Search and Remove Duplicate Files Quickly and Free

very good
key review info
application features
  • Converts duplicate files to symbolic links
  • (2 more, see all...)

With today’s tendency to hoard files on the hard disk, it should come as no surprise that the same file may be located in more than one place, thus chipping the free space you would otherwise use for storing more relevant data.

Although there are plenty of utilities that can clean up the computer of unnecessary files and thus claim free space, only some of them are dedicated to detecting duplicate items. That is, items that are exactly the same in content, not just name and size.

DeDupler is a simple utility that does just that. It does not provide complicated options and no computer experience is required to work with it.

The application is absolutely free of charge and does not need to be installed, because it is portable. However, you should place the executable file in a folder because it automatically creates a new entry that holds the configuration details.

Launching the app for the first time prompts you to choose the working language. There aren’t too many alternatives available though, and unless you’re proficient in Czech, you can opt for English.

The layout is far from appealing, but it is intuitive enough for the average Joe to get by with no problems. As soon as the directory that has to be scanned is chosen, you can start the duplicate finding operation.

It works right out of the box, but there is also the possibility to change the default verification method or to define specific file formats DeDupler should target.

The main application window also displays the license agreement, which stipulates that the developer does not take any responsibility for any damage DeDupler may cause and that basically you’ll be using it at your own risk.

Believe it or not, this is a safety net most developers decide to throw, just in case their software causes trouble on some computers. However, unlike the case of DeDupler, you do not have to agree to it each time you want to use the application.

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DeDupler does not provide too many options because it relies on MD5 or SHA512 algorithms to verify the data. Both of them act as a fingerprint for digital files, which enables the application to simply compare the checksums in order to decide which items are duplicates.

MD5 should be used for faster processing, although SHA512 is more advanced and provides more reliable results.

Also helpful for increasing the speed of the operation is setting the application to verify only specific file formats.

DeDupler works by first indexing the files it has to analyze, and this process could take a while, depending on the target location. However, it offers the possibility to stop indexing when a threshold is reached, either in the number of items or their size.

Otherwise, scouring large locations could take forever to complete. This is also reason enough to use the application with relatively small folders instead. During our testing, it took quite a while (about three minutes) just to index the data and we waited for another minute to look at the duplicates, on a 510MB-large directory with over 18,000 files in it.

Each duplicate in the list of results is automatically selected and you can choose to remove it or replace it with a “symbolic link.” Details such as total amount of duplicates detected, their size, the total number of files checked, as well as the ratio of twin files and size, are also present.

Symbolic links (soft links or symlinks) are a special kind of shortcuts that refer to a file but appear as if having an absolute path.

During our testing, DeDupler did not seem to be able to create the symbolic links for the duplicates, and the entire operation resulted initially just in creating a log with the files that should have been turned into shortcuts. However, it is perfectly able to do the job under the condition that you run it as administrator (right click the executable and choose the “Run as administrator” option).

The application includes a feature that promises to reverse this procedure, based on the log, via the DeSymbolizer option in the main application window. However, in our case, the files were never returned to their original location and we were left with the symlinks only.

Working with DeDupler should not be difficult, even for beginner users, because of instructions and details about how each function works.

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The Good

The application does not require installation and works out of the box, without any special configuration; just point it to a folder and start the scan process.

It compares the files by checksums, determined using MD5 or SHA512 algorithms.

The Bad

It won’t skip the protected OS folders if you feed it an entire drive scan. Looks are not impressive.

You need to run it as administrator in order to create symbolic links of the duplicate files; restoring them as real files failed.

Indexing could take a while in the case of large folders, unless you limit the search to smaller directories.

The Truth

DeDupler does a great job if you want to scan folders with a small amount of data in them. The results are reliable and duplicates are automatically selected in the list.
user interface 3
features 4
ease of use 4
pricing / value 3

final rating 4
Editor's review
very good
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