General Advice on Deleting Files


TipsDeleting the wrong files are risky. No program has the decision-making skills to determine what's safe to delete or not. Make that decision based on your knowledge and experience. If you're in doubt, don't delete the file.

Please read through the usage notes below for some general advice. Thanks.

* We recommend scans be done on specific paths (folders), rather than the root of a drive. For many users, a scan of C:\My Documents or perhaps C:\My Documents\My Pictures makes more sense than a scan of C:\ alone. Confining the scan to specific paths will make for faster operation and will yield results that are easier to examine, especially if you are a 'non-technical' user. This will also keep the scan away from duplicate files in operating system folders, many of which either should not be removed or cannot be removed because Windows prevents them from being deleted. 

* As noted above, Duplicate Finder cannot decide what files are safe to delete or not. You must make that determination yourself, based on your knowledge of the files found. When in doubt, do not delete! 

* We recommend doing cleanups in multiple steps. For example, if you organize files by project in separate folders, begin at a lower level folder. Do a cleanup at that level before moving to a higher-level folder. Taking smaller bites will probably make it easier to be systematic and organized with your cleanup detective work. 

* Do not rely on the Windows Recycle Bin as a safety mechanism for large-scale duplicate deletions. DO NOT attempt to clean out files from \Windows with the idea that "If something breaks I can just restore from Recycle Bin." The Recycle Bin is not limitless! Files you put there today may be gone forever two weeks from now.