How to Find Duplicate Photos in iPhoto


If you've been building your iPhoto library up over the years, using new computers and cameras and trading photos with friends, you're bound to end up with a few duplicate pictures. If you only have a few, manual deleting the extra picture can be quite easy, but if you've got gigabyte upon gigabyte of stored photos, manually sorting through the lot can be quite a chore. Luckily, there are applications using scientific algorithms to help you weed out the duplicates and trim down your library.

Things You'll Need

  • Duplicate Annihilator
  • Download and install Duplicate Annihilator. Duplicate Annihilator is great program for detecting duplicates within your iPhoto library and offers a free trial. A download link can be found in Resources.

  • Launch iPhoto and Duplicate Annihilator.

  • Open the Preferences tab of Duplicate Annihilator. Make sure MD5 Checksum is checked off. MD5s are unique cryptographic hash function often used in making sure digital files arrive in tact. This unique 128-bit character is what Duplicate Annihilator uses by default to check against duplicates. You can set additional parameters that must be met in order for a picture to be labeled a duplicate such as height, width, creation date and file size.

  • Under the Actions header in Preferences, select the radio button "Set Duplicates' comments to: duplicate." This allows you to review any found duplicates before they are deleted by appending the word "duplicate" to the photo's metadata.

  • Select the "Find Duplicates" tab. Select "Find and Annihilate Duplicates." The application will then go through your photo library, marking any duplicate. Depending on the size of your library, it will take a few minutes.

  • Open iPhoto once the program sorts through all your photos. In iPhoto's search bar, type "duplicate" and the result will be all the photos found by Duplicate Annihilator.

  • Review the photos, just to be sure. Select all the duplicates you wish to erase and drag them to iPhoto's trash can. If you select the "X" in the search bar to cancel the search, you will be left with your paired down iPhoto library.

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  • Photo Credit Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images
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