How to Remove Duplicate Files & Folders in Windows XP

Written by richard kalinowski
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Many PC users unknowingly have duplicate files cluttering their computers, taking up much-needed hard-drive space. Microsoft says "this usually happens if you save copies of the same files in different locations on your computer." The 2004 release of "Windows XP Service Pack 2" provides a Windows application for duplicate file searching, making it easier to locate and remove duplicate files and folders.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Make sure you are running the latest version of Windows XP, or, at the very least, make sure you have Service Pack 2 installed. To check your Windows XP version and download necessary updates, visit Windowsupdate.microsoft.com.

  2. 2

    Backup all of your important PC files on a CD, DVD or Flash drive. This is a precautionary measure in case you accidentally delete a much-needed file during duplicate file removal.

  3. 3

    Click on the "Start" menu, then click "Run."

  4. 4

    Type "Dupfinder" into the "Run" dialogue box. Click "OK." This will run the XP Service Pack 2 file "Dupfinder.exe" in a new window.

  5. 5

    Click on your primary hard drive, typically listed as the "C" drive, to perform an entire system scan for duplicate files. You can also click on a specific folder to do a smaller, folder-specific search for duplicate items.

  6. 6

    Click "Start Search," initiating an automatic search for duplicate items in the drive or folder selected.

  7. 7

    Scroll the list of duplicate files and folders detected by the Dupfinder application. Click to select the duplicate files and folders you want to remove; you can select multiple items by holding the "Ctrl" key.

  8. 8

    Press the "Delete" key to remove all of the selected duplicate files and folders.

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