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How to find and delete duplicate photos on a Mac


Having duplicate photos saved on your Mac is a waste of precious storage space. With limited storage being a common issue for Mac owners, we need to figure out ways to free up space without deleting necessary apps and files. So, here are ways to find and remove duplicate photos on Mac.

photo Finder Software

The Mac Store has a few different software options to choose from for detecting and deleting duplicate photos, like the duplicate finder here. Within these apps, they usually work the same: you open them up, press scan for duplicates (or press add photos library first) and then once it has finished scanning, it will present the results. All the duplicate photos can be deleted in a single click, or you can go through them individually to delete them. This is perhaps the fastest way.

Furthermore, these apps often have the ability to detect duplicate photos that aren’t perfect duplicates but are instead very, very similar. This is also something that’s easy to spot manually too, but this is just a faster method.

Smart Albums

Smart Albums is Mac’s built-in answer to managing photos. The photos app actually detects duplicates when importing images, but this doesn’t happen for photos already in there. So one way you can make life easier is by using pressing File when the photos app is open and pressing New Smart Folder. Select the appropriate criteria and choose your Smart Album name.

Now, select the duplicate pictures manually, as further explained in the section below. However, if your duplicate photos are not just in the pictures folder but all across your Mac (i.e. desktop, downloads) then you can use the Finder app to create a Smart Folder. After clicking New Smart Folder, press This Mac and press the + button in the top right. Now choose the Kind option from the drop-down menu and press Image. Now you should be able to spot the duplicate photos. Sort by Name or Date Modified to help group the photos together. For each duplicate you see, simply hold Control and click the images and Move to Trash.

Manually delete duplicates

To manually delete duplicated images that are all within the Photo app, the solution is the simplest – you should open the Photos app and press Library. Press All Photos at the top and you will see the thumbnails for the photos. Adjust the size of these photos if it’s not big enough using the scale tool in the top left. Now you have an overview of the images which should make it easy to detect duplicates. Generally, you’re best by keeping these items sorted by Date Modified or Name, as most duplicates are usually saved at a similar time.

Go through and click each duplicate photo that you want to delete by holding the Command key. This will allow you to select multiple images. When you’re ready to delete, press the Delete key. Head to the Recently Deleted folder on the left and permanently delete the contents inside.