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I have a directory tree which is a mess. There are multiple copies of multiple files in multiple directories.

I would like a freeware Windows program which will delete all files of the same name except for that with the most recent time-stamp.

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    Is the timestamp in the filename? – user193661 Oct 26 '15 at 9:55
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    This is called deduplication. Example software: clonespy, synctoy, alldup – user193661 Oct 26 '15 at 10:04
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    None of these are OK? – user416 Oct 26 '15 at 10:42
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    I have been constantly in meetings and have, as yet, not had time to try them out,. Please rest assured that I will do so and get back to you – Mawg says reinstate Monica Oct 26 '15 at 10:49
  • Feel free to post CloneSpy as an answer – Mawg says reinstate Monica Oct 26 '15 at 11:08
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There are multiple copies of multiple files in multiple directories.

I would like a freeware Windows program which will delete all files of the same name except for that with the most recent time-stamp.

This process is typically known as deduplication. I personally recommend using one of two programs, either Clonespy or Anti-Twin. For your situation, Clonespy seems a good fit, but Anti-Twin isn't a terrible choice and is probably more useful on a week-to-week basis to help keep duplicates in-check.

Clonespy

Clonespy Deduplication Program Interface

Clonespy has the following notable features:

  • Freeware. Also, it does not include any ads or additional software installers.
  • Delete by Date. It can select files by general "older" or "newer" time-stamps.
  • Pools. You can group sets of directories into "pools" to allow you to search multiple directories at once for duplicates. This might be particularly usesful since you said your directory tree was "a mess". Pools can be saved and loaded for future use, as well as merged.

Clonespy Pool Interface

Clonespy - Other Notable Features

  • Export lists of equal files. I have found this feature useful in maintaining personal lists of where I keep important files such as family pictures.

What I Like About Clonespy

The automatic deletion feature is easy to use (other programs may require additional steps to select files). Pools for future use. The "equal files" export list.

What I Dislike About Clonespy

Fewer confirmation or explanatory dialog boxes compared to some programs. This may lead to some question about "what just happened" for those that wish to dive right in to using it.


Anti-Twin

Anti-Twin Deduplication Software Interface

Anti-Twin is the second program I would recommend. It has the following notable features:

  • Freeware. Free for Private (non-commercial) use. Also, it does not include any ads or additional software installers.
  • Delete by Date. It can select files by general "older" or "newer" time-stamps. It also has finer-grained control over deleting files that are "smaller" or "larger" as well as being able to choose duplicates earlier or deeper in the directory tree.

Anti-Twin File Selection Option Screen

  • Individual File Selection or Group Selection. Once a directory set is scanned, files can automatically be selected by the folder they appear in, as well as individually selected/deselected. Previews are available for image files.

Anti-Twin Results Interface

Anti-Twin - Other Notable Features

  • Move vs. Delete Option. Files may be moved to a special "anti-twin" folder in place of deletion in case you are unsure whether you wish to delete the files directly.
  • Fine-grained File Matching. Initial file match criteria is more refined including:
    • Size Ranges (files only between X and Y bytes)
    • File Extension Matching ( ex. .jpg and .mp3 but not .png or .mp4)
    • Byte-by-Byte Comparison or Pixel Comparision (for images)
    • Search Basic, Subfolder or All Folders
    • Search For A Specific File
    • Search For File Names
    • Limit Duplicate Count (Helpful if you have many large files or a large amount of small files)

What I Like About Anti-Twin

I like the fine-grained matching control and automatic selection options once a scan is complete. I also like that I don't have to immediately delete the files, I can move them. I like the image preview, since I do a lot of image downloading.

What I Dislike About Anti-Twin

  • Unfortunately, you can select only a maximum of two root folders at a time, meaning you likely need to know (or at least suspect) where you may have duplicates. In all fairness, you can generally go as far "up the tree" as you need to, but this might slow down the deduplication process since there will a large number of files to compare that won't match.

  • An inability to delete files from "Windows" or Windows "Program" folders. This is done for safety by the author, but occasionally I have wanted use this program with these folders.

  • Automatic selection is not always the best choice. It pays to double-check all the files selected are those you want to delete. This can be somewhat time-consuming with a large number of files.

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Use Tune-Up From AVG. I have been using this software for years it will scan and automatically detect the duplicate files in your system and delete them seamlessly.

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