iPhone Photos Are Duplicated with Backup & Sync in Google Photos
Multiple cloud storage platforms are used in the present era for storing and sharing photos. Google Photos is one of the most popularly used cloud platforms with over a billion users worldwide. Just a few years after its initial release in 2015, Google Photos became the American search engine giant’s ninth product to reach the milestone of 1 billion users in a short span of only 4 years.
One of the most commonly asked questions on the Internet forums is how to find duplicate Google Photos on an iPhone. Despite being one of the easiest to use photo organizing apps, it doesn’t contain any in-house functionality to fix the problem of duplication.
Duplicate files are commonly regarded as junk files that eat up your storage. Aside from eating your storage space, they make it difficult to find the right photo you’re looking for. It is a daunting task to manually find duplicates because they’re scattered across different photo albums. Not to mention, there is always a risk of unintended data loss caused by deleting wrong files.
How did I accumulate so many duplicate photos in Google Photos?
There are loads of reasons behind duplication in Google Photos. Here, we’ll discuss some of the most common ones:
Picasa to Google Photos Migration
Prior to 2016, Google Photos and Picasa were two independent cloud photo storage services from the search engine giant. After Picasa was discontinued, users were required to migrate their photo albums to the Google Photos service.
During this migration process, you could have transferred multiple edited images that had different date-time stamps, file tags and other attributions. As a result, these images might have been identified as unique images even though they were similar in nature.
Uploading Images from Multiple Devices
Do you have multiple devices at home? Do you upload images from your iPhone, tablet, computer and Mac onto Google Photos? While it gives you an edge of easy transfer, there are drawbacks such as duplication. Over a period of time, your Google Photos account is filled with duplicate photos uploaded from multiple devices only to further shrink your storage space.
File Backup Programs
File backup programs are another culprit behind duplicates and disorganization of your data. If your computer is scheduled to automatically create full backups, you’ll find multiple copies of the same data archived on to your hard disk. This is especially true for full backups. In contrast to incremental backups that copy only the new/ modified files, a full backup creates an archive of the complete data at a scheduled interval.
Switching to a New iPhone
Many people report duplicates after transferring data from their old phone to the new phone. Human negligence while transferring files can cause such issues.
Downloading an Archive of your Google Photos
Downloading your Google Photos archive is easy. You can request Google to archive your Google Photos into a zip file and send you a downloadable link. You do not need to manually go through thousands of photos and manually select them.
- Go to the Google Data and Personalization page.
- Sign in to the Google account associated with your Google Photos, if you haven’t already.
- Scroll down and look for Download your data under the Download, delete or make a plan for your data section.
- On the subsequent page, Google will prompt you to select the data you want to download. Click on Deselect all.
- Scroll down and check only Google Photos.
- Do you want to download and scan all the albums for duplicates? If yes, leave the All photo albums included option selected, as it is. If not, click it and choose the individual albums you want to download.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the Next step button.
- On this page, select your desired delivery method. For the purpose of this article, we’ll choose the Send download link via email.
- Once Google archives the contents of your Google Photos, you’ll receive an email containing your download link. Wait for a while.
- Once an email is received, download your archive.
How Do I Find Duplicate Photos?
There are different methods to find duplicates in Google Photos. The manual method can take a lot of time. If it’s not worth your time, you can skip over to Method 2 for an automated procedure.
Method 1: Manually Identify & Delete Duplicates
Changing the Google Photos layout to a monthly view will allow you to review and identify the duplicate photos. Once identified, you can mark multiple photos and delete them all. Use this method only if you’ve got a small number of photos.
Steps to be performed on your iPhone:
- Open Google Photos.
- Login to the account you want to search for duplicate photos.
- Tap the Menu icon on the upper right corner.
- Tap Layout.
- Select the Month View option.
- Once you identify the duplicate(s), tap the check box on the upper left corner of the image.
- DO NOT mark all the photos in a duplicate group. Always unmark at least one file in each duplicate group to avoid data loss.
- After manually selecting your duplicate photos, tap the Trash icon on the upper right corner.
- Select Move to Trash.
Method 2: Finding Duplicate Google Photos Automatically
- For Mac Users
A better way to find Google Photos duplicates is to use specialized software. Clone Files Checker is an algorithm-based software that hashes the contents of your files to identify duplicate photos. The entire process is fully automated. You do not need to open each image, compare it with others. Here is the procedure for your MacBook:
Step 1: Search your photos for duplication
- Download and install Clone Files Checker for Mac.
- Click the Add button under Include for Scan.
- Browse and select the folder you want to scan for duplicates.
- Select the Custom option and mark Images.
- You can also set optional file sizes to limit the scope of your scan by using Ignore files smaller than and Ignore files larger than options.
- Start the scan.
- Once the scan is completed, review the list of all duplicates found and use the Select Duplicates to choose your desired selection pattern.
- Click on Select Action and delete the duplicate files permanently.
Step 2: Re-upload original photos to Google Photos
- Open the Google Photos website.
- Move all the photos from your Google Photos storage to the Trash which you had already downloaded and scanned for duplicates.
- Now, click the Upload icon on the upper right corner.
- Select Computer from the drop-down menu options.
- Choose your original photos and begin uploading.
- For Windows Users
If you’re a Windows user, you can use a separate image compare utility called PictureEcho. PictureEcho is a specialized duplicate photo finding program that comes with a powerful scan engine and a variety of options for the users to customize it. You can choose your desired similarity level to suit your needs. For example: If your aim is to free-up maximum Google Photos storage, you might want to select Level 3.
- Level 1: This scan level takes into consideration photos that were taken in a 30 seconds timespan. It shall find a considerable amount of duplicates, if not all.
- Level 2: This scan level takes a 1 minute timespan into consideration for your photos. It shall find many duplicate photos.
- Level 3: This scan level takes into consideration those photos that were taken into a 60 minutes timespan. It shall find the most duplicates.
- Level 4: When you choose this level, PictureEcho does not take the time factor into consideration. As a result, you’ll need to re-verify the results yourself before taking any kind of action.
Raza Ali Kazmi works as an editor and technology content writer at Sorcim Technologies (Pvt) Ltd. He loves to pen down articles on a wide array of technology related topics and has also been diligently testing software solutions on Windows & Mac platforms.