When I import photos from a shared library, either from my own Family album or one shared with other iOS users, they are imported as expected. I cannot reimport them again.

However, if you share a picture in a shared album yourself (e.g. originating from the Photos.app on on my Mac), you can import that photo again once in your library. Resulting in duplicate photos.

This occurs in the Mac OSX Photos app, version 1.0.1 (215.65.0).

I'm aware that 'duplicate' in the technical definition may not be accurate; the imported photo in this case will have a different filename and be of lower resolution. But from a functional perspective it IS a duplicate.

Is there any way to avoid importing these duplicates so every now and then I can safely select and import a bunch of pictures from a shared library, without having to cleanup the duplicates afterwards?

Note that I've seen a similar older question, which is only for iPhoto.

Update 11 Jan, 2016: This is still an issue with the latest version of Photos v1.3 (350.23.0)

  1. Open Photos app in OS X as usual.
  2. Pull down the “Photos” menu and choose “Preferences”
  3. Under the “General” tab, look for “Importing: Copy items to the Photos library” and uncheck that box to disable image copying.
  4. Close Preferences.

Happy snapping! :)

  • 2
    Thank you for the suggestion @Scorpion93. But would that not disable importing photos to my lib entirely? That wouldn't solve the original question. – Moriarty Feb 14 '19 at 15:09

MacPaw Gemini duplicate finder seems to be a good app for this job

  • Welcome to Ask Different! Please don't give one-sentence answers. We're looking for answers that provide explanations as to why it answers the question as well as why it's the best answer. See How to Answer for info on what makes up a good answer. - From Review - – fsb Jul 4 '16 at 17:06
  • I doubt that this is for removing duplicates in your file system instead of the library. – Sunny Miu Feb 13 '20 at 14:03

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .