How to Create a Duplicate Photo on iPhone or iPad


Have you ever wanted to edit a picture or photo on your iPhone or iPad but didn’t want to alter the original? Thankfully, Apple makes it easy to copy a picture on your iPhone or iPad so you can edit the duplicate and don’t have to worry about changing the original.

Some of the images associated with the steps are included inline below. All images associated with these steps can be seen in the embedded YouTube video. Also, please note that you’re not able to leave a comment directly on this article. If you have a question or feedback, please leave it on the YouTube video.

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Steps to Create a Duplicate Photo on iPhone or iPad

  1. Open the Photos app on your iPhone or iPad, and then open the photo you want to create a duplicate of. In this example, I’ll open this picture of Miles Morales.
  2. Tap the image to bring up the onscreen display, and then tap the ellipses at the top of the screen to open a menu.
Tap the image to bring up the onscreen display, and then tap the ellipses at the top of the screen to open a menu.

  1. Tap “Duplicate” in this menu.
Tap Duplicate in this menu.

The menu will close. The duplicate of the image will be located next to the original image in your iPhone or iPad Photos app.

The duplicate of the image will be located next to the original image in your iPhone or iPad Photos app.

Reasons to Create a Duplicate Photo on iPhone or iPad

1. Editing Purposes

Creating duplicate photos for editing allows preserving the original photo while experimenting with edits on the copy. This practice is common among those who enjoy photo manipulation, as it provides a safety net. If the edits don’t turn out as expected, the original remains untouched. This method is particularly useful when trying out new editing apps or techniques. It encourages creativity without the risk of losing the original image quality or composition. Many photographers use this technique to compare the impact of their edits directly against the original.

2. Sharing Different Versions

Duplicating photos on your iPhone or iPad to share different versions caters to diverse audiences or platforms. A user might want a color-rich version for a vibrant social media post, while a black-and-white copy could be more suitable for a professional portfolio. This practice is convenient for tailoring the same image to fit various contexts, ensuring the photo aligns with the intended message or aesthetic of each platform.

3. Creating Variations

Making duplicate photos on your iPhone or iPad to create variations fosters artistic exploration. Photographers and hobbyists often use this method to see how different adjustments affect the mood and message of a photo. They might experiment with saturation, contrast, or cropping, creating a series of images that tell different stories from the same moment. This approach is especially appealing to those who view photography as an art form, allowing them to explore the full potential of a single shot.

4. Printing Needs

Duplicating photos on your iPhone or iPad for printing needs is about adapting a photo to various physical formats. Whether it’s for a large canvas print or a small photo album, duplicating allows adjustments to each copy for optimal print quality. This method is essential for photographers who exhibit their work or anyone looking to display photos in their home. Adjusting the duplicate ensures the original digital copy remains versatile for other uses.

5. Backup

Creating duplicate photos as a backup is a quick, albeit temporary, solution to safeguard important photos. While not a substitute for a comprehensive backup system, this method can provide immediate peace of mind. It’s often used in situations where immediate backup is necessary, but access to cloud storage or external devices is limited. This approach is particularly useful in preserving memories during travel or significant events.

6. Organizational Purposes

Using duplicates for organization helps in categorizing photos into different albums without moving the original. It’s a technique for users who need the same photo in multiple contexts, like in a family album and a project portfolio. This method maintains a clean and organized photo library, ensuring easy access to important images in various albums.

7. Creating GIFs or Slide Shows

Duplicating photos on your iPhone or iPad for GIFs or slide shows allows seamless inclusion of the same image at different points in the animation. This is crucial for creating coherent and visually appealing narratives in digital storytelling. It’s a favorite among digital artists and those who love to share dynamic content online, offering creative freedom in how a story unfolds through images.

8. Educational or Tutorial Use

Duplicating photos on your iPhone or iPad for educational purposes is beneficial in demonstrating photo editing techniques. Instructors and content creators often use this method to show before-and-after effects, making it easier for learners to grasp the impact of certain edits. It’s an effective teaching tool that visually communicates the possibilities and power of photo editing.

9. Personal Preference

Sometimes, duplicating photos is simply due to personal preference. Users might duplicate favorite images to easily access them from different locations in their photo library. This practice is driven by emotional attachment to certain photos or the desire to have them readily available for viewing or sharing.

10. Accidental Creation

Accidental photo duplication occurs due to inadvertent taps or software glitches. This common scenario often leads users to discover duplicates in their library. While unintentional, it sometimes leads to unexpected benefits, such as stumbling upon a photo that was previously overlooked, prompting a new appreciation or use for it.

About Max

Max has nearly 20 years of experience working in IT across three different industries in project management and management capacities: publishing, telecommunications and healthcare. He holds the following degrees and certifications: BS Communications, MA Communications, MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP). His tutorial-focused YouTube channel earned more than 100,000 subscribers in its first four years, and currently has more than 160,000 subscribers, 110,000,000 video views and an insane 2.4 million hours of watch time. Max enjoys learning new technology, reading and collecting comic books, listening to audiobooks and playing video games.

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