This image cannot be processed

As of today, I have started to receive the message ‘this image cannot be processed because of an unknown error. It may be corrupted or in an unsupported format.’

I keep a copy of all my photos on my D drive and then make a copy of all my RAWs on OneDrive. Photolab always downloads a copy of the files to my local C drive when I start to edit them. But that is no concern - I just like to have two local and one cloud copy of all my photos.

I’ve been storing my photos like this for a couple of years and never a problem until today when I get the message I’ve just mentioned. It’s not on every file but on over 50% of them and I cannot find a difference between those which display ok and those which don’t.

The files are not corrupted - (a) because I can view them in other programs and (b) because if I make another copy of them PL can read them.

As I say, although the photos are on Onedrive, they are all available on my local drive and so there is no reason I can think of for them suddenly refusing to display.

Perhaps they’ll be ok again tomorrow.

But if someone can explain the behaviour (or give me a fix) then I would be grateful.

Best wishes

Can you give us a lot more detail? One image? All? Which platform?. etc


I suggest you search this forum using “image cannot be processed”; there are lots of posts.

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@jamhen2 @mwsilvers

Re your comments, I had pressed the ‘post’ button before typing my full message. I’ve given far more information now, but (thank you) you didn’t have sufficient information (my fault) to answer.

Gut feeling: Corrupted database.

Fix: Point PhotoLab to an empty folder/directory, then quit PhotoLab. Rename the database files and the cache folder, then restart PhotoLab and point it at a local folder/directory. Do you still get the error messages?

Yes, thank you - a corrupt database seems to have been the problem. Looks like it’s all fixed now.

I’m a bit confused as to why you are downloading your image files to your C drive if you are not editing them there. It seems like an cumbersome and unnecessary step which just complicates your workflow. Also, why do you copy your images to OneDrive? Is it for backup or for sharing with another computer? Which of the three copies of you images are showing this error, C drive, D Drive or OneDrive?


I use Onedrive so that I have an off-site back up. I have a copy of all my RAWs on 2 separate hard drives (c & d) so that if one fails then I have a copy (as it happens I did have a 14 - 15 month old Samsung evo fail on me a couple of months ago). Then I have the c drive copy on Onedrive, soI have an off-site copy should my house burn down or my computer get stolen.

I edit the c drive/onedrive copy on the basis that the copy on my d drive is my complete set of unedited photos (I have my jpegs there as well).

It may sound cumbersome, but it works well for me.

Best wishes

I get a similar message, too. I discovered that when I change the suffix, there are no problems. It was DxO; I change it to DxO1, and it works.

Change the name of a file (and its sidecar) and PhotoLab will read it as a new file.

  • Therefore, the database will get a new entry, which, by itself, does not create an inconsistency.
  • Will the error message return if you change back the file (and its sidecar) to its original name?

Anyway, if you always keep all sidecar files, you can always delete the database - if you accept to loose keywords and history by doing so.

Also, in addition to Platypus’ comments, you will have none of the corrections (that you applied to the “DxO” version) now applied to the “DxO1” version … it will have been set back to whatever it was that your default preset for new images had applied.

Your best advice is here;

John M

Probably I was not clear. I changed the suffix in the application. It saves the JPEG as DXO1 now. I had problems with files for which no JPEG existed at all, and trying to save as *.DXO did not work. Changed it to DXO1 in PhotoLab, try again, it works.

I have been encountering this error message and it seems to happen in my case when I’m complying files into a folder I have open in PhotoLab. And the workaround is to rename the file while PhotoLab is still open since then PhotoLab will remove the .dop sidecar file and detect the renamed file correctly.

Since I like to keep the original name rename the file twice once by adding a ‘-’ suffix to the file name before the extension and then I wait for the PhotoLab to remove the sidecar file and then rename it back.

My guess is that Photolab is reading the file before all of its content has been committed to disk and as such the image is corrupted as far as PhotoLab knows since it can only read what is available on disk at the time or reading.

There are a couple of things PhotoLab could do to mitigate this problem, like keep an m5 hash of the content of the file and the last modified date of the file in the database. Then check if the last modified date has changed and if so then check if the md5 hash has also changed and if that is the case, then reevaluate the file since it clearly is not the same file.

Until this gets fixed I guess I’ll just have to fix it by hand or make a script to automate this.

If anyone here is experiencing the same bug as I then here is the script I use as a workaround until DXO grants us a permanent fix. GitHub - agirorn/dxo-photolap-fix-unprocessable-file: Fix for the DXO PhotoLab "This image cannot be

I have found that the ‘image cannot be processed’ problem only happens when I set the copy from SD card to Mac going while I am using DXO Photolab at the same time. I now let the copy finish before I touch DXO. That works for me.

I had this issue persisting on my Mac recently, until I restarted the computer (restarting PL5 didn’t do it).