Apple Explains Why Duplicates Album in Photos Not Showing for Some Users

Apple today explained why iPhone users who recently updated to iOS 16 may not see the new Duplicates album in its stock Photos app, and what they can do about it.

photos duplicates
New to iOS 16, the Photos app will automatically detect any duplicate photos and videos in users' libraries and collate them together in a Duplicates album for inspection, giving users the option to merge duplicate sets and delete redundant media.

However, many users have been in touch to say the Duplicates album has not been showing up for them after updating their iPhone software, leading them to wonder if they are doing something wrong.

In a new support document, Apple has clarified that for the Duplicates album to appear, your iPhone has to first index the photo library and find duplicates, but that this detection process requires your iPhone to be locked and connected to power.

"Depending on what tasks are running in the background and the size of your photo library, the process could happen quickly or take up to a few days to complete," adds Apple.

Bear in mind that if you don't have any duplicates in your library, then the Duplicates album won't show up under the "Utilities" section of the Photos app until such a time when you do.

Related Forum: iOS 16

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Top Rated Comments

BootsWalking Avatar
23 months ago
Why not show the duplicates folder with a message indicating it won't be indexed until plugged in? Would've saved a lot of Apple support inquires.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MadDog31 Avatar
23 months ago
Had to wait for this myself back when I updated.

Worked well, though I do wish they had an option or folder for photos that are very similar but aren't 1:1 duplicates -- like the times I take a back-to-school pic of my kids and snap off 15 hoping to get one good shot and then I forget to delete 14 others!
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vtuberalpha Avatar
23 months ago
The stupid indexing and background processes myth bogging down the battery is no more, thanks Apple for disspelling that nonsense.

Included a screenshot of my own to prove it even more.

Attachment Image
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
orbital~debris Avatar
23 months ago

It picked up a RAW and JPEG as being duplicates. It doesn’t give you any clue as to which it prefers to save on a ‘merge’.
From Apple's iPhone User Guide:

"Merging combines the highest quality version and all of the relevant data across the duplicates, and keeps that one in your library. The remaining duplicates are moved to the Recently Deleted album."
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JosephAW Avatar
23 months ago
It should still show the word "duplicates" with a zero or pending grayed out. o_O
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lynxwildcat Avatar
23 months ago
I am really intrigued whether this new 'duplicates' feature is a remnant or precursor of CSAM scanning. The fact this capability picks up images that are not 100% perfect duplicates (minor differences) and needs to catalogue your entire library.

I dunno, this seems related to CSAM, it's created some sort of hash that it's comparing between images. Turning on CSAM later based on the work done for duplicates would seem easier.

I haven't seen any news or analysis digging into why duplicates came this year (after CSAM was shelved) and why we haven't had duplicates as a feature well before now. This seems like a precursor or remnant.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)