DXO refuses to activate older software (all paid for but now useless)

Quite possibly in the wrong area but have any of you run in to the problem where DXO refuses to allow activation of slightly older (paid) programs from one platform to another?
I needed to upgrade my platform to accommodate more ram (for other programs) but when I removed DXO11 from my older platform, I could not re install into my new platform and DXO customer service refused to activate my copy of DXO11 (and FP4, VP) as, paraphrased, “they wanted to ensure customer service…???” but would gladly accept money for an upgrade.
I found this unethical and arrogant and refused. I now use Phocus for most adjustments and some that the DXO11 lacked (color wheel) but miss my FP. Have any of you also been refused activation of software that you (obviously) paid for?

It seems to me that you were quoted this article:

I’ve never heard of a perpetual license not really being perpetual, but here it is in writing. Outrageous IMO. I suggest you escalate your request to the support manager if you haven’t already to see if he will grant your reactivation request even if your new platform isn’t officially supported. And read the terms of the original license agreement if you can.

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Welcome to the forum @frombeeton

We might not be able to really solve the problem, but a few preliminary questions (and mostly the answers) could possibly help to work around your issue.

  1. Have you reached the installation limit with Optics Pro?
  2. Have you tried to install FilmPack as a standalone app?

The only issue I have had is if the software is an older version of something that I have upgraded to a newer version. Quite rightly the upgrade price I paid for the new version meant that I no longer owned the old version and I could not reinstall the old version without it taking one of my numbered “installs” of the new version.

You quoted part of the Lifetime License. I followed the link and read the part after the “…”. Not everyone will do this, so I thought I would highlight the phrase I assume you were referring to:

This license will continue to work with the cameras, operating systems, and third-party software products which are listed as supported by this version. This will continue into the foreseeable future unless or until it becomes necessary to discontinue support in order to maintain the high quality of our technical support for our current products and versions.

The second sentence is key: It’s not a perpetual license–it is a “lifetime” license , where the “lifetime” is determined by DxO. This is not good.

I understand that there comes a point at which a simply program won’t run because the hardware and system software it depends on is no longer available, but that’s different from refusing to activate a license simply because DxO has decided they no longer want to support an old product.

Of course, perpetual licenses for products are at best perpetual only as long as the company that runs the activation process exists and you don’t ever try to move the code to a new machine. This will eventually become a major problem for historians.

One could allow activation without giving support. :man_shrugging:

Things have been lost through the centuries and only hardcopies can provide some future.

The issue for historians (and eventually, archaeologists) is far worse than what you state. Eg, see: Digital books wear out faster than physical books . Physical records, including books and scrolls, as well as photographs from the epoch of the USA Civil War, can be used today and into the future provided these are not mechanically destroyed and the human written language is still known (“ancient” Egyptian as well as Greek Linear B were lost but eventually deciphered). Because both the hardware and software is either replaced by subsequent technology or is intellectual property without any form of public record archive, the ability to “read” the data readily is lost.

Sorry, and forgive the digression, but I couldn’t help but smile when I read that US centric take on ‘old’. On this side of the pond the 1860s wouldn’t be considered all that long ago at all :smiley:

I take your point though and digital ‘rot’ is already a real problem. Only a few weeks ago I wanted to retrieve data from a 720 KB 3.5 inch floppy disk dating from the early 1990s. I managed it in the end but only because I’m a bit of a hoarder and I still have a functioning Win 98 PC.


Digital records need to be refreshed every few years in order to keep them readable/usable when technologies evolve. Imagine financial companies that have to keep records for 100 years due to laws and regulations…and archeologists discovering floppy disks that must have been attributes to some religious rites a few millennia ago. :exploding_head:

Irrespective of which side of the pond (or even much older civilisations in Asia), photography was invented in the 1800s AD – History of Photography with the bulk of the surviving images using old technology (by the standards of even current emulsion based photography, let alone digital) at or shortly before the time of the USA Civil War. Except for images made on an unstable substrate (eg, nitrocellulose) or self-deteriorting chemistry (eg, fading), most such surviving images can be seen today. This is not true of digital images, and in particular proprietary intellectual property encodings/formats. As for still using a MS Windows 98 operating environment, the issues are not just incompatibility with current or recent applications, but with vulnerabilities and compromises. Security updates against recent/current threats are not available – if your machine is connected to the Internet (even via a telephone modem), it could be attacked and thereby used for inappropriate (and even illegal) purposes.

Exactly. What is DxO’s problem with allowing activations for unsupported products?

I apologize to @frombeeton for my off-hand comment about problems for historians. I appear to have inspired a thread hijack from a discussion of DxO’s activation policy for older software to a discussion on the many problems that future historians will have with vanished digital data.

