Lightroom: Performance and optimization: LR is slow

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  • Problem
  • Updated 2 months ago
  • (Edited)
LR 4 is excruciatingly slow. Until Adobe is able to do something about this I am recommending my students and readers continue to use LR 3 or switch to Aperture.


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  • 1 Reply Like

Posted 8 years ago

  • 202
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Pete Green, Customer Advocate

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Official Response
Hello all,
We do acknowledge that there have been a performance hit for truely "some" users, though that doesn't comfort the users that are seeing the performance hit that they are seeing, and professionals that do potentially lose time (which = money) due to the decrease in performance.

Now that there is acknowledgement of the issue, we still don't have a resolution, nor know exactly what is causing it on the multitude of systems that are seeing it.

Thanks to those that are delving in deeper to try to discover what the cause is, and hopefully we can all look for a solution, since it is happening on not all systems, but some.

I wanted to call attention to a potential solution that was given by another user on another forum after a chat with adobe support. I've paraphrased some of the steps and cleaned them up a bit so they can be digestible, but would be curious to hear of other's results after having tried these steps.

A fair amount of users are running in windows, and these steps are windows-centric, if you're a mac guru, perhaps you can divine how to perform similar steps on the mac platform.

Here is the chat log and troubleshooting steps.
Please try them out, and let us know if you see any improvement with any of these steps.
William is the tech, and Jojo the end user with performance trouble.

Chat log:
William: I understand that you're experiencing performance issue. Am I correct?
Jojo: Oh yes

Rename Preference folder
Please close all windows
Click the Start button.
Type %appdata% in the search box and press Enter.
Double click on Adobe folder.
Rename the "Lightroom" folder to "OldLightroom".

Clear Temp files
Click on Start button.
Type %temp% and press Enter.
It will open Temp folder.
Empty the files and folders inside it.

Results chat:
Jojo: ok done. it still has files that could not be deleted for Win Explorer and Google Chrome (the browser I use)
William: Okay.
William: Launch Lightroom and check if you're getting the same issue.
Jojo: that seems to have sped it up significant;y
William: Perfect.
William: Please double check if that works fine now.
Jojo: Much faster, but all of my presets are gone
Jojo: Export presets, etc

Rename old preference folder back so LR sees it.
Quit Lightroom.
Click on Start button.
Type %appdata% in the search box and press Enter.
Double click on Adobe folder.
Rename the "Lightroom" preference folder to "2-OldLightroom".
Rename the "OldLightroom" and rename it to "Lightroom".
After that open Preferences folder inside it.
Rename the file "Lightroom 4 Preferences.agprefs" and to "OldLightroom 4 Preferences.agprefs".
Launch Lightroom and test the performance

Results 2 chat:
Jojo: Oh yes, that's working well!
William: Perfect.
Jojo: Much better!
William: You can start working with the product smoothly now.
William: Great.
Jojo: Hey, are they fixing this in a release? I know a lot of photographers who are VERY upset about this performance issue. I was ready to change back to LR3
William: Corrupt preference may cause Lightroom to work slow.
William: We renamed the preference file and it is working fine.
End Chat log

Another user had mentioned that they "renamed the Lightroom 3 Preferences.agprefs to Old_Lightroom 3 Preferences.agprefs and now it works a lot quicker."

Those are at least a couple things to try that shouldn't take but a few minutes.
Report back with any change in LR 4.1 behavior
Photo of Pete Green

Pete Green, Customer Advocate

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Official Response
Hi all,

We have put together a technote containing several suggestions for optimizing Lightroom's performance that we hope will help.

Let us know which of these suggestions are helpful to you. Thanks!