How can I best compare files inside a folder?

James June 18, 2011
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I understand what the desktop.ini file is. My problem is, when I try to compare two folders on two different hard drives, they sometimes come up with different file counts. I go digging around and finally figure out that they have the exact same files, except one folder is counting these .ini files.

I need to be able to compare folders file for file to see where my exact duplicates are, so I can merge files, delete copies, and clean up my hard drives.

Please help me figure out a way to do this without opening all the sub folders and comparing every file by sight.

  1. uvas
    July 11, 2011 at 6:40 am

    I have a similar problem: how do I ensure data integrity (audio, text, spreadsheet, pictures...) after I perform regular PC maintenance -- like disk defragmentation, or a simple directory tree copy?

    Is there a good utility that would fit the bill for all these common file types, either by comparing each file bit by bit (from 2 directory trees), or by performing a checksum calculation for each pair of files?

    Does WinMerge fit the bill?

    • Tina
      July 11, 2011 at 4:05 pm


      in case you don't receive an answer here, I recommend that you post a new question.

  2. Tina
    June 25, 2011 at 10:35 pm


    did any of the tools ha14 recommended work for you? Please let us know. Thank you!

  3. Anonymous
    June 18, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    total commander
    Use the "Synchronize dirs" tool like this
    ---Switch to the two directories which you want to compare, one in the left and one in the right window
    ---If you only want to synchronize certain subdirectories, select them now
    ---From the "Commands" menu, choose "Synchronize Dirs"
    ---Click on "Compare"
    ---Wait for the comparison to complete
    ---Files which are newer in the left window will have a green arrow pointing to the right, those which are newer in the right window a blue arrow pointing to the left. Identical files will have an equal sign, different files with identical date an unequal sign.
    ---You can choose which files to show using the buttons in the "Show" box. Singles are those which exist on only one side, duplicates exist on both
    ---To synchronize the two sides, click on the "Synchronize" button, then OK

    Free Commander - Folder Compare and Synchronize

    Beyond compare: comes with trial periode

    Winmerge: Select to folders then right click and choose winmerge, You'll get a file listing that displays all the files in both folders, which are identical and which exist on the "left" or "right" folder.

    FolderMatch  compares and
    synchronizes two folder trees.

    Auslogics Duplicate File Finder


    find fast all duplicate files in a folder and its sub folders - free