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How to Compare Two Folders in Windows 10

Compare Two Folders
Written by Kelly Houstan

Whenever we move the files from one folder to another, it is then highly recommended that you make sure that all the files have been moved accurately. Some files, if not copied perfectly, may actually lead to data loss. A visual comparison of files copied from the original directory to a new one may look really easy. However, isn’t feasible for many files. Thus, there arises a requirement for a tool that compares files in two folders. One such tool is WinMerge. You can also identify the missing files via comparing them along with the original directory. Just read this article to know all about How to Compare Two Folders in Windows 10. Let’s begin!

In this guide, we also have explained the basic steps to compare files in two folders along with the help of WinMerge. You will learn how you can install WinMerge in your system and how you can use it to compare files.

How to Compare Files in Two Folders on Windows 10

Install WinMerge on Windows 10?

WinMerge is a free application, and then you can download it from the website mentioned here.

  • Tap on Download Now button.
  • Now, wait for the download to be complete. After that, click twice on the downloaded file in order to open the installation wizard.
  • There, click on Next on the license agreement page. This means you agree in order to continue with the selection. It takes you to the next page, that will give you an option in order to select the features during installation.
  • Tap on the Features you guys want to include during installation and select Next.
  • You will now redirect to a page where you can choose Additional tasks. Such as a desktop shortcut, File Explorer, context menu integration, as well. There are a lot of other features available in the menu. That you can either enable or disable. After making the required selections, and select Next to continue.
  • When you tap on Next, you will direct to the final page. It will show all the options you have selected thus far. Check the list and tap on Install.
  • Now, the installation process begins. Whenever the installation process is complete, just tap on Next to skip the short message. And at last, click on Finish in order to exit from the installer.

Compare Files in Two Folders Using WinMerge?

  • In order, to begin the process, open WinMerge.
  • When the WinMerge window pops up, and tap on Control+O keys together. This will open a new comparison window as well.
  • Choose the first file or folder via clicking on Browse, as shown below.
  • Next, you have to choose the 2nd file or folder via the same method.

Note: Make sure that the two files are checked with the Read-only box.

  • Set Folder Filter to “*.*”. This will permit you in order to compare all the files.
  • After choosing the files and making sure the checks, tap on Compare.
  • When you tap on Compare, WinMerge starts in order to compare the two files. If the file size is small, then the process will also complete quickly. On the other hand, if the file size is large, and it takes a while for the process to be completed as well. When the comparison is made, then all the files will be displayed in folders, and also the comparison result will be displayed along with the last date of modification as well.

Important info: 

These color combinations will help you in order to make analysis easier.

    • If the Comparison result shows, Right only indicate that the corresponding file or folder is not present in the first comparison file. It indicates via the color grey.
    • If the Comparison result displays, Left only, it also indicates that the corresponding file/folder is not present in the second comparison file as well. It is indicated via the color grey.
    • Unique files are also indicated in white.
    • The files that have no similarities are colored in Yellow as well.
  • You can see the distinct differences between files via double-clicking on them. This will open also a wide pop-up screen. There the comparisons are made in a more detailed manner as well.
  • The comparison results can also customize along with the help of the View option.
  • You can see the files in tree mode. You can choose the files, namely, Identical Items, Different Items, Left Unique Items, Right Unique Items, Skipped Items, and also Binary Files. Also, you can do this via checking the desired option and unchecking the rest as well. Such customization will also save analysis time, and you can identify the target file at the earliest as well.

Hence, you can compare files in two folders via following the above steps.

Note: If you want to update any changes to the existing comparison, then you can also tap on the refresh icon displayed in the following picture or also tap on the F5 key.

In order to start a new comparison, click the Select Files or Folders option. In the next step, replace your target files or folders via the Browse option and then tap on Compare.

Other Tools to Compare Files in Two Folders

Beyond Compare

  • Beyond Compare also supports Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • It compares PDF files, excels files, tables, and also even image files.
  • You guys can generate the report via merging the changes you have added to it.


  • It is also an open-source platform that supports Windows and macOS.
  • An automatic merging facility is supported as well.
  • Differences are clarified line-by-line and character-by-character too.


  • P4Merge also supports Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • It is cost-free and also suits basic comparison needs.


  • Guiffy basically supports Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • It supports syntax highlighting and also multiple comparison algorithms.


  • DeltaWalker is just the same as that of Araxis Merge.
  • Apart from comparing office files, DeltaWalker also lets you compare file archives such as ZIP, JAR, etc.
  • DeltaWalker supports Windows, macOS, and Linux as well.

Araxis Merge

  • Araxis Merge supports not only image and text files, however, also office files such as Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, as well.,
  • It also supports both Windows and macOS.
  • A single license is also valid for both operating systems.


  • Meld is actually an open-source app that supports both Windows and Linux.
  • It supports two and three-way comparing and also merging features for files and directories.
  • The editing feature is available directly in the comparison mode as well.


Alright, folks, I hope you like this article and understand now. If you have any issues and queries related to it, just comment down and let us know.

Keep Smiling!

Also See: How Often is Google Earth Updated – User Guide

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Kelly Houstan

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