The Best Ways to Find and Delete Duplicate Photos on a Mac

Managing the storage capacity of a MacBook is essential. One of the reasons is that every application installed on the computer creates folders and stores files that that up space to enable its operation. As a result, a lack of available space can impede the performance of the MacBook and prevent more content being created.

Without a doubt, people need free storage space to use their computers efficiently. However, in the course of using their PC efficiently, they end up accumulating storage space. Ironic, isn’t it? It is almost like telling people not to use their PCs at all.

How Photos Take Up Storage Space

Desktop applications are not the only major consumers of SSD space on a MacBook. Besides software packages, media files are the major consumers of available storage on a Mac.

Unlike apps, these files are not one-off. In simpler terms, while you may need one application for a particular purpose, people cannot store just one picture. As a result, these file types tend to accumulate more significant storage space than they take credit for. Here is a clear example for better understanding.

These days, pictures are much sharper and have better quality. In a similar regard, they often boast a significant file size. In fact, it is difficult to see a decent image that is less than 500 kilobytes or 1 megabyte.

While a single picture may not command significant space, accumulating them will definitely tell on your device storage. People hardly take a single picture at a time. More so, they will not stop taking pictures because they already took pictures in the past.

As a result, it is not uncommon for people to have as many as 2300 photos on smartphones in their gallery. Doing the math, 2300 multiplied by 1 megabyte is 2.3 gigabytes. This is almost the size of some applications on the MacBook.

Where to Find Duplicate Photos on a Mac

When short on storage space, most people tend to rush into deleting media files or applications on their PC. What if I told you that there are smarter ways to free up space on your Mac without needing to delete important pictures stored on your MacBook?

For those who do not know, pictures actually duplicate themselves on your Mac. For every photo you take, there are two versions. One of them has a high quality (also known as pixel resolution). While the second one is known as thumbnails, and it contains metadata information.

Besides that, it is common practice for people to take multiple shots of the same pose. This creates too many similar pictures that take up space on the computer. To combat these two issues, Apple PCs have a separate folder known as “Duplicate Album”, where they store similar pictures.

Deleting Duplicate Photos to Optimize Mac Storage

To remove duplicate photos on Mac, simply follow these steps:

  1. Launch Photo Library on your Mac
  2. For individuals using iCloud Shares Library, use the toolbar popup menu to choose both libraries
  3. Navigate to the Duplicates Folder
  4. Scroll through the pictures in the folder and select the duplicates
  5. Use the cursor and command key to select the duplicates. Alternatively, you can use the “Select all” option from the toolbar
  6. Delete or merge the options that you have selected.

When you merge photos, the system combines the best features of the pictures you selected to create a single photo. Deleting them, on the other hand, sends them to the Bin and keeps the particular photo that you did not delete.

More so, people do not automatically lose pictures after deleting them from the photo library. Instead, on iPhone, these pictures are sent to the recently deleted folder. People need to delete them from this folder in order to get rid of these media files permanently. Otherwise, they will be stored there for 30 days.

In much older versions, people needed Mac cleaning software to manage or remove duplicate pictures. However, the process has become more straightforward with recent updates.

It is important to note that the Duplicates Album automatically disappears once people delete or merge these pictures. However, it will reappear as the system scans and identify new duplicated pictures in the photo library. Therefore, it is essential that people check back frequently.


Most people are often very quick to delete applications from the Mac in order to free up storage space. Meanwhile, what they needed to do was either merge or delete duplicate photos.

With this guide, people can rid their computers of the true baggage and enable it to work more efficiently. Even better, they can achieve this feat without losing any personal information.


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