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How Do I Remove Duplicate Photos From iMac?

Want to remove duplicate photos. Somehow there are 3 of most of my photos. Best and safest way to do that would be very helpful to know. I don’t trust many people for support, accept YOU.

Annually I offload some of my photos to an external drive. I do this to keep iMaC storage reasonable yet photos accessible by year on an external drive. those that I keep are part of my art portfolio. Something happened recently when I offloaded the 2020 photos. I found duplicated or tripled photos going back to 2004 on my iMAC only. the portfolio on my 2 iPads & iPhone are all intact. No Duplicates there. That’s the good news. I have plenty of room on my iMAC but would like to remove all these extra dupes. I make every effort to keep my iMAC from slowing down. Do you think these are ghost files on the Mac? Will these duplicates slow the Mac? should I delete these one by one? Last Question: I uploaded a 3rd party app “Photos Duplicate Cleaner” but was worried I’d mess up the Photos app. So I haven’t used it yet.
Elaine Thillen

Comments: 4 Responses to “How Do I Remove Duplicate Photos From iMac?”

    4 weeks ago

    First, are you sure they are duplicates? I have to ask that because I get people asking me all the time about this and it turns out they are viewing the same photo in the Library (All Photos) and then in some albums. Those, of course, are not duplicates as the photos are there only once. Albums are just a different way of viewing them.

    If you do see the same photo repeated more than once in your All Photos list, then the first thing you need to do is to figure out how it got that way. You’ve got to make sure if doesn’t happen again.

    Sometimes people import the photos from a camera, select not to delete them on the camera, and then import them again the next time. The Photos app warns you when this happens, but the warning can be ignored. Other times people are syncing via iCloud, or maybe Photo Stream, and then also importing manually. Whatever the reason, make sure you change the behavior or the problem won’t go away.

    Now to delete them I recommend only one method: manually. Photos are just too valuable to leave it to any photo-duplicate-cleaner app, not matter if it is trustworthy or not. In All Photos any true duplicate will be next to the original, so it will be easy to spot. Just go through all of your photos and clean it up. If there are too many, then try doing it in groups, 10 minutes today, 10 minutes tomorrow.

    If you have plenty of space on your drive, then having some extra photos won’t affect your Mac’s performance.

    4 weeks ago

    Gary, thank you for the very quick response. I do place certain art pieces in different albums based on genre. It makes for a great portfolio presentation whether on iPads or iPhone. So your explanation made a lot of sense to me. I’m so glad I didn’t proceed with the duplicate remedy proposed by a third-party. I have learned so much from you and I certainly appreciate the personal response. Stay healthy. Keep bringing these explanations to us a new features. All good.

    2 weeks ago

    If you have your photos synced to an iOS device, use the app ‘Remo Duplicate Photos Remover’ from the app store. It is free, locates the duplicates and then gives you the opportunity to remove them one by one. I have been working on my photos app, albums and metadata during the lockdown. I had hundreds of photos that were duplicates and I found this app a Godsend. Hope that helps.

    2 weeks ago

    Brian: If all the app does is to show you duplicates one-by-one, then why do you need it? Just look in All Photos and you’ll see duplicates together (same photo, same time). Plus you can also see photos you may want to delete for other reasons. No third-party app required.
    And don’t forget that simply removing duplicates is a temporary fix. You’ve got to figure out why you have duplicates and change that behavior so it isn’t a constant problem.

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