6 Replies Latest reply: Aug 15, 2012 7:28 PM by Ernie Stamper
lostindc Level 1 (0 points)

I currently use Aperture 3.  Prior to using Aperture 3 I was using Iphoto and Iphoto unfortunately managed to duplicate photos by creating thumbnails 2 and even 3 or 4 times over.  This happened a couple of years ago and thus I cannot revert to a prior library.  For the past few years I was hoping apple would come up with a solution to this glitch.  Perhaps a simple software update, an app, etc.  Nothing yet. 


Anyways, is there a way to find and delete these duplicated thumbnails in a time effective fashion?  I have around 38,000 photos to sort through.  I have used Duplicate Annihilator and it does not recognize the duplicated thumbnails as duplicates.  I think this is due to their much smaller size.  Also, what is the proper way of deleting the thumbnail duplicate?  Do I delete it using just the "Delete Version" option orr do I delete the "Delete Master Image and All Versions" because I am not sure what is deemed appropriate and safe.


Finally, would it be easier to just purchase a cheap PC and have the programs available on a PC sort out this issue?  It has been a long time and I have yet to discover that apple has found a suitable solution to this issue.

Aperture 3
  • lostindc Level 1 (0 points)



    At this point I am sorting photos by file name and then size and going through each one.  Can anyone at least answer this set of questions: what is the proper way of deleting the thumbnail duplicate?  Do I delete it using just the "Delete Version" option or do I delete the "Delete Master Image and All Versions" because I am not sure what is deemed appropriate and safe.  I am not sure if deleting the duplicated thumbnail will impact the original master photo.

  • Ernie Stamper Level 8 (37,545 points)

    I have never experienced duplicate Previews of Thumbnails without there being duplicate Versions.  This may be why others have not found the way to respond.  How are you confirming that there are duplicate Thumbnails?


    A program on any PC is not likely to be able to navigate the files within the Package of the Aperture Library.


    Quit Aperture, and then hold down the Option key while clicking to relaunch it.  There you can put the cursor on the the library, and get a report of the number of Masters and number of Versions.  How do they compare?



  • lostindc Level 1 (0 points)



    I really appreciate the response.  I followed your directions and here is the info requested: 38,578 versions and 38,323 masters. 


    I expect around 14,000 true master copies and the remaining masters to be duplicate thumbnails.  I arrived at this number and the conclusion that there are many duplicate thumbnails based on the customer service of Duplicate Annihilator.  After sending Brattoo (Duplicate Annihilator) some sample duplicates they responded with:


    thank you for your email and sample images. You have a case of thumbnails here.


    Thumbnails are low resolution photos used internally by iPhoto to speed up performance when growing the photos. However, sometimes when importing older libraries into new ones or when upgrading iPhoto those internal low resolution photos are imported as regular photos and all of a sudden your iPhoto Library is flooded with low resolution photos.



    Locating thumbnail images in Aperture can be achieved using standard Aperture features. Use the Aperture search box as shown in this screenshot:


    I searched out and found around 24,000 photos to be fit the size of internal low resolution photos aka thumbnails.  Then I sorted the entire photo library by file name then size and I could see what I believe is the original master version photos (average size around 1.5 mbs or so) and then following each of what I think are the original master photos is a number of duplicates photos (average size around 40kbs).  Roughly one to two small size duplicates of the original master version photo.


    Therefore, I am assuming in order to get rid of duplicates I need to eliminate these small version thumbnail sized images.  I guess I will be forced to go through the whole library of 38,000 photos manually deleting each of the thumbnail duplicates.

  • Ernie Stamper Level 8 (37,545 points)

    Given this situation, why do you not sort all the photos strictly by file size, and then trash all those below a certain size, say less than 100 KB?  This would appear to get you down to a much more manageable sample size to deal with in other sorts, etc.


    Or am I missing something?



  • lostindc Level 1 (0 points)

    I was planning to do exactly as you stated but there are around a few hundred photos that are thumbnail size but are the only versions of the photo I have and I would really like to keep these photos.  Therefore, my desire to keep the photos put myself in a difficult spot I believe requiring me to go through the whole library.  I am going to attempt to delete a bunch of dups each day.


    Is it common for iphoto or aperture to duplicate thumbnails, especially older versions of iphoto?  Also, when I trash the duplicate thumbnail using the "Delete Master Version and All Versions" will that have any impact on the master version right in front of it on the browser.  For instance if I have IMG_001 (1.6mb) and IMG_001 (44kb) next to each other in the gallery will it have any impact on the 1.6mb IMG_001 photo if I delete the 44kb IMG_001.  Meaning since they have the same name and one is a smaller file size (thumbnail) replica of the bigger original photo does it cause any problems behind the scenes to get rid of the smaller photo?  This probably sounds like a terrible question and makes little sense.


  • Ernie Stamper Level 8 (37,545 points)

    I have been only an occasional user of iPhoto over the years.  Never liked the early versions, and preferred to use regular folders, the Browser function in Graphic Converter, which could then send any photo to Photoshop.


    But I love Aperture, and also know that later versions of iPhoto are quite robust.  Aperture does not make duplicate Previews or Thumbnails, and furthermore you can at any time elect to not have them, and then have Aperture regenerate a new set, which will not introduce duplicates.  Aperture will use originals as Previews when the original image is rather small in file size, but that is not a duplicate, either.


    Your problem has resulted from having imported from iPhoto, and not from actions in Aperture.


    You could export all your masters for photo below a certain size (but not remove them from Aperture), and sort those those by size, which would let you see a list of those master files that are Thumbnail-like in size.  You could make special disposition of those to protect against a wholesale deletion of small files.