Update to V6 Elite issues

I started a few years back with with v PL3 (on a PC) and have since successively updated through 4 & 5 and now to v PL Elite 6. On each update I have seen that the previous version remained installed after update. So far I haven’t experienced any big problems with updates and so have seen no interest in keeping older version installed and have always uninstalled them.

Now with v6 I have been experiencing problems loading thumbnails. Upon looking in C:\Users<name>\AppData\Roaming\ where the PL database is stored I see that sub-folders for all the older versions (3,4,5) are still there with PL databases for each of the previous versions.

Is that normal even though the previous versions have been uninstalled. Should not these databases for previous versions be removed?

Seems to me to be, at the very least, untidy if not problematic. It seems to be that I should remove them.

Does anyone have an idea on this?

Thanks in advance.


Most windows programs leave something behind when un-installed. Feel free to clean up and delete the databases if you no longer need them, that is what I do without any issues.

Have a look in preferences and see where your Cache is stored (found under the Performance tab). You can clean up here too and even delete your PL6 Cache (only if PL is closed). and PL6 will re-create your cache as required. This may help your issue.

PL has a very poor uninstall, I use an install program and it removes many files and Mb left behind each year

KeithJR thanks for your response. With PL6 closed I have deleted previous databases as well as the PL6 cache (which I have always placed on a hard drive separate from my system drive (C:).

This has brought an improvement when PL6 opens (in the PhotoLibrary tab) but still not as good as one could want. Because for my folders with several thousand images the loading of the thumbs freezes up after a while. In my case (the way I organize my digital photo collection) there are I think other issues at play here. I do not use a folder structure to organize my image files. I have a simple folder structure of only 7 sub folders off the main folder for images. 2 of them (one for TIFF/RAW & one for JPEG) hold the bulk of my images & the remaining are for smaller numbers (incoming, testing, etc). I prefer to use a database approach to organize my collection. For this I use Photo Mechanic 6+.

I am not a professional and my collection is of moderate size )+/- 6,000). It is the 2 folders with the larger number of images which are at issue here. In versions prior to 6 there was an issue but not as pronounced as now in 6. So there may be a performance issue here. In Preferences (Performance tab) I have always set a large maximum cache size (currently 20,000 MB), but right now PL6 has only made a cache of 257 MB. My PhotoMechanic 6+ cache is 101 GB and PM6 opens the thumbs of the large folders in a flash.

FYI: Widows 11 pro; Mobo Gigabyte X570 Aorus Pro; CPU AMD Ryzen 5 3600X; HDs 2 x Western Digital Blue M.2 PCIe NVME SSD drives

John7 thanks for your reply. I also use an uninstall program (Revo Unistaller Pro) but I was uncertain about using it here given the high granularity of Windows Registry and whether that would mean having to redo all my settings for PL6 depending on where PL put all of those settings in my Users folder.

In the future I will probably use Revo.

Its what I use and not had any problems. DxO should really do a better uninstaller with the options of keeping all the stuff for a reinstall or cleaning it up.

It has always been recommended on these forums not too have too many photos in one folder for the very reason you were having performance issues.

It is highly recommended you organise your photos into more folders with fewer photos per folder. As your are using PM6+ as your DAM you can easily find your images and then pass them to PL6 for processing if you like otherwise you can simply navigate to the required folder.

It’s typical of applications to not delete users’ data when they’re uninstalled … just in case the user expected it to have been kept - - - eg. You can imagine the screams of complaint if a user was simply doing an uninstall/reinstall - and found all their data deleted in the process.

John M

Thanks for your response KeithRJ.

I can now see there are 2 problems here for me. The 1st concerns the upgrade process. Even when uninstalling previous versions, sub folders for the databases of previous versions are not removed. It may be that issues loading thumbs grew successively as the number of these previous databases increased. It seems to me that the DxO team should look to improving the upgrade process in this regard.

The other problem is more significant. I moved from film to digital some 16 years back now. At that time, after consulting numerous sources on DAM organization I opted for a database system as opposed to a folder tree structure which can quickly become large and possibly complicated to use. Professional may need it, but i don’t quite the contrary. It is only since I started using PL some 2 years back that using a database system with a full fledged DAM and few folders some with thousands of images has caused me a problem.

I can easily understand that DxO is in a highly competitive market and needs to take on players like Lightroom and that DxO software engineers have their own design strategies. So maybe they don’t consider dealing with larger folders of images as a thing to take on.

However, it does seem to me that there should be a way to accommodate folks like me without that much of a struggle. When I open image files from Windows File Explorer or from Photo Mechanic in Lightroom (stand alone v5.4) or in Nikon NX Studio they load my thousands of thumbs without difficulty (more quickly in Lr). As matters stand now in PL the thumbs freeze up. If open in in Photoshop (stand alone vers CS5 v5.1), Nikon Capture 2 or Gimp they, of course (no database of thumbs as far as I know), open directly into their version of a customize window. If not improving performance for opening thumbs, could DxO not provide a setting, at least for Photo Lab Elite, in Preferences to open images directly in the Customize tab bypassing the Photo Library tab?

I like PL, but I can only say if it’s a choice between my “databased” DAM approach to organization and PL I will retain my image organization. If this issue is not taken into consideration, in the future whether or not I update to the next version of PL will need more consideration than has been the case up to now.

