How to Find and Delete Duplicate Photos in Windows 10: Free Methods Included

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Sarah Miller
Updated on July 01, 2024 Preview 36.2K Preview 1
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Many duplicate photos accumulate on our computers over time. Perhaps you haven't noticed them because they are scattered across different folders or photo libraries on your computer. Or you have noticed, but find it difficult to eliminate all of them.

This article shows you how to find and delete duplicate photos on Windows 10 PC in three ways, including two free ways.

 

Method 1. How to find and delete duplicate photos in Windows 10 automatically

The best way to find duplicate photos in Windows 10 is to use Cisdem Duplicate Finder. This duplicate photo finder is easy to use and customize. It automatically, accurately and quickly identifies:

  • Exactly identical photos, even if they are in different locations on your PC.
  • Duplicate photos with identical content, regardless of filenames.
  • Photos that look the same but are not exactly the same, such as different resolutions, file sizes, or file formats.
  • Duplicate photos that have been resized or cropped.
  • Similar-looking photos. Such as photos taken from slightly different angles or using burst mode.

It also provides the best way to remove the unwanted duplicate files. By default, it automatically does everything for you, and you only need to click the Delete button. You can also decide which files to remove yourself and get rid of them one by one or in bulk.

Step 1. Install the duplicate photo finder.

Download and install Cisdem Duplicate Finder. Open this app.

Free Download

Step 2. Add folders to find duplicate photos.

You can add one or multiple folders where you think duplicate photos exist, using drag and drop or the Add icon. To find duplicates in Microsoft Photos, just add the source folder(s).

Cisdem Duplicate Finder window showing the Add icon, the Settings icon, the Scan button, and that two folders are added

In addition to your PC, you can add folders from an external storage device or cloud storage service.

Step 3. Customize settings.

This step is optional. To also find non-exact duplicates and near duplicates, click the Settings icon, choose the “Similar images” tab, and select the “Enable similar images function” checkbox. Customize the settings if needed.

the Similar images tab in the Settings window showing the Enable similar images function checkbox and more

Also, you can customize other settings, like excluding files and folders. For example, if you want to search your entire PC for duplicate pictures, it’s recommended to exclude system folders like C:\Windows\System32 or C:\Windows\SysWow64.

Step 4. Click Scan.

Click “Scan” to start finding duplicate photos.

Step 5. View duplicate photos.

When the scan is complete, the results window will appear. The “Image” tab displays all the found duplicate images. There are three view modes, allowing you to preview photos side by side and see photo information like resolution and file size.

the results window showing several tabs, and the Image tab showing several sets of duplicate photos

The “Similar Image” tab displays non-exact duplicates and near duplicates.

the Similar Image tab showing several sets of non-exact duplicate photos

Step 6. Select duplicates for deletion.

In each set of duplicate photos, this app automatically selects all but one photo for removal. You can also select or deselect by hand. In addition, there are selection rules. On the left, highlight the sets to which you’d like to apply a rule. Click the List icon and choose a desired rule.

clicking the List icon bringing up a list of selection rules

As for the items under the “Similar Image” tab, you can select manually or use the rules to help you.

Step 7. Delete all duplicate photos with a click.

Once all unwanted duplicates are selected, click “Delete” to delete them all at once. Confirm the deletion.

The deleted items will go to the Recycle Bin and stay there. Note that they still take up storage space on your computer. If you want to free up the space they occupy, you need to delete them in the Recycle Bin.

 

Method 2. How to find and remove duplicate photos in Microsoft Photos in Windows 10 for free

Microsoft Photos (or simply Photos) is a photo viewer and photo manager included in Windows 8 or later. If you don’t have this app on your PC, you can get it for free from the Microsoft Store.

If you see duplicates when you browse photos in the Photos app, you might want to get rid of them. The good news is that this app actually has a duplicate detection feature. This built-in feature is capable of finding:

  • Photos that are exactly the same in every way (including the file name). In other words, it can’t detect duplicate photos with different names.
  • Exact duplicate photos in folders on your Windows PC. First, you need to add the folders that contain duplicates to the Photos app. It can only do the detection for you, but you’ll spend a lot of time manually removing duplicates.
  • Exact duplicate photos in your OneDrive account. Also, it requires you to sync photos in OneDrive with your PC.

Note: If you use a very old version of Microsoft Photos or you use Photos Legacy, the duplicate detection feature won’t be available.

Step 1. Add folders to Microsoft Photos.

This step is optional. In the navigation bar on the left, go to “Folders”. Click “Add a folder” to add the folder from which you want to remove duplicates. You can add multiple ones.

To add your OneDrive folders, go to “Settings”. Under “OneDrive Accounts”, click “Sign in to OneDrive”. Then follow the instructions to sync your OneDrive photos with Microsoft Photos.

the Photos app in Windows 10 showing Folders, All Photos and more in the navigation bar on the left and an Add a folder icon on the right

Step 2. Select duplicate photos for elimination.

The duplicate detection is completely automatic and works quickly in the background. The thumbnail of a detected duplicate displays a Duplicate icon in the top left corner. In the navigation bar, go to “All Photos”. There, browse through your photos to select all the photos with a Duplicate icon.

the thumbnail of a detected duplicate photo displaying a Duplicate icon in the top left corner and a checkbox in the top right corner

Step 3. Remove duplicates.

