The day the photo roll on my computer hit 50,000 images, I knew I had a problem.
I, like so many people I know, take way too many pictures. Looking back on old photos, it’s sometimes hard to believe I ever thought it was a good idea to take so many pictures of the same thing.
Sure, having duplicate photos is helpful at the time, it gives me the chance to pick the best of the bunch of photos to print, send, or post. However, later on, I find out that all of these duplicate photos are simply wasting space on my devices. Family photos, vacation photos, no doubt, make up a big chunk of that sum.
With that in mind, here are the biggest pain points of deleting duplicate photos. They’re solutions that I’ve started to integrate into my own life—and, though any solution requires commitment when your mountain of mementos is as big as mine, I can promise that they’re all easy, user-friendly, and well worth an occasional investment of time.
TL;DR: here are top favorites:
For Windows users: Visual Similarity Duplicate Finder
Visual Similarity Duplicate Photo Finder from MindGems is an advanced photo deduplication and organizer tool for Windows PC users. The visual approach it takes means that it compares images visually, and that leads to a more accurate precise image analysis and “looks” of what files may be duplicates.
VSDIF supports more than 40 popular image formats including JPG, JPEG, JP2000, HEIC/HEIF, PNG, GIF, BMP, Photoshop PSD and more than 300 RAW Camera formats including the popular NEF, CRW, CR2, CR3, DNG, and many more. The tool also allows you to scan an Adobe Lightroom catalog for similar and duplicate images.
In order to customize your scan, you can modify the similarity percentage level in order to broaden your result list. You can also filter the scan by setting a maximum and minimum size value, as well as a time frame. Rotated photos, flipped photos, resized photos, scanned and edited images will all be identified. It even includes “skew detection” and can find similar scanned photos and documents.
While it can not automatically scan your whole computer. Instead, you have to enter specific folders or locations to scan, which may take some time if you’re not sure where duplicate image files might be located.
The best part is that it exacts duplicate photos if they are stored in different photo formats in different place. So if you have used JPG+RAW shooting mode the corresponding JPEG files will be detected too. The tool compares JPEG vs RAW or find similarities and duplicate RAW photos instantly.
You can try this app for free, but you can’t delete or move the selected duplicate images with the trial version, and only the file names are displayed in the search results. Purchasing a full license costs $24.95.
For Mac users: PhotoSweeper X
PhotoSweeper X is a pretty comprehensive tool that is one of the best dedicated ones for finding duplicate photos on a Mac. The download and installation are pretty quick, and sooner than you think, you’ll find yourself reading the initial instructions on how to get the most out of PhotoSweeper X.
This tool features a very simple interface, and it’s effortless to find your way through. You can either start a Single List Mode, which will bring up all duplicate photos in the list order.
Or there’s also Side to Side Mode, which allows you to check out all similar photos and decide which one to remove. If you take a lot of the same pictures from a different angle and never decide which ones you want to keep and which ones not – this is the Auto Mark feature for you, which can determine which photo to keep for you.
Safe removal is guaranteed since PhotoSweeper X is compatible with all image formats. When it comes down to speed and efficiency, PhotoSweeper X works well with macOS and Mac configurations to show the real power.
Even though you only get to test out a fraction of PhotoSweeper X features in the trial version, the paid version is definitely worth the price of $8.75 for a couple of reasons. The number one reason is that it’s the cheapest photo duplicate finder on Mac. The second reason is all additional features get unlocked at the point of purchase. Also, the app is optimized for the new M1-powered Macs!
Please note PhotoSweeper X app is not compatible with macOS versions before 10.10.
The cross-platform option: Duplicate Photo Cleaner
Duplicate Photo Cleaner claims to have everything you will need to find photo duplicates on your computer. It supports 350 image formats. Has 8 major versions and is developed for 20 years. It is a very solid tool that can find similar and repeating images.
This tool is ideal because it is compact, easy-to-install, and straightforward to use. Download and installation take only a couple of minutes, and once you get that done – you’ll be greeted with a simple interface. You might feel like a lot is going on in the interface, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll get used to it pretty quickly.
You can either drag and drop your image folders, scan for images in bulk, or select the image type precisely. This ensures that you don’t miss a single duplicate – but the options don’t stop there. You can also get to select the size limit so you can aim for the photos that take up the most of your storage first to see results quickly and efficiently.
Do you have the habit of taking a couple of pictures of the same thing, just in case the first one isn’t good enough? This tool can delete such images, even if they’re not 100% duplicates. I like that the tool lets you choose the similarity threshold.
You can download Duplicate Photo Finder for free, the upgraded (paid) version just unlocks many more algorithms that have the incredible ability to find and offer phenomenal results. A couple of times, this tool might leave you speechless with its ability to find duplicates and similar photos and still keep the preview list organized. But when compare similar photos, the resolution of preview images could be higher for better quality.
The one-time payment for the upgraded version of Duplicate Photo Finder is $40. It’s worth the price because it’s a one-time investment that will potentially give you access to the most advanced and yet the most reliable & useful photo duplicate finder tool for Windows.
It’s compatible with the latest Windows 10, but it can also be used with previous OS versions and even compatible with macOS.
