How to duplicate photos in Apple Photos

How to duplicate pictures in Apple Photos

Apple Photos is central to both the Mac OS and iOS devices. It’s a great way to keep all your photos to handy on all your devices, and it practically looks after itself – you add a photo on one device, and very soon it’s on all of them.

It’s also a pretty good image-editing hub for all your photo editing, at least on mobile devices like iPads and iPhones – except for one annoyance. When you edit a photo, the application saves the new version over the old one. Well, it doesn’t save it over the other one, exactly, because it keeps the original in case you want to revert to it one day.

But it doesn’t let you see the original and the edited version at the same time. And if you decide you want the original back after all, you have to lose the edited version.

What you really want to be able to do is duplicate the original so that you can work on a copy – but then there’s another problem? Where’s the ‘Duplicate’ command?

Step 01: Open the photo

How to duplicate photos in Apple Photos

Don’t waste any time looking for a Duplicate command in the main Photos browser window because there isn’t one. Instead, you need to tap the photo you want to duplicate to open it. Then you need to tap the share/action button on the top toolbar…

Step 02: Duplicate it

How to duplicate photos in Apple Photos

This opens a screen where your chosen photo is selected and you have a row of apps to share to and another row underneath consisting of actions you can carry out. The one we want is the Duplicate button on the far left.

Step 03: Check your duplicate

How to duplicate photos in Apple Photos

Back in album view we can now see I’ve got two copies of the same photo. It doesn’t much matter which I work on since they’re both the same, but I’ll choose the second.

Step 04: Make your edits

How to duplicate photos in Apple Photos

So here’s the edited photo. I’ve messed around with the Fade filter and some other settings, but that doesn’t matter too much right now – this is just an example to show what happens.

Step 05: Check the outcome

How to duplicate photos in Apple Photos

And here we are. I’ve got my edited photo right alongside the original in my album. Technically, this is a bit wasteful since I’ve now got one more file than I need (an extra, duplicated original ‘behind’ the edited version), but it’s a way of having your cake and eating it – both the original photo and an edited version side-by-side in Apple Photos.

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