Top 7 Best Duplicate Photo Finders for Mac: Delete Duplicate Photos in Minutes

2021-04-22 02:10:00 / Posted by Megan Charles to Utility Follow @ Megan

There are 2 ways to store photos on a Mac: using the built-in Photos app or (less commonly) using a folder. Regardless of the way you choose, there can be duplicate photos. It’s possible but not practical to manually find and delete duplicate photos on Mac, especially if you have tons of photos. That’s why you need the best duplicate photo finder for Mac.

There are a number of apps to help Mac users get rid of duplicate images. They vary in performance, safety, features and ease of use. What is the best Mac software to remove duplicates from Photos app or folders? Here are 7 great apps to consider, including free ones.

What are duplicate photos? Why are they on your Mac?

Duplicate photo finders are designed to weed out duplicate photos. What on earth are duplicate photos? There are 2 types.

Exact-duplicates are photos that are exactly the same in every way regardless of filename.

There are also near-duplicates (aka similar photos), such as pictures of different file sizes or resolutions, images taken in burst mode or from slightly different angles/ distances, edited versions of the same photos, etc. Some duplicate photo finders can identify them and some can’t.

Why are there duplicate photos on my Mac?

  • Import or download the same photos twice or more.
  • Copy (rather than cut) and paste photos.
  • Compress photos.
  • Use burst mode when shooting.
  • Edit photos.
  • Mac’s Photos app duplicates photos when importing. Sounds strange, right? Here’s a scenario where it happens. You’ve turned on My Photo Stream, which automatically uploads the newly taken photos on your iPhone to Mac’s Photos. (This way, your HEIC photos will be uploaded as JPEG photos because My Photo Stream doesn’t support HEIC.) Now you import photos by connecting iPhone to Mac with a USB cable and choosing Import All New Items. Mac’s Photos will consider the original HEIC new items and still import them, resulting in photo duplicates.
  • And more...

 

6 criteria to evaluate a Mac duplicate photo finder

Criterion Detail
Ability to find the true duplicates It should find duplicate photos based on content rather than filename (only).
Support for Apple Photos Duplicates in Photos app are the main source of duplicate photos on Mac. When dealing with them, you should use a duplicate photo finder safely designed for Photos. A regular one will damage your Photos Library (where photos in Photos app are stored).
Preview feature A preview feature is necessary so that you can conveniently view the duplicate pictures you are dealing with and deleting.
Safe removal It should show warning before deleting and allow you to delete duplicates by moving them to Trash. This can help prevent or restore an accidental deletion.
Ease of use The best duplicate photo finder for Mac should offer a good balance between features and ease of use.
Flexibility to customize Users should have enough control over the identification and removal of duplicate images.

With these criteria in mind, we tested over a dozen of popular apps for duplicate image removal and picked the best ones including the best free duplicate photo finder for Mac.

 

The best duplicate photo finder for Mac 2021

#1 Cisdem Duplicate Finder

Compatibility: macOS 10.10 or later

Latest version: 5.8.0, released on March 15, 2021

Cisdem Duplicate Finder for Mac is picked as the best Mac duplicate photo finder due to its high performance, safety, ease-of-use and customization. The app can safely find and delete the duplicate photos in Photos app and folders. In addition, it can help you get rid of other types of duplicates such as duplicate videos, audios, documents, archives, etc.

duplicates

Designed for Mac’s Photos app, Cisdem Duplicate Finder scans your Photos Library for true duplicates, display them for you to view, automatically select duplicates for deletion, and delete selected duplicates by moving them to Recently Deleted in Photos. It performs the task safely, like a human would do, but far more efficiently.

Most other duplicate finders do it by directly removing the found duplicates from Photos Library, which will damage your library or lead to loss of photos or related data.

Supporting all common image formats (such as JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP, TIFF, WebP, PSD, etc.) and using advanced algorithms, this Cisdem app can accurately and quickly find true exact duplicate photos by content. It can also identify near-duplicates, grouping them for you to pick the best shots.

list of found duplicate photos on Mac

Its auto-select feature will smartly select photo duplicates for you to mass delete with a click. You don’t have to select one by one by hand. It decides for you which ones to keep and which ones to remove. Or, you can choose a selection rule instead of adhering to the auto-selection.

select duplicates to delete

Free Download

Here’s a video on how to use the duplicate photo finder to find and delete duplicate photos on Mac Photos app. Note that it uses an older version of the app. For the up-to-date instructions, see the user guide.

