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Review: PhotoSweeper – Put Your iPhoto, Aperture and Lightroom Libraries on a Diet

Review: PhotoSweeper – Put Your iPhoto, Aperture and Lightroom Libraries on a Diet

If you’re like me, you take hundreds, if not thousands of photos during the year. And if you’re also like me, you wind up with numerous duplicates in your iPhoto, Aperture, or Adobe Lightroom libraries. How can you rid your bloated libraries of dupes? I know I don’t want to go through manually and do it! Enter PhotoSweeper from Overmacs.


PhotoSweeper is an app for your Mac that assists you in eliminating similar or duplicate photos. It will work with you iPhoto, Aperture, or Adobe Lightroom libraries, in addition to photos directly from your Mac’s hard drive.

You simply start the app up, drag and drop the folders you want to search for duplicates into the PhotoSweeper window, and the app will scan the selected areas to find out how many duplicates are in those folders or libraries.

The developer says PhotoSweeper is designed to be fast, and I have to agree. I used a copy of my iPhoto library that I had stored on a Firewire external drive. I had 9,454 “items” in my library. (Items can include photos or videos.) It took the app 8 minutes to scan in the library, then found 3,403 duplicates in just under 11 minutes. I was impressed. I can’t imagine how long it would have taken me to find those manually. If I ever could have!

The comparison setting are quite flexible, and allow you to compare by varying categories. They are: Bitmap, Histogram, Time Interval, Time +Bitmap, Time+Histogram and Duplicates Only. I used Duplicates only in my testing. I had 3,403 duplicates. I REALLY need to take more care in what I import into my iPhoto library!

After getting your results, you can place the photos into a virtual “Box”. in there you can delete, move, or copy photos from the Box. You can even bulk rename photos when you’re copying or moving.

The built in photo browser is great, it loads thumbnails quickly, and allows Quick Look preview. The “Image Info” panel shows great, detailed information about the photo, including metadata.

I love the user manual that’s included in the Help menu, came in handy a couple of times.


If you’re a photographer, amateur or professional, PhotoSweeper could be a handy tool to have in your camera bag. Especially at $9.99.

The program runs smoothly, and quickly, finding duplicates quickly and efficiently. The “Box” feature allows you to work with the duplicates, not just delete them. The image info panel is a handy feature.


Price: $9.99 in the Mac App Store – (Direct Link)

What I liked:

  • Easy to use, and fast.
  • The drag and drop for adding photos or folders you want to compare is great.
  • The comparison settings are flexible.

What I’d like to see:

  • An animated tutorial.