Responsiveness/Usability of PL3-PhotoLibrary on iMac really bad

Dear DxO-Community,
last year I switched to PL3 (iMac, 6 Core i5, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD) as the Demo on Windows worked out fine for my workflow. Unfortunately on iMac the PhotoLibrary is nearly unusable because it is way too unresponsive. When i move to a new folder it takes some time to show all the previews. When i then move the mouse-cursor every humbnails that was hit generates another 1-2 seconds freeze. That is so annoying that i am looking into 3rd party tools for picture management. I would really love to use PL3 as my primary tool for my workflow but the bugs described makes it nearlly impossible.

Any idea how to speed up the responsiveness of the PhotoLibrary?

Thank you very much in advance.


PhotoLab calculates thumbnail images according what is set in the application settings. Normally, the DxO Standard preset will be applied. This preset does quite a few things which can take some time depending on what your raw files are and contain.

Nevertheless, freezes like you mention should not occur.

You could do the following and see if it changes anything:

  1. Quit PL3
  2. Delete the database files (leave the folders alone) in ~/Library/DxO PhotoLab v3/
  3. Delete the cache files in ~/Library/caches/com.dxo.PhotoLab3/
  4. Restart PL3

Any success?

Thank you very much, after applying the suggested settings at least some symptoms got better. The handling is not as smooth as desired but much more comfortable than before.


The other thing to be aware of, Stefan, is that PhotoLab is an excellent RAW converter (the best available, IMO), but it’s not great as a general image viewer - That’s because it goes thru the process, for each and every RAW file it encounters, of converting it to a viewable image … it does not use the embedded JPG that’s contained within the RAW file - - and, therefore, it’s not fast when presented with a folder containing 100s (or 1000s !!) of images.

So, I recommend you use a working folder in a workflow something like this;

  • Move a small batch of RAW files to the working folder; 20-30 max
  • Open that folder and work on the images with PL
  • Export the results, and move all components (RAW & JPG/TIFF) to your storage structure
  • Repeat these steps as required.

And use a dedicated image viewer to browse/display your results (of which there are plenty of good, free ones available) - - but don’t use PL for that purpose.

John M

PS. More discussion on this topic here.

1 Like

I think that DPL has many of the necessary building blocks to become a geeat product - once these blocks are assembled more sensibly. Why do we need all thumbnails rendered subito instead of only doing the ones that are visible in customizeview and why can we not use the built-in previews in library view? And decide ourselves if we want to go smoothly or in " classic" mode?
DPL needs to grow up in order to stand tall beside the many older and the newer breed of converters, provide a breakthrough Well rounded and performant major version 4 that deserves to be a paid upgrade.

1 Like

I’m not disagreeing, @platypus … in the meanwhile, tho, it’s not wise to point PL at a folder chock-full of 100s (or 1000s !) of RAW images - 'cos doing so will guarantee disappointment.


Dear John-M
so for the first time scanning I agree, because the thumbnail information will be rendered or whatever the technical term is named. And all the Information will be anywhere in Cache and/or Database Folder…see attached screen.
But…that’s similiar process LR does with Catalog Setting and Smart preview.
And…for DXO and LR I took the same main/subfolder structure, and if I synchronize within LR the mainfolder the process runs in background ( i tested it a few minutes ago) and I can access the older folders during this process for developing. After importing LR will create the smart previews…and I can still work within the folder with the pictures.
And…after closing and reopening in LR the previews will be shown immediately. The same in PL will have an delay of some seconds.
That’s what i still talk about. The quality in Raw developing is beyond any doubt.
So technical it must be possible to fasten this. If not what sense makes the creating of preview files???

For me it would be very helpful that somebody of DXO members could delighten this theme.

By the way—LR is still in progress with 70% done while writing this post…I can still open photos and make some changes.

I am writing my own DAM for Mac.

I am not doing anything other than rendering the default preview image from RAW files and can tell you that it is slow !. Pointing my DAM, which only really browses files, at a folder with several thousand files can even cause it to barf and die.

