"A Free Duplicate File CleanUp Tool."
Sometimes duplicate files are created due to various reasons, and you might not even notice it. CloneSpy will make sure that all dupes occupying valuable space are removed. Even though sometimes duplicate files do not have the same filename and properties, they can still be detected by CloneSpy. It can then suggest which duplicates should be removed and leave the final decision up to the user.
Don’t worry about the installation process, it’s very easy and pretty much straightforward. In one of the first few steps you will be asked if you want to perform a Standard installation or make a portable version. Picking the first option will continue with the typical Windows software installation, whilst the second choice will extract all the necessary files into a folder and you can execute the program from there. Proceed with the most suitable installation type for you and after a couple of steps you will be ready to use CloneSpy.
The supported operating systems are Windows NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Vista and 7 (compatible with 32 and 64-bit systems).
The interface might seem a little confusing at first. It is divided into 7 frames: Pool frames, Checksum files frame, Mode frame, Search for frame, Action frame, On automatic deletion frame and Some scanning properties frame. Most of those frames are settings that you can change to make the program work differently. However, it is worth noting that there are two pool frames. If you just want to scan a hard drive or folder for duplicates, you can add it to one of the pools and choose that pool in the Mode frame. But if you add a drive or folder in each pool, CloneSpy can compare those files that are included in Pool 1 to the files that are included in Pool 2. This can be done by choosing “Both Pools” option in the Mode frame.
There are plenty of options which will make the scans more precise or broad. You can search for duplicate files, duplicate files with the same name, files with the same name or files with the same name and (approximately) same size. In addition to that you can enable the option that deletes zero length files.
You can set the program to handle in various ways the duplicate files. Firstly you can choose which of the duplicate files will be automatically removed, depending on their date, size, file name length etc. Then you can select if you want the program to send them to the recycle bin, move them to another folder or delete them. In addition, you can create a batch file with information about the duplicate files so that not only you can delete them altogether later but also perform arbitrary file operations to them. Another option you have is to replace the files to be deleted by shortcut or a hard link which points to a corresponding retained file, in order to free up space but keep the structure of the scanned folders. Last but not least, you can export a list of all identical files without actually removing any of them.
Using Checksum file frame you can import previously created checksum files and compare their data to files on your hard drive or folder.
You need to play with the settings and configure CloneSpy before you actually start scanning with it. That’s not necessarily bad; it’s just that you need to become familiar with the program first before using it.
The user interface could be improved a bit.
Duplicate Cleaner (comes in Free and Pro edition) is a decent duplicate file search software that performs well and is more user-friendly than CloneSpy. Search criteria are mainly the same, except that Duplicate Cleaner has more options when searching for images or music (e.g. same aspect ratio). Auslogics Duplicate File Finder (free) is a great tool to find and delete remove duplicate files in your computer, but is not as configurable as CloneSpy or Duplicate Cleaner.
CloneSpy has an enhanced functionality that provides you with many search options. It is not exactly intended for use by inexperienced users, but can be useful in many occasions.
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