How to Find Similar (But Not Duplicate) Photos on iPhone

Sorting through photos on your iPhone can be a big task, especially when you have thousands to manage. A handy skill is knowing how to find similar photos on iPhone. This helps not just with saving space by removing duplicates, but also with organizing nearly identical pictures. This guide will walk you through simple steps to manage your photos efficiently, whether you’re looking to clean up after a trip or organize event photos.

Duplicate vs. Similar Images

When you’re looking at photos on your iPhone, it’s good to know the difference between ‘duplicate’ and ‘similar’ images to manage your space better. Duplicate images are exact copies of each other with no differences whatsoever. Similar images, however, may look nearly the same but could have small differences like the angle or lighting.

Here’s how your iPhone figures out which photos are similar:

  • Composition: Checks if photos have a similar layout or arrangement of elements even if they’re not exactly the same.
  • Color schemes: Looks for photos that use similar colors, even if taken at different times of the day.
  • Subjects: Identifies photos that feature the same main subject but from different perspectives or distances.

Understanding this can help you keep the best photos and delete the rest, helping you free up space on your iPhone.

3 Ways to Find Similar Photos on iPhone

Keeping your iPhone photo library organized is easier when you know how to find similar photos. The iPhone’s Photos app offers built-in tools to assist with this, and there are additional methods using third-party apps and macOS features. We’ll show you all the ways to find similar photos, whether you wish to do it manually or rely on more automated solutions.

Method 1: Using Built-in Photos App Features

Let’s start with the features you already have at your fingertips. The iPhone’s Photos app is not just for viewing your pictures; it’s a powerful tool equipped with smart technologies designed to organize and help you search similar images on iPhone. Here’s how to use the ‘Albums’ and ‘Search’ functionalities:

Use Albums to Group Similar Images

Automatically generated albums are a handy feature in the Photos app. These albums are based on certain criteria like location, date, and picture type (e.g., Live Photos, Portraits, Panoramas).

  1. Open the Photos app and tap on the ‘Albums’ tab at the bottom.go to albums
  2. Scroll to find albums automatically created by your iPhone, such as ‘Selfies’ or ‘Landscapes.’albums automatically created by your iPhone
  3. Review these albums to discover groupings of similar images based on the context of the photos or the camera settings used.Review albums to find similar images

This organization by type allows you to quickly access groups of similar images without manual sorting, making it easier to review and manage groups of photos that share common features.

Use Search to Find Images by Content

The search functionality in the Photos app uses advanced image recognition technology to categorize photos by recognizable scenes, objects, and even faces. This powerful feature can identify elements within your photos, allowing you to find them by keywords.

  1. Tap on the ‘Search’ icon in the Photos app.Tap on the 'Search' icon
  2. Enter a keyword like ‘beach,’ ‘dog,’ or ‘sunset.’ The app will display photos that match the descriptor, often pulling up similar images related by similar images on iphone
  3. Browse through the results to find and organize images that are visually or contextually similar.

Using the search function, you can quickly locate thematic or subject-specific photos across your entire library, simplifying the task of finding and grouping similar images based on content, which is especially useful for large photo collections.

Did you Know?
The technology behind the search functionality in the Photos app is continually evolving. It began by recognizing simple objects and scenes, but now it can identify a wide array of subjects and even suggest memories related to specific people, places, or events, making it an ever more useful tool for photo organization.

Method 2: Third-Party Apps

While the built-in Photos app offers some great tools for organizing your images, third-party apps can provide additional functionality for those looking to find similar photos on iPhone. These apps often use advanced algorithms and offer a user-friendly experience that makes photo management a breeze. Here are a few notable ones:

  • CleanMy®Phone (formerly Gemini Photos): This app extends the capabilities of the original Gemini Photos with improved AI photo categorization and faster image processing. It helps you quickly identify duplicates and similar images, enabling efficient photo management and significant storage savings.CleanMy®Phone
  • Remo Duplicate Photos Remover: Remo excels in finding and removing duplicate and visually similar photos. By scanning your photo library and identifying redundancies, Remo helps streamline your collection, freeing up space and reducing clutter without the need for manual sorting.Remo Duplicate Photos Remover

The underlying technology of these apps involves machine learning algorithms, which are adept at recognizing patterns in images similar to how facial recognition technology works. These capabilities have evolved from basic image matching to complex assessments involving composition, color, and contextual similarity, making these apps incredibly effective at photo management.

These tools are particularly useful for iPhone users who handle a large volume of photos and need a way to free up their storage and keep their photo library organized. Whether you’re looking to tidy up your gallery or want to be sure it contains only the most meaningful photos, these apps can significantly aid in achieving that.

Method 3: Creating Smart Albums on a Mac

For those who prefer the larger display and processing power of a Mac, macOS offers powerful tools to organize photos automatically. Smart Albums in the Photos app can help sort your photos based on specific criteria you set, which is excellent for dealing with large collections of photos. Here’s a simple guide on how to use this feature:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac and sync your photos. This can be done using Finder on macOS Catalina and later, or iTunes on earlier versions. (You can also use iCloud photos to sync albums on both of your devices)Sync photos through Finder
  2. Open the Photos app on your Mac, go to ‘File’ > ‘New Smart Album’. Set criteria like date, camera type, or keywords such as “holiday” or “family”.
  3. Smart Albums automatically update when new photos that meet the criteria are added. This keeps your photos organized without ongoing effort.Smart Album

Smart Albums save time by organizing photos automatically based on the criteria you set. They make it easier to find specific photos or groups of photos, especially if you have a large library.

Smart Albums use metadata from photos—like date, location, and even the camera settings—to organize images.

Common Challenges and Solutions in Finding Similar Images

Finding similar photos on an iPhone can be tricky, especially when you’re dealing with minor differences between pictures or large collections. Here’s a straightforward approach to address these issues:

  • Problem: Too many photos to sort through manually.
    Solution: Organize your photos by date or event to make it easier to manage large volumes of images.
  • Problem: The search tool isn’t finding the right photos.
    Solution: Make sure your photo management app is up-to-date to benefit from the latest search enhancements.
  • Problem: Getting too many irrelevant search results.
    Solution: Use specific keywords and advanced search options to narrow down your search and improve results.

By applying these strategies, you should find it easier to navigate your photo library and keep your collection well-organized.


in summary, finding similar photos on your iPhone is not as complicated as it looks at first. With tools from the iPhone’s Photos app, third-party apps, and Smart Albums on macOS, you have many options to keep your photo library neat and organized. Taking a little time to set up and regularly use these tools can make a big difference in keeping your photos organized and easily accessible.


To find similar photos manually, use the Photos app’s search function. Type keywords related to the photos’ content, like “beach” or “birthday,” to find groups of images that might not be exactly the same but are related by subject or event.
While the iPhone doesn’t automatically group similar photos, third-party apps like CleanMy®Phone or Remo Duplicate Photos Remover can automate this process by using advanced algorithms to detect and group similar images.
Yes, you can sync your iPhone with your Mac and use features like Smart Albums in the macOS Photos app. You can create albums based on specific criteria like date, location, or even camera settings to help group similar images.
Using third-party apps can be safe, but it’s important to choose wisely. Check for apps that process images locally on your device and review their privacy policies to ensure they do not upload or store your photos on external servers without explicit consent.
Yurii Kulynych is a skilled professional who continues to work in Quality Assurance (QA) for InsanelyMac while also starting to write articles. He has a strong eye for detail and extensive experience in ensuring content quality, especially in areas like data recovery, understanding macOS/iOS, and storage solutions for Apple devices. Yurii excels in writing easy-to-follow guides and putting together helpful toolkits.
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