Copied photos (in PhotoLab) have no edits, don't include tags/ratings etc...

WTF? I’m so glad I came across this issue whilst evaluating the trial. That said, I was set on purchasing a copy until I discovered this.

I’ve just purchased two 1TB SSDs to move my photos onto (they’re currently stored on my MacBook but I’m running out of room). I planned to use one drive to hold my photo library whilst editing, and the second as a backup of that drive.

First, I tried copying all the photos (RAWs) from my MacBook to the new drive, including all the .dop files that live alongside them. This is preferable as I trust finder not to screw up the transfer process more than a third-party application. I then open up PhotoLab and see that the number of photos is different, (most likely because my virtual copies weren’t included), and that my tags, ratings, even the edits weren’t transferred over??

I then read that copying inside PhotoLab is the recommended approach so that the application knows what’s going on. However, after trying that I have exactly the same issues. No colour tags, ratings, or edits.

This is honestly bizarre. I’ve invested a fair bit of time developing my photos in PhotoLab, just to find that I’m unable to move the photos anywhere. Isn’t this the point of the .dop files living right next to the image file? In my case, the idea of maintaining a backup drive is essentially pointless, as presumably PhotoLab isn’t smart enough identify the image file in its internal database if it’s moved?

It looks like this is a known issue since at least v5 (PL5: Moving files outside PL loses corrections and more)? Please can somebody enlighten me if I’m not following the correct procedure, or otherwise let me know if I’m wasting my time so that I can move on to some other software.

Welcome to the forum @tomfw

If you want to work your images on the external drive, you could proceed like this:

  • select an empty folder in DPL’s Photo Library sidebar
  • set DPL to automatically import sidecar files
  • quit DPL
  • rename DPL’s database files
  • restart DPL
  • index the photo archive on your external drive, select the archive’s root folder in order to make DPL index the full load.
  • wait until finished, it can take quite a while!

Now, things should look like on your old drive, including VCs, edits, metadata and search.

Hmm, I don’t know that




I am guessing you do know what it means, but if you are not a native English speaker and really don’t know, it is a common three letter acronym for an expletive. I would not feel comfortable going into greater detail about it here.


I’m not a native English speaker but I know perfectly what it means.
And that’s why I’ve written that, kind of « second degré ». :smile:

1 Like


That is what I thought, but I responded just in case. I am not thin skinned, but as a new member of this forum, I think it was inappropriate for @tomfw’s very first word to be an expletive.



Tested this with DPL 6.3.1 on macOS 12.6.3 on iMac 2019 and found that

  • edits moved along with the move (I used the default B&W preset)
  • star ratings and colour labels got lost in the process

After restarting DPL a few times, rating and colour tags moved along too.
Checked a few .dop files and found that some had no entries for rating and colour tags.