Where are my settings stored?

This will probably seem like a stupid question, but I am quite confused with the location where my settings are stored. I thought that everything was in the sidecar, but my observation contradicts this.

I worked a set of images in DxO (ranking, edits for the keepers). Then I reorganised the directories to store them in the hard drive where I store the library of all my pictures (and that I keep many copies of). Bad surprise: when I open PL in the new directory tree, some settings are there, but others are not. What is still there seems pretty random by the way (I cannot even say that the settings of the pictures I looked at first are preserved while the others are not).

So, here is my question: where are the settings actually stored, and how to maintain consistency of things (knowing that the idea is that the initial sorting and processing I did was in a local folder, on a laptop and the goal is to put finished work in the archive disks). Thanks!

When you say “settings” do you mean the adjustments to individual images? From the discussion it sounds as if you are, but “settings” to me is specifically a set of global preferences. I’m going to assume you mean image adjustments

The act of working on images and then moving them outside DxO is not recommended. I did this in the past and most, but not all, of the adjustments I made carried over. The sidecar should be enough to contain all of the adjustments, but some are actually in the DxO database. Forget about looking in there unless you are proficient in SQL*Lite.

Try taking one of the images whose adjustments you lost, and restore it to its old directory where you first worked on it. I think, but am not completely sure, that if DxO finds both a sidecar and a DB entry for an image, it will use the DB first.

You could also try importing sidecar files (I’ve never used this option), or simply clobbering the DB and forcing DxO to use the sidecar. Either way, I’m curious as to this situation too, so please report back what you find.

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Thanks for your answer.

Indeed, I am talking about image settings. I am trying to play with “export sidecars” and “import sidecars”, but am not sure whether it is working, because I am now encountering another issue: DxO is basically dying when I try to open folders on the external hard drive (it just hangs and shows as “not responding” in the Activity Monitor…).

When I manage to get it to actually work on the external drive, I will definitely try killing the DB.

I have to say that I am a bit mystified by the way this is managed. For my own purpose, the right thing would be simply to have no database (the filesystem is good enough for me), and have sidecars carry all the settings.

I did not understand your degree of understanding of sidecars.dop and database.
I advise you to read this:



Thanks for your reply, Pascal.

I looked at the tutorial, and my understanding of sidecars and database aligns with what is written there.

I also confirm (maybe I should have stated it from the beginning) that I have option “Automatically export sidecars” and “Automatically import sidecars” checked (initial configuration when I started to use DxO). After investigating more my issue and looking at the content of the sidecars, I observed that some changes were not automatically exported. Forcing again an immediate export of sidecars (File -> Sidecars -> Export) produced sidecars that are textually different (these seem to be consistent from what I can see).
What is the semantics of these Automatically export sidecars" and “Automatically import sidecars” settings ? I observe the French text of the tuto drops the word “Automatic” (my install is all in English, and I want it that way for many reasons). I would expect the export to be automatic, whenever a change is made and the import to be automatic whenever a file is opened.

Two small comments about the tuto (that I find well done by the way):

  1. "Le contenu des fichiers side-car dépend de la version. DPL est capable de convertir automatiquement les side-cars DxO à la version actuelle, mais les fichiers ne pourront plus lire les anciennes versions. -> “mais les anciennes versions ne pourront plus lire les fichiers side-car convertis ou produits par une version plus récente”.

  2. The paragraph on the destruction of the database should probably stress that this should be done only after making sure that sidecars have been produced for all pictures.

Merci Xavier :wink:

YES I forgot the word “automatic”.
In fact, “Export …” is very clear; Auto create sidecars.dop
Import, is prioritize sidecars on database
They are the two conditions for a proper operation of the software.

And last, the menu File - Sidecars - Import to relaod new sidecars deposited in your photo’s folder after running DPL. This case is very rare.

Agree with yout two comments.


Thanks, Pascal!

I finished cleaning up the state of my files, using import (and a destruction of the database).
In the future, I think I will be even more careful with the sidecar files than I already was (I am considering keeping a copy of these in a personal git somewhere, so as to monitor and index changes).


I did more tests to make sure when sidecars are written.

I came across one case where sidecars are not exported automatically even with the Preferences options "Automatically export sidecars” and “Automatically import sidecars” checked:

  1. I copied the sidecar;
  2. I modified the file, and checked, sidecar was intact;
  3. I selected another picture; the sidecar was still intact;
  4. I quit DxO; the sidecar was still intact;
  5. I opened DxO again, and did “File -> Sidecar -> Export”; only at that stage the changes were reflected in the sidecar.

I am sorry, but it seems to me this is not to be what one would expect. I am using Version 2.1.1.

Also look here

and @Pieloe you ask for the path on a OSX in your lovely tutorial. Its like described by uncoy. The number at the end depends on the version you are using. With PL2 the name should be User/~/Library/DxO PhotoLab v2/
Besides there are also settings stored at /Library/Application Support/DxO Labs/ but no idea what those are, besides the licenses there.

Those directories contain all of the license files for DxO products and the launcher files for Film Pack and View Point.

Thanks RexBlock and KameraD :slight_smile:

In fact, my HTML file is already updated but not yed publisched.
Some news come.