Removing rejected photos takes a long time

My system is an M1 Mac Mini with only 8GB of RAM. I am using DXO PhotoLab 6.

I am trying to reduce the number of photos I took on my last trip to a manageable size. During the trip I took about 7000 photos and after loading the raw files into PhotoLab, I started marking them with the “reject” flag. After I tagged about 1700 files, I selected “Remove” and then hit the Remove button in the associated popup. However there does not seem to be much progress in removing the files.

The warning popup is still active after 15 minutes and when I hover over it I see the spinning rainbow ball indicating the thread is currently busy. The Activity Monitor reports that DXO PhotoLab is not responding and the number of files that have been deleted is not increasing.

How long should it normally take to remove 2000 15-20MB files from a directory in PhotoLab?

I suggest you check your PhotoLab log file to see what PhotoLab is trying to do during this period of inactivity. (Sorry, I don’t know where the log file is on a Mac.)

I could not find the log file but I did collection some other information.

My files are stored on a Synology NAS that automatically creates a backup copy of all files that are deleted. I deleted the .CR3 backup files that had already been created. There were about 240 files and it took around 2 minutes to delete them. During that time 15 new backup files were also created. This indicates that somewhere around 7-10 files are being deleted every minute. So it may take 4-5 hours for PhotoLab to finish deleting the RAW files.

This sounds more like a problem with the NAS than PL.

Neither operation is setting an all time speed record. But MacOS is still deleting files 25-30 times faster than PL6.

The operation did finally complete after several hours. During the process I also noticed that the reported size of the photo directory was increasing dramatically before finally shrinking to an overall size that was smaller than the starting size. Perhaps PL6 is using some other files during the cleanup process that create an excessive load on my memory constrained system.

I personally never delete any images, but then I don’t shoot 7,000 in a single trip.

However, if I were to ‘cull’ large numbers of images, I wouldn’t do it at the start of my processing journey. Once you have all your Reject flags set, simply change the library filter to exclude them. It takes mere moments and is persistent until you change or reset the filter.

Later, when you’ve done the more interesting task of processing the images you did want, you can then worry about a slow delete of the rejects.

There are some practical strategies you could apply;

  • Use a “work in progress” folder with PL, and limit the number of images therein … 7000 images is gunna significantly hobble PL’s performance in a number of ways.

  • Use a different tool for culling/reviewing your RAW files … that’s not one of PL’s strongpoints !

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Seconding @John-M.

With that many files, a more aggressive approach is called for. One way is to create date-based folders and tackle one day at a time. I always do this if I come back with over 500 images since PL doesn’t handle that many all that well. Navigating 7000 images in the Film Strip is something I NEVER wanna do, lol!

As for the delete process, what is happening behind the scenes is that raw and sidecar files (if any) are being moved to .Trash, and that may take some time depending on your HD setup (you mentioned a NAS). I would suggest a temporary “staging” folder that accepts all your images, and anything you don’t like gets rejected in PL. When you’re done, filter against rejected images, move the remainder to a “work” folder (or whatever), and simply go back to the OS and delete the folder with the rejected images.

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Have you had a look at the minimum and recommended configurations?

I would have said that your 8GB is not going to let anything work all that well with only that for memory.

Think about it - you are asking to remove 30-40 GB of files, not including the accompanying DOP and XMP files, plus the database has to be updated as each file is removed, as well as by the disappearance of the those DOP and XMP files as the app tries to maintain synchronisation.

And all that over a network connection.

In truth, PhotoLab was never conceived as an image management app, especially if it involves multiple thousands of files in one folder.

I find that when I have several hundred photos in the days folder, after I have been deleting files within PL for a while, it slows down doing this. My solution is to reboot the laptop. I have not as yet tried closing and reopening PL.

You have to close PhotoLab to reboot anyway. Just restart it see what happens before you bother with a reboot. I personally have never had that problem with PhotoLab slowing down, but I usually cull images before starting PhotoLab. There are better tools available for culling like Fast Raw Viewer, or my preference, FastStone Image Viewer.


Like others I think it’s asking for trouble opening that many images in Pl, selecting and then deleting them. All those images are registered in the database too and has to be deleted from the database. Do the selection before opening them in PL. Just use any image browser.


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