16 Replies Latest reply on Sep 21, 2016 9:12 AM by andrewl38006254

    .NEF Raw Files to .XMP Files.

    DrDarrell Level 1

      My RAW files have been changed from .NEF files to .XMP Files. How can I change the files back to RAW files?


      I am using CS4 PhotoShop and Bridge.

        • 1. Re: .NEF Raw Files to .XMP Files.
          PECourtejoie Adobe Community Professional

          Hello! XMP files are files that contain the metadata about your raw files, and the edits made in Camera Raw. They do not replace your NEF files.

          • 2. Re: .NEF Raw Files to .XMP Files.
            DrDarrell Level 1

            Can you give me any insight about how and why my RAW files are not showing up in my File Folder? 


            I seem to have lost 100's of quality files. I definitely don't want this to happen again.

            • 3. Re: .NEF Raw Files to .XMP Files.
              PECourtejoie Adobe Community Professional

              Hi! what did you do? did you view them in Bridge/Camera Raw? did you use the import from Camera script?

              Without more info, it is difficult to help you...

              What is your platform? Is Photoshop up to date? version of Camera Raw/Bridge, what is your camera?

              Please help us help you!

              • 4. Re: .NEF Raw Files to .XMP Files.
                Noel Carboni Level 8

                One more question:  With what application / feature are you viewing your File Folder (e.g., Explorer, Bridge, etc.)?



                • 5. Re: .NEF Raw Files to .XMP Files.
                  ssprengel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Originally the folder would have had NEF files, and when you edited them with ACR, a companion XMP file would have been created that contains the adjustments defined in ACR.  From what you say, the NEFs are now gone, but the XMP files remain.  Most likely you deleted them or move them somewhere else.  Without having looked over your shoulder, others cannot really tell you what might have occurred.  When NEFs are moved or removed with Adobe products, normally whatever happens to the NEF also happens to its companion XMP file, so that suggests something affected the files outside of Adobe products.


                  Are there any NEF files in the Recycle Bin?


                  What is the size of the XMP files, individually: a few 1000 (kilo) bytes, or a few million (mega) bytes?

                  • 6. Re: .NEF Raw Files to .XMP Files.
                    DrDarrell Level 1

                    My typlical work flow is as follows:


                    1) I remove my Compact Flash from my camera and place it in my Card Reader.


                    2) I open my files in Bridge.

                    3) I Rename my files to a decriptive name in a new folder on my External Hard Drive.


                    I don't remember altering this work flow. But, the Files ended in the new folder without having their names being changed but with the Extensions being changed from .NEF to .XMP.


                    I use a Nikon D3 Camera, (I have had the firmware updated within the past 6 months.

                    I use a Dell Insperon B130 Lap-Top with Windows 2000, (I don't remember when I Updated last). I use PhotoShop (Version 11) and Bridge (Version CS4.

                    • 7. Re: .NEF Raw Files to .XMP Files.
                      ssprengel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      So you have not opened any of the files in Camera RAW, so there’s no reason to have created an XMP file, yet?


                      Are your XMP files are 10MB+ in size?  If so, it is possible that you’ve somehow renamed your raw files from an extension of NEF to an extension of XMP.


                      The easiest way I know of to rename a bunch of files is with a DOS Command prompt.  My memory of what the menus in Windows 2000 are like is a little fuzzy, but here’s what I’d do, to rename XMP files to NEF files a folder at a time.




                      Open a command prompt by going to Start / All Programs / Accessories / Command Prompt.


                      Use the DOS CD command to find the folder the file are in.


                      Do a DIR to see that you are the right place and that there are no NEF files in the folder (DIR *.NEF) but that there are XMP files in the folder (DIR *.XMP).


                      Use the DOS rename command to change the extensions:


                      REN *.NEF *.XMP


                      Do a DIR to see that you now have NEF files (DIR .)




                      If the XMP files were really XMP-sidecar files with settings in them, then renaming then to NEF files will not make them open and you’ll probably get an error, but if they were really NEF files that you’d accidentally renamed to XMP files, then the above process should work.

                      • 8. Re: .NEF Raw Files to .XMP Files.
                        Noel Carboni Level 8

                        You keep saying the extensions were changed from .NEF to .XMP.  Have you not read what has been written above?


                        .XMP files are normally created by the Adobe software.  This likely has nothing to do with why your .NEF files disappeared, and you've got a misconception that the filenames have been changed.  You really need to look for why the image files have been DELETED or MOVED.



                        • 9. Re: .NEF Raw Files to .XMP Files.
                          DrDarrell Level 1

                          The  .XMP files are in the 5K size range and the Source .NEF files are generally in the 20-30M size range. I have already tried to change the File Extension form .XMP to NEF, I had no success.


                          Thanks for your comments. It's disappointing to have lost my Photo-Safari Images for the Death Valley. This gives me a resonable excuse to vacation in the Desert Southwest again.

                          • 10. Re: .NEF Raw Files to .XMP Files.
                            Noel Carboni Level 8

                            I strongly encourage you not to just accept the loss of files from your computer.  Computers do not normally lose data!


                            1.  I'd definitely strive to develop a theory about why they're gone - including examining anything you yourself might have done (like drag and drop them elsewhere, which ended up being a move rather than a copy, that sort of thing).


                            2. There's never been a better time to develop a backup strategy.  Anyone who keeps irreplaceable data on a computer would be foolish not to back it up to a separate place.  Windows offers very good backup facilities right out of the box.  I don't know about Mac, but I'll bet they do too.



                            • 11. Re: .NEF Raw Files to .XMP Files.
                              DrDarrell Level 1

                              Thanks for rubbing the salt into the wound!!!

                              • 12. Re: .NEF Raw Files to .XMP Files.
                                Curt Y Level 7

                                If you XMP file is 5K or so it definately is not your NEF file. 


                                It is possible to move the NEF file and leave the XMP file depending on what appilcation you used ourside of Bridge.


                                If you used a card reader to transfer files from the card to an external drive I see no way they would end up with XMP. 


                                Have you done this same operation before?  If not you may be running into a permission problem and the files never get transfered.  Externals can be tricky sometimes.


                                Try the same operation with one file to external and same file to internal drive and see how it goes. 

                                • 13. Re: .NEF Raw Files to .XMP Files.
                                  Noel Carboni Level 8

                                  I'm sorry you perceived that as "rubbing salt".  That wasn't my intent.  I'm just hoping to help you (and others who read this) avoid having it happen again.



                                  • 14. Re: .NEF Raw Files to .XMP Files.
                                    Hudechrome Level 2

                                    The OP says he is using win 2000.


                                    Win 2K will run CS5 ok?

                                    • 15. Re: .NEF Raw Files to .XMP Files.
                                      PECourtejoie Adobe Community Professional


                                      If you have not written new data on the cards, it is possible to recover the files. there are many programs to do that task.

                                      Did you perform a search on your hard drive to find the files?

                                      • 16. Re: .NEF Raw Files to .XMP Files.
                                        andrewl38006254 Level 1

                                        I wonder if this is connected to upgrading the OS system to El Capitan on Apple?   I have likewise lost some .NEF files and only have .xmp ones.    El Capitan interfered with uploading images from camera .   Luckily I still have the original memory card so I can reload.