Although we have QuickLook on macOS, which allows you to preview most file formats, either natively or with plug-ins, it still doesn’t replace a full photo viewer app. A while ago I made a comprehensive list of image viewer apps for Windows that offered a wide variety of apps for each use case. If you use a Mac and want a decent photo viewer app, here are some of the best image viewer apps for Mac. Let’s check them out.
Before we start
Accessing QuickLook is extremely convenient and you can preview any image by selecting an image and pressing the space bar on the keyboard. You can then use the arrow keys to navigate to the folder and preview other images. Alternatively, you can also use the Preview app to browse photos on Mac by pressing CMD + SHIFT + P on any image.
Pixea is a minimalist image viewer for macOS It offers a clean user interface and allows you to focus on the photo instead of the bezels and controls. It is designed to be efficient and implements keyboard shortcuts so you can quickly navigate through images. Keyboard shortcuts allow you to scroll through images, zoom in / out, rotate, present slides, and more. The application supports most file formats and even less conventional ones like PSD, RAW, HEIC, etc. You can even use Pixea to convert your existing images to modern web-optimized formats like JPEG-2000, TIFF, etc.
The only limitation of using Pixea is that you have to manually drag and drop the image folders into the app. Other than that, the app works great. You can find this application in the App Store for free.
Get Pixea for macOS (free, App Store)
The file management system in macOS is not designed for advanced users who work with a large number of image files. The desktop becomes a mess after a while and finding the screenshot you captured three days ago becomes almost impossible. That’s where PicArrange comes in. It allows you to organize and sort images based on date, name, or even image color. The sorting by color is very helpful in situations where you want similar images in one place and the application allows you to do it with one click.
Another impressive feature of this image viewer app for Mac is that it can go through multiple directories at once, allowing you to find and remove duplicate images. You can get PicArrange on the App Store for free.
Get PicArrange for macOS (free, App Store)
Phiewer is a photo viewer app for macOS that can probably parse any image file format you can throw at it. It supports more than fifty different image formats and also supports audio and video files. The user interface is streamlined and supports keyboard controls as well as multimedia slideshow options. On top of that, you get quick information for each image in the side toolbar that you are previewing. It’s a small function, but it comes in handy when you have to go through a lot of images.
Phiewer is free to download on the App Store, but it also offers a Pro version for $ 5 that gives you additional features like filters, effects, and tweaks.
Get Phiewer for macOS (free, App Store)
Xee is a well-designed Mac image viewer that integrates seamlessly with the operating system. The application window automatically adjusts to each image so that the window does not take up unnecessary space and even if you rotate an image or search for a different size image, the resizing of the window is quite smooth. Displays a detailed panel on the right that shows all the image parameters, such as image properties, file path, size, composite properties, and more.
Xee makes sense if your workflow includes images or photos and requires full details on each file. The app is paid and would cost you $ 3.99, but you can get a 30-day free trial to get started.
Get Xee3 for macOS (free trial, $ 3.99)
XnView is a photo editor and organizer that works great for Windows too. That supports more than 500 image formats more audio and video formats. The application allows you rename a batch of files which greatly improves your workflow. You can even use basic editing tools to crop, resize, rotate, and add tons of effects.
XnView also supports EXIF, IPTC, XMP metadata which can be useful if you are working with those files. XnView is a paid app, but you can get a full license for free if you use it for private use.
Get XnView for macOS (free, $ 29.99)
ApolloOne is a well optimized photo viewer that efficiently uses Core Image Graphics to improve the fluidity of the application. Makes the app feel smoother and loads files faster. The application also allows you to open RAW files without problems. You can not only view the metadata, but also modify it which makes it very useful. You can even add location, Spotlight data, and EXIF keywords to speed up your image search.
ApolloOne is a free app on the App Store that offers in-app purchases.
Get ApolloOne for macOS (free in-app purchases)
Lyn is a lightweight image viewer application for Mac designed for graphic and web designers. It offers a number of exclusive features such as non-destructive editing which allows you to make changes to an image without altering the original. The application offers metadata editing, geotagging, color correction, and compatibility with your Lightroom libraries. The editor has a dedicated inspector for editing Color, Histogram, Exposure, Black & White, Sepia, Vignette, HDR, Curves, Levels, and Film Grain.
Lyn is a paid app that costs around $ 19.99 and you can get a 15-day free trial.
Get Lyn for macOS (free trial, $ 19.99)
What is your favorite image viewer for macOS?
These were some of the best image viewer apps for macOS that you can get. From the most basic to the most advanced, you can find an application that suits your needs. Pixea is a great replacement for the native app, PicArrange is better for sorting images by color and finding duplicates, and Lyn lets you edit without altering the original. Let me know if you have a better suggestion that is not mentioned in the list.
Read also: Extend the life of your MacBook with these battery saver apps