Mac Performance

The Best Ways to Find and Delete Duplicate Photos on a Mac

If you’re like most people, you probably take 10-15 photos from just one angle. Both your digital camera and phone are brimming with images that you later transfer to your Mac, where you edit them and create even more copies. What’s worse, you can duplicate the same photos stored in your phone the next time you connect it to your Mac. Stop this madness and take control by ridding your Mac of useless image duplicates.


Before we start:


Are you a perfectionist used to making a screenshot several times before it becomes accurate, hiding the redundant, and showing only the important data? It’s worth our respect, but the bad news is that you should have plenty of image copies on your Mac. Of course, only if you don’t have a habit of cleaning up the traces.  


But worry not, our team developed a solution to get your Mac uncluttered and clean—MacKeeper’s Duplicate Finder. With this tool, you’ll delete the redundant copies of your photos below safely and in a couple of clicks. Read on to learn how to do it.

Remove duplicate photos in the Photos app

Duplicate photos can clog up your Mac’s memory and make sorting through your albums a headache. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Clean up your albums by removing unnecessary copies on your Mac.


The Photos app automatically detects duplicate images, which makes it easier to delete useless copies. All you need to do is merge duplicate photos, which gets rid of the copies. Here’s how to do it on macOS Ventura 13:

  1. Open the Photos app and select Duplicates in the sidebar
  2. Choose the duplicate photos you intend to merge by either selecting photos in one row and merging them, or selecting photos in multiple rows and merging them in one go
  3. Click Merge Photos. When you do this, Mac keeps the original version and deletes the copies.
Screenshot showing the Duplicates folder in Photos app, where you can merge photos and delete duplicates.

Running out of memory? Learn how to free up RAM on your Mac.

Search for duplicate images in Finder

Duplicate photos tend to accumulate over time. And they’re not always stored in the Pictures folder. You’ll find them spread across various folders on your Mac, including Downloads, Documents, and Desktop.


Fortunately, you won’t have to scour every folder to look for duplicate photos. The Finder app on your Mac has its own Smart Folders to help you sort files by specific criteria.


To create a Smart Folder in Finder:

  1. Open the Finder window
  2. Click File and select New Smart Folder
  3. Select This Mac, and click on + in the upper-right corner
  4. Select Kind in the first drop-down menu and Image in the second one. Here, you will be able to easily spot duplicate images. You may also want to sort the files by Name
  5. Select the photos you’d like to delete
  6. Control-click on the images, and select Move to Trash
  7. Empty the Trash.
Screenshot showing how to create the Smart Folder by clicking on the File from the Menu bar and clicking on the New Smart Folder option.

Remove duplicate photos with MacKeeper

You can either toil away for hours on end trying to manually delete duplicate images or use trusty software to get it done in a few clicks.


MacKeeper has a Duplicates Finder feature that lets you easily search for and delete duplicate photos on your Mac. The intuitive interface makes it easy to use. And what’s more, it now detects blurred and similar photos.


To remove duplicate files:

  1. Download and install MacKeeper
  2. Select Duplicates Finder from the sidebar
  3. Click the Start Scan button
  4. Once the scan is complete, click Remove Duplicates to delete all duplicate files on your Mac, including duplicate images
  5. If you prefer to review the files and delete them one by one, simply unclick Auto-selection
  6. Click Remove Duplicate.
To remove duplicate files using MacKeeper, select the Duplicate Finder feature and select Start Scan.


Can Mac Photos find duplicates?

The Mac Photos app will not be able to help you find duplicate images that are already in your library, but it can automatically detect duplicates as you import them. You will have to manually search for duplicate photos already stored in the library.

How do I eliminate duplicate photos in iPhoto?

Newer versions of macOS have replaced iPhoto with Photos. The older iPhoto app does not have the Smart Albums feature. As a result, you will have to manually sort through the Library folders to find similar image files.


With photos located in different folders, you face the risk of deleting the wrong file. You can avoid the mistake by following these steps:

  1. Click on the image
  2. Press Command+I to reveal the file info and verify the photo’s name, file size, and resolution
  3. Repeat the steps for other images.

The photo’s name tells you if it’s an exact duplicate, while the file size and resolution let you know which ones have higher quality and should be retained.

How do I stop importing duplicate photos?

If you’re the type who doesn’t delete images in your camera or source folder after transferring them to the Photos app, you run the risk of copying the same files the next time you import photos. Fortunately, the Photos app comes with a built-in duplicate detector.


A Duplicate Photo warning appears every time you import an image that already exists in your Library.


You can choose to import the duplicate photo, which creates a new file in the Library. Opting not to import the duplicate will make Photos skip that image and move on to the next one. You have the option of enabling the checkbox for Apply to All Duplicates, which lets you perform a bulk action for several images at a time.

Stay thrifty towards your storage space on Mac

Prevent useless files from eating up valuable drive space. Whether you choose to do it manually or using software, make a habit of taking out the trash files. And because images are particularly heavy and aplenty, they require your attention the most.


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