Double import problem into PhotoLab 7 photolibrary

With PL7 (on Mac), when using the photolibrary to drag 1 or more images from a SD card or another device to import into a local folder I now get a strange double import where two of the same file appear in the destination photolibrary folder listing.

When checking the actual folder in the desktop finder, only one version of the file actually exists yet (again) two are listed in the PL7 photolibrary.

When one of these images is deleted from the photolibrary listing the duplicate turns into a question mark and cannot be removed except by exiting the application and relaunching. Upon relaunch the file is just gone automatically.

PL6 works as normal and only one version of the file appears in both the PL6 photolibrary and desktop finder listings.

Tested on latest versions of both PL 6 & PL7 on macOS 14.


Welcome to the user forum, Harry.

I cannot explain why this is occurring for you (I’m not a Mac user) - but I can provide some insight as to what’s happening;

  • For some reason, PL reckons there’s more than one version of corrections applied to the same image.

  • So, it deems one of them to be the "M"aster version and any other versions (there could be more than one) to be Virtual copies - each different one identified with a unique number … Like this;

  • To get rid of unwanted Virtual Copies - delete the numbered versions - NOT the "M"aster copy … else you will be deleting the actual image/file.

Hello and welcome!
I’ve tried this several times know but I’m unable to replicate your trouble.

The folder you drag the new images to, where is that located?
On desktop, in Pictures folder or on a manually set and dedicated location?
Could you attach a screen shot of the photolibrary showing the duplicates?
If you open that physical folder on disk and press:
Can you see any additional files that previously was invisible?

The folder you drag the new images to, where is that located?
On desktop, in Pictures folder or on a manually set and dedicated location?

Seems to happen when dragging file/s to another device. eg External SD card to desktop folder.

Could you attach a screen shot of the photolibrary showing the duplicates?

See some screenshots below.

I created a new folder on the desktop called ‘temp’ and dragged into it a single random image file from the external SD card called ‘Untitled’.

The first screenshot shows the duplicates and the second shows the question mark icon when one of the duplicates is deleted via right-click → ‘Remove…’

Again, I have to quit and relaunch PL7 to remove the mysterious question mark file.

If you open that physical folder on disk and press:
Can you see any additional files that previously was invisible?


Hi John, thanks for the feedback but my problem is at the import stage.

I like using Photolab’s PhotoLibrary to preview my RAW files directly on the SD card then copy selected images to appropriate local work folders.

If I use PL7’s photo library to move a file from one folder to another on the same device, no problems. The file just moves from one folder to the other fine.

Now for example, if I try to move a file from an external drive (like a camera SD memory card) to a local desktop folder, then it copies it. Checking with Finder (Mac’s version of File Explorer), I see a single copy in both the source folder and destination folder but within the PL7 interface I see two copies, neither with a "M"aster signifier. This is before any corrections, I have even tested this with the ‘Auto-apply Presets’ setting set to ‘No Correction’.

If I then create a virtual copy from one of the duplicates then the “M” symbol appears only on the selected image but not it’s doppelgänger. btw with a virtual copy created, things get even stranger when I click on a another folder (in the PL7 PhotoLibrary) and return, suddenly the other doppelgänger has a “M” symbol and extra virtual copies appear! If I go back and forth, more virtual copies automatically appear! Haven’t tested the limit of this but it seems to create more virtual copies exponentially.

Again none of this happens in PL6.

That’s significant, Harry - - If neither has a "M"aster identify then that means that PL is seeing the images as being uniquely different … which must mean that it’s combining both the SD folder and the destination folder into what you’re seeing in PL’s PhotoLibrary.

  • To confirm this, try doing a Move (instead of a copy) - and then, if my assertion is correct, you should see only one version of the image in PhotoLibrary.

I suggest you report these findings to DxO Support, if you haven’t done so already … 'cos it looks like a PL7 bug to me.

Thanks for the detailed reply.