Click the Trash icon in the top right corner of the Photos app to delete selected items. In the message that appears, click “Delete”.

a deletion confirmation message

The deleted duplicate photos will go to the Recycle Bin. They will disappear in both the Photos app and the source folder(s).

Tip: As for the same or similar photos that can’t be detected by this built-in feature, you can manually find them. And this tip may help. Go to the upper-right corner of the Photos app. Click the Gallery types and sizes icon and choose the “River” gallery type and the “Medium” size. Click the Sort icon and choose the very sorting option that makes it easy for you to spot duplicate photos by comparing visual content. You can select the redundant versions of photos for deletion.

 

Method 3. How to search for and delete duplicate photos in Windows 10 for free via File Explorer

Like Method 2, this method is also free and built in to Windows 10. The method uses File Explorer, a file manager included with the Windows operating systems.

Unlike the above 2 methods, it can’t find duplicate photos in Windows 10 automatically. This method is much less efficient and can be very time consuming. But it offers some features that can help you identify duplicates in a certain folder, including:

  • Duplicate photos with the same file size in Windows 10, regardless of filenames, file formats, etc.
  • Duplicate photos with the same modification or creation date.
  • Duplicate photos with similar file names, or with the word "copy" in the file name.

Note: File Explorer doesn’t support the HEIC format. Therefore, this method won’t help if you want to find duplicate HEIC images or if your duplicate photos have this format – one in HEIC and the other in JPG. Just in case you want to know, File Explorer supports raw image formats.

Step 1. Open a folder.

In File Explorer, open the folder in which you want to find duplicate photos.

the Pictures folder is opened in File Explorer

Step 2. Display all photos in one place.

This step can be optional. If the folder contains both images and other types of files, or if the folder contains subfolders, this step is recommended.

In the top right corner of the File Explorer window, enter “kind:” in the search box and choose Picture from the dropdown menu that appears. This way, the current window will only display all the pictures in the folder. (You can even specify the image format. For example, entering “kind:=picture type:jpg” will display all the JPG photos.)

"kind:" is entered in the search box in File Explorer

Step 3. Sort photos.

Go to the “View” tab. Click the “Extra large icons” or “Large icons” option and the “Details pane” option. Now it’s very easy to see every photo’s thumbnail (which is big enough) and details.

Now sort photos by different sorting options, such as Name, Size or Date modified, until it’s the easiest for you to spot duplicate pictures.

Windows File Explorer View tab

Step 4. Identify duplicate photos.

Go through the sorted photos and identify duplicates by comparing photos’ visual content and details like Name, Format, Dimensions and Size.

Step 5. Move duplicates to the Recycle Bin.

Select one or multiple unwanted duplicate photos, right-click and select Delete.

The deleted photos will be moved to the Recycle Bin.

Tip: Here’s a trick, which might be helpful. In the search box of File Explorer, enter “~"*copy*"”, and this will display all the files in the folder with the word “copy” in their names. This is a quick way to search for duplicate photos created by copying and pasting photos. However, before you delete these files, do make sure that the original photos still exist.

 

FAQs

Why do I have duplicate photos on my Windows PC?

There can be various reasons. For example, you copied and pasted photos or imported/downloaded the same photos multiple times. Or you backed up/synced photos from multiple cloud services. If you are a photographer, you probably have a lot of slightly edited photos, or both the raw version and the JPEG version of the same photo from the camera or phone. Taking photos in burst mode, taking photos of the same scene from slightly different angles or distances, also cause duplicates.

All in all, it’s hard to avoid the appearance of duplicate photos over time. But you can find and delete them regularly.

How do I decide which duplicate photos to remove?

In a set of exactly same photos, it doesn’t matter much which to keep and which to remove unless you really care about things like the name or the location - for example, you want to keep the Photo A in Folder 1 and delete the Photo A in Folder 2.

In a set of similar photos, then you can consider the following things:

  • Image resolution: Typically, the edited photos have a lower resolution than the originals. You might want to keep the photo that has been edited, than select the lower resolution one. Also, you can keep the original photos with higher resolution.
  • Image formats: Sometimes you may have duplicate images with different file formats. You can then choose to save the image in the format you prefer, a format that is better for sharing, a more portable format, etc.
  • Image details: Images that you have added details (like a description or rating) to should be preserved.

Once you decide which photos to keep, you can get rid of the rest.

Does Windows 10 have a duplicate photo finder?

Windows 10 itself doesn’t have a built-in duplicate photo finder. But Windows 10’s Photos app has a feature to find duplicate images in folders added to the app.

 

Conclusion

The existence of duplicate photos doesn’t hurt your computer. So it’s okay to leave them alone. But I recommend removing them if you want to keep your digital photo collection organized. Also note that too many duplicate photos can take up a lot of storage space, possibly causing your PC to slow down.

This article talks about three ways to find and delete duplicate photos in Windows 10. The first method uses professional software, which can easily, quickly and reliably remove duplicates from any photo collection, small or large. If you want to eliminate duplicates in the Photos app, or just want to search for duplicate photos in a certain folder in Windows 10, the second method is a good choice. The third method is applicable to small photo collections. The latter two methods are completely free.

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Sarah Miller
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With a passion for tech and writing, Sarah joined Cisdem, where she focuses on creating articles about using utility tools to enhance file management and simplify contact management.

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  • Nancy Weller

    Would be better if it had a filter option "with duplicate locations only" so you didn't have to scroll through all the photos. I realize most people may be looking for similar photos too and would need all photos, but it would be nice to have the choice.

    9 months ago commonReply

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