Depending on how you store, download and transfer files on your PC, duplicate files may make up a portion of the used disk space on the computer. A program like Anti-Twin can aid you in listing duplicate files found on the system to give you the opportunity to delete duplicates to free up disk space.
The duplicate file finder is available as a portable version and setup, and you can pick either one as they provide you with the same feature set. Once you start Anti-Twin you can start configuring the search parameters. You do need to pick at least one directory on a connected hard drive that you want to scan for duplicate files. If you want, you can add a second folder as well, but that is completely optional.
The program includes subfolders automatically in the scan, which you can disable if you prefer it to only scan files in root folders. A click on file filter displays additional filtering options, in particular to only include files that match a minimum or maximum file size, or files with specific extensions.
Anti-Twin compares all files matching the filters using a byte by byte analysis to make sure that it only catches identical files. You can change the comparison method on the start screen as well. For images, you can switch to a pixel comparison option, and for all files to a comparison by names instead. If you select the latter, you can furthermore only include files that have identical file sizes, and files that only differ in the file extension.
It is lastly possible to change the threshold for a match from 100% to a lower value. A click on the search button runs the file scan on the selected folders. This may take some time depending on the number of files in those files, the comparison methods, and the performance of the PC. A few tests revealed however that operations are completed rather quickly, even when thousands of files need to be compared.
The results listing displays all matches in the interface, with each match listed with its file name and path, date of creation, and the size it occupies on the hard drive. Here you can now mark individual duplicates for deletion, or let the program make the selection for you.
Here you can again modify parameters for the auto selection of duplicate files:
You can hover your mouse over image duplicates to see a preview of the image in a small popup window which can be useful for comparison reasons.
Anti-Twin is a sophisticated but still easy to use duplicate file finder for the Windows operating system. It offers different comparison methods, automatic weighting and file filtering, as well as support for a dozen or so different interface languages. The program is compatible with all recent 32-bit and 64-bit editions of the Windows operating system. According to the author, it will also run on Linux or Mac if Wine is used.
If there is one thing to criticize it is the lack of updates. The latest program version has been released in Max 2010, and while there are not any issues yet with the program, it can very well be that it will eventually become incompatible with newer versions of Windows. (via Freeware Genius)
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.