How to view photos on macOS – Best picture viewer apps for Mac


Almost all users migrated from Windows to macOS look at the standard photo viewing options with perplexity. After all, you can not just open and flip through the images – everywhere there are some incomprehensible nuances. In this article we will tell you how to work with navigation when viewing images with standard macOS tools, and also we will offer several options from third-party developers. 

View photos on macOS

In general, according to the idea of ​​developers from Apple, we all need to use the “Photos” application. But you, just like the rest of the majority, maybe just do not understand why you need to import something somewhere, create separate albums and run a separate application, if you can still see everything in the Explorer, where the files are manually sorted into folders.

Quick View, View and Finder

Opening an image in the Finder explorer starts the View application . You can not scroll through the photos in this way. There are two ways out of the situation: 

1.) Select all images in the Finder (use the Command (⌘) + A hotkeys ) and press the space bar on the keyboard. Surely you know that the spacebar starts the application ” Quick View ” (Quick View), which allows you to view almost any file without running the specialized programs with which they are associated. 
In “Quick View” you can switch photos by arrows. And if you press Command (⌘) + Enter (Return) in the Quick View mode , you can open previews of all selected images for quick navigation and switching between them.

2.) Select all or the images you want to view and start the slideshow mode . To do this, hold down the Alt key (Option ⎇) and open the File menu → Slide show of objects … or just remember the Command + (Alt + Option +) key combination . 

If you want to manually switch images, just put the slideshow on pause and use the arrows on the keyboard or the trackpad. And still there is a very convenient option ” Index-list ” (icon with squares). Clicking on it you can see the grid of all the images and quickly find and switch to the desired one.

If all described ways to solve the problem of viewing images by regular means you will seem too complicated, we suggest downloading and enjoying software from third-party developers.


Ultra-simple and minimalistic program that copes with viewing at 100%. Just associate all the image formats in it and double-clicking on any photo in the folder you can either using the arrows, or using the trackpad to navigate.

Many will like that all elements of the interface are hidden and the image opens almost to the whole screen (as QuickTime opens the video). Additional menu with information can be viewed by moving the cursor to the right edge of the window. Also, you’ll love turning or scaling photos with trackpad gestures.

LilyView without any problems even opens GIF-animation. And there is a built-in utility for monitoring smart bulbs Philips HUE. 

Hey photo viewer

Another quality viewer for macOS. Simple, intuitive, compact and quite user-friendly. There are also no functions for editing images (except for the possibility of a crop). Developers give the right to freeze the application for a month , and then they will offer to buy a license (cheap).

Download Hey (Mac App Store).


Justlooking photo viewer for mac

Little different than Hey viewer images. The main advantage – free and a wide tool for customizing the program for their needs. Very fast and convenient.

Download JustLooking (official site of the developer) .

Tell us About your favorite programs/apps or ways to view images on a Mac, Please make use of the comment Box.


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