Moving images between computers

Okay, this is what I now get:

You want to be able to work on two Macs and not lose on one computer what you did on the other.

Simple: PhotoLab cannot provide this. It does NOT support syncing or merging the databases.

Working strictly on one computer at a time, you can implement the following scheme

A x B y A x B y etc.

A: work on your Mac Mini
x: copy database (and files you want to work on) to MacBook
B: work on MacBook
y: copy database (and new files) to Mac Mini

You could create scripts x and y that copy the necessary things reliably.
Please note that

  • You might want to delete the cache in x and y
  • As long as your database stays intact, you don’t have to use sidecars.
  • As soon as you forget to do x or y or do AB, things go boink.

The only way this would work is place the location of the database in a central place.
Point all plv3 versions to that point and i think never open two at the time.

You can alter the place where it should store the DB and when this place is always reachable for dxopl it wouldend be a problem i think.

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sadly enough, DPL does not - at least not in its Mac version - allow to easily put the database where you like.

You can copy the database to and fro using the database backup and restore functions that can be found in the DPL file menu, though it’s not necessarily simpler than to copy or sync the folders with a script. Backup/restore creates additional files too.

don’t know if a netfolder can be used but i can change the place.

@OXiDant that’s a Windows-only feature. Even with that, it would necessitate still using a single library stored on a portable drive. That would be a passable solution, and in fact I already have all my photos on a portable drive, but it’s not ideal to have to take that drive on travel when I wouldn’t need access to my main library nor the extra space while travelling.

So what I’m getting from the discussion so far is that there are no tricks I am missing – PL really doesn’t consider the multi-system scenario, despite offering multiple activations with the licensing.

It seems like my most plausible option is to run the laptop as a standalone concern and then later copy photos with .dop files across to the desktop and either don’t bother adding keywords on the laptop or manually recreate them on the desktop.

I’ve added a post about this over in the “Which feature” forum.

I suspect adding keywords to the .dof files, along with the current image edits, is in the pipeline and will hopefully be implemented in the not too distant future . Once that is accomplished would that satisfy your requirements?


That solves the main problem if the other copy of DxO will ingest those and add to its database. However, if I am going to be adding keywords on the laptop, I would want the full keyword database there as well… that’s how I save a lot of time by using hierarchies I’ve already defined.

Keywords are on an image by image basis only at this point. A keyword library may be in their long term plans, but I would not expect to see anything like that for quite a while.


I don’t believe that’s true. I get a large selection of auto-complete suggestions as soon as I start typing despite only having added keywords to a handful of photos in PhotoLab. These suggestions are coming from the keywords I entered in Lightroom that are in the DNG files PhotoLab has seen.

From the help:

The keywords you enter are saved in the DxO PhotoLab database, but not in the images themselves (RGB, JPEG, TIFF, and DNG files), nor in the files (.dop or.xmp) that accompany RAW files. If you start entering a keyword that is already registered in the database, PhotoLab will suggest keywords starting with the same letters. Use the up and down arrows to select the desired keyword and then press Enter.

So maybe you should look at a raid system on your network (you can access from any wifi connection) or even just open your computer to be accessible from your laptop (and vis-versa) for sharing files, easy done on Mac.

PL is not a full DAM, they starting implementing some function and its a work in progress, this is not Lr or Adobe Bridge.

I’d suggest you do keywording in another DAM and limit DXO usage to post processing images. Edits carry over with the dop files.
The DAM in DXO in its current state is IMO pretty useless.


Given the regular update of my dam it’s likely to remain as usless. Which is why do many of us felt it was an errer to start a development that really could never produce something to keep dam users happy.


Lightroom, Aperture, Luminar, ON1, and doubtless others, all have DAM functionality — some better than others. If DxO wants to compete with any of those (and surely it does) then it should have a decent capability of its own, and it seems the developers think the same way because there is something there already. It’s so close already to a decent job that it would (in my view) be criminal not to flesh it out.

I’ll just close out with this line from the PhotoLab brochure page (emphasis mine)…

PhotoLibrary, everything you need for perfect asset management

Oh yes, advertising and sales people do have a special view of things…


I am a newish user having come from iView/ Aperture / Lightroom . I have decided that I am not going to get tied into a proprietary database so I have been experimenting.

DxO PL3 is, in my opinion, a little confused in that its not quite a plug in or a full blown DAM application.

My present experimental workflow is as follows

  1. Look at the raw images on the card using FastRawViewer. Star ratings and colour tags are written to am / xmp file.

  2. Move selected images and associated .xmp files to library disk.

  3. I use an application called NeoFinder to catalog the images and to set keywords and geotags. NeoFinder updates or creates .xmp files.

  4. Open files in PL3 using drag and drop onto a photolab project (this is to stop PL3 scanning a folder of thousands of images which takes ages). I have the preference set that forces PL3 to read from .xmp files. It will read and display the star ratings but not the colour tags. It will also read any keywords.

  5. Make virtual copies and edits as required. I have these saved into the .dop file that PL3 may create.

  6. To move the raw file for editing on a different computer I would move the raw and the two sidecar files (.xmp .dop).

Note: I also save final edit versions as tiff or jpeg as a protection against DxO becoming unavailable. I use NeoFinder to manage my images and I display the final edits alongside the raw source. If NeoFinder becomes unavailable I can use the Finder to locate my images.

It would be good if DxO would write keywords to .xmp files as well as its own database.

Just my two pence.
best wishes


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I had a look at NeoFinder — a very interesting application — but it won’t do for me because it does not respect keyword hierarchies. So close, though. It will even import Lightroom keyword lists.

So… I just found a quite palatable stand-in for my keyword needs for the time being. Adobe Bridge 2020 is FREE. All you need is a free Adobe account (I have an account from when I was a LR user). It’s not all that LR keywording is, but it’s a passable imitation and I was able to import my old LR hierarchy.

I just created a brand new keyword and added it to three files using Bridge and without having to even close PhotoLab, I was able to search on the new keyword.

See also specific help on keywords in Bridge:


The cloud is for me the best option in your case.
It could be at home (I am using a NAS synology) & a synchro between the NAS folder & my computer to work in local.

You could do that with google or any other client having a synch software.

Syncback can mirror to places one way or two way.