PhotoLab never changes the original raw photo files.
Corrections are saved live in its database and replicated in the sidecars..

Sidecar files (file_name.dop) are an insurance against the corruption of this database or in case of unexpectedly displacement of original files.
Sidecars files contains all corrections and adjustments made. They are small and are produced in the same directory as the photos.
– Menu: Edit / File – Preferences – General tab “Load settings from sidecar file” option

* The sidecar files content is version dependent. PL is able to convert DxO sidecars automatically to the current version, but the files will not be able to be read old versions anymore.
* Sidecar files can be created and maintained automatically (recommended).
* They can be automatically loaded (taken into account) if enabled. So their content is prioritized on the database.
* PL saves the original pictures location to its database.


To move (or copy) a photo with its modifications, move the original file and the associated sidecar.

To reset the corrections already made, the easiest way is to move the photo files toward a new database unknown folder.
– Quit PL
– Delete sidecars files: file_name.dop with explorer / finder from Operating system
– Move the photo files to a new folder

To reuse the previous (empty) folder name.
– Open PL
– Destroy the previous folder from the PL source browser
– Rename the new folder name from the original folder name

The database is sometimes a source of problems, particularly slows down the system. It is desirable to delete it (in fact, it is better to rename it). After the PL next startup an empty database will be generated.
– Quit PL
– Rename the database PhotoLab.db available in the next folder:
Windows: C:\ Users \ <user> \ AppData \ Roaming \ DxO\DxO PhotoLab <version> \ Database \

Mac OS: / Users / ~ / Library / DxO Photolab <version> /



Sometimes PhotoLab can no longer display the images and indicates “This folder is empty” even though the images are present on the hard disk.
– Temporarily move all the files to another folder (with PhotoLab closed).
– PhotoLab opens the images in this new folder without difficulty.
– Then put them back in the right folder with the PhotoLab browser.

The sidecars allow to :
– transfer all image correction settings from one computer to another, regardless of the Windows or MacOS operating system
– share them with other users. Attach sidecar file to raw file


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