I have a folder of several hundred JPGs. All of them are either big (640x480) or small (350x250). I'd like to delete all the small images in one batch.

In the past, I've opened all the pictures in Preview, then flipped through them and pressed the delete key for the small ones. However, when I just tried that, Preview is showing the images as "locked" and is ignoring my tap on the delete key. (I don't know why this used to work and now doesn't...)

So I'm looking for another solution. Some thoughts about possible solutions:

  • Is there a way to add a column to the Finder list view that shows the image dimensions? Then I could sort by that column and delete the small ones in one swoop. (This would be really nice since it would be nice to see the dimensions for all the images in the folder, regardless.)

  • Can I get Preview to let me use the delete key, like it used to?

  • Maybe there is a solution using Automator?

I definitely do NOT want any solutions that involve installing new software just to perform this (seemingly simple!) task.

  • Do you already have Photoshop? It has a couple of Automator actions that might help.
    – Thilo
    Apr 18, 2012 at 1:27
  • I do-- and that's not a bad idea-- but I think doing it in the Finder (per the answer I accepted, below) is much quicker.
    – Eric
    Apr 18, 2012 at 23:13

4 Answers 4

  1. Open finder and navigate to that folder
  2. cmd + F
  3. Search "in this folder"
  4. Add in the search option "other"
  5. When the option menu pop up, select "Pixel Height"
  6. Add another "other", "Pixel Width"

Then search, and delete.

  • 2
    +1. And after you have done that once, "Pixel Width" will appear in the default menu, so you don't have to go through "Other" every time
    – Thilo
    Apr 18, 2012 at 3:05

What about sorting the files in Finder by their file size, and then selecting a bunch and deleting them? The smaller images should be smaller in file size than the larger ones.

  • That sound unreliable, though. Complex smaller images can result in larger files.
    – Thilo
    Apr 18, 2012 at 1:25
  • Nice idea but Thilo is right-- the file sizes are all over the place and there's no correlation between the filesize and the image dimensions.
    – Eric
    Apr 18, 2012 at 23:11

A Smart Folder could help:

Kind: Image
Pixel width: Greater Than 400

Set it up to search only the input folder, not the whole computer.

To delete the others, the quickest way is maybe to copy all from the Smart Folder somewhere else and then delete the original folder. Or maybe Automator can build on that.


Using CMD+BACKSPACE to move files to Trash works fine for me in Lion's Preview.app even when files are locked for editing.

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