Last updated on September 26, 2022
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The View menu is different for the PhotoLibrary tab and the Customize tab.

PhotoLibrary tab

Customize Tab


DxO Optics Modules

This menu handles the DxO Optics Modules required for fully automating your image processing:

Palettes (Customize tab)

This menu lets you manage the tool palettes in the Customize tab:

Workspace (Customize tab)

This menu lets you create and choose a workspace:


The Help menu contains a number of sections to help you make the best use of DxO PhotoLab. The options are as follows:


Right-click in the Image Browser and the Viewer:


General tab

The General tab is organized in the following manner:

Application preferences

Metadata synchronization

Correction settings

DxO PhotoLab database

Display tab

The Display tab is divided into three sections: “Common” for general program options, and two others specific either to the Customize tab or the Image Browser.


Preview quality

Project groups

Customize Tab

Image browser section

Six different icons can be displayed on the thumbnails in the image browser. You can choose to have them systematically displayed, hidden, or shown only on mouseover.

You can select the following display modes for each thumbnail icon:

Performance tab

DeepPRIME acceleration


The cache is used to store previews and thumbnails. Increasing the cache size, especially if you regularly process a large number of photos, improves the performance of DxO PhotoLab. In this section, in addition to the cache size, you can determine where the cache storage folder should be located by using the Browse button. You can also empty the contents of the cache by using the Clear button.

You can see the current size of the cache by hovering over the cache slider with the mouse pointer.

Display and process

DxO PhotoLab 6 (application menu)




The View menu lets you move from one tab to the other and controls the way images are displayed in both. Its contents depends on the tab displayed.

PhotoLibrary tab:

The first section of the menu lets you to switch between one tab and the other (PhotoLibrary and Customize).

Customize Tab

Image and right-click menu

The contents of the Image and right-click context menus are identical:


A message will appear to inform the user of the steps to take.

DxO Optics Modules

This menu handles the DxO Optics Modules required for fully automating your image processing:

Palettes (Customize tab)

This menu lets you manage the tool palettes in the Customize tab:

Workspace (Customize tab)

This menu lets you create and choose a workspace:


The Window menu controls the program window display.


The Help menu contains a number of sections to help you make the best use of DxO PhotoLab. The options are as follows:


You can access the Preferences via the DxO PhotoLab menu. The Preferences window is divided into three tabs:

General tab

Display tab

Thumbnails tab

Thumbnail display options:

You can select the following display modes for each thumbnail icon:

Process tab

Advanced tab


Metadata synchronization



History states

DeepPRIME acceleration

Source browser

Keyboard shortcuts

The keyboard shortcut tables below are provided for general purpose use and so do not include the full range of DxO PhotoLab keyboard shortcuts. Nevertheless, you can access them directly from the program interface:


New ProjectCtrl + NCmd + N
CutCtrl + XCmd + X
CopyCtrl + CCmd + C
PasteCtrl + VCmd + V
Select AllCtrl + ACmd + A
CancelCtrl + ZCmd + Z
RedoCtrl + YCmd + Shift + Z
Paste (text fields)Ctrl + VCmd + V
Undock/Dock image browser Ctrl + UCmd + U
HelpF1Cmd + ?
Go to PhotoLibrary tabCtrl + F1Alt + Cmd + 1
Go to Customize tabCtrl + F2Alt + Cmd + 2
Switch TabsCtrl + TabCtrl + Tab
Open PreferencesCtrl + Shift + PCmd + ,
Display the Reference Image (while pressed)Ctrl + DD
Maximize interfaceF12 
Full screen viewerF11Cmd + Shift + F
Show/Hide Image BrowserCtrl + F9Shift + Tab
Refresh Image BrowserF5 
Rename folder/file/project/presetF2 
Fit to screenF3Cmd + 0
Zoom to 100%F4Cmd + 1
Zoom inCtrl + +Cmd + +
Zoom outCtrl + –Cmd + –
Temporarily use the Hand Tool (hold down)SpaceBarSpaceBar
Go to previous imageLeft arrowLeft arrow
Go to next imageRight arrowRight arrow
Rotate image 90° leftCtrl + LCmd + L
Rotate image 90° rightCtrl + RCmd + R
Create Virtual CopyCtrl + JCmd + D
Add star ratingCtrl + 0 à 50 – 5
Export selected images to diskCtrl + Alt + PCmd + K
Image PropertiesCtrl + I 
Remove image from projectDeleteCmd + Del
Delete image from diskDeleteCmd + Del
Delete virtual copyDeleteCmd + Del
Print selected imagesCtrl + PCmd + P

PhotoLibrary tab

Commands PCMac
Expand/Collapse the source browserCtrl + F10  
Search folderCtrl + F  

