Where does Photo Lab 2 store its library

For macOS there is no settings or it is not in the Preferences :neutral_face:


I don’t appreciate the implication of your response. I, like you, are not now and never have been in favor of the development of a DAM and have spoken strongly against the development of one. Too bad you missed it. But, that is not what this thread is about. The OP inadvertently used the term Library when he meant backing up the database which is kind of important when one does not need and does not want their folders filled with thousands of .dop files, or may not even know the sidecar feature exists. If I recall it is not set on by default.

Although I’ve used sidecar files for close to a year and a half, I didn’t use them for the first few months after I moved to PhotoLab. Not every PhotoLab user has the same process flow requirements that you do. In my post which you criticized, I was explaining to the OP the logic of not putting the database in an easy accessible location where the uneducated could muck it up by inadvertently moving it or deleting it, and how to properly back it up which was his main concern in the first place.


Wow, this generated alot of replies, and I only understand a limited number. However, one thing I can say, which I noted in another forum, is that my cloud backup service, otherwise excellent in all respects, recently decided it was no longer going to back up system files. So that would include the original database location, as well as my autocorrect and user dictionary in MS Word, which have taken literal years if not decades to build. I think anyone who knows how to reveal hidden files in window is proabably skilled enough to use them.

I hope all this stuff above is in the manual. I have not found a text for Photolab and I was only able to get NIK Software Captured because I found a used copy on Ebay. Lightroom of course has many titles including Lightroom for dummies. Wheres Photolab for dummies??


It would great if you would say it more often and not offer as much cover for DxO as you do, Mark. DxO at the end of the day is accountable to its paying users, not the birds in the bush, Lightroom users, they naively hope to attract.

Improving performance, keeping up with current cameras and lenses and maintaining/reverting cooperation with other image/photo applications are the three things DxO could do to attract more pro photographers. As PhaseOne has calculated well, pro photographers are important for the halo effect. The halo effect attracts the well-heeled amateurs who actually fund these premium/pro apps.

The other pseudo-Lightroom category is at a different price point: On1, Luminar. None of them offer the quality of output in expert hands of Lightroom, C1 or PhotoLab. PhotoLab has a visible advantage in quality of output at high ISO, particularly for Canon and MFT, as well as in ease of use to obtain first rate results.

We get it already. You are very unhappy with DXO on a number of levels. But guess what, you are not the only one. I, like many others, just don’t revisit the issues we have with DXO in every thread we participate in. I think DXO has already gotten your message.These continuing diatribes are nothing more than flogging a dead horse. They will either take it to heart and do something about it or they won’t. However this thread had nothing to do with the DAM, It was just about the location of the database for someone who wanted to back it up.


This thread turned included additional patronising recommendations that users not touch the holy PhotoLab software or the database. Which reminded me of you suggested that DxO wouldn’t be able to remove the Nik button from PhotoLab via a checkbox in preferences because of the weeks of development and testing involved. Correct answer of course is that it’s about two hours of work and could be tested and shipped with the next minor version.

Most if not all of the people using DxO PhotoLab are grownups who have the right to know how the dysfunctional PhotoLab database works and how to delete it, so they can enjoy the good things which PhotoLab has to offer. Relocating the database sounds like a good idea as right now on all my computers I’m forced to maintain a sidebar item in the Finder pointing to the DxO database folder in my Library. It’s extremely annoying to have to do that much babysitting of a single application just to be able to update file ratings and processing info (not exactly sure how new .dop are handled, any empirical information welcome).


There are some issues being discussed on this thread that have nothing to do with your initial question. Unfortunately, there is no PhotoLab for Dummies, but here is a link to a user manual that you may find useful.

Did you actually read and understand what I wrote in response to the OP. It was about newbies to PhotoLab not inadvertently screwing up the database with easy access to its location, and helping him understand how to back it up. Nothing more. Any advanced user can easily get to it. What in the world are you going on about?.

And bringing up the Nik button yet again, in this thread? I won’t waste time rehashing this personal attack on me. I’m glad you agree with me though that the effort is much greater then the 5 minutes @birdpictures indicated was all that was needed, and to which I originally responded.

You are hijacking yet another thread to push your agenda. It seems like many, if not most, of your posts lately include angry comments about your frustrations with DXO. Haven’t you noticed yet that not everyone is as angry as you? Those of us who have a lot of experience with PhotoLab, and post here regularly, are familiar with DXO’s various development and marketing issues, as well as the problems that users like yourself have had. I certainly sympathize that you are having so many frustrating issues with PhotoLab and DXO. But frankly, its getting a bit tiresome to hear your constant and repetitive complaining, especially in responses to my posts intended for other people. While there are certainly many things that frustrate me about DXO and PhotoLab, and which should be addressed and improved upon I, for one, would rather spend my time learning how to use the current version of PhotoLab to its best advantage rather than constantly castigating it for what it may lack.

Your response to this thread was completely unrelated to the OP’s query, added no value, and probably confused the hell out of this new user. I expect a really nasty or condescending response from you, but it had to be said. You clearly hate so much about DXO and PhotoLab, and yet you continue to use it and post here. It boggles the mind.



AppData on Windows and ~/Library on MacOS are the standard locations for user settings. I’m happy that even on Windows more and more applications are following the rule to store settings where they belong.

If a backup software doesn’t store these folders, and ideally the whole user profile, it is not worth spending any further thought. You should immediately switch to something reliable.


I agree with you that the files are installed in the appropriate area, although others may have a different opinion. In my experience most of the non professional commercial backup software, commonly used by the average end user, has to be explicitly set up by the user to access those areas.

Keep in mind that most users are unfamiliar with where and how Windows stores application related data, and as a result, the AppData folder may be hidden or difficult for them to drill down to. That can be problematic as they may not understand where software related files are installed, and which of those files might be important to back up.

