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by Sissi on June 22, 2016 | NO COMMENT

How to Remove & Stop Creating Duplicate Photos on Mac for Free

Find the Photos app on your Mac contains duplicate photos? Read on this tutorial to learn how to clean up and stop creating duplicated photos on your Mac for free.

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Starting with OS X Yosemite 10.10.3, every Mac now comes with the new Photos app. If you were using iPhoto or Aperture, as the updating happens automatically, you'll have no choice but turn to use Photos to manage your photo collections on your Mac.

In the most cases, thanks to an intuitive and briliant design, in-built iCloud Photo Library, and an array of powerful editing tools, Photos app just fits perfectly into our photo management on Mac. However, when we need to import pictures to Photos, we just cannot guarantee that we will never import photos for multiple times. Here is a problem addressed on Apple community:

My Photos on my Mac contains multiple duplicates of my photos. I assume this is because of automatic syncing with my iPhone. But is there a way to get rid of all the duplicates quickly without going through them all?

How to Remove Duplicate Photos on Mac

Table of Content:

Part 1: How Does Duplicate Photos Happen

Duplicate photos problem usually occurs in two common scenarios: you imported your photos for multiple times, or you migrate your photos collections from multiple photo libraries. For instance, many users prefer to manually sort their photos with Finder, the file system browser of Mac OS. It means if you add those pictures into Photos app, they will be copied / duplicated into the Photos library. As the original picture stays in it's origin location, but then a copy of the image is duplicated into the Photos Library.photoslibrary package in the user Pictures/ directory.

Also Read: How to Import Photos from iPhone to Mac >

Part 2: How to Remove Duplicate Photos on Mac for Free

There are a large number of third-party "Duplicate Photo Remover" apps for your Mac that claim to clean, shrink, de-clutter, or remove duplicates from Photos. But at the same time, they can also put you in the risk of damaging your photo library or removing pictures and related data. So here, we'll recommend some safe and free methods to remove duplicated photos on your Mac.

Method 1: How to Remove Duplicate Photos with iCloud

If all your photos come from your iPhone or other Apple devices, then you can empty the photo library on your Mac first, then re-synchronize it with your device through iCloud Photos Library:

Step 1: On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 8.3 or later, go to Settings > iCloud > Photos, then turn on iCloud Photo Library:

How to Remove Duplicate Photos on Mac – Step 1

How to Remove Duplicate Photos on Mac – Step 1

Step 2: Open Photos app on your Mac > click Photos Menu > Preferences > iCloud > Turn on iCloud Photo library:

How to Remove Duplicate Photos on Mac – Step 2

How to Remove Duplicate Photos on Mac – Step 2

Step 3: After that, Photos app will download and store your orignal photos on this Mac. Also you have a choice to optimize your Mac storage by only downloading the resized pictures from iCloud.

Method 2: How to Remove Duplicate Photos with PrimoPhoto

For sure, iCloud Photo Library is probably the best choice to manage your photo collections. But it doesn't mean everyone can affort this highly-priced cloud service. $6 for 50GB per month? Maybe you don't have to. If you just want to clean up your Photos library once, then it's recommended to have a try with some iPhone Photo Transfer software like - PrimoPhoto. Here is the detailed tutorial on how to transfer photos from iPhone to your Mac computer.

Step 1. Install PrimoPhoto on your Mac > plug in with your iPhone or other Apple devices.

Step 2. On the Export to PC/Mac page, select photos from Camera Roll, Photo Library or Album.

Step 3. Set the destination on your computer to save the photos, and click Export button.

How to Remove Duplicate Photos on Mac with PrimoPhoto

How to Remove Duplicate Photos on Mac with PrimoPhoto

Quick Tips: Remember that before erasing the original photos on your Photos library, please make sure you have decent backup on it.

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Part 3: How to Stop Creating Duplicate Photos on Mac

As said at beginning, the multiple importing on the same photo is the main reason to create duplicated photos. So, the best practice of avoid duplicate photos on your Mac is to use your Photos app as a front-end photo browser, and Apple allows an easy option on Photos app to do so: Open Photos > Click the Menu button > Preferences > General > Uncheck the Importing: Copy items to the Photos library option:

How to Stop Creating Duplicate Photos

How to Stop Creating Duplicate Photos

The Bottom of Line

Also keep it in mind that not to copy photos to the Photos library is a double-edged sword. In one place, it helps reduce the chance of creating duplicated pictures on your Mac, but on the other hand, if one day you want to migrate entire photo library, you won't be able to do so as all you photos are scattered on different folders. So, keeping duplicates or not, it's a question for you :)

SissiA member of @PrimoSync team, love to go travelling and share some easy-to-follow tips about Apple related issues.

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