HoudahSpot icon

Find Copies of a Specific File

You can use HoudahSpot to find out whether a specific file on your Mac has identical twins somewhere in your file system.

This comes in handy if you want to make sure you have a backup copy before you start working on a file. Or you may want to check if a specific file – e.g. in your Dropbox folder – is a copy and not the original before you delete it.

To find a duplicate of a specific file, open HoudahSpot and do the following:

  • In the Refine pane on the right, set a criterion attribute to “Filename”. To do this, you may need to open the pop-up menu and select “Other” (at the bottom). A new window opens. Type “Filename” in the search field. Select the “Filename” attribute and click OK.
  • Drag the file in question onto the Filename attribute.
  • Make sure you enable all locations you want to be search (e.g. include or exclude external hard drives and so on)
  • Start the search.

All files with matching file names will show up in the Results pane.

To check if the files found are actually identical, you may have a look at the “Content Modified” column. Are the dates the same for all files found?

You might also want to enable additional columns, like File Size, to check if values are identical. If they are all the same, chances are pretty good that files found are actually identical copies of one another.

If you want to look at several files, just drag them onto the Filename attribute one after another. You do not need to stop the search.