How to Delete Duplicates from your iPhoto Library

When you delete duplicate photos from your iPhoto library with Araxis Find Duplicate Files, be aware that iPhoto will not automatically recognize that photos have been deleted.

The following steps – tested with iPhoto ’11 – are therefore strongly recommended whenever you delete duplicates from your iPhoto library:

  • Backup your iPhoto library. This step is essential – please do not skip it. Your photos are important, and we’d hate for you to lose them. iPhoto is not designed to cope with external applications like Araxis Find Duplicate Files deleting photos from its database, so there is always a possibility that something may go wrong.

  • Make sure iPhoto is not running. (To be certain, run iPhoto and then press Cmd+Q to exit it.)

  • Start Araxis Find Duplicate Files.

  • Drag your iPhoto Library (it is usually found in your Pictures folder) on to the Choose what to scan table in Find Duplicate Files.

  • Click Start Scan, and wait for the scan to complete.

  • From the Show drop-down, make sure that The other occurrences of each duplicated item is selected.

  • Click Select Duplicates Excluding First Occurrences to select all the redundant duplicates.

    Alternatively, you can select only some of the redundant duplicates. If you have changed the Show drop-down to anything other than The other occurrences of each duplicated item, be sure not to select all the copies of a duplicated photo – you will almost certainly wish to keep at least one copy of each.

  • Click the Move Selected To… button to move the selected items that you are sure you no longer want to a folder of your choosing.

    Warning We strongly suggest that you do not use the Delete Selected button on your iPhoto library. Using Move Selected To… instead gives you a chance to recover from a mistake and put back the items you move.

    For more information, see the To put items back after moving them to a folder of your choosing section of the Using Araxis Find Duplicate Files page. (Do not rely on this second chance – always backup your iPhoto library before working upon it with Find Duplicate Files.)

  • Run iPhoto. Deleted photos will be indicated with empty boxes instead the original photo image. The remaining steps below will remove these.

  • Select one or more blank photos, right-click, and choose Trash. Alternatively, select the blank photos and press Cmd+Backspace.

    iPhoto sends deleted items to its own Trash, so you will probably wish to empty that after you’ve deleted the blank photos.

  • When you are absolutely certain that you no longer need the duplicate photos that you moved to a folder of your choosing, you can delete that folder using Finder.