How to Restore Your Custom Recipes When Upgrading from Google’s version of Nik Collection to DxO Nik Collection

When you upgrade from Google’s version of Nik Collection to DxO’s new version, it doesn’t bring your old custom recipes along. Here’s where I found them and restored them on Mac.

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DxO has revived the Nik Collection of plugins for Lightroom and Photoshop. The new version is called DxO Nik Collection.

The Nik Collection has long been one of my favorite sets of plugins for Lightroom, but it’s had a troubled history. The short version is that Nik Software developed it and built-in some quite unique tools. They sold it to Google. Google presumably took some of it and integrated it into SnapSeed. They then released Nik Collection as freeware. Google then abandoned it, announcing that they would no longer be updating or supporting it. DxO swooped in and convinced Google to sell it to them. And DxO has now cleaned up some of the code and re-released it as a paid app called DxO Nik Collection (even while bankruptcy threatened the company).

This initial DxO version doesn’t really offer anything new. It does squash some bugs and refreshes some of the code. Most importantly, it gives us some confidence for a future for this great set of tools. Hopefully, there’ll be some interesting new updates in the future.

But there’s an annoyance in the upgrade process. Just as when you went from the Nik version to Google, upgrading from the Google version to the DxO version doesn’t bring your custom recipes along for the ride. So when you fire the new version up, you’ll see a fresh install, and your custom recipes will be nowhere in sight.

The good news is that it doesn’t delete those old files. It’s just looking for the recipe files in a different place.

Where the Custom Recipe Files are Saved on Mac

First, though, I should point out two things. Firstly, I’m only referring to Mac here. I don’t use Windows, so I’m afraid I don’t know where the corresponding files in the Windows setup.

Secondly, I can’t guarantee that these are going to be where you’ll find them even on all Mac systems. But this is where I found them, and this is how I restored the old custom recipes. I’m posting it here not as a definitive how-to but simply in the hope that it might help someone else.

There have been three iterations of the Nik Collection. While the software itself has remained pretty consistent throughout, with each iteration, the recipe files have been saved in a different place. This is where I’ve found them on my system for the most recent two iterations:

Google’s Version:


DxO’s Version:


At each of those locations, you should find a folder corresponding to each of the individual plugins (such as Color Efex Pro or Silver Efex Pro) along with its version number.

If you drill down into those folders, you should see a handful of files and folders. The folder you want is UserPresets. When you look in it, you should find an individual .np file for each of your recipes.

Copy that whole folder across to the corresponding location under the DxO version’s preferences files. If the folder doesn’t already exist, no problem–just copy it anyway. Repeat for each of the individual plugins you use, such as Dfine, Silver Efex, and so on. Once you restart any of the Nik Collection plugins, the next time, you should see your custom recipes there. They might be alongside the default ones, so you might have a little cleaning up to do, but hopefully, your old recipes will be revived.

You should also be able to copy the Favorites folder across to the new version as well.

As I said, I don’t know where the corresponding folder is on Windows, but it should be there somewhere. A file search for .np should hopefully give some clues.

David Coleman / Photographer
by David Coleman

I'm a professional freelance travel photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. My images have appeared in numerous publications, and you can check out some of my travel photography here. More »

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