When I was cleaning up my computer recently, I noticed that I had about 10 gigs of photos. That is a lot of photos. You know what? I don’t actually take that many pictures. A quick look showed me that I had many exact duplicates. I had downloaded the same photos several places, and over the years, all of the duplicates ended up on my desktop computer, taking up space on my desktop and my cloud based backup. Over the years the problem has gotten worse, because I simply don’t have the time or the inclination to look through all my photos and figure out the duplicates.
Fortunately, I don’t have to. I simply did a quick search on google for “identify duplicate pictures.” The result was this very helpful article, 5 ways to find duplicate image files. The article recommended several free tools, I picked the one the author felt was the best, VisiPics.
The program is very easy to use. Simply add the directory (or directories) containing your pictures to the program, and it searches for duplicates. You may choose whether you want the search to be strict, i.e. exact duplicates, or loose, sharing enough similarities that they could be duplicates. I chose the default midrange, and ended up deleting about 100 pictures. I knew I had a lot more duplicates than that, so I set the program to loose. Once I did so I found a few photos noted as duplicates that didn’t make sense, but the rest were very close to one another. For example, two shots in a row with very minor differences. Using this tool I deleted almost 700 photos.
The software doesn’t just delete the photos on its own, it shows thumbnails and you choose which ones to delete, so you needn’t fear that you will lose a valuable photograph.