How to Find Similar Images in Folder Easily on Mac and Windows PC

Rosa Reyes
April 30, 2024 Preview 31.5K Preview 3
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This article talks about the best way to find similar images (and duplicate images) in folders on Windows PC and Mac and provides step-by-step instructions.

When one searches “find similar images” on a search engine, one may be looking for a way to find online images similar to a certain image that one has, or a way to find the similar images that exist on one’s device. This article is about the latter situation.

Whether you are a professional photographer or just someone who shoots a lot with a phone, if you have the habit of storing your photos on your computer, then chances are high that there are similar photos on your computer. You may want to find them, pick the best ones, and delete the ones that you don’t like that much.


What are similar photos?

Like duplicate photos (photos that are exactly identical, regardless of name), similar photos are also common. Generally, similar photos are photos that have a relatively high degree of visual similarity.

There can be two types of similar images.

  • Images that look the same but are different in resolutions, file sizes or file formats: For example, one photo is in HEIC format and the other is in JPG format. They may be created by compressing images, transferring photos to your computer in certain ways, etc.
  • Images that look alike: There are several kinds, such as pictures taken in burst mode, photos of the same subject captured from slightly different angles, distances or exposures, and slightly edited (like rotated, cropped or watermarked) versions of the same photo etc.

It’s very likely that you don’t need multiple similar photos of the same scene or both the high quality version and low quality version of the same photo.


How to find similar photos on Windows and Mac computers

Similar images can be scattered around your computer. They can exist in a folder or between two folders. This part shows you in detail how to easily and quickly find and group them using Cisdem Duplicate Finder, the best similar image finder app.

Supporting almost all image formats (such as JPEG, TIFF, PNG, BMP, GIF, WebP and SVG) and raw image formats (such as Canon CR2 and Nikon NEF) and using advanced algorithms, this app can quickly compare images and detect the similarity.

This app can be installed on Windows PC and Mac, and the way of using it is the same on both operating systems. Below are the steps. If you are a Mac user who wants to find the similar items in your Photos app, there is also a tip for you below.

Steps: Find similar images in folder on computer

Step 1. Install the similar photo finder app.

On your Windows PC or Mac, download and install the app. Open it.

Free Download Windows 11/10/8/7 Free Download macOS 10.11 or later

Step 2. Add one or more folders.

To find similar images in a folder, click the Add button the Add button to add this folder. To find similar photos across multiple folders, add these folders. Alternatively, you can use drag and drop.

add folders you want to search for similar images

Step 3. Enable the finding similar images feature.

Go to Settings the Settings icon. Under the Similar Images tab, make sure that the Enable similar images function checkbox is selected.

Enable similar images function

Once the checkbox is selected, you can set the similarity level under it. This allows you to decide how strict Cisdem Duplicate Finder will be when it identifies similar photos. Being strict means that only pictures that are very similar will be detected. Being looser means more results, with a higher degree of difference being allowed in the found photos.

Step 4. Click Scan.

Click the Scan button to start the finding process.

Step 5. View the found similar photos.

When the finding process is finished, the results window will appear. It has several tabs. The Similar Image tab displays all the similar images that have been found in the folder(s). The found duplicate photos (if any) will be displayed under the Image tab. You can conveniently preview images side by side.

view similar images side by side

If you are not satisfied with the results, you can click the Back button the Back button in the top left corner, go to Settings the Settings icon to adjust the strictness, and start a new scan.

Step 6. Select unwanted similar photos for deletion.

In each group of similar photos, select the photos that you want to delete. The best ones that you want to keep are left unselected.

selection rules

When it comes to duplicate photos, in each group, the app will automatically select all but one photo for deletion, saving you from selecting manually.

Also, there are selection rules to help you select. On the left, highlight the groups to which you want to apply a rule, click the list icon and then choose a desired rule, such as Select Lowest Resolution.

Step 7. Click Delete.

Click the Delete button in the bottom right corner to delete all the selected images.

The deleted files will go to Recycle Bin on PC or Trash on Mac.

Tip: How to find similar photos in Apple Photos on Mac

Developed by Apple, the Photos app on your Mac is included with macOS. Many Mac users use Photos to manage and view pictures. If you are one of them, the steps above are still useful. Only step 2 is different.

In step 2, add the Photos library instead a folder. The Photos library is where the photos you see in Photos are stored. By default, the library is located in the Pictures folder. When it comes to Photos on Mac, the deleted photos will go to the Recently Deleted album instead of Trash.

the Photos library is added

How to find similar images on computer manually

There are also manual methods for Windows PC and Mac, but they can be cumbersome and tedious. It does not allow you to compare similar images side by side. Therefore, finding all similar images will be time-consuming.

On Mac

1. On your Mac, open Finder.

2. Open the folder that you want to search for similar images.

3. From the top tool bar. Select Show items as icons. You can also click View > as icons from the Finder menu bar.

show items as icons

4. Sort the image files by name, size or when they were taken.

5. Identify similar pictures by comparing the visual content.

manually identify and remove similar photos

6. Drag the unwanted similar photos to the Trash in the Dock or right-click on the photo then select Move to Trash.


On Windows

1. Open your Windows PC. In File Explorer, open the folder in which you want to find similar images.

2. Click the View tab.

3. Select Large icons or Extra large icons to view the photos more clearly.

4. Select Details pane to view the photos’ information.

Windows File Explorer

5. Identify similar images in folder by comparing their visual content and details.

6. Select the photos you wish to remove. Right-click and choose Delete.



Similar photos and duplicate photos can take up space on computer often without you even noticing it. By using a similar image finder to find similar photos your Mac or Windows computer, you can quickly find and remove these unnecessary photos in a folder or Photos library. The removal helps free up space on your hard drive, making room for new photos.

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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Comments (3) Leave a Reply

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  • Marcel Lustenberger

    Very handy, well designed app to find similar images. Saved me a lot of time. Love its nice clear interface!!

    1 years ago commonReply

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  • Hamilton

    Many similar photos scattered on MY Mac, and they took up much hard drive space. When I felt depressed, my friend recommended me Similar Image Detector, and now all similar photos are gone.

    8 years ago commonReply

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  • Felicia

    Finding and deleting similar images manually is really very annoying and tedious, thanks for sharing such powerful similar image finders

    8 years ago commonReply

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