*Instructions* to remove an old version of PhotoLab please

I know I’ve brought this up before but could not find it with a search.

Can we please have explicit instructions on what to remove when trying to get rid of an old version of PhotoLab?

I have various tools that will search out “related” files on disk but looking at these that Hazel found, only two are clearly related to PL4. The others may be applicable to PL5 which I very much want to keep working.

The FilmPack 5 files (not visible here) are only two and obviously related to v5, so that one is easy.

PLEASE can we have explicit instructions on what can/should be removed and what should not be removed. Or better yet… an uninstaller.

This has been a long standing problem. I use Revo Uninstaller Pro on Windows and it finds and in just safe mode gets rid of one hell of a lot of stuff when changing PL versions. The uninstaller in PL should give the option of removing all the crud or keeping crash dumps, database files (though of what use they could be if you are removing the version relating to them is beyond me. I started doing this after I found 100’s Mb of 3 or 4 versions’ left behind. I find DxO one of the worst for clean uninstalls what they leave behind poor. Its bad enough that they don’t label there install programs with which version they are installing (after doing so for a short time)but they doggedly keep a very poor uninstaller.

But we are talking about working on a Mac, where uninstaller are rare because most apps are held in an “app bundle”, which looks like the app but is, in fact, a special type of folder with all sorts of sub-folders and resources. All you need to do is delete the app bundle. Here is some of what the PL4.app bundle contains…

Apart from that, PL4 also uses…

  • ~/Library/DxO PhotoLab v4 - for its modules, presets, database, etc
  • ~/Library/Application Support/DxO PhotoLab v4 for workspaces, etc
  • ~/Library/Preferences for a couple of .plist files.

If DxO only fallowed the usual Mac install you would have it easy, no wonder there so few uninstallers’. On Windows poor uninstalling is very common (though PL is worse than most) but as I thought DxO started on the Mac I am surprised they are as bad there

To be fair, using ~/Library folders is normal behaviour for Mac apps. The app bundle should be reserved for static resources.

The problem here is while applications like Hazel know how to look at the various ~/Library folders, I cannot pin some of those contents to a specific version of PL.

That is literally what I am asking for… what relates only to PL4?

Apart from the app bundle, just the two folders that have DxO PhotoLab v4 in their names, plus anything in ~/Library/Preferences that contain PhotoLab4 in their names.

The worst cluttering of Library / Preferences and other places to host app supporting files I experienced from Adobe, not to mention macromedia’s Flash crap. That really felt as a pollution and I waated to clean the drive as good as possible. Ever since, I keep my Mac 100% Adobe free

These days I simply think, what do I gain by deleting some kB or even MB of prefs or app suport “waste”? After deleting the main app, the biggest load is gone nd usually Mac OS is clever enough to not let those old fragments interfere with modern apps. When I need to free diskspace, I use SequoiaView to identify the biggest chunks like videos or audios no longer in use. At the moment I think to make a clean install of the new Mac Studio to get rid of the biggest slice of old bytes.

A search with EasyFind discovered the following:

/Library/Application Support/DxO Labs/Licenses/dxophotolab550.lic
/Users/testuser/Library/DxO PhotoLab v5
/Users/testuser/Library/Application Support/DxO PhotoLab v5
/Users/testuser/Library/Application Support/DxO Labs/LaunchAgents/photoLab5LaunchAgent
/Users/testuser/Library/Saved Application State/com.dxo.PhotoLab5.savedState


  • the things under /private/ belong to macOS and are usually off-limits
  • watch for custom presets, they are stored like shown by @RexBlock below

I’ve clean installed or downgraded my M1 MacBook Air a few times. I usually prep a reset by downloading the necessary firmware from Mr. Macintosh and using Apple Configurator 2 (needs a 2nd Mac) and DFU mode, which is a bit of a pain to get into.

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Be careful if you have any home-grown presets. Those are stored in

$HOME/Library/DxO PhotoLab v5/Presets

Migration from PL3-->PL4 and PL4-->PL5 seemed to preserve these pretty well and I’ve never noticed an issue with it. But if you clean an old version of PL before installing an upgrade, and you delete the ~/Library/DxO folder, you will lose your old presets.

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Not really related to the topic, and I apologise for the hijack … but …

Why would you need to do this? Were you having issues with the M1?

Yeah, that’s the first question coming into my mind, too. Necessary firmware? For a Mac???
Maybe we’re talking about different things: I got a Mac Studio and think about not using TimeMachine backups to transfer my iMac stuff to the new machine. I never needed to clean install any Mac since 2005.

…there, you have it…

…or maybe not…

…magic word being “needed”. we clean install for the good feeling, that lasts until the first third party app is installed :wink:

Example: Nik Collection 3 is not supported on macOS Monterey. A downgrade to macOS Big Sur will bring back the foundation for Nik3.
Other than such technical things, what do we really need anyway?

No, except for things mentioned above. Moreover, I occasionally support others with their Macs and experimenting with someone else’s devices is not what I do - unless I have to.

Ah ok thanks. I’m planning an M1 (or possibly M2) purchase for 4th quarter this year and your post started my mind wandering about potential issues. My current OS install (Big Sur) has been through several in-plce upgrades and I’ve wondered how much cruft is really left over.

Obsessive, yes.

…the new machines will come with Monterey or possibly with Ventura. They will not be able to run Big Sur, at least not without some extended magic.

If you get the new machine and don’t use Migration Assistant, you’ll start with a fairly clean setup after carefully copying over the things that you really want/need. Downside of a manual copy is to be found with keywords/keychain (not too much of an impact if you use iCloud for the keychain) and, most of all, Apple Mail, specially if you use a lot of smart mailboxes…

Well, we’re fairly off-topic now. If you want further info, contact me via private message.