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Is this a "must remove?"


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I bought an phot duplication removal app and it showed up as "PUP" during the scan today. I had used the program before and I did not notice that it had been flagged. Is this something that I need to remove?

 Thanks!

Screen Shot 2022-02-15 at 6.49.14 PM.jpg

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It's not a "must remove" but you need to fully understand a couple of things for you to decide for yourself:

See https://blog.malwarebytes.com/101/2016/02/how-to-avoid-potentially-unwanted-programs/ for a description of a PUP.

The apps are two of the SysTweak family of unwanted programs. They pretend to be a helpful tool on your computer in order to allegedly motivate you into buying its full version. It is very likely that you may experience interruptions and slow-downs in terms of the performance of your computer. Furthermore, with SysTweak PUP you may also occasionally see pop-ups next to your Desktop clock that ask you to buy the full version of the questionable software. Not only this, but SysTweak programs are have a low-reputation.

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  • Staff

Just for some more information, the company behind this goes by many names: SysTweak, PCVARK, Innovis ThinkLabs, etc. They are one of the most prolific makers on Mac of programs that we identify as "potentially unwanted programs" (PUPs), and have actually made something we identify as malware. (The malicious software was something that hijacked macOS functionality as a means for redirecting the user to a scam site.)

As another data point, this company is the only PUP vendor I'm aware of who has actually had some of their programs blocked by Apple at the system level. It's rather ironic to me, though, that Apple has blocked some of their apps but still allows some of their other apps on the App Store.

Although these apps are categorized as PUPs by Malwarebytes, and thus would not technically be something that we can way are "must remove" items, I personally would recommend strongly against using any software made by this company.

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So it sounds like I was one of the naive buyers because I have used it over time -- and no, it does not do a great job.  

Is there a program that WILL remove duplicate photos in Mac Photos? I have 35000 photos and I KNOW there are lots of dupes.

Thank you -- I will remove the Duplicate Photo Fixer now!

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  • Staff

Yeah, that's the problem... there are lots of folks who look for this kind of thing, and these apps are often the first people find, but they don't work that well.

Unfortunately, I don't have a good recommendation. I suspect that all such apps only work well if the photos are identical, but if you've multiple copies of a photo in different formats (RAW, JPEG, HEIC, etc), or if you've got copies that have been scaled, cropped, or otherwise modified, I suspect there's nothing that can do a perfect job of finding them.

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