Customize Tab

Display reference imageCtrl + DD
Hand ToolSpaceBarSpaceBar
Show the reference and corrected image side-by-side or in front/behindCtrl + TC
Show/hide all palettesF9Tab
Fit to screenF3Cmd + 0
Zoom to 100%F4Cmd + 1
Zoom inCtrl + +Cmd + –
Zoom outCtrl + –Ctrl + =
Show/Hide gridCtrl + GG
Show/hide informationCtrl + HI
Toggle highlight clippingCtrl + WA
Toggle shadow clippingCtrl + BB
Copy / Paste Correction SettingsCtrl+ Shift + C / VCmd + Shift + C / V
Create Virtual CopyCtrl + JCmd + D

Full screen viewer

EXIF & Navigatorii
Help & shortcutsF1Cmd + ?
RatingUp / down arrowsUp / down arrows
Direct RatingCtrl + 0-5 0-50-5
Pick7 or Ctrl + 7 or P Shift + Ctrl + 7 or Shift + P7 or Ctrl + 7 or P Shift + Ctrl + 7 or Shift + P
Reject9 or Ctrl + 9 or X Shift + Ctrl + 9 or Shift + X9 or Ctrl + 9 or X Shift + Ctrl + 9 or Shift + X
Untag8 or Ctrl + 8 or U Shift + Ctrl + 8 or Shift + U8 or Ctrl + 8 or U Shift + Ctrl + 8 or Shift + U
Rotate leftCtrl + LCmd + L
Rotate rightCtrl + RCmd + R
Next imageRight arrowRight arrow
Previous ImageLeft arrowLeft arrow
DeleteDelCmd + Del
Fit to screenF3Cmd + 0
Show image at 100%F4Cmd + 1
Toggle zoomDouble clickDouble click
Exit full screen modeEscapeESC

Useful information about how DxO PhotoLab works

The database, sidecar files, virtual copies, and component locations.

DxO PhotoLab uses a database and sidecars to automatically store large amounts of image information in real time, such as metadata and corrections.

The database, also called the PhotoLibrary, centralizes all this data, while sidecars accompany the images either in the form of separate files (in the case of RAW files), or as headers integrated into the images themselves (in the case of JPEG, TIFF, and also DNG files).

You can find useful information about the database and sidecars in the FAQs below.

The PhotoLab database

Where is the PhotoLab database located?

The database is on the main hard disk of your computer, in the following location:

What does the database contain?

The database centralizes information related to the images and the program itself.

Information related to the images:

Information related to the program:

Can the location of the database be changed?

Yes, but only on the PC version. To do this, go to Preferences > DxO PhotoLab Database. Click on Browse, and in the dialog box that appears, select the new location. It will take effect after restarting the program.

Can I transfer the database to another computer?

No, because it contains not only the location information of the images, but also information about the computer’s hard disks, such as their serial numbers.

Is the database cross-compatible between PC and Mac?

No, you cannot use a database from the PC version on a Mac, or vice versa.

Can I update the database?

The database is updated automatically. For example, when you install a new version of DxO PhotoLab. In which case the old database is backed-up.

What should I do if I have problems updating the database? Is it possible to roll back to the previous version?

You can uninstall the new version of DxO PhotoLab and reinstall the previous version. This way you will be able to recover your work with the old database that was automatically saved during the update.

Is the database backwards compatible?

No, a database saved during the installation of a new version of DxO PhotoLab will be incompatible.

So, it cannot be used with an earlier version of DxO PhotoLab. In this case, you will have to use the backed up database.

What happens if the database gets corrupted?

DxO PhotoLab displays a message that the database is corrupted and that you should restart with a clean database. The old database is backed up.

On a PC, DxO PhotoLab is able to start if the corruption is limited. For example, if the corruption is in a particular folder, a red cross will be displayed in the Image Browser if you have selected the folder to view its contents.

Can the database be backed up?

Yes, backup is possible at any time.



How do I restart using a backup database?



If the database was backed up to a location other than the default location, you can copy it to the location indicated in the first question.

Sidecar files (.dop and .xmp)

Sidecar files? What are they?

Settings files, also called sidecars, are created by the software to save image processing information and metadata. These files accompany the Raw files and bear the same name, followed by a specific extension like .dop or .xmp (for example: IMG_12345.CR2 + IMG_12345.xmp = Raw file + settings file).

The reason for sidecars is that the photo industry, and especially third-party software companies, assume that an original file should never be modified, hence the use of sidecars. For all other formats (JPEG, TIFF, etc.), the processing information and metadata are stored in the files themselves, in so-called headers — i.e., in places provided for this purpose. DNG is a special case: it is a container that is considered a free and open RAW format, and it encapsulates both the image and the processing information and metadata, so it does not need any additional files.

DxO PhotoLab uses 2 sidecar file types: .dop is proprietary and specific to DxO, also called a settings files, and .xmp is to enable interoperability with Adobe software (Lightroom, Photoshop) and any compatible third party software programs.

