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

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Rosa Reyes
March 05, 2024 Preview 33.7K Preview 1
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A set of duplicate photos is photos that are exactly the same, regardless of name. There are also non-exact duplicate photos, which look the same but have different resolutions, file sizes or file formats. Additionally, there can be near-duplicate photos, which look similar. This article shows you how to find and delete duplicate photos on Windows 10 PC in three ways, including two free ways.

  Method 1 Method 2 Method 3
Find duplicates Automatically Automatically Manually
Find non-exact duplicates Automatically Manually Manually
Find near duplicates Automatically Manually Manually
Remove duplicates Automatically, all at once / Manually, one by one Manually, one by one Manually, one by one
Click for instructions Click Click Click

 

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 (regardless of name), photos that look the same but are not exactly the same, and similar photos.

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 and C:\Program Files.

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 only capable of finding photos that are exactly the same in every way (including the name). In other words, it can’t detect duplicate photos with different names. Therefore, it’s likely that the feature can’t find all the duplicates. Also, it can only do the detection in the folder that is added to the Photos app.

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.

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. But this method is much less efficient and can be very time consuming. The method uses File Explorer, a file manager included with the Windows operating systems.

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.

the View tab showing the Extra large icons option, the Large icons option, the Details pane option and other options

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 computer?

There can be various reasons. For example, exactly identical photos are often caused by copying and pasting photos or importing/downloading the same photos more than once.

Non-exact duplicates can be caused by resizing photos or importing both the raw version and the JPEG version of the same photo from the camera or phone.

Similar images can be caused by taking photos in burst mode, taking photos of the same scene from slightly different angles or distances, or slightly editing photos (like cropping or rotating).

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 non-exact duplicate photos or similar photos, you might want to keep the photo that has a higher resolution, that you have added more details (like a description or rating) to, that is in the format you prefer (like in JPEG instead of a raw format), or that simply looks better. Once you decide which photos to keep, you can get rid of the rest.

Does Windows 10 have a duplicate photo finder?

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. The second method is a good choice if there aren’t too many photos. The third method is applicable to small photo collections. The latter two methods are completely free.

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Rosa Reyes
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Rosa has worked in Mac software industry for more than eight years. She believes that the purpose of software is to make life better and work more productively. In addition to writing, Rosa is also an avid runner.

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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.

    0 months ago commonReply

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