Lightroom 5.4 Library Module slow performance: FIX found!

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  • Problem
  • Updated 5 years ago
  • Solved
I've found a solution to a problem many others seem to have reported - but it does involve a work-around, suggesting the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom team need to fix a bug.

When a large number of Develop Presets are loaded into Lightroom (in my case, over 500), the Library Module, and strangely, to a lesser degree, the Develop Module run very slow.

Having performed some troubleshooting, I discovered the reason for the slowness was a CPU spike. On my iMac 3.4GHz with 32Gb RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX with 2GB, and 1TB Fusion Drive, the CPU would go over 100%, while the disk and memory allocations were low. I run Mavericks 10.9.2, so it's not a matter of an out of date OS. This occurred whether I had 10 images or 10,000 images in the catalog (I tested various scenarios).

I read on a forum that the number of Develop Presets could affect performance, so deleted the majority of them (backing them up first) to see if it would make a difference. I reduced the number of presets to less than about 100, and the performance increased INCREDIBLY and INSTANTLY.

So, it would seem to me there is a bug in the way the Develop Presets are being indexed in Lightroom. Hopefully, this is something the team can find and fix very easily, as it should be easy enough to identify the root cause and reproduce the problem.

Please, Adobe - release a fix for this in the next point release. It is disappointing not to be able to keep all my Develop Presets in a single session. My work-around is to exit Lightroom, copy in the Presets I need for a job, then start the program again. Obviously not ideal.

Many thanks,

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Matthew Porter

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  • sad, because this is something Adobe could easily have found and fixed in previous releases

Posted 6 years ago

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Chris Waring

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I have been suffering with this issue for the last few months starting to blame my ageing Macbook Air for the slow performance, but after digging deeper I can also confirm it is entirely related to the amount of user presets.

An alternative solution to deleting all your presets is to simply remove the "Quick Develop" module from the Library sidebar. Right click on the sidebar background and un-tick the "Quick Develop" option. You may have to restart LR but with any luck original performance should be restored!

Adobe developers: if you are reading this please investigate how the quick develop module is scanning for presets, there should be no need to do this every time we switch between images.
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Mark Thomas

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simon sanchez

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SBOD is continuous I cannot do anything here! I'm totally fed up and not that many presets to blame. ZERO workflow and no time to keep removing and adding presets.
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Mark Thomas

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If you’re getting lots of beachballs, check your hard disk. You don’t want a dying hard disk to corrupt your photos. I’ve had that happen.
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Thomas Stache

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How does Lightroom manage to render preset previews in the "Navigator" so quickly while I'm hovering over presets? Does it prerender previews for certain/all presets whenever the user switches photos in Library or makes a change in Develop? That
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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The Navigator preview is only about 350 x 490 pixels (on my screen), or 167K pixels, 73 times smaller than a 12 megapixel image, and 122 times smaller than a 20 megapixel image. Processing time is surely directly proportional to the number of pixels, so if it takes 1 second (say) to apply a preset to a 20 megapixel image, it would take about 10 milliseconds on the Navigator preview.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Official Response
This should be fixed in Lightroom CC/Lightroom 6.
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Cameron Braun

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Any word on whether this issue has been identified and/or resolved in Lightroom CC? I'm having terribly slow performance in CC, especially when switching to the Library module from the Develop module. I get the beachball and a weird black rectangle on my screen for about 3-4 seconds when trying to switch modules.

I have about 400 presets in my normal workflow, and I just reduced them down to about 20 to see if it would help. It seems that performance increases a bit, but the process of switching modules still causes my fans to kick on momentarily, which is usually due to a CPU spike.

I've tried disabling the Quick Develop panel, which didn't help. It seems as though you guys are aware of the issue, but it's not clear whether it's been addressed yet.

Any insight would be welcome.

For reference, I'm on a Retina Macbook Pro 2.6GHz i7 with 16GB of RAM on version 10.10.3. Lightroom Version 1014445.

Edit: After reducing the number of presets to 20, the lag is still very pronounced.