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PhotoSweeper from Overmacs is an essential space saver and photo tidy-up utility for both professionals and home users alike. PhotoSweeper examines your photos to find similar images, allowing you quickly sort through and choose the best. You end up with a leaner and more compact Photo Library, with only your choice of best shots left. It’s a single function app, and it’s good at what it does.

This week, we’re giving away 25 copies of PhotoSweeper for OS X, valued at $250. Read more to explore the app and join the giveaway.


PhotoSweeper has full support for Apple’s iPhoto or Aperture, and Adobe Lightroom – as well as being able to work natively with any set of photos or folders directly from your hard drive. This makes it suitable for all levels of users, regardless of the particular photo management application you favor.

Finding Similar Images

Once you’ve taken your photos, you can drag the files or folders directly into the main interface of PhotoSweeper; or you can use the standard OSX media browser dialog by pointing it in the direction of your iPhoto, Aperture or Lightroom library. One thing you can’t do however is to directly drag files from iPhoto to PhotoSweeper – you must go via the media browser. This is a limitation of iPhoto though because of the way it stores photographs in a database rather than flat filing system, so I can’t fault Overmacs for this.

photosweeper review

After adding your source photos, you can adjust the comparison algorithm on the left. By default, the app will compare both time of the shot and a histogram colour profile. You can adjust exactness of match too; drag the slider left to accept more partial matches and therefore find more “similar” images. The defaults work well for me.


photosweeper review

Comparing Images

With your source photos added, click Compare to begin analysing and finding duplicates. There are two ways to view the results, the first being Face-to-Face. In this mode, two photos are presented, and you quickly scan through other pairs with the left and right keys. Some text in the center displays pairs you are comparing, such as “3 and 4 of 4”.

photosweeper review

Personally, I prefer the Group List. This view groups duplicates and shows them all at once – if you have more than two photos in each duplicate group, this is much easier to identify which ones to keep.

photosweeper review

In either mode, you select which images to discard by highlighting the image and pressing the enter key. This places them into “the box”. The number of images and space that will be saved is shown.

photosweeper review

Cleaning Up

Double click on the box to view everything you’ve chosen to discard. From here you can take the appropriate action.

Most likely, you’ll want to just nuke the duplicates. Hit Command-A to select all, then trash them. If you were using the media browser to import images from iPhoto or other apps, PhotoSweeper will then interface with the app and delete the images for you; if the app has a built-in trash folder like iPhoto does, you’ll need to manually empty that afterwards yourself. The other options means you can theoretically reverse the function of the app – by using it to choose only the best shots, which you then copy or move to your archive directory.

PhotoSweeper won’t be useful for everyone, but if you tend to take lots of visually similar images then it’ll certainly come in handy: even a single iPhone image nowadays weighs in at 2-3MB, so the space saved can be immense.

Try PhotoSweeper our for free by downloading the demo version from their website. PhotoSweeper is available for $9.99 from the Mac App Store. A Lite version is also available, and that will set you back $3.99.

We’re giving away 25 free copies of the full version and here’s how to grab one.

How do I win a copy of PhotoSweeper for OS X?

It’s simple, just follow the instructions. You may exchange your MakeUseOf points for an entry into the competition. It’s really simple: create a MakeUseOf account, earn points and exchange your points for an entry!

The giveaway is over. Here are the winners:
  • Ajarn Donald
  • Akshay Lakhmani
  • Alan Trinder
  • Auggie Torres
  • Barry Schapiro
  • Becky Bowman
  • Bud
  • Cathryn Polmann
  • Christine Satchell
  • Conrad Driggers
  • David
  • Gil Salazar
  • Josh Sheffield
  • Larry Jenkins
  • Larry Morris
  • Les Siewert
  • M Hazim
  • Rigoberto Garcia
  • Roger Ashcraft
  • Shakirah
  • Shirley Desbiens
  • Stan Lubiak
  • Umit Bicim
  • Valerie Harris
  • Xeon

Congratulations! If you were selected as a winner, you would have received your license via email from If you require any assistance, please get in touch with before July 18. Enquires beyond this date will not be entertained.

Alternative entry method – Step 1: Fill in the giveaway form

Please fill in the form with your real name and email address so that we can get in touch if you are chosen as a winner. Click here if you can’t view the form.

The giveaway code required to activate the form is available from our Facebook page, our Twitter stream and Google+ page.

Fill out my online form.

Step 2: Share!

You’re almost done. Now, all that’s left to do is to share the post! Use the social sharing buttons below the post to share this giveaway with your friends!

Double your chances to win by following us on Twitter! We’ll be hosting the this giveaway on our Twitter stream as well! Find out more by following us.

This giveaway begins now and ends Friday, July 13th. The winners will be selected at random and informed via email.

Spread the word to your friends and have fun!

Interested in sponsoring a giveaway? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with us via the form at the bottom of this page.

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  1. Victor Cesto
    August 1, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Nice tool, lets try it on my Mac.

  2. Andrea Galli
    July 11, 2012 at 8:40 am

    Thanks for the giveaway. That would be great to have with the gazillion pictures stored into iPhoto.

  3. Muhammad Ahmad
    July 10, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    MakeUseOf is the best site, I really appreciate MakeUseOf team efforts

    • Tina
      July 11, 2012 at 12:01 pm

      Thanks for the encouragement, Muhammad!

  4. Overmacs Team
    July 9, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Thanks for the great detailed review.

    Just some notes: in the latest version (1.7.0) you can avoid usage of the Media Browser and simply drag and drop your library file (or a folder with your library) directly to the Browser, but still the Media Browser is the convenient way to see the whole library structure or drag only specific albums or events.

    Other feature which we added in this version is the Info panel; it displays extended information about a selected photo such as a histogram, EXIF tags and so on. We hope you enjoy it.