How to merge duplicate photos and videos on iPhone with iOS 16

If your iPhone’s Photos app is full of duplicate pictures and videos, iOS 16 has a new feature to help you find the multiples so you can delete them and reclaim space on your device.

It took a long time, but your iPhone can do it at last Find those duplicates and offer to merge them yourself, without having to download — and likely pay for — a potentially patchy app to accomplish the same task.

Finding and deleting duplicate photos and videos in iOS 16 only takes a few taps; previously, you had to manually find them yourself.

Obviously iOS 16 must be installed on your iPhone. It’s still in beta form at the time of writing, but it will be available this fall, so stay tuned if beta life isn’t for you.

How to find and delete duplicate photos and videos in iOS 16

Deleting photos doesn’t sound like fun, but you might be surprised to find that you have more duplicates than you think – especially screenshots. No more excuses! Let’s start cleaning.

Now you can merge all those duplicates that have been eating up your storage space with a few taps.Oliver Haslam / Input

  • Open the Photos app on your iPhone with iOS 16.
  • Tap Albums at the bottom of the screen to switch between tabs.
  • Scroll down and under the Utilities section, tap Duplicates.
  • All duplicate photos (and videos) are displayed, including the amount of space each one is taking up. Tap a photo to preview it, see where it was taken, and more.
  • At the top, next to the recording date and time, tap “Merge” to start the merging process.
  • You can merge multiple sets of photos at once by tapping “Select” in the upper-right corner of the screen, then tapping each set you want to merge.
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Just want to see duplicate photos or videos? You can apply a filter by tapping the three dots in the top right corner and then tapping “Filter”.

Your iPhone combines information from all duplicates, including captions, keywords, and other metadata. The highest quality version is the one that’s kept, so don’t worry about leaving what looks like it was picked up on a potato. All other versions are moved to the Recently Deleted album and can be restored if you change your mind.

Not all duplicates are the same

Apple says that “duplicates are classified as both exact copies, which may have different metadata, and photos that appear to be the same but may have unique resolutions, file formats, or other minor differences.” That is, even if photos thinks Duplicates are the same, don’t assume it’s always right. Make sure you check the metadata for each one before merging anything, and remember that deleted photos can always be recovered if you want them back later.

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