How to clean up duplicates in iPhoto

If you frequently use iPhoto, you definitely have plenty of duplicates hidden in the depth of it. Since iPhoto is a default program on every Mac, anyone who uploads pictures usually stores them there. Sometimes, more than once, as we’ll see in this article.

Duplicates in iPhoto appear of two different kinds: the hidden and the visible. Let’s take a look at how to delete duplicate pictures in iPhoto to free your gallery from both.

How to find and remove iPhoto duplicates

After you crop, resize, rotate, or otherwise edit your photos, iPhoto stores the original unedited photo for safekeeping — and hides it in the depths of your iPhoto library. These copies are kept hidden from you, the user, and they significantly increase your library size.

Fortunately, the app Gemini 2 was created to help you in just this situation. After you have it downloaded and installed on your Mac, Gemini 2 will scan your computer for duplicate files, including those hidden photos, and quickly delete them.

How to remove duplicates from iPhoto with a duplicate cleaner

You can follow these steps to remove all of your hidden duplicates from either iPhoto or the Photos app:

  1. Download and install Gemini 2.
  2. Click on the +.
  3. Then, select the Pictures folder and click Choose > Scan for Duplicates.
  4. After the scan is finished choose either Review Results or Smart Cleanup.

Now, the only thing to keep in mind is that Gemini 2 will remove hidden and visible duplicates. So, when you get to step 3 you do have the option to review the results of the scan before you delete all of the duplicates Gemini 2 found.

If you got a little excited and clicked Smart Cleanup, but now you want to review those photos, you can click Review Trashed to see what you just removed from your Pictures folder.

For earlier systems (10.9 or lower), download Gemini Classic. The flow is pretty similar: you pick a folder with your iPhoto gallery for a scan in the main menu of the app.

Then you simply get rid of the files the scan has found. You can do it in two ways: choose the type of selection (which of the two identical files to delete) or click Automatically select all files and let the app decide which copy can be removed from your iPhoto library.

How to remove duplicate photos manually

Visible duplicates in iPhoto or the Photos app are just as common as hidden ones. Whether you saved a picture from an email or text multiple times, or you just had an issue the last time you synced your iPhone. But the good news is you can manually go through your library to find and remove any duplicates.

After you open iPhoto or Photos, you can scroll through to look for duplicate or similar-looking images. But when you find a copy of a picture, how do you know which one to delete? You can follow these steps will help you figure it out:

  1. Click on one of the photos.
  2. On your keyboard, press Command+I.
  3. Verify the photo’s name, resolution, and file size.

Repeat those steps for every copy of the photo you find. The photo’s name will tell you if they’re exact duplicates, and the resolution and file size will tell you which one is of higher quality.

When you find the picture(s) you want to delete:

  1. Select the picture.
  2. Note: You can select multiple photos by holding down the Command key and click on them.

  3. Press Delete on your keyboard.
  4. Click Delete.

Don’t forget to go to the Recently Deleted tab in the left sidebar and remove your photos from there to actually free up space on your computer.

Searching manually definitely requires a bit of time and patience. So, if you start this process and realize you might have bit off a little more than you can chew, then you should check out Gemini 2 to scan your photo library and help you quickly remove the duplicates.


Before you get Gemini 2, make sure your Mac runs a newer system, starting from El Capitan. If you’re running OS X 10. 9 and lower, you need Gemini Classic.

That’s it, you’re done cleaning up the duplicates in your gallery! It’s a good idea to repeat duplicate search and cleanup every now and then, to make sure you haven’t accumulated any new copies and are wasting your Mac space on the useless files. Cheers.

Gemini 2
Gemini 2

Your know-how to fight duplicates