Moving photos from DxO on windows PC to DxO on. New Macbook

I have a Windows PC on which I process my photos using DxO Photolab 3 elite. I am considering purchase of a MacBook Pro laptop for my photo processing and I anticipate being able to use my subscription to put DxO Photolab 3 on the MacBook as well. I’m not particularly tech-savvy. My concern is transferring my DxO-processed photos from my PC’s windows operating system to DxO Photolab 3 in the Apple OS. I assume it’s possible. Is that correct? If so, how do I do that? Will my photos automatically plug in to DP3 on the MacBook? Are there any pitfalls that I need to be aware of?

Yes, that’s readily do-able. A few questions, before we can offer some suggestions/precautions:

  • Do you intend to be working on your images with both your PC and the new MacBook ?
  • Are you using Sidecar/.dop files … or, only the database ?

John M

PhotoLab is not built for parallel use on several computers. PhotoLab’s database is usually located on the machine you work on and there is no built-in synchronisation. Also, the photos of the notebook will not automatically move to the desktop pc.

One more thing has the potential to really annoy you: Some informations (keywords…) live in the database only and will therefore be lost if you only move images and sidecars.

Check out this post too:

To answer your second question first, when I import my RAW images from my camera into my windows PC, they populate both the DxO Photolab 3 Elite software as well as a separate file I created entitled “My RAW Photos” (MRP, for ease of reference). In the MRP file, each of the subfiles are identified by date, which is the date when the images in those subfiles were taken. Before I process any of the images in a given date’s subfile, there is only one icon per image in that file. After I process the images with DP3, each image then has two icons, one representing the original image file and the second being a “dop” file. I’m guessing that the “dop” file is the sidecar you refer to. Does all this make the MRP file the “database”? I assume that my MRP file would have to be transferred from my PC to the new MacBook since the MRP file and DP3 work hand-in-hand. My thinking is that, once the MRP file is transferred to the MacBook and the Mac version of DP3 is downloaded onto it, I should be able to process my images as easily as I presently do on my PC, unless there are some differences - and possible pitfalls - I’m not yet aware of. Is my thinking correct?

As far as processing images on both my PC and a new MacBook and presumably moving them from one to the other after I finish processing a batch, that notion had occurred to me but, given my low-end tech savviness, I doubted that it was practical if possible at all. Is it doable after all? If so, how?

Yes, spot-on.

As @platypus outlines above, there are some complications and “gotchas” involved with using PL on multiple computers. It’s do-able - but you’ll probably encounter enough issues that you’ll soon decide it’s not worthwhile. So, let’s assume you’ll simply move all your images over to the new MacBook, and proceed from there.

The simplest approach would be to (re)create your folder structure on the MacBook and copy your RAW images and their corresponding .dop/sidecar files over to this new structure, from your PC.

Then, when you run PL on the MacBook, and use it to browse thru your folder structure (containing your RAW images + their corresponding sidecar files), it will reconstruct its database on the MacBook using the correction data held in the .dop/sidecar files.

However, that works only if you’re not using some of the DAM features of PL, as data items such as key-words are not stored in sidecar files. If that’s an issue for you - see link in @platypus’ response.

HtH - John M

I like your “simplest approach”, but you say it “works only if you’re not using some of the DAM features of PL, as data items such as key-words are not stored in sidecar files”. I’m not sure what DAM features are, but if the term means additional identifiers, such as key words, that I apply to my images via PL (PhotoLab), I’ve never done that. My images come into my computer from my camera sorted by date taken. They appear in both my MRP (database) folder and PL3 sorted by date taken. So it seems that I’m not using any DAM features. So the “simplest approach” ought to work. Does that sound right?

Assuming that the “simplest approach” will work, let me make sure that I understand how that would be done. My processing pathway starts with importing my RAW images from my camera, which populate both my MRP folder and PL3. After I process the images in PL3, I export them to a folder entitled “DXO Exports”. From there, I distribute them as I see fit. Will the MRP folder and DXO Exports folder transfer fully and completely - as well as findably - to the Mac at the time I do the “big transfer” of all the files from my PC. Or should I go into the MacBook Photo folder - or whatever it is called on a MacBook - before the “ big transfer” and create those folders in there first. If that’s how it’s done, will the contents of the MRP and DXO Exports folders on the PC find those newly-created folders on the MacBook and fully populate them? Which way would be the better way?

I really appreciate your help!

Yes, that’s part of what it means - - If you’re not doing that, then you can follow the “simple approach”.

Yes, you will need to;

  1. Replicate the folder structure (as you currently have it on your PC) on your new MacBook
  2. Copy all your image files from your PC to their corresponding folders on the Macbook … being sure to copy both the RAW image files AND their associated .dop/sidecar files
  3. Install PL on the MacBook, and proceed from there

If all goes pear-shaped, you can always revert to your PC and start again …

John M

Your Images (in their directory structure) will not simply transfer to your Mac by themselves, why should they?

  1. Copy your MRP folder to an external (flash) drive.
  2. Eject that drive and plug it into the Mac.
  3. Drag the MRP folder to the Picture folder of the user account. That should start to copy everything over to your Mac. Wait until finished.
  4. Eject the external drive.

Now, your MRP folders are the same on both your Win and Mac computers. As soon as you customize images on one computer, the folders drift apart. In order to keep both folders the same, you’ll have to go through the steps above, copying the folder the images of which have changed to the other computer and then open the folder you just copied in PhotoLab.

Please note that PhotoLab simply looks at the folder you select in it and then reads the content of the .dop files into its database. PhotoLab’s database does not contain images. Apple’s Photos app will copy images to its database though, unless you instruct it to not do so by changing the respective setting.

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You say I will need to “replicate the folder structure (as you currently have it on your PC) on your new MacBook.” I have about 50 folders in my Windows Photos app, all of which contain images except, of course, for the MRP folder. Do you mean that I should go into the Pictures app on the MacBook and re-create each of those 50 folders individually and then fill each of those empty folders with the corresponding images (and data, in the case of the MRP folder) from my PC? I anticipate I would copy my entire Windows Photo App onto my external hard drive, then plug the hard drive into the MacBook and then use copy/paste or drag/drop to populate each of the new, empty folders on the MacBook one at a time. If that is unnecessarily labor-intensive, I would be delighted to use any more efficient method you might suggest. :grinning:

Yes - That will do it.
That’s pretty much what @platypus suggests … See his step-by-step instructions above.


…still. you don’t need to first replicate the folder structure. Simply copy the top directory over and the structure will survive. Using an intermediate (external HD) step gets you a backup too, which can be handy if anything should go wrong.

Today’s Macs can read many file systems. If your Mac cannot see the directories and files on the external drives, reformat the external drive to something FAT.

Thanks for the help. Much appreciated.