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How Do I Find Duplicates In Photos?

Even discussing this issue with Apple support techs suggests that there are no easy way or apps to find duplicates that have happened over years of adding photos. Mixed reviews on Photostick makes me hesitant to try

Comments: 3 Responses to “How Do I Find Duplicates In Photos?”

    2 years ago

    They are right. There is no easy way. And there shouldn't be. Photos are important to most people. Having someone or something else automatically delete them is bad. The very thought of having some automatic process determine which of my precious photos are duplicates and permanently deleting them makes me uncomfortable.

    So here's what you need to do.

    First, figure out why you have duplicates. No point getting rid of the duplicates if you are just going to end up with more.

    One reason may be that you accidentally imported photos a second time from a camera. Mistakes happen. But if could be something else too, like having old Photo Stream turned on and also importing the photos, resulting in two copies. Just turn off Photo Stream.

    Another reason I have to mention is that sometimes people think they have two copies when they do not. It is possible and common to put a photo into two albums for instance. Then people see it in both albums and assume there are two "copies" of the photo. But there is just one copy and the albums both link to that same photo. Like playlists in iTunes/Music. Other times, people see the photo in the All Photos view and in an album and assume that there are two copies. These are just two ways of viewing your library and there is still just one copy of the photo.

    Once you have changed things so you will no longer have new photos imported twice, then you can get rid of duplicates.

    An easy way to do that is to look at the All Photos view in the Photos app. This shows everything in chronological order. So any duplicates will be right next to each other. Use the slider at the top to enlarge the photos so you can see them clearly. Then scroll through them and delete ones that you are sure are duplicates.

    People tend to think that this will take "forever." Not so. It will go quicker than you think. And you can also take this time to clean up other things in your Photos library. For instance, I always have extra photos I take while shopping ("Which dessert do you want me to bring home?") and things I put up for sale online and such. Good time to delete those, as well as other junk.

    If you have a lot of photos, just plan on doing a year at a time. After a few 10-minute sessions you will be done. And you'll be confident that no precious photo was accidentally deleted. Plus, you may get to relive some great memories as a bonus. After all, you are collecting your photos so you can see them again, right? Look at this as an opportunity.

    Ken Vignona
    2 years ago

    A few years ago I opened my photos and for some reason about 3000 photos had duplicated. After much research (apple, internet etc) there was nothing out there that seamed ideal. I made a copy of photo library (separate drive) set up a smart folder by year and went through it little by little. I have off photo stream but recently I have found older photos duplicating (same ones from past). I cannot find the reason. I know i do not import duplicates (phone is easy, camera delete after import)

    2 years ago

    I tried various methods and settled on the Duplicate File Finder application by Nektony. It scans my Photo Library and groups all the content by similarity, so it’s very convenient to remove duplicate and similar photos and leave only the original ones.

    One more helpful thing in this app is that after enabling iCloud Photos synchronization I managed to get rid of all duplicates inside my iCloud Photo Library. So try this method, I hope it will help you too.

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