idea. This is a quick and easy way to free up space without losing anything important. After all, deleting a duplicate still leaves the original in place.

There are several ways you can find delete duplicate files in Windows 11. We’ll show you how to do it below.

How to Delete Duplicate Files in Windows 11 Using File Explorer

One of the easiest ways to find and delete duplicate files in Windows 11 is by using the built-in File Explorer. You can use File Explorer to locate duplicate files on a small scale (in a single directory).

To find and delete duplicate files in Windows 11 using File Explorer:

  1. Open File Explorer and navigate to a folder where you want to look for duplicates.
  2. Go to View > Details.
    Windows File Explorer View mode
  3. Click Sort and select Name or More > Size. This will group similar files.
    Windows 11 file explorer sort modes
  4. You’ll need to scroll through your files manually at this point. Select the duplicates individually by holding the Ctrl key and clicking them individually with your mouse.
  5. When you’re ready to delete the files, right-click and click Delete (the trash can icon).
    Delete dupe files on Windows 11
  6. Once you’ve deleted the files, erase them completely by right-clicking the Recycle bin icon on your desktop and selecting Empty Recycle Bin.
    Empty recycle bin on Windows 11

How to Delete Duplicate Files in Windows 11 Using Windows Terminal

Another way to find and delete duplicate files in Windows 11 is by using Windows Terminal. You can also use Windows PowerShell or the older Command Prompt tools. You can use Windows Terminal (or the alternatives) to delete all copies of a file with a specific name or extension.

To delete duplicate files in Windows 11 using Windows Terminal:

  1. Open Start Menu and type: terminal (or powershell or cmd).
  2. Click Run as administrator on the right.
    Open the Windows 11 terminal app
  3. In the terminal window, type: cd followed by the path of the folder containing the possible duplicates. For example, cd C:\Users\Username\Downloads.
  4. Next, type: del followed by a wildcard expression that matches the name or extension of the file you want to delete. For example, del *-Copy.jpg will delete all JPG files with -Copy at the end of their names (indicating they are duplicates). You can also use ? (question mark) to match any single character or . (period) to match any file name or extension.
    Del command in Windows terminal
  5. Press Enter to run the command.

Allow time for the command to run. You can repeat these steps to look for (and delete) duplicate files in other locations and with other filenames and extensions.

Clearing Up Space on Windows 11

Thanks to the steps above, you can quickly find and delete duplicate files on Windows 11. This’ll help you save disk space by removing unnecessary files (as well as help you manage your files better).

Want to make sure you’re always keeping on top of your drive storage? You may want to enable Storage Sense on Windows 11 to clear out your temporary files automatically. You can also move specific personal files and change the default save location on Windows 11 to another drive if you’re running low on space.

Are you still running out of space? Consider installing a faster (and larger) NVMe M.2 SSD instead. Not only can you increase your drive size fairly easily, you can also significantly increase the performance of your PC by following that tip.

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