How to Mass-Delete Duplicate Photos from Your Phone Without Installing Any Apps

Do you take lots and lots of photos with your smartphone? I certainly do! Because I want to make sure that my photos look great, I take several photos of the same subject. And that’s how I end up with a cluttered phone- I have tons of duplicate and similar photos I don’t need. Add to that all the photos from friends (and to friends) that get sent via WhatsApp and screenshots, and you’ll get the idea why my phone’s storage got filled pretty quickly.

As soon as I discovered that my storage space was almost full, I ran my phone’s built-in cleaner app to delete what people call “junk files” (you know, all kinds of background files like browser cache that you don’t need to store on your phone). That freed up some megabytes but not nearly enough. I knew that I didn’t have many apps installed and certainly no games that tend to eat up space. So, I thought I’d go to Settings – Storage and see what kind of files were taking up all the space.

I wasn’t pleased with what I saw – most of the phone’s space was occupied by photos. I knew I had quite a few but it never occurred to me that there were so many of them. Where did these photos come from? I did some exploring and here’s what I found:

  • nice shots that I definitely wanted to keep
  • each shot had about 2-3 versions of it (you know, when you take a couple of pics of the same subject to make sure you get it right)
  • duplicate photos that sneaked into the WhatsApp folder
  • edited versions of the photos – with filters, cropped, resized, etc.
  • images I downloaded from the Canva app instead of posting them directly to social media
  • screenshots of stuff from eBay I set to friends (these were sitting in the WhatsApp folder too)

Basically, one third of all the images on my phone where trash – I didn’t need to keep them. These bad shots had to go. The only problem was that I didn’t fancy spending an hour or even more sorting through them. So, I turned to Google Play and looked for a duplicate photo finder.

I found quite a few apps on Google Play but then it occurred to me that installing apps to free up storage space is counterproductive. Besides, I didn’t have enough space to install any apps. So I thought I’d connect my phone to my PC and try to scan my phone with a program I use to manage photos on my Windows and Mac laptops – Duplicate Photo Cleaner.

I was pleasantly surprised that Duplicate Photo Cleaner detected a phone connected via USB and offered me to switch to a scan mode called Media Device Scan, which I did.

Duplicate Photo Cleaner

Then, I clicked inside the Include area and was pleasantly surprised that all I had to do was select my phone – no browsing through all of my phone’s system folders to figure out which folders had images in them.

Add phone

Then I ran the scan and found quite a few duplicate and similar images. The best bit was that I could bulk-select all the photos I wanted to remove from my phone and then simply click on the Delete button – they were gone in a flash!

Scan results

I was very pleased that my favourite program for managing duplicate photos on my PC and Mac worked with the phone too. And like I said, I didn’t have to install anything on the phone, so storage space was recovered and not wasted!

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john reppola
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This is very helpful and this Duplicate Photo Cleaner really helped me free up lots of space on my phone! Thank you thank you thank for the great tip!

Taylor
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I have over 40,000 photos and videos on my phone and have been looking for something to help. I don’t trust the apps that are advertised, so I’m definitely looking forward to trying this! Thank you ♥️