Is Essential v3 needed alongside Elite v3

I have both DxO PhotoLab Essential and Elite editions, version 2 of each. The price to upgrade both to version 3 is $99.99. The price to upgrade the Elite version only is $69.99.

I began with DxO PhotoLab by purchasing the Elite version and later upgrading to version 2. Later, I recall purchasing the Essential version after purchasing Nik Collection 2, to get the Nik IDE integration, since the Essential version included in the Nik Collection installation program didn’t install (not sure why). Since the Nik Collection version hasn’t changed (still version 2), is there a benefit (or need) to upgrading the Essential version if I simply upgrade the Elite version? I’m on Windows 10 Pro, version 1903.


Hi, Brian. I’m not sure I understand what you experienced - but if you have the Elite version of PhotoLab, there’s no need to add the Essentials version. They’re the same software - just different activation codes (license keys). The Elite activation code enables all the features of the program, while the Essentials activation code only makes certain parts available for use. If you have the Elite edition already installed and activated, I imagine that trying to install the software on top of itself again with an Essentials code won’t work without warnings or errors. (Installing them on separate computers is another matter.) Regardless - you don’t need to be concerned with the Essentials edition if you already have the Elite edition. So just upgrade the Elite edition. :slight_smile:

PS: per DxO’s FAQ: “You can activate your DxO PhotoLab 3 software on 2 computers (Mac and/or PC) with the ESSENTIAL edition, and on 3 computers with the ELITE edition”

My understanding is the same, the software is the same for both Elite and Essential. You activate the Elite version with an activation code specific to it. But there is no other download as far as I know.
So I am surprised that you have an Elite version and and Essential version - how can that be?

The DxO’s marketing policy is an horror.
You have two licences.

  • A free essential licence
  • A Elite version, that you purchased
    You must upadated this last only and Nik will work right.


I have both because I explicitly purchased each. I probably should have gone to DxO Support when the Essential version that came with the Nik Collection didn’t install. I do remember checking this forum to see if anyone else had this problem, and no one had reported it. So I figured my Windows 7 machine (at the time) was just messed up. Didn’t want to spend the time troubleshooting!

Thanks Greg.

Good morning,

Brian, @Egregius is absolutely correct - if you have an Elite edition you do not need to upgrade Essential (I’m really puzzled why you bought Essential if you’ve already got Elite). So if you want to upgrade to PL3 just upgrade your Elite version.

Svetlana G.