Finding Duplicate Photos in the Photos App

Recent new features in the Mac, iPhone and iPad Photos apps let you find and remove duplicate photos easily.

Comments: 15 Responses to “Finding Duplicate Photos in the Photos App”

    Ken
    7 months ago

    Always great tips. I still import photos from phone through a cable attached to MacBook. The problem: Once I attach the phone about a thousand photos from phone show up on the MacBook screen. I try to import weekly. I do not like to import through cloud and I do not store photos in iCloud. Out of the thousand photos I usually only need to import the last 100. All of the other photos have already been downloaded to MacBook. Any way to stop seeing the photos I have already downloaded?

    7 months ago

    Ken: Look carefully at the top of the Import screen in Photos and there should be options there to allow you to only look at photos not yet imported.
    But note that you need to figure out what you are doing as well. Back years ago before iCloud it was normal to import new photos from your iPhone's "Camera Roll" to your Mac and then delete them from your iPhone. Then those photos would sync back to your iPhone according to your syncing preferences (All Photos, some albums, etc). If you are going to stick with not using iCloud for Photos, then keep this in mind.

    Ken
    7 months ago

    Thanks for fast response. At the top of menu I see were the option for photos not yet imported. Under the "New Items" it states I have 17,000+ photos to import. Clearly I have imported these pictures, but it still states that these are new and option tom import. I brought it up at the apple store once and they couldn't give me an answer.I need to wait the few minutes for all photos to load then scroll to the bottom and select the latest photos. Since new Mac the photos I have imported from phone

    Ken
    7 months ago

    Since new mac the photos I have imported from phone do not show up to "re"import.

    7 months ago

    Ken: Sorry, I don't know why it isn't working properly for you.

    Debbie
    6 months ago

    Hi Gary,
    I have found that the photos I shoot on my iPhone while videotaping (by tapping the white button on the screen) don’t show up under the Duplicates tab. I tend to shoot a lot of these causing me to have 10-20 still shots for every video I shoot. They’re taking over my Photos app because I shoot a lot of videos, so it would be so convenient to be able to merge them under Duplicates. Any idea why I can’t?

    6 months ago

    Debbie: Not sure what you mean. Are getting more than one photo when you tap the button? If you are tapping the button at different times, then those would be different photos, not duplicates, right?

    Jamie
    6 months ago

    Thanks, I found the duplicates, but before I merge how do I know if I’m deleting a duplicate in the ALL photos app, or a duplicate I’ve put in an album? Can I find the location of the duplicate before I merge/delete?

    6 months ago

    Jamie: Albums are lists of photos that are in All Photos. They are not duplicates. You don't create a duplicate by putting a photo in an album. They are like playlists in Music. The location of ALL photos is in your one and only "All Photos" list. When you merge two photos, the remaining photo would be in any album where you had either photo.

    Jason
    6 months ago

    Gary -- thanks. this is a great feature and I have been enjoying tidying up my collection of photos. But it's not clear to me how Photos merges the metadata including the captions. How would it merge two different captions of duplicate photos?

    6 months ago

    Jason: I think it may append one to the other. But you can always try it. Duplicate a photo, put different captions on each, then wait until they appear in Duplicates and merge. That's exactly what I would do. Report back with the results.

    Michael Ross
    6 months ago

    Gary - I may be nuts but when I open DUPLICATES it appears there is a duplicate of each photo. The original is there along with a much smaller in bytes duplicate that appears to be a thumbnail.

    Does that make sense? If so how do get the DUPLICATES folder to only show true duplicates - not thumbnails?

    Under settings I auto upload and store all photos in iCloud. I also 'DOWNLOAD ORIGINALS to.this MAC'. I have tons of space on the drive.
    Thanks,
    MIKE Ross

    6 months ago

    Michael: Maybe your camera is set to accompany each photo with a thumbnail version? Or maybe at some point you duplicated them in another app? Impossible for me to say since I can't see it. But get to the bottom of it so it stops happening.

    Jonathan
    4 months ago

    I updated to Sonoma about a week ago. I keep my Mac Studio on all the time as you suggest. And I have only 2600 photos. My wife has about 10 times as much as I do and we share the computer with different accounts. I still do not have a Duplicate folder in my Photo sidebar. A couple of days ago I duplicated one of the photos in my library as a test and I still do not have a Duplicate folder. Any suggestions?

    4 months ago

    Jonathan: Sorry, I don't know why it isn't showing up as a duplicate. You'll need to contact Apple Support to investigate further.

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