I suspect that most home computer users also have not taken sufficient time learning how to configure their backup software. That’s why today so many use simplistic pre-configured software that is limited in scope but requires little or no user intervention. Luckily, with regard to the PhotoLab database, Photolab has a menu option to backup and restore the database to and from a user defined location.

Perhaps we can reduce the heat and increase the light? :sunglasses:

Sorry about that. I try to ignore his posts when they go negative and I know that arguing on an forum like this is childish. Unfortunately, in this case, I felt compelled to respond when he, for no apparent reason, decided to include me in his rant. If he had left me out of it, I probably would have ignored his diatribe for the sake of maintaining harmony. However, I was pretty angry with his condescending personal attacks and stand by every word I wrote. I suspect his response to my post will be less than kind. But, I will attempt to ignore it for everyone’s sake.:slight_smile:



Actually my post was meant to be in accordance with my quote of You.

@uncoy - couldn’t we ratchet things back a notch?

Danke an die Erinnerung Nik Button, aber auch die Geschwindigkeit wird immer vernachlässigt!

Google Übersetzer:
Thanks to the reminder Nik Button, but also the speed is always neglected!


As long as there’s not a checkbox to remove the in-app advertising inside PhotoLab and I’m still paying for it, probably not. I’ve been very clear about that: either DxO adds a preference to make that ugly Nik button go away or as far as I’m concerned, they’ve defaced software for which I’ve now paid more than €300.

MWSilvers brings it on himself with his patronising posts and his contorted apologetics for DxO. PhotoLab exists because of us (we’re the people who gave DxO €300+ for their Photo Studio now that Nik has been through its second paid iteration). DxO answers to us, not to the Lightroom users who will never migrate to PhotoLab while it’s in this price category (€200+) and not in the lower tier ($100-).

I’m delighted to help users use PhotoLab better, I use it every day myself and do very good work with it. On the other hand, I don’t think we should cut DxO much slack considering how they’ve handled our money and software improvements (lack thereof) over the last two years.


I think its probably best going forward that we don’t respond to each others posts or reference each other by name, for the sake of other posters here. Perhaps we will be able to resume a civil discourse between us at some point in the future.


[Emerging from the ditch in which I was hiding until the smoke cleared …] Comments made in this thread have raised additional questions, however I shall break them down into their smallest indivisible parts and post them separately. I will limit my questions to the database/library, although some of these questions stem directly from the manual. I find that manuals have a tendency to give you the how but not the what and the why, and without those learning to operate a new program becomes almost route memorization.

The manual indicates that once a file has been processed in PRIME a file will have a blue banner with a P in the upper left which I assume to mean when viewed in the library window. However, my PRIME files show no such thing, instead showing a star in the same place. And for that matter, is the noise reduction stored in the side car? [see below]

On the other hand, some files have a check mark in lower right, indicating “done”. OK, what’s done?

About the library/database: based on your discussion I looked up what a sidecar was. So is .dop the sidecar file? This would indicate to me that even if the database were destroyed all the work that I’d put into a file would not be lost, as opposed to Lightroom, which I believe stores those changes in the catalog itself, and so to lost the catalog is to lose any changes in a file and you go back to square one. Am I correct in any or all of this?

Finally in the output to disk there is both a standard option, and in my case a TIFF option which read exactly the same way. Is that because the standard option is the default and will remain so until I check another option below it?

Thanks for your help with this.:sunglasses:

Josh, that’s exactly why you should have sidecards enabled.

The other advantage to sidecars is that you can just move a full folder from one computer to another. For example, I am away on a weekend and start the work on a set on my MBP. When I get home, I can transfer that folder directly over to my 12 core Mac Pro tower and just keep working. And if I go away again, I can move the folder back to my MBP.

The only issue to be careful with when migrating folders is that you don’t do work in both copies and then try to merge. That’s tricky.

Easy portability of image folders is a huge advantage of PhotoLab over Lightroom and most other RAW developers (Iridient Developer employs a similar sidecar system and I highly recommend it for Fuji X files). The primitive database system which DxO has added suggests that file portability with PhotoLab may be under threat one day. Hopefully DxO is aware that folder portability is one its most important advantages over its competitors.

Sorry for the unfortunate distraction.

On my Windows 10 version there is no blue banner, and images that have had prime applied show a small white diamond (which you refer to as a star) in the upper left corner.

Some entries in the manual may have not been updated since the DXO Optics Pro days which preceded the rebadgeing of that software to PhotoLab. The last version of DXO Optics Pro was version 11. So including PhotoLab there have now been 13 versions of this software. The single biggest change in the first version of PhotoLab from late 2017 was the inclusion of Local Adjustments.

All edit settings, including PRIME, are stored in the sidecar files. If you were to transfer a copy of a raw file and its associated .dop sidecar file to another computer to be edited in PhotoLab Elite, the edits, including PRIME, would be identical in all respects. PRIME NR isn’t stored in sidecar just the instruction to use it.

The .dop is the sidecar file. It contains all the edits and settings for a particular image. Copying the sidecar file and raw file to another computer with Photolab will yield identical results. LIghtroom has sidecar files as well with an .xmp extension. You may just not have turned that feature on. I believe that both Lightroom and PhotoLab have this feature disabled by default. In PhotoLab if you check both sidecar check boxes in Preferences, edits will be saved to sidecar files, and loaded from them, instead of the database.

The various options on the left just modify the settings in the standard output screen. They do nothing that you couldn’t do by changing the standard output settings directly yourself. Some people just find them more convenient to use. I never use them myself. All the settings remain as they were last set. They do not automatically revert to default settings the next time your export.


So the presence of dop files in the explorer directories does indicate that sidecars are enabled, nothing I did myself.