Pros

  1. Find duplicate photos, videos, songs, documents and other duplicate files on Mac
  2. Designed for Photos, ensuring safe removal of duplicates
  3. Capable of scanning a large photo collection for duplicates
  4. Also support iPhoto, iTunes and Music
  5. Find duplicates on Macs, external hard drives, SD cards and more
  6. Provide 3 preview modes, letting you preview photos side by side
  7. Auto-select duplicates for removal, saving you from manually selecting
  8. Also provide multiple selection rules
  9. Offer 3 removal options: Move to Trash, Move to Folder and Remove Permanently
  10. Help you free up space on Mac
  11. Support macOS 10.10 or later, including Big Sur

Cons

  1. Not compatible with macOS 10.9 or earlier

Free Download


#2 Easy Duplicate Finder for Mac

Compatibility: macOS 10.6 or later

Latest version: 7.8.0.22, released on April 21, 2021

In addition to the best duplicate photo finder for Mac talked about above, there are other choices to check out.

Smart enough to detect duplicate files by content rather than filename, this duplicate file finder can help you get rid of the photo duplicates on your MacBook Pro, MacBook Air or iMac, etc. With support for all popular image formats, it can find duplicate JPG photos, duplicate PNG photos, etc.

If you are new to such software, don’t panic. The app’s Wizard tool will guide you through the whole process.

Easy Duplicate Finder is built with the safety of your data in mind. When scanning your Mac for duplicate pictures, it will skip your system folders and files. Once the scan is done, you can preview the detected duplicate photos. If preview is not available, try to click the eye icon in the upper right corner. When you finish marking the unwanted duplicates, click the trash icon to eliminate the marked photos. There are 2 options on how to delete duplicate photos on Mac: moving to Trash or erasing permanently.

Easy Duplicate Finder for Mac

Pros

  1. Scan your Mac for duplicate images, videos, music files, etc.
  2. Support cloud storage
  3. Let you preview photos within the app
  4. Let you delete undesired duplicates by moving them to Trash
  5. Provide an Undo button to undo deletion
  6. Come with a helpful Wizard tool
  7. User-friendly with easy-to-understand interface

Cons

  1. Can’t find almost-duplicate photos due to the algorithm it uses
  2. Can’t preview images side by side
  3. A bit expensive

#3 PhotoSweeper

Compatibility: macOS 10.12.2 or later

Latest version: 3.9.3, released on Dec 21, 2020

As its name suggests, the app is a dedicated duplicate photo finder. Designed to handle image files, it fully supports all popular image formats including RAW ones. The support for RAW photos is a benefit for photographers particularly.

The duplicate photo finder for Mac does what it is designed to do and does it decently most of the time. It is capable of finding almost all the exact duplicate photos in a folder of your choice. It can also scan a location on your Mac for similar photos. Due to the algorithm used to compare images and check for dupes, the scan speed can be relatively slow. Its Auto Mark feature can help save you a lot of time.

Sometimes it may crash or freezes when scanning a large photo library or folder. In such a case, you need to (force) quit the app, relaunch it and perform the scan again.

PhotoSweeper’s interface may be a bit overwhelming for new users. As users get familiar with this app, they may find it actually informative.

PhotoSweeper

Pros

  1. Scan your Mac for duplicate photos as well as videos
  2. Also identify photos that are not quite the same
  3. Support all popular image files including RAW ones
  4. Come with an useful Auto Mark tool
  5. Offer multiple preview modes
  6. A rich set of basic and advanced settings options

Cons

  1. May crash when handling a large number of photos
  2. Overwhelming interface
  3. Can’t test full features without paying

#4 Duplicate Photo Cleaner for Mac

Compatibility: macOS 10.6 or later

Latest version: 5.21.0.1278, released on Jan 27, 2021

Dedicated to locating the duplicate image files on a Mac for users to bulk delete, the app support many image formats including some RAW formats.

It allows you to choose which types of photos to scan and which types of photos to ignore from scan. You can do this by specifying the specific image formats. It can find most exact photo duplicates and certain near-duplicates. You can adjust the Similarity Threshold value to get more desired scan results.

This duplicate photo finder for Mac and the above-mentioned Easy Duplicate Finder are from the same developer. And the two apps have similar designs. Designed especially to deal with image files, this app is more useful when it comes to previewing photos.

Duplicate Photo Cleaner for Mac is designed in a way that you need to select the undesired duplicates in order to delete them. You can do it manually one by one. You can also choose one of the selection rules. It’s up to you.

