Accessing Images in iCloud

It appears that DxO PL4 can’t access images in my iCloud library. On my iMac Pro I can’t even see the iCloud Drive. On my MBP16 I see two (non-functional) Archives. The images have been downloaded to the Macs so this is not a “cloud” access - just like the Finder, the iCloud Drive is visible and can be accessed by other applications (i.e., COP 21, Raw Power, etc.). Any reason for this? In the Mac world iCloud Drive is very useful.


I just went to my iCloud Drive in Finder, right-clicked on a file and chose Open with… | PhotoLab 4 and it opened the file and edited it no problem, leaving a dop file next to the original on the iCloud Drive.

So, it appears that PL4 has no problem working with an iCloud Drive, it’s simply that you can’t see it in the Library list?

Thanks for the reply. I remember what is going on now. Apple uses some programming sleight of hand to make the iCloud folder look like a drive that shows up in the finder as an icon. In fact, it is located at: User/Library/Mobile Documents/iCloud Drive. When you select a file or files in iCloud and right-click to open in PL4, that’s where it gets the images. The only problem here is that other image editors (Raw Power, COP21, Preview, etc) understand this and show the iCloud Drive just like the Finder does. I think DxO PL4 should do this as well.

Thanks again.

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Hi David @HamsterDR,

I’ve tried creating an alias on “User/Library/Mobile Documents” (I don’t see the /iCloud Drive that you indicate above - I’m on Catalina) in Desktop.

I see it within PhotoLab but clicking inside I see a lot of subfolders which may be hidden in Finder.
Obviously I can then go to the folder where are the images but it’s quite confused…

Perhaps it could be a workaround for you?

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It seems like PL doesn’t always “see” files which are in an iCloud Drive folder but not currently stored on the machine. If you use “Open with” finder will download the file and PL shows it with no issue.

But according to my tests it is not 100% consistent, e. g. in “Desktop” if I choose “remove download” in Finder (which means the file is still in iCloud Drive but currently not stored locally) it vanishes immediately from PL file browser. But if I do the same in a subfolder of “Desktop” PL still shows the image. Strange.

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I have an Apple Developer friend who has suggested that it may be because PL4 is a cross-platform app, so it doesn’t use Mac-APIs to access the file system. I don’t think DxO really understands this issue as they told me that they show all the folders in “Favorites” but if iCloud is in favorites it still doesn’t show up.

Other apps use the Mac APIs and it works fine. DxO should also.


This is a very common issue with many cross platform apps because those file access APIs don’t speak iCloud. I have a couple cross platform apps that act the same way and need to use a “standard” folder and use an Automator action to update the iCloud files.

I ran into this issue, and the solution seems to be to include the Documents folder as part of your iCloud backup (Settings>iCloud>iCloud Drive Options>Desktop & Documents folders) and then put your Images directory in there. Works great with PL5 (so far!)

(I moved a bunch of stuff that I didn’t need in iCloud off my Desktop and out of my Documents folder into a second “docs” folder first)

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Wow you read my mind and actually asked the exact question I googled just earlier today …

Welcome friend !