FileMany Review – the Best Image Deduplicating tool?
For any of you looking for a tool to de-duplicate files or even images, I thought I’d write this quick post to make you aware of a hidden gem – FileMany.
Weird name? Yes, judging from the fonts in the tool, the author is Japanese, and perhaps doesn’t promote it in the English-speaking world as much as the big US names do. As such, I tried many before I tried this one, including many from the Likehacker Top list such as Duplicate File Finder, Auslogics Duplicate File Finder, and the reputed best for photos, VisiPics).
So, I wasn’t expecting much with FileMany, but when I did try it, I was blown away. It’s a little ugly, granted, but very functional.
Take a look at the configuration panel.
Now, lots of deduplicators will have many of the features, so let’s look at some of the stand-out ones:
- Select all dupes in a directory – if you have a secondary directory where you know there are a lot of duplicates, and you want to delete all dupes in that folder first, you can select to select/delete all within that directory. Having said that, it doesn’t do this hierarchically into its subdirectories too in one click, as Auslogics can.
- Hash-compare only the first few bytes – rather than read an entire file to generate a hash, it can read just the first KB. This makes it much faster to get a rough comparison, especially for very large files. If you are worried about hash collisions (getting the same result for two different files), you can use additional safeguards like requiring the same filename or filesize, just to get to the point where you can do a first pass to thin out the numbers.
- Store each pictures’ characteristics for future comparisons – this is gold! It takes so long to analyse pictures for comparison, that you don’t have to scan the entire lot every single time. Here, you don’t have to. ManyFile scans a picture once, analyses it, saves the analysis to a small file in the same directory, and then uses that for all comparisons. Hence if you subsequently compare to a different directory, or even change the ‘similar photo’ thresholds, it can reload the database files in seconds and compare the values, without having to re-scan the same files. For bulk or continuing dedupe jobs, it’s fantastic!
- Loads of scan filters, selection filters, wildcards, etc – just so many options. I haven’t found myself missing any function yet!
- Fast image side-by-side comparison – Visipics does this the same way, but just seems a bit slower. ManyFile also allows displaying the resolution and filename on the thumbnail so you can immediately spot the likely lower-quality dupe, whereas Visipics needs you to hover over each one to get the metadata.
- Lock files – if you want to protect files as original, there are many ways to do it – folder, filter, etc.
When you run it, you get this progress bar
Because the image analytics was already cached, that run took three seconds for 6,000 files with a different similarly setting!
This is the screen for selecting the duplicates to delete once found:
Lots of dupes
As you can see, there are all sorts of options for filtering those to be deleted:
- Name contains
- Size above/below
- In/out of folder
- Path name is longer/shorter
- File size larger/smaller
- Resolution larger/smaller
You can even do things like re-timestamp the surviving files with the stamp of the deleted duplicate – such as if you edited the thumbnail and wanted it transferred back!
It’s an incredible app. And it’s free.