[Fixed] Can’t Delete Duplicate Photos on iPhone

Duplicate photos on iPhone cannot be deleted? Read this guide to see why you can’t delete duplicate photos on iPhone and the solution to this problem.


By Lena / Updated on May 31, 2024

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Problem: Can’t Delete Duplicate Photos on iPhone

Why Can’ I Delete Duplicate Photos on iPhone

I can delete the original but not the duplicate. There is no delete option for the duplicates. Please help me it's super annoying. Thanks.

- Question from Apple Community

Pictures usually take up the biggest space on our iPhone. The camera is great, many of us have taken a lot of photos to record the bits and pieces of life. In addition, we also save pictures that we find interesting. The space on iPhone is limited and sometimes we need to delete some photos to free up space so that we can take new photos or download apps.

However, when you browse and select the photos you want to delete, you find that there are some duplicate photos that cannot be deleted - there is no Trash Can button. You're pretty sure you didn't copy these photos yourself, where did these photos come from? Next, we will explain why you can't delete duplicate photos on iPhone and the solution to this problem.

Why Can’t I Delete Duplicate Photos on iPhone?

The main reason: those duplicate photos were synced from iTunes.

iTunes can help us sync photos from computer to iPhone, but these photos cannot be deleted directly on iPhone. Generally speaking, we can connect iPhone to computer and then use iTunes sync to delete photos.  

As we all know, iTunes is a bit complicated and not user-friendly. You may have accidentally turned on the sync option and not found it and thus caused the duplicate photos on iPhone after sync issue.

How to Fix Can’t Delete Duplicate Photos on iPhone

There are three ways that can help you delete duplicate photos synced from iTunes. If you want to delete selected photos easily, quickly and safely, then Solution 1 is the best choice.  

Solution 1. Delete Synced Photos with Photo Deduplication Tool

The Photo Deduplication tool of FoneTool can help you find and delete duplicate photos on iPhone quickly. It will list all the duplicate photos on your iPhone, and then you can select the ones you want to delete from your device without worrying about losing any original photos.

1. Click the download button to get FoneTool.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7
Secure Download

2. Choose Toolbox on the left pane, and click Photo Deduplication.

Photo Duplication

3. Click Scan iOS Device option.

Scan iOS Device

4. Set the filter date range > Click Start scanning.

Set Data Trange

5.  It will list all duplicate photos on your device. You can click Delete button to remove unwanted photos.


If you want to delete duplicate photos on computer, please click the “Scan Computer” option and choose the location you want to scan.
FoneTool supports data transfer between iPhone and computer. You can let it help you transfer photos, videos, songs, contacts. For example, you can click Transfer to Computer option to transfer photos from iPhone to computer, external hard drive, USB flash drive.


Solution 2. Delete Duplicate Photos with iTunes

To delete synced photos from iPhone, we can sync iPhone with iTunes again to delete all photos or photos in a specific album.

Uncheck Sync Photos/Selected albums

1. Launch iTunes > Connect iPhone to computer via the USB cable > Trust the computer when asked.

2. In iTunes, click the Device icon > Choose Photos option from the left sidebar.

3. Unsync seleted albums or all photos:

  • Remove selected albums: Check Sync Photos > Choose Selected albums > Deselect the album that contains the photos you want to delete > Click Apply.
  • Remove all photos: Uncheck Sync Photos > A pop-up window will appear: iTunes will no longer sync photos to the iPhone. Do you want to keep or remove photos previously synced to your iPhone? > Click Remove Photos to confirm > Click Apply.

Delete Synced Photos

Create an empty folder to delete photos

Usually, photos synced from computer will be saved in one album named from My Computer. In addition, each sync will delete the previously synced photos. So we can empty all the photos in the album by syncing an empty folder with iTunes.  

1. Create an empty folder with no photos in it.

2. Open iTunes and plug in your iPhone.

3. Click the Device icon > Choose Photos option.

4. Select Sync Photos > Click the drop down menu next to Copy photos from > Select Choose folder... to select the empty folder you created before > Click Apply.

Sync Empty Folder

Solution 3. Remove Duplicate Photos via iCloud Sync

If you do not have a computer at hand, you can turn on iCloud Photos to remove the duplicate photos that cannot be deleted. Both iTunes and iCloud offer photo syncing, but the two are incompatible. When you turn on iCloud Photos on iPhone, all photos synced from iTunes will be removed.

Go to Settings > Tap [your name] > Tap iCloud > Tap Photos > Toggle on iCloud Photos > Tap Remove Photos and Videos on the pop-up message to confirm.

Remove Photos and Videos

Final Words

The reason you can't delete duplicate photos on iPhone is that they are synced from iTunes. You can delete those duplicate photos via Photo Deduplication tool, iTunes sync or iCloud sync.

Which method do you prefer? Did you successfully delete the duplicates? Just leave a comment to let us know.

Lena · Editor
Lena is an editor of FoneTool, she covers backup & restore, and phone data management and so on. She enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, eating, reading and so on. She takes most of time with her family when she is not working.