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November 12, 2018
I upload photos from my camera to Picasa on my Mac desktop where I edit them. In the course of uploading photos from Picasa to Google Photos I have somehow created duplicate pairs of the same image in Google Photos in many cases. Is there a way to eliminate the many duplicates other than tediously deleting them one by one.
I’m afraid that the answer is No. There is no automated way to delete duplicates. It is one of the most requested features – you can add your voice by using the Google Photos 3-line menu, then Help and Feedback.
I too have lots of duplicates created somewhere in the past between Picasa and Google photos. When I examine them closely, I notice that one is a smaller file size than the other. I would not want to remove the larger one. It is just too much work to investigate and manually delete – so I live with the duplicates. I make sure that my best photos are in albums – no duplicates in the albums because all photos were hand picked.
June 22, 2019
I just watched to DottoTech webinar this week. Since then I turned on Google Backup and Sync – and it now appears that I have duplicates in Google Photos. You say there is no way to automatically delete the duplicates; you have to do it manually. However, I’m not sure which photos to delete. I have an *.HEIC and a *.JPG file for each picture that seems to be the exact same photo. Sometimes I have 3-4 copies of the same photo – one is renamed but they are all the same photo. How do I determine which photo to keep in Google Drive and which to delete?
Also – I saw a previous post you made about changing the camera settings on the iPhone to take photos in the most compatible version vs. High Efficiency (Settings > Camera > Formats). Will that eliminate the duplicates that are occurring in Google Photos?
Appreciate your assistance!
Welcome to Geeks on Tour LuAnn,
I understand the HEIC issue, but that alone should not be giving you duplicates. So, I have a few questions:
- HEIC format only comes from iPhones, that tells me you’re in the apple world – do you also use a Mac?
- When you say you turned on Google Backup and Sync, do you mean on your computer?
- You say, “I have 3-4 copies of the same photo – one is renamed” do you know how it got renamed? What did they get renamed to?
- Can you tell me your exact process? For example: 1. take photo with iPhone 2. look at Google Photos on iPhone and see “Backup Complete” 3. look at photos.google.com on computer and see duplicates. Are there any other steps involved?
You may want to turn the HEIC format off – Settings, Camera, Format, Most compatible
Also on Settings, Camera, check the HDR setting – is “Keep Normal Photo” ON? That will give you duplicates when you use the camera with HDR on.
Let me know
June 22, 2019
Chris — Thanks for the prompt response!
- Yes, I have an iPhone XR running iOS 12.3.1. I’m using a Windows 10 PC.
- I downloaded and installed Google Backup and Sync on my PC. I added a folder in my Dropbox (Camera Uploads) to the backup and sync settings. (I think this is where the renamed duplicates are coming from!)
- I know some of them are renamed – because the same photo will have these names, for example:
IMG_0363.HEIC 12.2MP 3024 × 4032 2.1 MB
IMG_0363.HEIC 12.2MP 3024 × 4032 1.4 MB
2019-06-02 11.21.44.jpg 12.2MP 3024 × 4032 1.1 MB
IMG_0363.jpg 12.2MP 3024 × 4032 1.5 MB
- My process:
- Take photo with iPhone.
- Look at Google Photos on iPhone – initially, I only see 1 photo and it says “Backup Complete”
- Look at photos.google.com on computer and initially only see 1 photo.
- Shortly after that, a second photo shows up … then a third … sometimes a fourth!
- FYI – I have now changed the settings on my iPhone to take the photos in the most compatible version vs. High Efficiency. I have also uninstalled Google Backup and Sync, because I thought that might be where the duplicates were coming from. Doing those things may have eliminated the duplicate issue!!
- However, now my questions are – which duplicate files should I be deleting? The *.HEIC files and the renamed files from the Camera Uploads folder? Also – how can I tell if a photo is in an album already? I don’t want to delete photos that I’ve shared with others at this point.
Aha! I think you’ve found the duplicating process … Using dropbox camera uploads is a great way to make a true backup – a second copy of your photos. But then, you do not need to use Backup and Sync to upload the Dropbox Camera Uploads back to Google Photos – that is indeed a duplicate. You might even tell Dropbox not to copy Camera Uploads to your computer at all – just keep them in the cloud. It’s called Selective Sync.
The reason to have Google Backup and Sync on your computer is if you have other photos stored on your computer that you want included in your Google Photos library. I used it to upload thousands of photos that I had stored on an external hard drive. Once that was done, I really don’t use B&S at all. I leave it on my computer but it is only looking at one folder – I call that folder UploadThis. Then whenever I have some photos I want uploaded, I just put them in that folder. More often than not, I’ll manually upload photos from computer to Google Photos.
Which duplicates to delete? If you can stand it, I’d just leave them alone. If you’re using High Quality – you have unlimited free storage. And, if you use my system of putting important photos in albums, then you have a way of viewing your photos without being bothered with the duplicates.
Still want to delete them? The ones that came from Camera Uploads are the clearest duplicates. You may be able to to remove them in groups by viewing your library in Date Uploaded order rather than Date Taken. To change the order ..
- On the computer – Photos.Google.com
- Click in the search bar
- Scroll down to “Show More” and click, then you should see “Recently Added”
- You will now be seeing your library with the most recently added at the top, and then the next most recently added etc.
- I assume that the photos uploaded from Camera Upload will be a bit later than the originals from the phone so yu may be able to select a whole group of duplicates that way.
How to tell if the photo is in an album? You can only do that one by one – on the computer, open a photo, click the i for info to open the info panel. Any albums this photo has been added to will show up there.
Hope that helps