All the information stored in these files is also stored in the DxO PhotoLab database. This redundancy of information also ensures its durability and backup.

dop sidecar files

What is the role of .dop sidecars?

Specific to DxO PhotoLab, .dop sidecars:

When is a .dop sidecar file created?

It is created automatically as soon as DxO PhotoLab corrections are applied (provided that automatic saving is enabled in the Preferences — see below).

Which files have .dop sidecars?

What do .dop sidecar files contain?

The .dop files contain the following information:

So .xmp and .dop files contain redundant information, but DxO PhotoLab will read metadata from the .xmp sidcar file.

How does the writing and reading of .dop sidecar files occur?

There are two modes of reading/writing .dop sidecar files:

Is the use of .dop sidecar files mandatory?

Automatic saving/loading of .dop sidecars is enabled by default. If you do not wish to use them, you can disable this option in the DxO PhotoLab Preferences. However, we advise you to leave it enabled, as the .dop file is a 2nd level of backup for your correction and metadata information, in addition to the database of the program. So, if an incident occurs (basic data corruption or worse, a loss of hard drive content), opening your images and their associated .dop files in another inctall of DxO PhotoLab will let you recover your work.



If you disable loading/saving of .dop files, can you do it manually?

If you occasionally need a .dop sidecar file, to create one or to load one created in another DxO PhotoLab install, there are manual options.

PC and Mac (File > Sidecars):

.xmp sidecar files

What is the role of .xmp sidecars?

The .xmp sidecars, specific to DxO PhotoLab, allow interoperability between DxO PhotoLab and compatible software, especially for the exchange of information and metadata, such as the star rating, keywords, and IPTC fields.

When is the .xmp sidecar file created?

The .xmp sidecar is created automatically as soon as you enter keywords or information in the IPTC fields, and/or as soon as you assign a star rating.

Which files have xmp sidecars?

· RAW files (except for native DNGs).

Which files do not have .xmp sidecars?

What do .xmp sidecar files contain?

.xmp sidecar files contain the following information and data:

How are .xmp sidecar files read and written?

There are two modes for loading and saving .xmp sidcar files:

How can I enable automatic loading and saving of .xmp sidecars, and automatically synchronize the DxO PhotoLab database?



What happens if I have a metadata conflict and how do I resolve it?

If you change the metadata in an application other than DxO PhotoLab, or delete the .xmp file, this will lead to a metadata conflict indicated by the “S” icon in the top right corner of the thumbnail. If you click on this icon, a dialog box informs you about the conflict and how to resolve it:

Virtual copies

DxO PhotoLab lets you create versions of an image without actual duplication, and allows you to apply different corrections, settings and metadata to them.

What is the virtual copy based on?

A virtual copy is based on the source image, called the Master image, to which different corrections, settings, and metadata are applied as needed.

Where is the information related to the virtual copies?

They can be found in the DxO PhotoLab database, as well as in the .dop file of the source image (Master).

Does DxO PhotoLab create virtual copies automatically?

Yes, in the following cases:

Location of various components

DxO PhotoLab relies on a number of components that are present and sometimes buried in your system drive. Here’s where to find them.


To find the following folders, use the search field in the Windows taskbar and type in the folder names bookended by % (e.g. = %LocalAppData%). Some folders with the name DxO PhotoLab sometimes have the version number (e.g., DxO PhotoLab 6), not shown here.

Crash reports:
%UserProfile%\Documents\DxO PhotoLab crashes

%UserProfile%\Documents\DxO PhotoLab logs

Configuration file:


%LocalAppData%\DxO\DxO PhotoLab\Workspaces

%LocalAppData%\DxO\DxO PhotoLab\Presets

%LocalAppData%\DxO\DxO PhotoLab\Watermarks

DxO Optics Modules:
%LocalAppData%\DxO\DxO PhotoLab\Modules

%LocalAppData%\DxO\DxO PhotoLab\Cache

%appdata%\DxO\DxO PhotoLab\Database

%ProgramData%\DxO Labs\Licenses


To access the individual folders below, press the Option key to reveal the Library in the Finder Go menu. Some files with the name DxO PhotoLab sometimes have the version number (e.g., DxO PhotoLab 6), not shown here.

Crash reports:
~/Library/Application Support/CrashReporter/DXOPhotoLab_XXXX.plist

Configuration file:
~/Library/Preferences/com. dxo.photolab.plist

~/Library/Application Support/DxO PhotoLab/Workspaces/

Current workspace:


~/Library/DxO PhotoLab/Presets/

DxO Optics Modules:
~/Library/DxO PhotoLab/Modules/


~/Library/DxO PhotoLab/DOPDatabase. opdata

~/Library/Application\ Support/DxO\ Labs/Licenses/


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