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Remove duplicate photos from Aperture Apps
So I ended up importing the same files several times into Aperture, which merrily adds dupes without prompting. After googling around a bit and determining that I was not the only one with this problem, and not finding a real solution, I am posting my workaround in hopes that someone has a better idea.

I threw all the projects I knew had dupes into one big project with about 5,000 photos. I then exported these with the masters option, and used the subfolder format of ImageYear/Month. This took only a minute or so. When you have a file such as DSCN1591 multiple times, it will append a (1), etc. to the dupes.

I then did a spotlight search for the "(" (you have to use the quotes to find the paren) and deleted all the dupes. Then I re-imported the new slimmed-down photos. Someone please post a note with the menu option that does this that I didn't find...
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Remove duplicate photos from Aperture
Authored by: Graeme_Smith on Dec 27, '07 08:44:57AM

Thanks for posting - this should be useful till Aperture 2.0 (hopefully) fixes this issue.

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Remove duplicate photos from Aperture
Authored by: bagelturf on Dec 27, '07 08:57:31AM
This trick will work, but it loses all the adjustments, keywords, etc. There are a couple of other ways:

1. Since you created the duplicates by importing, remove them the same way. Each import creates an Import Session and you can filter on those. Click the filter button in the browser and select Import Session, then select each one you want to delete and delete those masters.

2. If you have projects with double or triples, you can display the images in the browser, sort them by date and then pull a selection rectangle around just one or two columns of images to select the dupes. Then delete.

See here for details and illustration:

Aperture's behavior is understandable. How would it be able to judge duplicates well enough to be able to reject them with 100% accuracy? How would you override this to import the same image more than once if you really wanted it? It boils down to Aperture being a librarian, not a cataloging application, and the fact that referenced masters are part of the library, not something external to Aperture to keep track of.

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Remove duplicate photos from Aperture
Authored by: yrret on Dec 28, '07 02:30:23PM

Thanks for the reply bagelturf. You have a great site with some great tips there I have to say. I am glad I posted this just so I ended up finding it!
I especially like the iView to Aperture move stories. If I had followed that I would probably not have ended up in this predicament.

Microsoft is not the answer.
It is the question.
The answer is NO!

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Remove duplicate photos from Aperture
Authored by: ms_t_rie on Dec 27, '07 06:43:27PM

This will be a great help, though I think my husband will be trying the other route first (filtering on Import Sessions) since he does have a lot of keywords put in. Still, it was very timely, since he just asked me this morning about how to do just this! (and I have never used Aperture, so I couldn't help) Personally, I think I'd use your method myself and just re-add the keywords, he's only had Aperture a couple of days, I can't imagine he's got so much that he couldn't re-input them.

Thank you!

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Remove duplicate photos from Aperture
Authored by: ubrgeek on Dec 27, '07 06:57:34PM

This is great, but I'd still love an Apple-created method for removing dupes in iPhoto ... :(

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Remove duplicate photos from Aperture
Authored by: brettgross on Dec 28, '07 05:02:12AM

Just a warning that this hint will not work if you have your camera set to reset file numbering at each card insertion. I'd never do that, but cameras have that option and I have some friends that have it set...

A better option would be to use an AppleScript to compare values that you know will be unique like shot time with file size (if you have a camera with a multiple shot per second burst mode then you need more that shot time).

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Remove duplicate photos from Aperture
Authored by: ccantrell on Jan 02, '08 02:14:00PM

Agreed ... I would not recommend it since many file names are the same.

I have had this problem for some time now ... lots of duplicate images. iPhoto, Aperture, Lightroom ... none of them solve the problem. The only real way to do it is export master, scan with a program that looks for byte-by-byte comparisons ( ... windows only unfortunately) and then re-import into a new library.

I have tried a few of the mac programs but none of them are really strong IMO.


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Remove duplicate photos from Aperture
Authored by: allancass on May 22, '08 02:22:25PM
Find and delete similar and duplicate images and pictures
Visual Similarity Duplicate Image Finder will find all similar and duplicate images in a folder and its sub folders. It uses advanced algorithms in order to find similar images in a way that a human does. Due to that fact it can find similar images even if they are in different image formats and sizes.

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Remove duplicate photos from Aperture
Authored by: andreagm on Jun 10, '08 01:33:37PM
Tidy Up! can find the duplicate images in Aperture and in iPhoto.

-- excerpt of the web page
With Tidy Up! you can search for duplicate files and packages; by the owner application, content, type, creator, extension, time modified, time created, name, label, visibility and delays. You can also search by the tag, duration and bit installments of MP3 and AAC sound files, search the contents of the iPhoto, Aperture, iTunes, iPod databases and Mail mailboxes, and synchronize deletions with iPhoto, Mail and iTunes.

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Find Duplicate Utility which works
Authored by: alec kinnear on Jul 03, '09 08:45:27PM
Hi Guys, I own Baseline which is okay for this sort of thing, but just started using an amazingly fast, accurate and easy to use application for finding duplicate files, especially music or photos. It's called Decloner. In five minutes, I saw all the problems automatically. In less than an hour I had my Aperture library cleaned out of unnecessary duplicates. I had already handcleaned so we are talking about just a few hundred images but it's nice to know the duplicates are gone and nice to know where I make my mistakes in image organisation to avoid creating more duplicates in the future.

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Aperture 3 remove duplicates
Authored by: Jacques on Jun 11, '10 08:11:55AM

Here's one I came across that should do the job nicely:


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Remove duplicate photos from Aperture
Authored by: pipswan on Jan 19, '11 05:13:10PM

Thanks Jacques the duplicate annihilator works a dream.

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Remove duplicate photos from Aperture
Authored by: agrah on Jun 21, '12 10:16:15AM

I too had way too many duplicates to sort out manually. In the end I wrote my own utility for Aperture 3.x to search out all my duplicates. You can find it at:

I'm sorting out the documentation now, but it's pretty low on my priority list. Nevertheless, feedback on the program is welcome.

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