The digital age has produced one very notable change in our personal habits. Photos. Where we once bought cameras, bought film, paid to process film, and paid to make prints, we carry a smartphone and that’s the camera most of us use.
That change brought about by the digital revolution means we all have tens of thousands of photos stuffed into Photos, and that means duplicates or near duplicates– similar photos– that we’d like to get rid of but why bother? Storage is cheap, but the clutter of dupes can be annoying. Here’s a way to find and delete such photo duplicates anyway.
Exact Dupes vs. Near Dupes
PhotoSweeper is a Mac Photos duplicate detector utility that you’re not likely to use everyday, but if you use it regularly, you end up with a well-organized photo library with far less clutter, fewer duplicates. What I really, truly, madly, deeply like about PhotoSweeper is not that it finds duplicate photos. A number of Mac apps do that.
What PhotoSweeper does that’s different is find photos which are similar to other photos in Photos or iPhoto, Lightroom or even Aperture.
That’s a problem in the digital age where our number one camera is a smartphone and taking a dozen photos in quick sequence still yields only one or two good ones. We’re left with dozens of photos which are nearly the same as the fewer good ones, but with only a tedious method to find and delete such photos.
PhotoSweeper sweeps Photos, iPhoto, Adobe Lightroom, and, if you’re still running Apple’s Aperture, that, too to find dupes and similar photos; then presents them to you in a convenient visual comparison grid so you can decided which to keep and which to flush.
The user interface is mostly self explanatory, but suffice it to say you get controls over how to differentiate dupes from similar photos.
PhotoSweeper doesn’t care much which photo file format you have, either. JPGs, RAW, even PDFs get scanned. As a photo browser, PhotoSweeper displays photo metadata information with preview options for photos and movies. Yes, movies.
Even if you’ve edited photos, which makes duplicates of the originals, PhotoSweeper can find those using the six different– and adjustable– comparison methods. Your originals can remain safe, too. PhotoSweeper saves selected delete files in a special collection until you decide to delete them.
If your Mac photo collection runs into the 10,000 or more number, you’ve likely got plenty of duplicate and near duplicate photos to prune. That’s what PhotoSweeper does, and it does it fast. You may not use it every week, but using it regularly gives you a better collection of photos.
It’s been a pleasure to use PhotoSweeper but there are some issues. I manage multiple Photos libraries (Option-Click when you click the Photos icon in the Dock to get a pop up dialog box to switch to or create another Photos library) and that makes finding dupes a bit more tedious, but it’s fast and works well.