How to Find and Delete Duplicate Photos on a Mac

How to Find and Delete Duplicate Photos on a Mac

When you have a really huge photo library on your Mac, it is possible that you have a lot of duplicates of those photos on your machine. Duplicates are often created by various applications to ensure that you do not end-up damaging the original photo while modifying it on your machine. They are also created when importing photo libraries to a photo viewing application. If you think your Mac has duplicate photos and they occupy a huge chunk of memory space that can otherwise be used to store other things, you have a way to find those duplicates and wipe them off your machine.

There is an app called Photos Duplicate Cleaner for Mac that lets you find duplicate photos and delete them from your Mac. The app is available for free in the Mac App Store.

Here’s how you can use it on your Mac:

Finding and Deleting Duplicate Photos on a Mac

Download and install the Photos Duplicate Cleaner app from the Mac App Store on your Mac.

Launch the app from the Launchpad on your Mac.

When the app launches, click on “Photos Duplicate Cleaner” followed by “Preferences…” It should take you to the preferences panel.

Open Preferences on your Mac.

Once in the preferences panel, select “/Volumes” and then click on “-” as shown below. What it will do is remove the other drives that exist on your Mac from the ignorance list. That way all the drives on your Mac will be searched for duplicate photos instead of the main drive.

When that is done, close the panel.

Once in the preferences panel, select '/Volumes.'

Click on the button that says “Select Folder and Scan Duplicates Now” on the main screen of the app. That is where the searching for duplicates begins.

Click on the 'Select Folder and Scan Duplicates Now' button.

You will be prompted to select a folder where you want to run the scan. Just select the folder where you have stored your photos and that you think contains duplicates. Then, click on “Open” to open that folder in the app.

Select the folder where you want to run the scan.

As soon as you click Open in the above step, the app should begin finding duplicates. Once it is done, you will be shown how many duplicates it found and how much memory space you can free up if you delete them. Click the “OK” button to move forward.

You'll be shown how many duplicates found and memory freed up.

In order to prevent accidental deletion of your important photos, what you can do is unselect all the photos that have been marked as duplicates by the app. That way you will be able to individually select the photos that you wish to be removed from your machine.

To unselect the photos, click on the Menu icon and select “Unselect All.”

Click on the Menu icon and select 'Unselect All.'

If you want to free up some memory space really quickly, you can sort the photos by their size so that the largest one will appear at the top, and you can get your work started there. You can then move down to the smallest one, but deleting it will not provide you with much memory space.

To do that, click on the Menu icon and select “Sort items by Size” followed by “Descending.” It will put all the photos in the descending order on the app screen.

Put photos in the descending order.

You can now select the duplicate photos that you want to delete. Check all that you want to delete, and then click on “Clean Duplicates.” It should clean the duplicates for you.

Click on 'Clean Duplicates.'


Nobody wants their precious memory space to be used for duplicate photos that are not of any use. The guide above walks you through the steps on how you can find such photos and delete them from your machine to reclaim that valuable memory space for storing your other files.

Mahesh Makvana
Mahesh Makvana

Mahesh Makvana is a freelance tech writer who's written thousands of posts about various tech topics on various sites. He specializes in writing about Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android tech posts. He's been into the field for last eight years and hasn't spent a single day without tinkering around his devices.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox