I want to compare two folders, each having about 5-6 thousands files and folders. Among these probably 0.1% would be actually different but WinMerge first shows all files saying "text files are different" and when I open these files one by one it opens a dialog saying contents in both files are the same. It is nearly impossible for me to find files actually having different text, in this way.
First, I tried to set options but no success.
Then, I thought this initial difference may be due to different time stamps. So I made all file time stamps (create, last modified and last accessed ) exactly the same but the result is the still same.
Am I missing something? Or is there any way to filter the list so that I may see only the files with some difference? Or any other idea?

migrated from stackoverflow.com Aug 10 '10 at 15:25

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  • Are you ignoring white space when viewing each file? – Oded Aug 9 '10 at 19:25
  • YES, I am ignoring both white spaces and different line feeds – SJP Aug 10 '10 at 1:50
  • Try Beyond Compare. – Greg Hewgill Aug 10 '10 at 9:45

I would have thought that WinMerge with the following settings would work:


If it doesn't, I would ask the question in their forums.
I believe this is worth the effort, as WinMerge is my best file-compare product.


Try setting the Compare option "Ignore carriage return differences".

Differences in line endings (CRLF/CR/LF) are the usual suspect when one mode of comparison (binary) reports differences but another mode (text) claims that the files are the same.

  • Its already like this. – SJP Aug 9 '10 at 22:03
  • You are right @brian, there is really a line feed difference in most of the files that winmerge is not ignoring in first pass. – SJP Aug 10 '10 at 2:46

Try with the software called 'Beyond Compare'.

  • its not free... – om471987 Aug 20 '13 at 22:58
  • 1
    Seems to be a good one, but I had to change a few settings (essentially, removing the quick compare rules on file size & timestamp) to avoid having the "not so different files" highlit in my compare. The fact that it's non-free isn't that much of a problem, since a 30 days trial is available (and this soft is probably worth the few bucks it costs), but it raises a few uncertainties about the available functionnalities if one isn't intending to spend money on it. – Balmipour Jan 11 '18 at 16:39

You might want to try ECMerge or Araxis as well. They both have appropriate settings to ignore spaces / CRLF.


I had the same problem with WinMerge 2.14. So I tried WinMerge 2.16.2, problem solved.

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