Be that as it may, thanks for taking the time to help me with my issues.

John-M thanks for your input.

In pretty much all of the soft I use which involve databases this issue has never arisen. As far as I can understand, unlike PL which creates specific sub-folders (named as such PL3, PL4, etc), there is generally one and only one (sub) folder for the database. The upgrade process integrates the previous database into the new version which remains in the only folder for the database (normally creating itself a backup in case of problems) thus avoiding a proliferation of databases which could itself cause problems as it seems to in my case.

PL only uses one database and all the old databases are only used by their respective versions of PL. When you installed PL6 it copied your PL5 database and upgraded it for use with PL6.

Unfortunately there is not much that can be done with your thumbnail problem. Perhaps leaving it overnight might allow it to finish and it may then perform better. Otherwise log a ticket with DxO.

Good luck and I appreciate your grateful words :slightly_smiling_face::+1:t2:

I would not vote for automatic deletion of older databases!
Sometimes, after upgrading, a bug may be discovered which needs time for the developers to correct. In that case (which has occurred 3 times for me durng my history with Photolab since Version 2), I had tp revert to the previous version in order to get things done. In that case, it may make sense to access the previous database, if you are not relying solely on the sidecars.
In the setup for a new version, I would propose to enter a command to clear old databases, so the process would not be automatic.

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I have the same issues with PL 6 freezing when loading images (thumbs) after loading between 1000 - 1500 images. I have logged a support case for this and DXO support is working on it. So I hope this issue with PL 6 freezing when loading images will be solved soon.

@ralbrux @LJC What issue are we talking about exactly? I just loaded 11,959 images from a directory I constructed late last year, now sitting on a USB 3.0 drive to conserve SATA drive space!

It took 14 minutes & 14 seconds + 1,0000 images as I looked for my stop watch!

@ralbrux & @LJC I wasn’t trying to dispute what happened to you but simply stating the results of a test I conducted after reading you posts and as you will see later in this post things went wrong!

@ralbrux I don’t agree that DxO leaving the old versions and their “detritus” is a problem except with respect to disk space! I currently have DxO OpticPro 11, PL3, PL4, PL5 and now PL6 installed and of those PL3 could/should be removed to save a little space. Once you are happy with an upgrade you can either remove the old database and software etc. after checking that the next release has successfully copied the previous release’s database or you have “imported” the old database using


Repeat of the bulk directory tests:-

I used PL550 and PL601 with empty databases to execute the load (discovery) from an alternative file source to the one used in my original post so we have

  1. A directory containing multiple copies of the same images from a shoot where I left the “burst” mode set, some 6,900+ RAWs and 4,800+ JPGs.

  2. I had already copied the bulk test data of 11,959 images to my Q: drive, an NVME mounted on a PCie card.

  3. Both versions were set to locate their databases on the NVME drive, PL5 already was configured that way but, in the previous test I documented above, PL6db was located in the default location on a SATA SSD.

Here are the respective timing


I gave up on a conventional stopwatch and went for a PC package and still managed to miss some of the roll overs to the next 1,000 but …


PL6 offers a slight improvement even with the “clutter” of the PL5 database on the same drive!

During the image “discovery” process there were times when the DxPL read process stalled for a few seconds but never came to a complete halt, until all images had been read.

Re-discovering the images:-

I only did this for PL6 after navigating away to another directory and then back to the Bulk Test directory

After a restart of PL6

Locating selected images:-

This is an unscientific test but may have some value! I selected 6 images at “random” by scrolling through PL6 “Mega Bulk test-renamed 2” but then found no way to ‘Filter’ on those in PL6!?


So I went back through and discovered the selected items (still highlighted) and set the “Pick” flag on each of those images and then used the ‘Filter option’ on ‘Picked Images’ and instantly got

Photo Mechanic offers a ‘Selected’ filter and a ‘Tagged’ Filter and the ‘Tags’ in particular appear to have persistence, i.e. I am finding ‘Tagged’ images from old tests!? So it (PM rather than PM+) doesn’t have a database but it seems to have some persistence unless it is using image metadata?

Opening a selection of images or the entire directory:-

PM can offer a ‘selection’ of images or ‘Tagged’ images to DxPL (notwithstanding the current bug that means that when you get to the DxPL ‘Customize’ screen it is empty but the images are present in the ‘PhotoLibrary’ screen and flicking back to ‘Customize’ reveals them there)!

When working with Large directories it might be useful to be able to select images and “send” them to DxPL rather than read the entire directory every time, although I suspect that you are doing that already!

I do not use large directories (typically) so that my data is arranged as shown below, allowing me to use a DAM or not as I choose, i.e. I am not reliant on a particular piece of software to find my images but am free to do so and to effectively span all my smaller “silos” when retrieving particular locations (gardens visited), family members etc.

Now for the problems:-

Which have been moved to a new post at Win 10 DxPL6.0.1 Can't handle large directories - thumbnail refresh fails

Moved to Win 10 DxPL6.0.1 Can't handle large directories - thumbnail refresh fails - #2 by BHAYT

There may be a problem on Windows and the external drive,Microsoft disabled the file caching option and I could not complete the photo backup in Sync Toy, changing the option to cache files solved the problem.