This is a very contentious subject, but I wonder how long we should reasonably expect software companies to support old versions of software that develop an issue and no longer will run. Five years? Ten years? Twenty years? I could be wrong but I have a feeling that most companies won’t provide much if any support for very old versions of their software if an end user is unable to use it or install it on a new computer. As an example, will Adobe still provide support for PhotoShop CS2 from 2005?

It seems there may be some difference of opinion between the purchase of a perpetual license and ongoing support for it. To me, a perpetual software license means its use is not limited by time like a subscription, but I’m not certain it also means that ongoing support for the software is also perpetual.


We have to differentiate between an app being supported (or not) and an app being willfully decommissioned.

I can still use my T42 notebook with Windows XP, but I cannot expect Microsoft to provide patches and support for XP, because it is way past its published end of support life date.

This page lists the compatibility of DxO apps, not their support status!

This page lists support status…even though the side is in a “compatibility” section of the support site…

Imo, DxO should

  1. publish end-of support-life information
  2. teach their support personnel to distinguish between compatibility and support.

If, as I get the feeling from what I read here and in other threads, support life equals to what the compatibility matrix says, perpetual corresponds to 3-4 years for PhotoLab…but we don’t get camera updated for PhotoLab 3, do we. So maybe, perpetual means 2 years?

According to DxO’s EULA, section 3, we get the following:

DxO may provide you Software Support during the Service Hours for a period of one year

ONE year!

Still: Denying installation is far from decent imo.


I apologise if I replied to your post on a subject that might not appear germane. HOWEVER, the vast majority of persons with whom I have communicated, including student clients, are not aware of this issue, somehow assuming that there either is a preservation agency, or that the “free market” will address the issue – meither will (most likely). Thus, it is critical to bring the matter to the attention of a group such as this (enthusiasts, dedicated amateurs, and working photographers).

Having worked professionally in software support, the difference between supporting an old product and keeping its license active is very clear in my mind - at least, it was. I understand DxO doesn’t have to fix a failure in the software (even in its license verification engine) on an unsupported platform. Nor does support need to be provided beyond EOL or EOSL. But the license key itself represents a paid-for right to use the software. To deny the right to even try to use the software on an unsupported platform is astonishing to me. It’s being considered another level of support besides sales/service/sustaining periods. Lifetime becomes very strangely defined. Smh


@frombeeton’s original post gives us a somewhat limited description of his communication with DxO support, but I am not suggesting he is incorrect. I wonder if this is a new policy since historically I don’t recall others posting similar issues. Perhaps this is specific to his situation. As an example, is it possible that he used up all the installations allowed by his license? Perhaps I am missing something and others are also now seeing similar examples of this. But if not, we probably should not be jumping to conclusions.

I can’t test this myself because all my versions of PhotoLab are upgrades except for PhotoLab 1. Since upgrades are specially priced versions essentially replacing the licensing of the version they are upgraded from, I wouldn’t expected previous versions to be installable on other machines. However, I would expect versions which were not upgraded to be installable on a separate computer unless all the licensed installs have been used.


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Mark, I found the policy in writing and linked to it above. It matches the experience described by the OP in the top post. It isn’t necessarily a rigid policy, but its existence appears to be factual.

Greg, I understand that. However, as you point out it is not necessarily a rigid policy. Since we don’t have access to any of the details, it would be interesting to understand DxO’s reasoning in this specific situation. Perhaps it is a policy change for older software versions once they have reached a certain age. OpticsPro 11 was released in fall 2016.


As @platypus mentioned, this is not about supporting the program, but about supporting the activation. It’s a problem I hadn’t considered. A software product that doesn’t require licensing can continue to be used as long as you can find a system to run it on. Such systems can be found or emulated. But because most activation schemes use some way of identifying the machine on which they have been activated, you can’t move paid-for software to a new system without the support of the licensing company.

If the company is out of business, you are screwed. In this case, though, it sounds as though DxO just doesn’t want to support an old activation system. The Lifetime License statement makes it clear that DxO can determine the “lifetime” of the product and can justify ending the “lifetime” license on the principle of they just don’t want to.

In theory, this only affects people who try to move their code to a new system–as long as you don’t need to re-activate, I don’t think you’re affected. If that’s true, then “…in order to maintain the high quality of our technical support for our current products and versions.” is clearly a bogus justification. DxO’s support burden would be no different whether the OP kept using DXO11 on his old machine or on a new machine.

It sounds as though the OP lost his “lifetime” license for DXO11 some time ago. He didn’t find this out until he tried to move the software to a new machine.