How to Stop Duplicate Photos on iPhone After Sync

iPhone duplicate photos after sync? This guide will tell you how to delete duplicate photos on iPhone after sync and the method to prevent this from happening again.


By Lena / Updated on May 31, 2024

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iPhone has duplicate photos after sync

Whenever I do an iTunes sync of my iPhone, the Photos library get filled with duplicate photos. How to prevent duplicate photos when syncing iPhone? I have an iPhone X running iOS 13.

- Question from Apple Community

We can easily transfer photos from iTunes to iPhone with the “Sync Photos” option. Then we can set these pictures as wallpaper, share them with friends or for other purposes. However, when the syncing is done, you find that it shows duplicate photos in the iPhone photo album. What’s worse, there is no delete option for those duplicates.

It’s annoying to encounter such “duplicate photos on iPhone after sync” issue. Not only makes it difficult to find photos, but it also takes up storage space. Why iPhone duplicate photos after sync and how to delete duplicate photos? Moreover, how to prevent it from happening again? Please keep reading to find the answer.

Why iPhone Duplicate Photos After Sync

● The photos were not deleted from the iPhone as expected. Maybe the photos you thought were deleted weren't really deleted.
● The photos are duplicated on your computer. You can go and check if the albums synced from your computer contain duplicate photos.
● You are using iTunes sync with Photo Stream enabled. Photos in Photo Stream will go to your computer and then iTunes will sync those photos to your iPhone. Thus you have two sets of the same photos.

How to Delete Duplicate Photos on iPhone After Sync

Photos synced through iTunes cannot be deleted directly on the iPhone. You can try one of these three methods to get rid of duplicate photos on iPhone after sync.

Way 1. Try Photo Deduplication Tool

If you prefer an easy and safe way to delete duplicate photos, we recommend using photo deduplication tool of FoneTool. You can let the tool help you delete unwanted copies without having to worry about losing any of your original photos. Besides, it also can help you delete duplicate photos on computer.

1. Click the download button to get FoneTool > Connect iPhone to computer via USB cable.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7
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2. Choose Toolbox on the left pane > click Photo Deduplication.

Photo Duplication

3. Click Scan iOS Device option to find duplicate photos on iPhone.

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.


Way 2. Uncheck Sync Photos in iTunes

You can choose to unsync selected albums or unsync all photos to delete photos synced from iTunes.

1. Launch iTunes and plug in your iPhone.

2. Click the Device icon > Choose Photos under Summary.

3. Stop syncing photos from iTunes:

  • Stop syncing selected albums: Check Sync Photos > Choose Selected albums > Deselect the album to stop syncing > Click Apply.
  • Stop syncing all photos: Uncheck Sync Photos > A pop-up message will appear and you should click Remove Photos > Click Apply.

Delete Synced Photos

Way 3. Take Advantage of iCloud

iCloud Photos is not compatible with iTunes photos syncing. If you turn on iCloud Photos on iPhone, the photos synced from iTunes will be deleted.

1. Go to Settings > Tap [your name] > Tap iCloud > Choose Photos > Turn on iCloud Photos.

2. You will get a message telling you “Photos and Videos Synced from iTunes will be Removed” > Just tap Remove Photos and Videos to confirm.

Remove Photos and Videos

When photos synced from iTunes have been deleted, you can turn off iCloud Photos again.

How to Prevent Duplicate Photos When Syncing iPhone

We can choose to delete duplicate photos on iPhone after sync, but it would be a hassle to do this every time. How to prevent duplicate photos when syncing iPhone? Here are some tips.

Tip 1. Sync Photos Using Only One Method

There are many ways to help us sync photos. We can turn on iCloud Photos to sync photos wirelessly or let iTunes sync photos via USB cable. However, multiple syncing methods can easily make photos confusing. It may upload or download one photo multiple times and thus cause the “duplicate photos on iPhone after sync” problem.

Tip 2. Let Third-party Transfer Tool Help You Transfer Photos

In fact, iTunes is not the only tool for data transfer. There are many third-party transfer tools that can do the same thing and even better, such as FoneTool that already mentioned.

The tool can help you transfer selected photos, videos, songs, etc. from computer to iPhone, from iPhone to computer, from iPhone to another one. More importantly, it does not delete any previously transferred data.

Example: transfer photos from computer to iPhone

1. Download, install and launch FoneTool > Connect iPhone to computer via USB cable.

2. Click Phone Transfer option on the left pane, and move the mouse to the PC to iPhone. Then click Start Transfer.

Transfer to iPhone

3. Select the photos you need and click OK.

Choose Photos

4. Finally, click Start Transfer to transfer photos from computer to iPhone.


Besides data transfer, FoneTool also supports data backup. While iTunes can only help you make a full backup of your iPhone, FoneTool supports full backup as well as selective backup to help you save your storage space and time.

Final Words

If iPhone duplicates photos after sync, we can delete the unwanted copies with Photo Deduplication Tool, iTunes or iCloud. To prevent duplication of photos the next time you sync your iPhone, you can sync your photos using only iTunes or iCloud or let FoneTool help you to transfer photos in an easier way.

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.