How To Find & Merge Duplicate iPhone Photos In iOS 16



iOS 16 makes it simple to merge duplicate iPhone photos. Here’s how…


Duplicate photos are a major annoyance for those who want to keep a tidy camera roll and photo library. But with the release of iOS 16, Apple is giving users a way to quickly find duplicate photos and merge them together into one photo.

Beyond giving you a tidier photo library, merging your duplicate photos makes a lot of sense from the point of view of optimizing your storage. If you have a duplicate photo you are using twice the storage space on your iPhone and on your iCloud storage than you need to.

After all, if one photo is 12 MB, and you have a duplicate of it, that means you are taking up 24 MB of space on your device for no reason. 

How To Find & Merge Duplicate iPhone Photos In iOS 16
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How To Find & Merge Duplicate iPhone Photos: What To Understand

Before we get to explaining how you find and merge duplicate photos, you need to be aware of a few things: 

  • This requires iOS 16 or later to be running on your iPhone, so make sure you have the latest iOS installed. You can do this by going to the Setting app and tapping General > Software update.
  • iOS 16 won’t only look for duplicates. It’ll find triplicates, too.
  • When finding duplicate photos to merge, the iOS Photos app will only find duplicates that are copies. As Apple explains: “Duplicates are classified both as exact copies that may have different metadata, as well as photos that appear to be the same, but may have unique resolutions, file formats, or other slight differences.”

OK, here’s how to find and merge duplicate iPhone Photos in iOS 16…

How To Find & Merge Duplicate iPhone Photos In iOS 16 – One At A Time

Finding and merging duplicate iPhone Photos in iOS 16 is really easy. You can find and merge duplicate iPhone photos one set at a time or all at once. Let’s look at finding and merging duplicate iPhone photos one at a time:

  1. Open the Photos app. It’s a white icon with colors arranged like petals on a flower.
  2. Tap the Albums tab at the bottom of the screen.
  3. On the Albums page, scroll down until you see the Utilities header. Tap the Duplicates item that appears.
  4. On the Duplicates screen, you’ll see a list of all your photo duplicates arranged as thumbnails.
  5. Tap on any duplicate to see it up close. You can also swipe through the matching duplicates.
  6. When viewing a duplicate up close, tap the Merge button at the top of the screen. Alternately, on the screen listing duplicates grouped into collections, you can tap the Merge button of any collection.
  7. In the pop up that appears, tap the red Merge Items button.
  8. That single set of duplicates will now be merged into one photo.

How To Find & Merge Duplicate iPhone Photos In iOS 16 – All At Once

Alternatively, you can find and merge all duplicate iPhone photos at once. This method isn’t recommend as it’s usually best to manually review duplicate photo information first, but if you just want to merge all duplicate photos and forget it, do this:

  1. Open the Photos app. It’s a white icon with colors arranged like petals on a flower.
  2. Tap the Albums tab at the bottom of the screen.
  3. On the Albums page, scroll down until you see the Utilities header. Tap the Duplicates item that appears.
  4. On the Duplicates screen, you’ll see a list of all your photo duplicates arranged as thumbnails.
  5. Tap the Select button at the top of the screen.
  6. Now tap the Select All button.
  7. At the bottom of the screen, tap the Merge button. The number you see in parenthesis is how many duplicate sets will be merged.
  8. In the pop-up that appears, tap the red Merge Items button.

No matter if you merge duplicates all at once or one at a time, after you are done you’ll see the formerly duplicated photos removed from the Duplicates list.

And check out:

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Michael Grothaus

Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.
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