Find and delete duplicate pictures on your computer

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One of the great things about digital photography is how easy it is to take a picture and then see it almost immediately on your computer.  You can edit it, send it to someone, or post it on a website.  However, it’s also easy to end up with a lot of duplicate photos.

visipics logo

Think about it.  You can put photos on your computer by connecting your camera directly via USB, or you can plug your memory card into your card reader.  You download the images to your computer, but you don’t delete them from the camera or memory card.  Next time, you download the same ones again.  This could happen several times, and before you know it you have a bunch of duplicates on your hard drive.

Going through all of those pictures and finding the dupes manually is tedious, time-consuming and not really the most accurate method.  Let the computer do it for you – even if the images have different file names.

This is done through a free program called VisiPics.  You can read about it and download it here:

The list of benefits on the VisiPics home page tells it all:

  • VisiPics is free! If you like and want to support it, donations are welcome.
  • Faster than most commercial software
  • Uses dualcore processors
  • Highly efficient results with adjustable similarity levels
  • Easy to use Interface, preview your duplicates easily and pick the ones to delete with a simple click
  • Starts to display the results while scanning, you don’t have to wait to delete your duplicates
  • Smart Auto-Select mode, to save time while deleting pictures
  • Tested on a 100.000 pictures 15Gb archive, full results in 3 hours only

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July 5th, 2010

The commentary above didn’t make it clear that this program (and some others) actually compare the look of the images rather than the bit by bit content of the files to determine if 2 images are the same (or nearly so).

There are many programs that do bit by bit comparisons to find identical files. True image comparison programs characterize the file in some (usually proprietary) manner then compare the signature files. This allow comparison of different size files; files with different color characteristics; border treatments; embedded text; etc and still find duplicates. These programs also take a lot of time to find dups in a large group of files. Since every file must be compared with every other file processing time goes up with the square of the number of files involved.

Some other programs in this genre are Picture Relate and DupDetector. VisiPics is the best of the free/low cost lot however.