Updating files edited on a different computer

I’ve recently come back from a trip where I did some editing on a laptop along the way. When I got back, I moved the files to my desktop computer, and did a bunch of editing.

I’d now like to update the laptop to reflect the edits. I’d use a transfer drive to do this, rather than a network connection.

Can I do this by just copy/pasting the .xmps from desktop to laptop, folder by folder?
Is there any follow up needed to update the database, or will that be done automatically?


You need to enable the option in the preferences to look for new xmp files on startup. Then you can move over the xmp files.

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Thanks, took a while to find that setting.

I use the free version of a file/folder synchronization program, Synchredible, to mirror what is on one machine to another via a network connection; and also, to mirror from drive to drive.

It will duplicate exactly what is there, including any sidecars and any changes to any file.

It can be set to duplicate a single folder or an entire hard-drive.

To just do it once, you can:

  1. remove (not delete) the images from darktable
  2. sync the XMP files (bringing in changes from the other computer)
  3. import the files (without copying)

This way, you won’t forget to disable the setting. Of course, if you’re comfortable having it always enabled, that is the simpler option.

This worked for me. I had not luck with only enabling the preference to always look for new xmp files on startup.