Duplicate Photo Cleaner for Mac

Pros

  1. User-friendly with simple interface
  2. Can find both identical and similar images
  3. Support all popular image formats
  4. Support certain RAW images
  5. Offer useful built-in preview
  6. Provide multiple removal options

Cons

  1. Could freeze when scanning
  2. May fail to detect all photo dupes
  3. Require a lot of CPU usage when scanning
  4. A little bit costly

#5 Duplicate Photos Fixer Pro for Mac

Compatibility: macOS 10.7 or later

Latest version: 3.2, released on Mar 19, 2021

Lightweight and compact, it’s one of the best duplicate photo finders available for Mac users. You can use it to scan your Mac for photos that are exactly identical or almost identical. To look for duplicate images only, enable Exact Match mode. To find both duplicate and similar images, switch to Similar Matches mode.

Before you add a folder to scan, you can open the Preferences window and configure settings. For example, you can go to the Filter & Sort tab to exclude certain images from scan by file size or image format.

In the scan results window of this photo duplicate finder, the duplicate photos found on your Mac will be displayed in thumbnail view. When you highlight a photo, its preview will show up on the right.

Duplicate Photos Fixer Pro for Mac

Pros

  1. Simple and useful interface
  2. Intelligently identify almost-duplicate photos and exact duplicates
  3. Support Mac’s internal disk and external storage
  4. Make it handy to select duplicates for elimination
  5. Multiple filtering options

Cons

  1. Not good at handling a lot of photos at a time
  2. Incapable of finding all duplicates
  3. Limitedly useful preview feature

#6 Photos Duplicate Cleaner (free)

Compatibility: macOS 10.7 or later

Latest version: 2.6, released on Mar 30, 2021

If you are looking for the best free duplicate photo finder for Mac, this app can be a great choice. It’s free to use and update, always allowing you to remove duplicate pictures from Mac for free. Despite being freeware, it’s updated on a regular basis to fix bugs and add support for newer macOS versions.

You can add multiple individual photos to scan, letting Photos Duplicate Cleaner to identify the duplicates in them. A more common way is to add a folder to scan. It can also scan the Photos library.

When used to scan the same Mac for duplicates, this free app can’t find as many duplicates as its commercial counterparts do. The scan speed is also slower. Once the scan is done, you can preview and remove duplicates as you wish.

Photos Duplicate Cleaner

Pros

  1. Free to use
  2. Find photos that are duplicated on Mac
  3. Provide built-in preview and display photo metadata
  4. Safely remove duplicates by moving them to Trash

Cons

  1. Can’t find all duplicates
  2. Slow scanning
  3. Sometimes crash
  4. Low level of customization

#7 dupeGuru for Mac (free)

Compatibility: macOS 10.12 or later

Latest version: 4.0.3

Another best duplicate photo finder Mac free app is dupeGuru. dupeGuru has been around since the year of 2004. In the past, users needed to pay to use it. In 2010, the developer Hardcoded Software announced that its apps became open source. So it’s free to use now.

It used to offer the Picture Edition and the Music Edition. And later the functionalities from the two editions were packed in the same app.

When you use the current version of dupeGuru to locate and eliminate duplicate images on Mac, you need to enable the Picture mode first. Alternatively, you can choose the Standard mode, which supports images and other types of files.

Despite being free, dupeGuru is capable and versatile. It provides users with multiple options for the scan process and removal process. But the preview feature is not handy enough.

dupeGuru for Mac

Pros

  1. Free to use and open source
  2. Support photos, audio files, video files and more
  3. Can also detect certain similar photos
  4. Provide three scan modes
  5. Easy to customize

Cons

  1. Can only find part of the photo duplicates
  2. Crash when scanning a large photo collection
  3. No instant preview of images
  4. Not maintained anymore

Above are the duplicate photo finder for Mac reviews and below is a comparison table.

  Cisdem Duplicate Finder Easy Duplicate Finder Duplicate Photo Cleaner Photo Sweeper Duplicate Photos Fixer Pro Photos Duplicate Cleaner

