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How to Remove Duplicate Photos from iPhone and Android in One Go

remove duplicate photos from smartphone

If you ask me what’s the main problem with smartphones, I’ll say that for a lot of people it’s running out of storage space. It’s only too easy to fill up your phone’s memory, especially if you don’t have the latest iPhone with a huge storage capacity. But do you know which files occupy the most of the storage space on your phone? Photos and videos. True, apps (especially games) take up a lot of megabytes too, but for most people photos are the main culprits. This means that the easiest way to free up space on your phone is to delete photos. But what if you want to keep all your precious memories? No worries, you don’t need to remove any good photos because up to 30% of all the photos on your phone are bad.

“Bad photos” are duplicate, similar, and low-quality shots that you store in your phone’s gallery and other folders, consciously or unconsciously. A recent study by Avast shows that up to one-third of all the images on your phone could and should be deleted. Asian users have the most bad photos (31% for Japanese users) and for US users it’s 27%. That’s still a lot. So, the solution is to remove duplicate photos from your iPhone or Android phone.

Method 1: Install an App

How are you going to delete the duplicates and similars? Most people would head over to the App Store or Google Play Store and download an app that claims to get rid of duplicate files. While it is a valid solution, it’s not a very effective one and often is counterproductive. I mean, it’s kind of stupid to install an app that takes up space to free up space.

Also, most duplicate finders for smartphones require all sorts of permissions, so you have to be very careful if you don’t want the app to spy on you. As you know, most free apps are ad-supported and guess how they collect data to serve you the most relevant ads. You guessed it right, they track how you use your phone and which sites/apps you visit. In short, only install apps from trusted developers.

Another problem with apps is that they ask you to add folders you want to scan for duplicate photos. Usually, you add your gallery but ignore a lot of other folders that may have duplicates and other bad photos. For example, WhatsApp folders may have hundreds of duplicates because WhatsApp saves every photo you send or receive by default. Most of the mobile apps won’t find these duplicates unless you add the WhatsApp folder to the scan.

In short, apps from trusted developers are good for a quick cleanup but they won’t solve the problem.

Method 2: Use Media Transfer Protocol

Have you ever heard of MTP (Media Transfer Protocol)? It’s a data transfer developed by Microsoft to easily transfer data between smartphones and Windows PC. Basically, when you connect your phone to your computer with a USB cable and transfer files, you’re doing it via MTP. The Media Transfer Protocol is efficient and fast, plus you can use it to delete duplicate photos from iPhone and Android with the help of a desktop program called Duplicate Photo Cleaner.

Duplicate Photo Cleaner is my favorite app for managing photos on my computer. True, it’s not free, but it’s well worth the price. I love DPC because I can adjust the similarity threshold and find not only 100% identical photos, but also edited, cropped, resized, converted images, plus photos of the same subject. The good news is that the latest version of DPC has a new scan mode called Media Device Scan that uses MTP to access data. This means that all the intelligent image comparison methods are now available to find and remove bad photos from your phone. Let me show you how to do it:

Step 1: Download and install Duplicate Photo Cleaner (there’s a free trial that lets you check how it works).

Step 2: Connect your phone to your Windows PC via a USB cable

Step 3: Open Duplicate Photo Cleaner – it will detect a connected iOS or Android device automatically and offer you to scan it

Media device scan

Step 4: Select the phone(s) you want to scan – you can scan an iPhone and an Android device simultaneously as long as they are connected to your PC. This is a great time-saver if you have more than one phone. As you can see from the screenshot, you don’t need to browse to any folders – DPC will scan all the images on the phone automatically, so no duplicates will be missed.

connect phone

Step 5: Adjust the similarity threshold slider. 100% is good for finding exact duplicates and 50% works best for finding all kinds of bad photos.

Step 6: Click on the Start Scan button and wait for the scan to finish.

dpc start scan

Step 7: On the results screen, explore the results and use the pencil icon for accessing smart bulk-selection options to mark photos for deletion. These can be older or newer shots, hi-res or low-res images, and more. You can also select the photos you want to delete manually.

dpc results

Step 8: When done, click on the trash can icon to remove the selected photos.

Step 9: Disconnect your phone and enjoy the extra space!

For me, this is the most efficient, fastest, and safest way to remove duplicate photos from Android and iPhone using a piece of software that I already have. And how do you manage photos on your phone? Let me know in the comments!