How to Find and Bulk Remove Duplicates in Google Photos 2022

Rosa Reyes
time September 26, 2022 Preview 2.3K
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With more than one billion users, Google Photos is one of the most popular photo storage services in the world. Google Photos is great. But as with any service, it’s not perfect. For example, many users complain about the duplicate photos in Google Photos.

Duplicates in Google Photos take up space and make it less enjoyable to view photos. Now Google Photos no longer provides unlimited free storage, so your storage space becomes valuable.

This article will show you how to easily find and remove Google Photos duplicates.

 

3 facts to know about the duplicates in Google Photos

  • Thanks to Google Photos’ duplicate detection, Google Photos normally doesn’t allow any exact duplicate photos in your account. So the duplicate photos you see in your account can be different in metadata, resolutions or formats. Or, they are visually very similar but different.
  • Google Photos itself doesn’t offer a way to find and delete the existing duplicates in your account.
  • So far, there isn’t a perfect way to very quickly get rid of a large number of duplicates.

Before you get started: Check if the duplicate files really exist

In some cases, you may see duplicates in the Google Photos app on your phone, but they don’t really exist. To check out if photos are really duplicated in Google Photos, go to https://photos.google.com/, sign in with the same account used in the app and see if duplicates show up there.

duplicate photos in my Google Photos account

In some cases, you may see duplicates after you update the Google Photos app, update your Android or iOS version, or switch to a new phone. If so, wait for a period of time (for example, a couple of days) and see if the duplicates still show up.

Method 1. How to find and remove duplicates in Google Photos using duplicate photo cleaner

Applies to: Computer

Here’s how this method works. Download all the files in your Google Photos account to your computer, delete all the files in your account, use duplicate file finder software to automatically find and delete duplicates, and then upload the duplicate-free photos and videos to Google Photos.

Note: But with this method, there are two disadvantages. You will lose the information you have added to your photos using Google Photos. Also, you will lose the albums (not the photos in it). In other words, you will need to manually recreate albums later.

If the added photo information and albums don’t matter to you, then you can consider this method. The steps below are broken into 2 parts. You can read through the steps first and then decide if you want to use this method. If you want, you can create a test Google account and test the method first.

Part 1. Download all files from Google Photos to computer

1. On your computer, sign in to Google.

2. Go to https://takeout.google.com/settings/takeout.

3. Click Deselect all.

the Deselect all button

4. Scroll down to find Google Photos. Select the checkbox next to it.

the checkbox is selected

5. Click All photo albums included and deselect Bin and your album(s). Click OK.

the OK button

6. Scroll down and click Next step.

7. Click Delivery method and choose Send download link via email.

8. Configure settings. Here I set it to download all my Google Photos items to a single ZIP file.

9. Click Create export.

When the data is ready to download, you will receive an email. Click Download your files. If there are gigabytes of files, it may take a long time.

Now unzip the ZIP file. The unzipped folder will be automatically named Takeout. In the Takeout folder, you will find a folder called Google Photos. There, your Google Photos files are automatically organized into folders by year.

the Google Photos folder

It’s recommended to keep the unzipped ZIP file as the backup of your Google Photos.

Now, delete all your photos and videos from your Google Photos account.

Part 2. Find and delete duplicates in Google Photos

Now, all your Google Photo files are on your computer. You can start removing the duplicates in them.

Free Download   Free Download

1. Download Cisdem Duplicate Finder and install the software on your PC or Mac.

2. Drag the above-mentioned Google Photos folder into the software.

3. Click the settings icon . Select the Enable similar images function checkbox under the Similar Images tab.

4. Click Scan.

5. When the scan is done, the Images tab in the results window will display all the exact duplicates found in Google Photos. The Similar Images tab will display non-exact duplicates and similar photos.

the results window displaying duplicates found in Google Photos

6. In each set of duplicates or similar photos, make sure that the unwanted photos are selected.

7. Click Delete in the bottom right corner to delete all selected files.

8. Confirm the deletion.

Now the duplicates in the Google Photos folder are gone. You can upload the files in this folder back to Google Photos via photos.google.com. It can take a long time if there are lots of files.