Do you have iCloud Drive syncing your Desktop and Documents folder?

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Reported yesterday.

My replies to this forum seem to take 3 days to approve so after not being able to interact with the forum I ended up reporting it.

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No I don’t use iCloud to sync folders.

Again, it seems my replies to this forum take 3 days to approve.

This particular reply is 1 hour after yours so see how we go, this might be quite a protracted conversation :wink:

@harryscollar , this is your first post and as a new user in the forum, your posts are monitored and other limits exist too.

To get promoted, it helps to read other posts, drop an occasional answer (supposing you can contribute to the respective subjects) in order be able to post with less limits.

@harryscollar - I urge you to try this …

Your finding will help inform DxO’s support team.

The long approval is probably because you are new to the forum. Normally it’s as fast as expected-

Thanks :+1:

Makes sense since I have over recently jumped onboard with PL6 last year.

This definitely seems a bug to me, problem manifests itself on Intel and M1 Sonoma machines here.

Hopefully the DxO team can fix.

At the moment PL6 works fine for me.

[quote=“John-M, post:11, topic:35083, full:true”]
@harryscollar - I urge you to try this …

Maybe things work differently on Windows but on macOS there is no option to select whether you copy or move a file within PhotoLibrary. Right-clicking the file or selecting a file and checking the PL7 Edit menu gives no choice of either.

It seems to be a matter of context. If the file is dragged around the various folders on the same device then it is moved, if moved between devices it is copied. When I say different devices, I also imply different hard drives.

When dragging a file from outside the PL6/7 interface (ie from the desktop) into it makes the PhotoLibrary display the original source directory without actually moving or copying.

Making the PhotoLibrary function more like macOS Finder or Windows File Explorer might be a nice enhancement though.

I like using PhotoLab for previewing images beforehand because it a lot quicker at presenting thumbnail previews than using Finder. RAW files in particular are very quick.

It doesn’t matter which tool you use to move the file (from folder on SD) - - just that you Move instead of Copy … Then check the result in PhotoLibrary.

Note that very few “experienced” PL users use PL for culling/previewing … it’s not well suited to that task.

PhotoLab has no special provision for this, but macOS has.

Drag and drop works two ways

  • on the same volume, it’s a move
  • between different volumes, it’s copy

Hold the option key while you drag and drop to switch functionality to copy instead of move or move instead of copy. This also works when you drag an image to a different folder in DPL’s PhotoLibrary sidebar (also called the source browser). Careful when you do this, because DPL’s sidebar can show things that aren’t as they appear: An image I moved to the desktop and copied back to the source folder did appear in DPL as absent in the source folder, but double on desktop, which was not the case when I checked with the Finder. Seems that DPL doesn’t update its views in real time.

It seems it does.

Within Photolibrary, when I hold down command while dragging from the external drive to the local drive it actually moves instead of copying. Not that handy for me because I prefer to keep a copy the SD card but it does not create a weird duplicate file.

Also, again in PhotoLibrary, I noticed when copying (not moving) the file from the external drive it makes that file disappear from the file listing, yet it still exists on the SD card. The only way to get it back is to right-click on the SD card and select ‘Index a folder’, and then the thumbnail reappears.

Definitely some strange things happening with the file management within the PhotoLibrary of PL7.

Perhaps not but it suits my workflow and as mentioned works very well.

By using Photolibrary to preview my images directly on the SD card, I can see straight away which images I prefer to keep and quickly copy them to a suitable work folder for further processing.

I agree it can be done by switching back and forth between PL7 and the OS but it’s just quicker (for me) to just do it all in the application, particularly since it works so well in PL6.

Had noticed that too.

@CaptainPO , can you hand it over to your folks for a closer view of that unexpected pattern?

That’s not what I meant - but, if you’re happy using PL then that’s fine.

Have you tested this yet ? … If not then you’re not doing much to help in solving your problem.