Saying goodbye to DXO with hope my inputs will help up your company performance and sales

I just left all DXO products for good. While I liked the software PL3 elite and its workflow, I am disappointed with what it takes to activate my software post an OS reinstall. My misery is it won’t let me activate saying I have exceeded maximum installs. I do not have access to those machines anymore to uninstall as I refreshed the PC’s. I periodically do OS reinstalls with my windows machine. Had a hard time getting support for this and was treated like I should beg. Shouldn’t this be a choice where I can login to my account and choose which installations to activate / deactivate? Support insisted I should uninstall. Even though I like the software, I am not going to live with this begging and mercy every time. I know its simple - uninstall the software before reinstalling OS. My point is I do this clean OS install of Windows every six months. Imagine if all my application software’s insisted and forced uninstalls. With my other software I log in account and at point of activation, it gives me a choice which one I can deactivate. As simple as that. With DXO - NO - at mercy of support. That’s my vent and if DXO management is reading this - yes you know who it is - good bye DXO.


i think you can uninstal and reinstal on the same pc without a problem as long as the original OS is not reinstalled. (i think refreshment isn’t reinstalling)
a fully clean reinstal can be a issue for the server of DxO to recoqnise your pc as licence holder.

But take this as a example:
i have 12 pc’s 6 win10 and 6 mac’s for travel laying around to take if needed in my compagnie .
i want one for myself so 2 licence are free to give.
people 1 is on a trip so i deactivate his pc and active his mac. (1 licence to give)
people 2 is comming home so i decative his mac and activate his pc. (all three used)
people 3 and 4 want in the weekend the use of 2 mac’s…
So i deactivate people 1 and 2 and activate 3 and 4.
monday i return to the office and i deactivate 3 and 4 and activate 1 and 2 again…

What goes wrong in this story for DxO?

ok a bricked licence release as in only by support/managment DxO is the other section of the ruler but a request to uninstal before activating a new one would be fair right?
in normal use you need to release a licence:
1 when pc is stolen and you got a new pc.
2 when present pc is old and you go for new and faster.
3 you are outsourced one licence for a year or so and the person stops working for you so you want to reclaim the 3e licence.
4 after a clean up and fresh instal. ( if you need to do that every year in order to keep speed then i should think of using it differently or start to do maintenance one in a wile trough the year.)

Any other is fluid counting of licence use. which is bad for business model.
(yes some software allows you to instal it on multiple pc’s as long as you don’t start up more then max allowed, which is a nice gift but in order to maintain some control you need to connect to your win account. then you can own as many pc’s as you like as long as you don’t run more then 3 account’s at once. (But see above’s example make three work accounts and you can make it fluid again.)

That said maybe DxO can offer a fee for more then 3. Say each extra licence is 1/3 of the going price?
or buy 2 and you have 6 licence.

In addition to the cases that you mention, there is also the situation where hardware fails.
In the case of many laptops, failure of a component is likely to result in the replacement of the motherboard. SSD is gone and SN has changed. In that situation, it would be only fair use to be able to deactivate the token that the computer was using before, and reactivate it after the repair. I have (fortunately) not seen how this works yet, but my understanding is that, in such a situation, one should either use another token or try to explain the situation to support in the hope that they accept.

Installing an OS?

That’s something I do once. I then make one or more back ups of the install, base OS, another with installed applications, etc.

Periodically, I’ll make another, say after I’ve upgraded to from 1909 > 2004 > 20H2, each of those contains subsequent (and multiple) differential back ups. My data is protected, this data is agnostic and is not dependent on an OS or any hardware. Lets face it, all hardware fails and operating systems are not infallible.

This provides the ability to restore to a specific point in time, or to restore the “perceived speediness” and performance of a system basically any time I decide.

Reinstalling an OS is for the birds. Who has time for that? A little forethought, planning and and time puts you in the drivers seat. I can restore an OS in under 10 min. I understand that a bare metal restore to dissimilar hardware might trigger a re-activation event, but if you aren’t running on shoestring hardware, how often does that happen? Once every 4-5 years, maybe even longer.

I would rethink my back up strategy before I dumped a great software application I really enjoy.

Thank you for detailed post. This feedback to DXO is in good faith. I don’t want to make comparisons. So will give examples of tangents such as my MS Office - I log in account, if I have reached my max number of users - I have the option to deactivate at click of button. I hope DXO can implement this.

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Ok. I am a bird. I have left DXO and putting this post in good faith as feedback to improve the activation / deactivation step. While there are many ways to achieve things in life, the feedback I am giving is specific to activation / deactivation process. Thank you.


