Keywords - Not shown when File folder is copied

I use DXO PL3 on a Win 10 desktop and on a windows 10 laptop. The problem is that when I add keywords to image files on one pc, they do not show up on image files (in the same file folder) on the other pc. I read the manual and cannot discover any clues to what might be causing this problem. Nor can I determine where the keywords are stored: xmp file? Some other file?

I did not see anything to set under Preferences.

Here is my configuration:

Desktop: DXO PL3 is on C drive, but file folders are on D drive or E drive, My Pictures\Download 2020

Laptop: DXO PL3 is on C drive and file folders are on C drive, My Pictures\Download2020

File folders are copied onto a portable external hard drive under Pictures\Download 2020

Any suggestions as to fixes needed will be appreciated.


The keywords created in PhotoLab are only stored in the database at this point, not in the sidecar files. Copying a raw file and its .dop file to another location will not include the keywords. However, If you export a raw file with keywords to a jpeg or tiff format, the keywords are included in the metadata of those exported files.


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Best option for now is create xmp files to accomplish the rawfiles. Connect by association in for example XNviewMP.
DxOPL reads those xmp files and the keywords are visible and stored in database.
Editing keywords in DPL is not yet written in xmp files or updating excisting xmp files.
As Mark wrote, when exported it’s written in iptc of jpeg and tiff.
So at this moment DxOPL can function as passthrough if you want a external storage of keywords.
The DAM functionality is evolving so in the future this behaviour will be modified and editing keywords inside DxOPL will not only updated in database but also in a sidecar file. Which type i don’t know.
XNviewMP is free and easy to use at the cost of a extra file in the folder per rawfile.

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Hello @Photoman43,

Mark is absolutely correct- the assigned keywords are stored only in DB until the image is processed.

Svetlana G.

Thanks for the responses. I will check my Jpegs and Tiffs to see if the keywords are there.

I guess this means if I work on two different platforms, I have to do keywording twice to make sure I get all of the needed keywords into a database before I make Tiffs and Jpegs.

And just where is the keyword database located? Can it be copied from my laptop to my desktop?

When I add Star ratings to images, same file folder, but on two different locations, when the file folder gets moved, laptop and desktop, as described above, the star ratings get moved too. (At least the original ratings get moved. I have not tested changed ratings.) Where do the star ratings get stored?

I create most of my keywords at the time on file ingest using Downloader Pro that adds the keywords to xmp files. The keywords so added do get transferred from laptop to desktop.

If I used Photo Mechanic would my keyword issue still be present? I think the answer is Yes.

Hello Joseph,

  • It’s because ratings, pick/reject, virtual copies etc are also stored in the sidecars (.dop files) and when you open the same folder on the other PC you have them visible.
  • Same with xmp, they are read on any machine, no matter you open it on your desktop or laptop.
  • Yes, DB can be backed up and restored on the other machine (though you will have to “fix image path” as disk IDs will be different):

And the location of your database you can see in Preferences (EDIT menu -> Preferences).

Svetlana G.

There’s only one solution for that keyword problem: add them directly to the raw file if possible. You’ve access to them in different converters and browsers.


Or, to avoid touching the actual RAW file, add/edit them in an XMP sidecar file, which most other image software can read.

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In my humble opinion, DxO should do a better job handling EXIF/IPTC metadata. Current Implementation is completely useless, since written metadata exported from DxO do NOT show up in othe image applications.
I had an issue when exporting the files, I also made a detailed analysis (use the great exif tool for yourself) and posted my issue. All i got was the reply “metadata handling is working as expected” and only was considered worth of future implementation.
Here’s my original issue description:

DxO Support, please seriously consider better IPTC/EXIF/metadata handling ensuring interoperability with other image applications, thanks! Shouldn’t it be possible to update one single metadata attribute upon export?

it’s is evolving at the moment.
The Dam and keywordhandling isn’t finished.
for this reason the keyword and IPTC editing is only visible in the exported files and inside the DataBase.
So only when you hit export image file it will transfer the metadata into the file in all other manners it stay’s in the DataBase.
for external xmp’s it only reads them not update them. (at this moment)

i am pritty sure they know and do.
Please be patient in this matter, most people’s opinion( customers not DxO) is that a DAM is a low priority for DxO usage and new improved toolset is on a higher level of interest.
And DxO is given them both at the time so they work hard to please you.
If you export 16bit tiff to adobe then they are embedded.

Just tested it: DxOPL has build in the associated files system. so deleting a file does delete the file the .dop and the associated xmp file. Which is great for this moment because i use a external application to produce xmp’s and run them though DxOPL, when i need to alter a keyword or setting i open the folder in explorer by DxOPL and i open that program(rightclick open with…) and change it, switch in DxOPL from folder and back and it’s updated.
Yes two screen helps to keep clear and not be confused.
So your system can work, a bit crippled. I use the DxO-DAM as a search function mostly and because it can export metadata in IPTC on tiff and jpeg it’s saves me the step doing it in my imagearchive DAM (sometimes some additional text but that’s it. tagging is already done at the start.)

I just checked again with latest version. The “Keywords” tag is not filled by DxO (neither jpg nor tif), which is used by quite a lot of image programs.
Maybe I originally was wrong assuming DxO would position Photolab as one stop solution for both image processing and DAM … in my opinion, they should stop positioning their keyword handling (as it is so incomplete) or invest a lot more in it.
Given current shortcomings, I’ll need to continue using Lightroom for DAM … even If i wanted DxO as my sole image processing solution.

In the file properties of the jpeg and tiff is the keywords stored. Not in the xmp…

There’re 2 sections that can be added to the file: iptc and xmp. When I remember well PL doesn’t write to the iptc section but only to the xmp section.
I use IrfanView and that shows the iptc section. Using windows file properties the iptc section is not shown.
Check out further for your self but keep in mind there are 2 sections in a file: iptc and xmp


Sorry, wrong, it reads xmp data to use for info in the database to accomplisch the exifdata that the rawfile has attached.
Only writing DxOPL can do at this moment is in the internal file propertish of jpegs and tiff it produces itself when you use the export function. So no metadata adding in tiff and jpegs you load into DxOPL.

Just test by using a rawfile make a tiff ( with returning in the same folder and then create a keyword in rawfile and tiff with the DxO keyword editor.
Create a jpeg from both with export button.
Look in the four images you only will see the keyword in the exported jpeg’s. Not in the Tiff from the empty export.

I’m referring to Henrik, neither jpg or tiff. I wouldn’t know about tiff, I didn’t try that.
I’ll make a tabel showing different steps. But it won’t be now.


I use a nef file, empty, no keywords.
Opened it in PL-------no keyword.
Add a keyword “pl keyword”. Saved as jpg and tiff. Examined them in Exiftool: both no iptc section, in xmp subject and hierarchical structure contain “pl keyword”.
My conclusion is that keywords are saved in both the jpg and the tiff.

Opened the same nef, with the “pl keyword” in ViewNx.
Added “viewnx keyword”. In ExifTool iptc “viewnx keyword”, in xmp subject is “viewnx keyword”
Opened that nef in PL, keywords are “pl keyword” and “viewnx keyword”. Saved them as tiff and jpg. Both contain iptc “viewnx keyword” and “pl keyword” and in xmp subject en hierarchicalsubject “viewnx keyword” and “pl keyword”.

It’s a pitty PL doesn’t write the iptc section. Windows file properties is showing the xmp values, not the iptc.

I’m getting dizzy from this. :no_mouth:


Something wrong in the second part. To dizzy.

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