How to Find and Delete Duplicate Photos on Mac Automatically or Manually

Rosa Reyes
time May 20, 2022 Preview 7.9K
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If you have the habit of storing and managing your photos on your Mac, duplicate photos may have accumulated on your Mac over time. Duplicate photos can take up a lot of storage space and make viewing photos less enjoyable. Don’t worry. This article will show you how to delete duplicate photos on Mac easily and quickly. There are three methods.

 

2 facts about duplicate photos on Mac

There are two facts to help you better understand getting rid of duplicate pictures on Mac.

  • There are 2 ways to store, view and manage photos on a Mac: using Photos (also known as Apple Photos) and using Finder. With Photos, your photos are stored in the Photos library and viewed and managed in the Photos app. With Finder, your photos are stored in folders and viewed and managed in Finder. The duplicate photos on your Mac can be in the Photos library or folders or both.
  • In addition to duplicate photos (photos that are exactly the same, regardless of filename), there can be similar photos (such as visually identical photos in different sizes and visually similar photos) on your Mac.

Method 1. How to find and delete duplicate photos on Mac automatically

The best way to identify and remove duplicate pictures is to use a good duplicate photo finder and remover like Cisdem Duplicate Finder.

Cisdem Duplicate Finder can find and eliminate duplicate images, videos, music files, Word documents, PDFs, archives and all other types of duplicate files on Mac and external storage devices. When used as a duplicate photo finder, it can do the following:

  • Find duplicate images by content, regardless of filename
  • Also detect similar images, letting you set the similarity level
  • Can find duplicate photos in your Photos library and folders
  • Let you find duplicates in one library/folder or in and across multiple locations
  • Display the found duplicate photos for you to view and preview
  • Automatically select all duplicates for you to remove with a click
  • Also offer multiple selection rules to help you select in bulk
  • Support macOS 10.10 or later, including macOS Monterey

Steps: How to remove duplicate photos on Mac

1. Download and install Cisdem Duplicate Finder. Open it.

Free Download

2. To find duplicate photos in a folder on your Mac, click the plus icon and add the folder. To find duplicates in Photos on your Mac, add the Photos library instead.

a folder is added

the Photos library is added

3. Click Scan.

4. When the scan is complete, the results window will display all the duplicate photos that have been found. You can view and preview them.

the results window displaying duplicate photos found on Mac

5. In every group of duplicate photos, Cisdem Duplicate Finder automatically selects the duplicate(s) to delete and keeps the original photo unselected. Or, you can choose a desired selection rule (such as Select Newest) or select by hand.

a list of selection rules to help users select duplicates for deletion

6. Now you can be sure that all the unwanted photo duplicates have been selected for removal.

7. Click Delete to delete all duplicate photos on your Mac.

8. Confirm the deletion.

the deletion confirmation dialog

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Tip 1. How to remove duplicate photos from Photos library

As mentioned in the steps above, to find duplicate photos in Mac Photos app, you need to add your Photos library to scan.

After you confirm the deletion in step 8, the deleted photos will go to the Recently Deleted album in the Photos app. To permanently eliminate them, you need to go to the Recently Deleted album and click Delete All.

the Recently Deleted album

Tip 2. How to find and delete similar photos on Mac

There are can be also similar pictures on your MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, Mac mini or Mac Pro, such as burst mode pictures, pictures taken from slightly different angles and edited (resized, rotated, recolored, etc.) versions of the same photo. Cisdem Duplicate Finder can find and group them.

In every group of similar photos, you can select the redundant photos for removal and keep the best photo.

the results window displaying groups of similar photos

Method 2. How to identify and delete duplicate photos on Mac Photos app

Photos (formerly iPhoto) is also known as Apple Photos. It is a photo management app included with macOS (formerly Mac OS X and later OS X). The app doesn’t offer a built-in way to automatically find or weed out duplicate photos, but it provides features and options to help you identify duplicates.

1. Open the Photos app on your Mac.

2. Choose the All Photos view option.

3. Scroll up or down to browse through your photos and find duplicate photos.

4. Select one or multiple unwanted duplicate photos.

5. Press the Delete key.

6. Click Delete.

click the Delete button to delete selected duplicate photos

7. Continue eliminating other duplicates.

Now the selected duplicates are removed from your library and go to the Recently Deleted album.

In step 3, you can identify duplicates by comparing photos visually and comparing photo information. Click the Info icon will display photo information such as file size, name, creation date and time and dimensions.

If you find it hard to identify duplicates in so many photos, you can use the “Find photos by content” feature to group photos by category. This way, the identification will be much easier.

Here is a scenario. There are a lot of cat photos or flower photos. You want to locate duplicates in these photos. Just type “cat” or “flower” in the search field of the Photos app. Now you can effortlessly spot duplicate photos.

the word "cat" is typed in the search field

Also, there is a Smart Album feature to group photos by the criteria you specify.

Method 3. How to search for and delete duplicate photos in Finder on Mac

Finder is a file manager app included with macOS. It helps you find and organize your files and folders.

Although Finder doesn’t provide a feature to search folders for duplicate files, its powerful search function can make it easy for you to manually find duplicate photos.

1. Open Finder on your Mac.

2. Open the folder in which you want to delete duplicate pictures, such as Desktop or Downloads.

3. In the search field, enter the keyword “kind:image” and choose Image in the Kinds menu that appears.

the keyword “kind:image” is entered in the search field

4. Set Finder to search the folder you specify instead of This Mac.

5. Now Finder will list all the image files in your specified folder, including those in subfolders.

6. From the View menu at the top of your screen, choose the as Cover Flow option. Arrange photos by Size or Name.

7. Browse through the photos and identify the duplicates.

8. Select one or multiple redundant duplicate photos, control-click and choose Move to Trash.

choose Move to Trash to remove selected duplicates

9. Continue getting rid of other duplicates.

If you want to find a certain type of duplicate images, such as duplicate JPG files, you can enter the keyword “jpg” in step 3.

FAQs

Why does Photos duplicate photos when importing?

There are two possible reasons.

When you import pictures from your iPhone or camera to Mac using Photos, Photos recognizes new photos and lets you import them by clicking Import All New Items. However, sometimes the recognition may fail and Photos imports pictures that are already in your library, leading to duplicates.

Also, the issue could be caused by iCloud, if iCloud Photos and Optimize iPhone Storage are enabled on your iPhone.

Can Mac Photos find duplicates?

Photos on Mac can detect duplicates when importing. When you import a picture that already exists, Photos will recognize it and try to prevent you from importing duplicates. The detection won’t work if you change the picture’s name and then import.

However, Photos can’t detect the duplicate photos that already exist.

Is there an easy way to delete duplicate photos on a Mac?

Yes. There is more than one way to get the job done. The easiest way is to use photo deduplication software. The software automates the process of finding duplicate photos and makes it easy to remove all duplicates at once.

Conclusion

Keeping your photo collection free from duplicates brings a better browsing experience and makes it easier to organize photos. This article shows you how to delete duplicate photos on Mac in different ways. You can find these methods useful regardless of the macOS your Mac is using, be it macOS 12 Monterey, macOS 11 Big Sur, macOS 10.15 Catalina, macOS 10.14 Mojave or an earlier version.

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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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  • Adrian

    Thank you for the instructions! They are easy to understand. I followed the steps and it worked. The duplicates are gone.

    0 months ago Reply

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