Here’s irony for you. One of the many advantages of owning a smartphone is that you can take a lot of pictures with the built-in camera. One of the many drawbacks is that you can take a lot of pictures with the built-in camera.
Why is owning a smartphone camera both good and bad? Because now anyone can hit the shutter button without thinking about camera film and development costs, driving you nuts and making ten copies of the same pose or scene, then transferring the whole mess to your computer or cloud storage.
I am the worst offender. In the 6 years we’ve had our dog, we’ve (conservatively) taken about 10,000 photos of him. But I estimate that about half of those photos are duplicates.
How do you delete duplicate photos without the boredom of going through them one by one? As usual, there is a tool for that.
Go to Awesome Photo Finder
There are many photo duplication tools available online. However, pretty much everyone I tried (and it was a lot) had a extreme limited trial version. Then they wanted you to pay a hefty sum for a license fee.
However, here’s the problem. I’m Scottish, which means spending money is not in my DNA. I want a free solution and I finally found one, although it’s Windows only and it looks a bit dated. But the job gets done and that’s the main thing.
It is called Great photo finder†
Looking for dupes
We got our dog in 2013, so I’m going to run the 2013 dog folder through Awesome Photo Finder and see how many duplicates he finds.
When you open Awesome Photo Finder for the first time, click the “+” icon.
Now navigate to the folder and/or subfolder containing the images you want to scan.
Once you’ve chosen a folder, it will appear in the box at the top of the photo viewfinder.
You can add as many folders as you want to one search, so use the “+” as many times as you like. If you decide to remove one of the folders from the photo viewfinder, use the “X”.
I’m only going to do one folder at a time, so with the folder selected, I’ll now click “Start searching†
Obviously, the time it takes to complete the duplicate search will depend on the number of images in the folder. For me, 1,163 images took just over a minute.
When it’s done, you’ll now see this:
It will place two photos side by side and in the middle it will give you a “match” rating. The higher the rating, the more similar the images are (according to Photo Finder).
In the Settings, you can specify that it will only give you results that are “100% identical”. This is convenient, but also rather inflexible. I’d much rather say “everything 90% and more than identical”. Or about that.
While this one only claims 25% similarity, I’d say it looks VERY identical. The only real difference is the position of the dog’s head.
So for many of them it is a judgment of yours. How do you define “duplicate”?
Once you’ve decided which one to remove, first look at the image size information below each photo. Make sure not to save the thumbnail and discard the full size image!
As you can see, you can move the unnecessary image to another location on your computer or delete it.
If you want to see the 100% duplicate images first and work your way down from there, click the “Match” column at the bottom of the screen. The results will now be reassembled accordingly.
Now you get the ones that are really identical in every way.
Some final thoughts….
The lazy side of us might be tempted to let the software app do the work and automatically delete what it considers “duplicates”. But with something as precious as photos, do you really want to have things deleted without checking it first?
This is something where methodically going through it pays dividends. The software has done the hard work finding duplicates. All you have to do is decide which one goes and which one stays.