dupeGuru

Total Score 35 24 22 19 17 15 14
Cost Lifetime license $29.99 $39.95 $39.95 $9.99 $18.99 Free Free
Free trial Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Free lifetime upgrades Yes No No No No
Compatibility OS 10.10 or later 10.6 or later 10.6 or later 10.12.2 or later 10.7 or later 10.7 or later 10.12 or later
Optimized for Big Sur Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Support Apple silicon Yes No No Yes No No No
Supported files Exact-duplicate photos Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Near-duplicate photos Yes No Yes Yes Yes No No
Other types of duplicate files Yes Yes No No No No Yes
Scan for duplicates Scan multiple folders Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Scan entire Mac Yes Yes No No Yes Yes No
Scan by file content Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Scan by filename Yes Yes No No No No Yes
Exclude folders from scan Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes
Exclude files from scan Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No
View duplicate photos Sort by name, size, etc. Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
Built-in preview Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Preview side by side Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Zoom in/out preview Yes No Yes Yes No No No
Select duplicates to delete Auto-select Yes No No Yes Yes Yes No
Select by folder Yes No No No No No No
Select by date Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Select by file size Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Select by resolution Yes No Yes Yes No No No
Select manually Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Remove duplicates Safely remove from Apple Photos Yes No No No No No No
Move to Trash Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Remove Permanently Yes Yes Yes No No No No
Move to Folder Yes Yes No No No No Yes
Warning before deleting Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

 

How to delete duplicate photos on Mac with a duplicate photo finder

1. In Mac’s Photos app, go to Preferences. Click the Use as System Photo Library button.

If the button is not clickable, then your Photos Library is already used so.

Preferences in Photos app

2. Click the Show in Finder button, which will locate your Photos Library.

3. Download and install Cisdem’s duplicate photo finder for Mac. Open it.

Free Download

4. Drag the Photos Library (located in Step 2) into the app. Click Scan.

scan Mac Photos app for duplicate photos

5. In the message, click Yes.

message

6. When the scan is finished, go to Images > Duplicate to view the exact duplicate photos on your Mac.

view duplicates

7. Duplicates are automatically selected for you to delete in bulk.

8. Click Delete. When asked if you allow the app to delete photos, click Delete.

This is how to delete duplicate photos on Mac Photos app. The process is similar when dealing with a folder rather instead of a library.

With macOS 10.14 Mojave and earlier, extra steps are needed.

 

Conclusion

There are various reasons why you have duplicate photos on your Mac. No matter the reason, the best practice is to get rid of the them. This article lists 7 highly rated apps, including paid ones and free ones. They are designed for the same purpose. That is to help you quickly and effortlessly find duplicate photos and remove unwanted copies. I hope the article can help you pick the best duplicate photo finder for Mac. Your duplicate-free digital photo collection will become easier to organize and manage. Also, deduplication can help free up a lot of space on Mac.

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13 Comments Leave a Reply

  • Ferser98

    Awesome. Cisdem duplicate photo finder really helped me deleted duplicate photos in minutes.

    4 years ago REPLY
  • valentine

    Why does it ask me for a code before deleting and where do I find the code

    4 years ago REPLY
  • Rosa Reyes

    Hi, valentine, some of these duplicate photo finders listed in this article are not free, you need to buy a license before deleting. Free trial version only allows you to find duplicates.

    4 years ago REPLY
  • Quincy

    I love your article, please keep up the good work.Say goodbye to my duplicate files...

    4 years ago REPLY
  • Diego Mairena

    Hey, Rosa Reyes! Nice name, where are you from? I am Venezuelan. :) Thank you a lot for this post! Most apps did not help me, but the free one kind of did. It is nice to find such in-depth review of these apps, because right now I have a 10,000-items Finder Folder, and I am pretty sure every two of them are duplicates. :P

    4 years ago REPLY
  • Yuki

    Thanks for your share. These duplicate picture finders all have powerful functions.

    5 years ago REPLY
  • Justin

    Excellent.

    5 years ago REPLY
  • Joshua

    I tried these duplicate photo cleaner, but one of them couldn't help me find duplicates. What impressed me most is Easy Duplicate Finder and Cisdem Duplicate Finder.They really worked, thanks.

    5 years ago REPLY
  • Melantha

    Manually finding all duplicate photos costs me much time, but a duplicate photo cleaner makes it very easy, thank all software developers!

    5 years ago REPLY
  • Isaiah

    Can Cisdem duplicate finder remove duplicates from external hard drive?

    5 years ago REPLY
  • Rosa Reyes

    Hi, Isaiah, Cisdem DuplicateFinder can find and remove duplicate files from virtually any storage devices like internal Mac hard drives, external hard drives, cameras, iPods, USB flash drives, memory cards, etc

    5 years ago REPLY
  • Noah

    I've tried a lot of duplicate photo finders over the years, but i never found a perfect duplicate photo finder which could satisfy all my needs, but i will keep trying. Thanks for sharing these duplicate photo cleaner for me to try.

    5 years ago REPLY
  • Jasonlee

    Excellent, I tried all the duplicate photo cleaner, but Cisdem Duplicate Finder worked best, I would buy it because I can use it to find and remove all duplicate files including photos, thanks

    5 years ago REPLY