Are you tired of seeing duplicate photos cluttering your iPhone’s storage? These can take up valuable space and make it difficult for you to manage your image library.
In this article, we will discuss why duplicate iPhone photos appear and provide effective methods to stop duplicate photos on iPhone. Whether you are using any model of iPhone, or running in any iOS, these methods can help you optimize your photo collection.
Why Do Duplicate iPhone Photos Appear?
Duplicate photos can sneak into your iPhone for various reasons:
- 🧷 Manual/accidental duplication: There are instances that you accidentally create duplicate photos by tapping the capture button repeatedly or saving an image multiple times.
- 📦 Importing from multiple sources: Importing photos from different devices or services can lead to duplicates if not appropriately managed.
- 🪄 iCloud synchronization: While iCloud Photo Library is convenient, it can cause duplicates if not configured correctly on your settings.
- 💾 Restoring from backups: Restoring your iPhone from a backup might reintroduce duplicate photos if the backup contains such copies.
- 📲 Third-party app usage: Using third-party photo editing or management apps can result in duplicate images, especially when saving edited versions alongside with the original version.
- 💥 Burst mode: When you take photos in burst mode, this can result in multiple similar shots being saved on your iPhone, some of which might be considered duplicates.
How to Stop Your iPhone from Duplicating Photos
There are several methods to stop your iPhone from duplicating photos, and most of them you can do by configuring your iPhone’s settings. Read on below to know more.
Method 1: Disable Automatic Synchronization with iCloud
By disabling iCloud Photos, you gain more control over your photo syncing and can avoid potential duplication issues. Remember that this method prevents automatic synchronization, so you must manually manage your photo backups and transfers.
Follow these steps below to prevent photo duplication on your iCloud settings:
- Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Tap on your Apple ID at the top of the Settings menu.
- To access your iCloud Settings, scroll down and select iCloud.
- Tap on Photos from the iCloud settings.
- Switch off the toggle next to iCloud Photos.
Method 2: Turn Off Auto HDR
HDR is an iPhone feature that takes several photos in different exposures and blend them together. This is turned on by default. But if you want to turn it off, you can definitely do so.
Note: Starting with the iPhone 13 and subsequent models, the ability to manually turn off HDR for photos directly from the camera settings has been removed. However, you can still manage HDR settings for already captured photos by navigating to Settings > Photos.
For iPhone XS, XR, 11, SE (2nd generation), and iPhone 12:
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Scroll down and tap on Camera.
- Toggle off Smart HDR.
For older iPhones such as iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X:
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Scroll down and tap on Camera.
- Toggle off Auto HDR.
Additional Note: for iPhone X and older, you can save the non-HDR version. Just go to Settings > Camera > turn on Keep Normal Photo. However, this is not recommended especially if you want to save up on storage.
Method 3: Don’t Save Original Photos After Editing
When you edit a photo on using the Photos app, your iPhone will replace the original photo with the edited version instead of keeping a copy of both. But, you can always revert back to original.
However, if you edit the photo using third-party apps, that can lead to creation of duplicate images stored on your camera roll. Often times, third-party apps don’t replace the original photos by the edited version so you have to manually delete the original photos after editing. But, you can also check the settings of the third-party photo editing app that you’re using to see if there’s an option to fix the problem with duplicating photos.
To manually delete the original photos after editing, do the following steps:
- Go to Photos.
- Look for the original photo that was edited.
- Select the photo and tap the trash can icon on the lower-left part of the screen.
Additionally, you can also check if iPhone marked the images as duplicates. iPhone will tag photos under Duplicates folder if they are copies with different metadata.
To view, do the following steps:
- Open Photos app.
- Under Utilities, click Duplicates.
- Click Merge.
- Then, click Merge Exact Copies to confirm.
Method 4: Avoid Using Multiple Sync & Backup Methods
Preventing photo duplicates caused by conflicting sync and backup methods involves streamlining your approach.
Here is what you can do:
- Choose a primary method. Select one main service for syncing and backing up your photos, such as iCloud, Google Photos, or Dropbox.
- Assess other services or methods you might have set up for photo backups. Disconnect any overlapping or redundant methods.
- Prioritize consistency. Stick to your chosen primary method to prevent data conflicts and duplicated photos.
By centralizing your syncing and backup approach, you minimize the chances of photo duplicates resulting from multiple, overlapping methods.
Method 5: Backup Your Photos Manually
Backing up your photos manually on your computer or external hard drive instead of using automatic synchronization can sometimes help stop iPhone from duplicating photos.
Here’s how to do it:
- Connect your iPhone to your computer using a USB cable.
- Launch a File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac). Open the appropriate file management tool on your computer.
- In the file explorer or Finder, locate and select your iPhone’s name under Devices or Locations.
- To copy photos, navigate to the folder where your photos are stored. Select and copy the photos you want to back up.
- Navigate to a folder on your computer where you want to save the photos and paste them there.
You have more control over the process and can avoid the automatic synchronization that sometimes leads to duplicates when you back up your photos manually. This method ensures that you transfer your photos without creating unnecessary copies on your iPhone.
How to Get Rid of Unwanted Photos
Despite the fact that third-party apps can’t get an iPhone to stop duplicate photos, there some apps could be configured to wipe duplicates as a background process.
Some significant features of these apps include photo library scanning to detect and delete screenshots, selfies, large videos, live photos, similar pictures, burst photos, and blurred images. They analyze content, file names, and metadata to pinpoint duplicates, allowing you to review and delete them. They also have AI-powered features, such as removing photos taken with closed eyes.
By following these methods and understanding the reasons behind duplicate photos, you can declutter your iPhone’s photo collection and prevent future duplication. Taking control of your syncing and backup methods and leveraging helpful tools will ensure your photo library remains organized and duplicates-free.
Mako is a freelance writer with a passion for all things Mac. Whether you're talking about the latest macOS updates, figuring out the best Mac programs, or need to know something from the Mac ecosystem—he's your guy. He's been writing about Macs for more than 4 years but has been using one for nearly a decade.