Tip: This tip is for step 6. In each set of exact duplicate photos, the software automatically selects all but one photo, saving you from selecting by hand, which is good news. When it comes to non-exact duplicate photos and similar photos, you can go through each set and manually select the unwanted versions.

The software helps you select by offering different selection rules. For example, using the Select Lowest Resolution rule will select all the lower quality version(s) of photos in each set of non-exact duplicates or similar photos.

Method 2. How to find and remove Google Photos duplicates using the Search feature

Applies to: Computer, Android, iPhone and iPad

Google Photo has a powerful search feature. Although the feature can’t help you directly search for existing duplicates in Google Photos, it can help make the search easier. You can use the method on photos.google.com or in the Google Photos app.

1. On your computer, go to https://photos.google.com/.

2. In the left sidebar, choose Explore.

3. In the Things section, click a certain subject (for example Flowers or Mountains).

the Things section

4. Now you can easily spot duplicate photos of a certain subject.

5. Select one or multiple duplicates in your Google Photos.

6. Click the Delete icon in the top right corner.

All deleted photos will go to https://photos.google.com/trash.

You can get rid of duplicate photos subject by subject.

Viewing photo information can help you decide which duplicates to delete. To view photo information, double-click a photo and click the Info icon. For example, in a set of duplicates, you may want to keep the photo with description.

Tip: Explore is a part of the Search feature. If you think it’s not enough, you can directly enter a subject in the Search your photos box at the top. This may help you easily spot more duplicate photos in Google Photos.

Method 3. Completely manually find duplicates in Google Photos and remove them

Applies to: Computer, Android, iPhone and iPad

If there aren’t many files in your Google Photos account, you can browse through them and manually identify the duplicates.

1. On your computer, go to Google and sign in.

2. Visit https://photos.google.com/.

3. Scroll through your photo gallery. When you find a duplicate that you want to get rid of, hover your mouse over it and click the check mark icon to select the picture.

multiple duplicates in Google Photos are selected for deletion

4. When you finish selecting, go to click the Delete icon in the top right corner.

5. Read the message that pops up and click Move to bin.

The deleted files will be kept in Bin for 60 days. You can also choose to permanently delete them right away.

Google Photos duplicates FAQ

Does Google Photos upload duplicates?

Google Photos’ duplicate detection feature does a good job of preventing exact duplicates from being uploaded.

Exact duplicates are photos that are identical in every way (such as file size, resolution and metadata) regardless of filename. Metadata is the descriptive information attached to a photo and can include a description, a location, keywords, etc.

Supposed that photo "A.jpg" already exists in your Google Photos account. If you try to upload the same photo again to https://photos.google.com/, the upload will actually be ignored. But you won’t get a duplicate warning. If you copy photo "A.jpg" on your device and upload "A copy.jpg", it will be ignored too.

If you edit the metadata of "A.jpg" on your device and then upload it, Google Photos will recognize it as a different photo and upload it. As a result, there will be duplicates of photo "A.jpg" in your account. Google Photos will also upload compressed versions of photos despite them being visually the same.

Why is Google Photos duplicating my pictures?

You can access Google Photos by going to https://photos.google.com/. In addition, it has a dedicated app for Android and iOS. Google’s Backup and Sync desktop app also supports working with Google Photos.

You are allowed to set the Google Photos mobile app and the Backup and Sync desktop app to automatically back up photos from the selected folders/photo libraries on your device to the Google Photos service.

If Google Photos is duplicating all or some of your photos, it’s very likely related to the backup settings in one of the apps or both and multiple backups.

Conclusion

Google Photos doesn’t offer a built-in solution to easily deal with the existing duplicates. You can remove the unwanted duplicates manually or with the help of software. The three methods described above have their pros and cons. You can choose one based on your need. After you remove duplicates in Google Photos, precious storage space will be freed up, and photo browsing will be more enjoyable.

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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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