Other options worth mention
The app is very easy to use and sweet duplicate files remover tool for your Mac. It features the simplest and greatest interfaces we’ve come across during our testing. Gemini 2 was given the Red Dot Communication Award in 2017 in the Communication Design category on the design front.
The scanning process is very straightforward, and you can see what type of files Gemini 2 is scanning. I have a decent amount of files on my MacBook, yet Gemini 2 found about 750 MB of duplicate files. I also like the ability to see how much storage my files are taking and how many duplicates were found in each category.
After you get the results, you can review them or turn on the Smart Cleanup. One thing to note is that you need to unlock the full version of Gemini 2 to start the Smart Cleanup. Once the Smart Cleanup process finishes, it’ll display everything it found in a list where you will be able to spot and remove duplicates and similar documents easily. Gemini 2 asks for your permission and review before it deletes something from your Mac.
You can even sort the files by various filters such as Size or Name, making it a lot easier to find similar or duplicates. If you’re on a budget – you can manually remove the files that Gemini 2 found for you. Even this process is faster than manually going through your Mac file system and finding duplicate entries.
The free version is a bit limited, and the paid version will cost you about $24 for one plan that can be used on one Mac. On the bright side, Gemini 2 is fully compatible with macOS. So, it will work on all Mac devices, including the ones running the brand-new macOS Big Sur.
Easy Photos Cleaner
Easy Photos Cleaner is one of the tools that is the quickest one to download and install itself onto your Mac, and yet its interface will help everyone find their way in only minutes. From there, Easy Photos Cleaner will automatically scan all of your photos on Mac and list them according to the matching level.
Therefore, this interface is slightly different as there aren’t many buttons to navigate your way through the software. However, the tool will do everything for you and what I’ve noticed is one key feature that gives you a lot of control, which is called the Matching Level. Matching Level determines how many photos the tool lists for you depending on the similarity of the pictures.
By default, you’ll find that the matching level is set in the middle. If you pull the lever to the left, you’ll get a lot more results that don’t match entirely, but they might be similar. And if you remove the lever to the right, you’ll get fewer results, but the results will be very accurate, and you’ll only get 100% the same or 99% similar photos.
I also like that the tool displays the metadata right next to the list of images, so you’ll be able to preview the photos and find all information regarding the pictures before deciding to keep them or remove them. However, one thing I have to mention is that you’ll be able to scan your Mac and find duplicate photos, but to remove them automatically – you’ll have to upgrade to the Pro version.
Otherwise, you’ll still be able to remove duplicates manually.
Remo Duplicate Photos Remover
Remo Duplicate Photos Remover has a very lightweight footprint, which means an effortless and easy-to-finish installation. However, after the installation, you’ll be surprised with a simple and interactive interface that will guide you through the whole process of how Remo works.
What I like the most about Remo Duplicate Photos Remover is that it has a couple of different ways of finding your duplicate photos. Not only can it find duplicates, but it can also find similar images that you might not need to keep.
There is Burst Mode, which can quickly help you find all possible duplicate photos on your Mac. However, the downside to this feature is that you’ll have to sift through the list of possibilities and remove them manually. On the other hand, there’s a feature called Similar Scan VS Exact Scan. It’s a feature that can help you find photos that are duplicates and automatically remove them and very similar images.
With the free version, you’ll be able to remove only 15 duplicate images. But with the paid version, you can delete an unlimited number of duplicate photos. If you’re someone who’s working with large quantities of photographs daily – the subscription model of this tool justifies its price tag!
Cloud Duplicate Finder (CDF)
Duplicates don’t only happen on our computer, but they also occur on cloud services. We came upon Cloud Duplicate Finder, one of the most comprehensive tools you can find that works with the most used cloud services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, OneDrive, and many others.
The best thing about it is that you won’t even have to download it, and yet all you have to be is a Chrome browser user to install it as an extension. From there, you can select which cloud drive you want to deal with, scan the industry very quickly, and find duplicates with an option to remove them quickly.
The only thing I should mention is that you will need to have a Cloud Duplicate Finder (CPF) account to add your cloud accounts in the extension to start with the scanning. Also, scanning and finding the duplicates is free, but if you would like to deal with them automatically through the extension – you’ll have to become a Premium CPF user.
Finding photo duplicates on your own can be a challenging and time-consuming task. You can never see an end in sight, and yet you’ll never indeed be able to tell if you deleted all duplicates manually.
Of course, before and removal or deletion – you should always back up your photos just in case something goes wrong. We’re lucky to get help from tools that can not only find duplicates for us but can also automatically remove them for us.
Our recommendation is to run both types of tools. Using a photo finder & remover will provide the best results for photo duplicates. Great examples are Duplicate Photo Cleaner and PhotoSweeper X, which can do everything from finding, showing, and eliminating the photos automatically for you.
While on the other hand, some file finders & removers might not be very suitable for images, but they’ll be very efficient with other types of files. Great example is Gemini 2, which is brilliant at finding and removing duplicates in the form of a file.
That’s why we decided to combine these two and provide you with everything you need to finally remove that extra storage and free up more space on your computer (or even a cloud account)!