.XMP files (extensible metadata platform) are an industry-standard format for holding additional data about your files. This can include things like edits which have been applied to the raw file or metadata information such as captions and star ratings.
If you or your photographer have done any editing to the image’s raw file, or added any other information to the file, a .XMP file with the same filename as the edited raw file will be created within the folder that contains your raw file.
If you want to delete the edits and information that have been applied to a series of raw images, the quickest way to do this is to delete the .XMP files. Be warned that this will remove EVERYTHING including star ratings and labels that you might have applied to the raw file!
You will typically only see the .XMP files when searching through image folders in your desktop file explorer. If you are viewing image folders through software like Adobe Bridge or Lightroom, you will not see the .XMP files unless you select to view hidden files. Instead, the raw images will be displayed with the information held within its paired .XMP file.
If you are renaming raw files, it is important the .XMP files also match the new filename of their raw counterpart. It is, for this reason, we recommend performing batch renaming actions in Adobe Bridge or Lightroom as these apps apply the new name to both the raw and .XMP file.
How to rename images using Adobe Bridge. – if you have .XMP files and want to do some simple file renaming.
How to rename images using Bulk Rename Utility. – if you don’t have .XMP files or are confident in knowing how to keep them matched when needing to perform more complex file renaming.
Check out this short video to visualise what .xmp files are, what they do, and how making changes to images and filenames can impact them.