In my opinion, the way of licensing/activation should just be different. Why can’t I just deactivate the license and re-activate without losing it like with other apps? That would probably be the most logical solution. Of course there is the possibility of a computer crashing and having to explain to tech support, but in a normal situation the ability to “manually” deactivate would be best and not put anyone at a loss.


Really sorry to see you go, for such an obscure reason, Manny (ie. completely unrelated to your appreciation of the tool) … I hope you will find a way around this problem.

Regards, John M

Edit: @sgospodarenko - Is there something that can be done to help get Manny “back on board” ?

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Sorry to see you go but I agree with you that the activation/de-activation process should be simplified

To be sure, i understand your frustration about present policy of DxO.
I haven’t deal with this matter myself so i can’t say i have a different experience.
(No experience at all.)

It would be great if we can login our account by DxO and deal with this our selfs.
(a restriction in for instance timetable related to avoid misuse of the licence could be build in.)

Hope you don’t completely turn your back to this great program.




I totally understand your frustration. I bought the app on the 17th and still could not use it because of the licensing system and the fact it also uses the serial number of the hard disk as hostid instead of just using the MAC address as the vast majority of apps. I also own two expensive apps for 3d and compositing, and their developers are known to have extreme anti-piracy measures. Yet, they don’t use the serial number of the hard disk because it can create so many issues on some machines. In my case, I have an Intel Optane memory to boost my disk. I don’t know if this is the issue but, PL miswrites the serial number in the license file, it scrambles the numbers, my account says I have activated 0 of 3 licenses, it takes 4 minutes to start, and Deep Prime doesn’t work, but when in the trial, all worked fine which tells me the problem it’s the app, not my machine otherwise, it wouldn’t have worked on trial either, and I wouldn’t have spend money on something that doesn’t work.

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This definitely makes me hesitate purchasing…it’s 2021, there is no excuse for this level of complication with a software licence. Computers fail, hard drives fail (even SSDs…happened to me less than a month into a new laptop), people reinstall OS. All of my other apps are simple enough to reinstall and re-register.


How much simpler is logging into an account and deactivating than going to the Start menu, right-clicking, and selecting “Uninstall”?

Thank you OXiDant. In general life has thought me to never say never. I am honestly at the moment evaluating options. DXO PL3 was a great product and wish well.

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Thank you Sigi

Thank you John-M for the kind words and encouragement and genuine wish for good outcome to this thread.

I loved the DXO PL 3 itself, thought it had the optimal for RAW to JPG workflow, and loved everything about it. I planned to upgrade at regular intervals and didn’t bother to explore more alternatives. My motivation in writing this thread is the hope company can listen and work on activation / deactivation process. Since past couple of days I have started exploring options. I am sorry at the way my journey ended up. It usually takes a fair bit to make me worked up. The activation / deactivation support help I raised ticket was in my opinion could have been handled much better. I hold no grudges though and wish for DXO well. Hope some improvement in activation / deactivation process is the outcome of this thread.

Again thank you John-M. Rare to get such positive encouragement comments these days with all the keyboard warriors :slight_smile:


Thank you Nemo. Agree and that’s what I hope will be the outcome of this thread. A simpler process for activation / deactivation for users.

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Much simpler in my opinion. When I install the app post OS reset - I need to login to DXO to activate anyways. At that point it the option to deactivate previous install is there - its much simpler.

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Hi all - just wanted to say thanks for comments and support. Everything is good now. I am on DXO PL4. All settled and good. Thanks support team for help also.



If I may offer you a solution ….

I also reinstall Windows at least once per year but different way as you do.

So; first I wipe my disk and I do fresh install of Windows. Then I adjust and optimize Windows to my leaking. After that I make a bit-to-bit copy of my operating system with Acronis True Image.

Then I install all latest software I have and I use. After that I make another bit-to-bit copy of my operating system with Acronis True Image.

So; I have two Acronis images of my operating system; one only with Windows installed and the other with installed Windows + all software I use.

If something go wrong I just overwrite my system with the image of Windows+software.
The other Acronis image I have just in case I would need clean Windows install without software.

Acronis image is bit-to-bit copy. DxO server would not recognize this as a ‘’new Windows installation’’ because Photolab is already installed on this image. You are basically just rewriting again exact the same operating system as you had.

So no more mails to DxO support.
It works for me so I see no reason it would not work for you.

By the way; the whole process takes only 8 to 10 minutes or so – you start Acronis and click ‘’backup from image’’ and go for a smoke.