How to delete duplicate pictures from iCloud
iCloud is a great way to keep all of your devices in sync with each other. But duplicate and similar files of all types are just wasting precious storage space on the cloud. And then you’re not getting everything you’re paying for.
Pictures are probably the most commonly duplicated. Whether it’s actually duplicated photos, different versions of the same image you’ve edited, or just similar pics you took and changed the angle ever-so-slightly. And before you know it, you’re running out of iCloud storage and being prompted to upgrade.
But don’t worry. In this article, you’ll read about how to delete multiple pictures from iCloud and free up more storage.
Why you have duplicate photos in iCloud?
It’s important to note that just because you’re seeing pictures in multiple places in your Photos app, that doesn’t necessarily mean they're duplicated. If a picture is in two albums and in All Photos, it only lives in one location and is simply being referenced in the albums. The same thing is true if you see pictures in All Photos and My Photo Stream.
One of the frustrating things about iCloud Photos is that it won’t tell you if you’re trying to import a picture you’ve already imported. Instead, it will just modify the filename and add a number at the end.
How to remove duplicate photos from iCloud
Unfortunately, iCloud doesn’t have an easy way to view all duplicate pictures. But thankfully, by default, it shows you your pictures in chronological order. So, in theory, you should be able to scroll through your iCloud Photos and spot the duplicates that are next to each other. Then, after you manually find the duplicates, these steps will show you how to delete multiple pictures from iCloud:
- Open your browser and go to iCloud.com.
- Sign in with your iCloud account.
- Click Photos.
- Select the picture(s) you want to delete and click the trash can.
How to remove duplicates iCloud Photo Library on Mac
The good news is you can save time and spare yourself the headache of manually looking for your iCloud Photo duplicates. You can use the app Gemini 2 to automatically scan and get rid of them. But Gemini 2 can only scan pictures that are stored locally on your Mac. The first thing you have to do is make sure your Mac is syncing with iCloud Photos.
Follow these steps to turn on iCloud Photos on your Mac:
- Open the Photos app.
- Click Photos > Preferences.
- Select the iCloud tab.
- Check the box next to iCloud Photos.
Depending on how big your library is, this can take a little while to finish. You might want to get that set up and then check back on it in about an hour or so.
After your photos are synced with your Mac, this is how to delete duplicate pictures on iCloud with Gemini 2:
- Download and open Gemini 2.
- Click + > Pictures folder > Scan for duplicates.
- Choose Smart Cleanup or Review Results.
When Gemini 2 is finished scanning your Photos library, you’re given a choice between two options. Smart Cleanup uses Gemini’s algorithm to select the best version of your photos and delete the rest. It’s that simple. There’s nothing else you have to do.
On the other hand, clicking Review Results will group your pictures together so you can decide which ones you want to keep or delete. This is really helpful for your similar-looking photos. The ones where the angle is slightly different or maybe you’ve got your eyes closed in one and not the others. And of course, there are some instances where you might want to keep two or three versions of a similar picture.
How to download multiple pictures from iCloud
While you’re cleaning up your duplicate photos on iCloud, you might find a handful that you want to download and save on your computer. Rather than trying to download the pictures one at a time, it’s easiest to download a few at once. Follow these steps to download all the pictures you want to at one time.
- In your browser, go to iCloud.com.
- Sign in with your Apple ID.
- Click Photos.
- Then, click on the first photo you want to save, hold down Shift and click on the last photo you want to save.
- Select the download button that looks like a cloud.
- Choose whether you want the unmodified originals or to include the edits.
- Click Download.
Storage space always feels like a scarcity, but that’s especially true when it comes to cloud-based services like iCloud. When you’re paying for each gigabyte, it’s important to not waste any of it with duplicate or similar photos. Fortunately, Gemini 2 makes it easy and convenient to regularly scan your pictures and tidy up.