You might already be familiar with XMP Sidecar files, but you may not realize just how incredibly useful these small files can be.

In this article, you’ll learn exactly what XMP Sidecar files are, why you should use them, and how to open these files in Lightroom and Photoshop.

What Are XMP Sidecar Files

An XMP file acts as a companion, or “sidecar,” file that comes into play when you work with raw files in Adobe software Leuk vinden Photoshop. It’s created alongside the raw file.

XMP staat voor Extensible Metadata Platform. These files hold all the adjustments you’ve made to a raw file, along with the original camera metadata.

These files are crucial for preserving the development settings of RAW files. Thanks to XMP Sidecar Files, you can transfer RAW files between different software applications or computers without losing any of the development settings made in Lightroom.

xmp sidecars

Numerous applications that handle RAW files utilize sidecar files to record metadata modifications without altering the original file itself.

Concerned about storage space? There’s no need – these files are incredibly small! In fact, 1000 XMP files occupy about the same amount of space as just one RAW file.


Why To Use XMP Sidecar Files

XMP files prove to be incredibly handy. Given the substantial size of RAW-bestanden, which can range from 10 to 30 Megabytes, transferring them between computers or individuals can be quite burdensome. In contrast, XMP files are much lighter, typically around 10 Kilobytes, making them a breeze to share and transfer.

Therefore, when two computers or individuals possess identical RAW files, the development settings can be easily exchanged by just passing along the XMP Sidecar Files.

Important Tip: Always ensure that these files are stored in the same directory as your RAW files to avoid losing any of your ratings.

xmp file

Opening XMP Files in Lightroom

When you edit a raw file in Lightroom, it doesn’t generate XMP files; instead, the edits are stored within your Lightroom Catalog.

However, this doesn’t mean Lightroom is incompatible with XMP files. In the desktop version of Lightroom, you have the ability to upload presets that are in the XMP format. Once these presets are installed, they’re also accessible on the mobile version.

  • Open an image in Lightroom.
  • Click the Presets button in the bottom right corner.
  • Select “Import Presets” from the dropdown menu.
  • Choose the XMP files you want to upload.
  • Apply the preset edits from the XMP files to your image.
  • Continue editing your photo as desired; all changes will be saved in the Lightroom (LR) catalog.

Should you prefer to have your metadata stored as part of the Adobe Extensible Metadata Platform, navigate to Catalog Settings and enable the option to Automatically write changes into XMP.


Opening XMP Files in Photoshop

To view an XMP file in Photoshop, simply open the related camera raw file; the metadata from the XMP file will load automatically.

An XMP file might act as a preset since it encapsulates a sequence of edits applied to an image.

  • Import edits from an XMP file into your photos using the Camera Raw Filter feature in Photoshop.
  • In the Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) workspace, go to the Presets tab.
  • Select “Import Profiles & Presets.”
  • Upload the XMP file types you wish to use.
  • Apply these XMP presets to any of your photographs.



Can I delete XMP sidecar files?

Yes, you can remove an XMP file and your camera raw files will remain intact and unmodified. However, doing so will erase all information about metadata and edits associated with that file – essentially, it’s akin to resetting to the raw file’s original state as captured.

Do I need to keep XMP files?

Yes. Deleting an XMP file means that any edits applied to your raw files will be lost.

How to convert an XMP file to JPEG?

Converting an XMP file to a JPEG isn’t a direct process. Instead, you must open an image, apply the XMP preset to it, and then save the image in the JPEG format.


Bedankt voor het lezen!

I hope this guide helped you know everything regarding XMP Sidecar files 🙂


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