How do I remove duplicates?
ente performs two different duplicate detections: one during uploads, and one that can be manually run afterwards to remove duplicates across albums.
ente will automatically deduplicate and ignore duplicate files during uploads.
When uploading, ente will ignore exact duplicate files. This allows you to resume interrupted uploads, or drag and drop the same folder, or reinstall the app, and expect ente to automatically skip duplicates and only add new files.
The duplicate detection works slightly different on each platform, to cater to the platform's nuances.
On iOS, a hash will be used to detect exact duplicates. If the duplicate is being uploaded to an album where a photo with the same hash already exists, then the duplicate will be skipped. If it is being uploaded to a different album, then a symlink will be created (so no actual data will need to be uploaded, just a symlink will be created to the existing file).
On Android also, a hash check is used. But unlike iOS, the native Android filesystem behaviour is to keep physical copies if the same photo is in different albums. So ente does the same: duplicates to same album will be skipped, duplicates when going to separate albums will create copies.
Web and desktop
On laptops (i.e. when using the ente web or desktop app), in addition to a hash check, the file name is also used. The assumption is that the user wishes to keep two copies if they have the same file but with different names.
Thus a file will be considered a duplicate and skipped during upload if a file with the same name and hash already exists in the album.
And if you're trying to upload it to a different album (i.e. the same file with the same name already exists in a different album), then a symlink to the existing file will be created. This is similar to what happens when you do "Add to album", and the actual files are not re-uploaded.
ente also provides a tool for manual de-duplication in Settings → General → Remove duplicates. This is useful if you have an existing library with duplicates across different albums, but wish to keep only one copy.
Adding to ente album creates symlinks
Note that once a file in is ente, adding it to another ente album will create a symlink, so that you can add it to as many albums as you wish but storage will only be counted once.