Rendering the first visible “page” of images is quite fast but, as soon as I start scrolling, I often get a page or so of “loading” placeholders and have to wait a second or two for the previews to render from a background thread.

It’s not just DPL’s processing that takes time, it’s the simple fact of manoeuvring the, not inconsequential, volumes of data that modern, high resolution, RAW files contain.

Hi Joanna,
I can’t agree :innocent:
Everybody can make one small test.
Download RawTherapee Portable from
Install it…as portable app you will not make any changes to your system, and you can install it also on a stick.
Open RawT and browse to one folder. Doubleklick the folder and I hope you will be astonished :smiley:
That’s what speed is in my mind.
And we don’t talk about Raw processing

Sorry but I was not at all impressed. I downloaded the Mac version and, with 36Mpx files, I still had to wait a second or so for the folder to be completely shown. As you say, the library view doesn’t appear to do any RAW processing, apart from applying some default, and undesired, corrections. In fact, my DAM is faster.

What’s more, the whole app is far from as easy to use, not being anywhere near as intuitive as DxO.

Ok…my ORF-files are 16 MP, and I can only compare this files opening in RAWT, Lightroom and DXOPL on my windows platform and there DXOPL is slowest. And comparing RAW Developers with a standalone DAM wasn’t my intention.
And I don’t want to discuss user interface and usability…I want to bring speed and multiprocessing technics at the line :sunglasses:

Fully agree.

Well, having the above mentioned truble i seeked for an alternative tool to work with my pictures that are stored within a normal filesystem-folder-structure. Main task is to preview all the files and sort out crappy pictures before developing them. As an amateur i am experimenting with both JPEG and RAW-Files.

Apple Photo
really smooth, good speed & quality of the previews BUT you can only import the files, linking to original files was not possible. I want to keep my files in the folder-structure that is automatically synced to my Synology-NAS.

XnView MP
is not displaying all JPG/RAW-Files correctly, some previews are very unsharp.

90$ but working quite good

Adobe Photoshop Elements:
also 90$ but comes with good editor. The only thing is, when i pass a RAW-File from Photoshop-Organizer to Photolab, PSO creates a copy of the raw-file before passing it to Photolab, that feature can’t be turned off).

Speed was also not good on my iMac.

I wonder if Mac or Windows is the preffered environment for Photolab, it seems to run better on my 8 years old Windows Laptop with Core i7 and 32GB Ram.

My machine is also 8 years old, my notebook 9 years. Both are Core i7 Desktop with 32GB, Notebook with 24 GB, both with one Samsung SSD as OS/Program Disk and both with one Samsung SSD as Picture/Cache/DB Disk. In September 2015 I’ve changed from Nikon to Olympus, and my wife and me own OMD EM5 MII each. In 2018 the problems with DXO speed starts. I’ve found some mails with DXO support discussing this theme. We deleted cache and DB, create new ones with different folder names, to avoid problems with corrupt regstry entries and so on. December 2019 I’ve installedmy whole system on a new SSD with Windows 10, installed all programs including DXO with new Version and all other programs are very fast, except Fotothek in DXO.
That’s the technical facts.

It won’t be displaying RAW files well 'cos it’s not a RAW converter - it’s showing just the JPG that’s embedded within the RAW file (without any corrections).

It should be displaying your JPG/TIFF files well tho - - (Where these are the images exported from PL).

John M

@Funnyguy, you might add Adobe Bridge, which seems to be free, all you seem to need is an AdobeID. Another candidate is FastRawViewer (get it here)

Unless I misunderstand your point, importing files inside Photo is nor mandatory. In Preference you can untick the Import and then original files are linked with only thumbnails created in Photo.

1 Like

Thinking some more about this; Does your comment/observation suggest that you have your RAW files AND your resulting images (exported from PL) all stored in the same folder ??

  • if so, that’s not a good approach either (including for reasons you’ve already encountered)
  • better to have them in separate, but related, directory folders … eg, something like this;

Folder: “Images from my trip” … containing RGB images exported from PL
Sub-folder: “Related RAW files” … containing RAW files and their associated sidecar/.dop files

John M