Lightroom: LR5.2 - The Library Module is Painfully Slow

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  • Updated 3 years ago
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I am really busy and I was hoping that subsequent releases of Lightroom 5 would resolve the terrible performance I am getting primarily in the library module doing anything at all. I installed Lightroom 5.2 shortly after release and I have seen no improvement at all. I posted this to another forum and told I might get more response here. Here is my original post that provides all the details of my situation:

Doing anything in the library module after Lightroom runs for a while will stretch anyone's patience level to the breaking point. Once Lightroom runs and you work in the library for a while the program will hang just selecting an image or two. CPU usage goes up to 12 - 15% and whole system becomes slow to respond to even mouse movements. It can take 15 - 30 seconds for whatever Lightroom is doing to complete so you can do something else. During this period the Lightroom screen will even disappear and reappear. Key wording is especially problematic and I keyword every image I process. I was having keyword performance issues in the 4 versions and letting Lightroom recreate it's "Lightroom 4 Preferences.agprefs" file would clear the issue temporarily but the problem would soon return once I tagged a number of images. Lightroom 5 appears to have this same issue and issues with the entire library module.

In the develop module, if I pre-build my previews I can get some work done although it is slow selecting images. Tweaking an image that is open works well enough but is not as good as version 3. I am going to look for a way to document what I am seeing and get that to Adobe. Seeing is believing and this may be important in this case as the only reference to the problem I could find is on another forum. If there are not a large number of complaining users I have doubts Adobe will take the time to address or even look at the issue based on past performance and lack of urgency to address performance issues.

I have a good system that should not even break a sweat running a program like Lightroom.

It is a PC with:

Intel Core i7 950 @ 3.07 GHZ
Windows 7 64-bit
12 GB RAM
Image drive - Hitachi 4 TB 7200 RPB 64 GB cache with 1.56 TB free space

My system has had no issues with other programs including CakeWalk Sonar X2 (Digital Audio Workstation software) or Power Director (video editing publishing).

I have tried the Lightroom 5.2 RC (and now the regular version of 5.2) but it made no difference as I am stuck with the same issues.

Based on Adobe's advice, I created a single Catalog for all images, which currently number 63,365. I have optimized the catalog and have tried on numerous occasions anything I could find that would help improve performance. Since there is not a large number of users reporting these types of issues I believe the size of the catalog determines if this issue is experienced or not. I am going to try creating a new catalog for the next batch of images I process to see if I still have issues.
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Frank Kloskowski

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  • am frustrated because I love what Lightroom does but if I can't do what I need to do quickly my time is being wasted.

Posted 5 years ago

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Bill Young

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Similar issues have consumed vast chunks of time. Originally both stills and video would not cooperate in Library. various details posted in the user forum
http://forums.adobe.com/message/54900...
LR4.4 worked fine. Problem was with 5.0. Upgraded to 5.2, and the stills performance now seem to be improved. However, videos will sometimes play, other times I get only audio. Going to Task Manager shows CPU being consumed almost entirely by the dynamiclinkmediaserver.exe. RAM is not an issue; plenty available. All of a sudden this app uses 90% of CPU and LR hangs until it comes down. Could be minutes before that happens.
I have tried many of the suggestions for improvement on this site and the user forums, but no improvement to this fundamental issue.
In other words, LR5 may be an improvement in some of the available tools, but I am not able to get basic performance from it. Would it be acceptable that some cars just couldn't go more than 20mph, no matter if it has a nice paint job, a great stereo and heated seats? The engine needs to be reliable.
Going back to LR4.4 is only a temporary fix, until I get a new camera body that is only supported in LR5 or 6 or whatever at the time.
This is even recognized as a common problem on this site. Searching "Lightroom 5, slow" brings up 186 topics. Is a resolution being actively sought within the LR team at Adobe? If more bells and whistles are Adobe's priority, rather than fixing these issues, then please have the courtesy to let us know. Us users will need to find alternative applications, but at least we won't be waiting in vain for a solution.
Surely there must be some good ideas on why a user would encounter problems upgrading to 5.0 when 4.4 worked fine.
thanks
Bill
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Nicolas Gee

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Same thing happening here : updating metadata in the library modules is painfully slow, and can even result in funny-or-almost-so things like flickering screens with computer hanged.
Win7 Pro 64, AMD Athlon2X4 645, 12GB RAM, SSD for system and catalog, 2 1920*1080 displays. Working on stills only.

I'm reverting to LR4.4 which exhibits none of these problems.

Thanks for your help!
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Sammy Tan

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Hello.. this happen even when I have 30 or 40 or 50 photos and still after about 15 mins working on the photos.. it slows.. even for a simple thing as batch export or apply similar set effects. So the only way is to always time it about every 15 mins or i see it slow down, I will shut it down and restart it. Then it is fast again then it slows again so I do that how shut off and restart again for as long as I need to work on any photo files.
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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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"I believe the size of the catalog determines if this issue is experienced or not. I am going to try creating a new catalog for the next batch of images I process to see if I still have issues"

@ Frank

I have 226,000 images and am seeing none of this slowness.

Win 7 64 - 12 GB Ram - No SSDs - dual displays

I will be interested to hear the results of your test although I suspect it won't make much of a difference.
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Frank Kloskowski

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Glad to hear your having no issues Rikk. Must be nice. While the features of LR 5 are very useful the performance is costing hours of my time. I have been creating separate catalogs and it seems to help for awhile but the longer Lightroom runs the slower it gets. Start adding tags or interact with the library module and it will eventually grind to slow motion so much so that the screen flickers, the app goes totally unresponsive and the mouse becomes slow to respond. Restart Lightroom and the performance is better but soon the slowness creeps back in. It seems like the program is doing processing in the background that gets more and more out of control choking performance. I am a programmer by day and it is like treads are getting spawned off but lost as time goes on.

I may have to take a look at this myself with some of the programming tools out there. If the app is spawning of threads I should be able to track and document that.

I may also try installing on a new computer if I can get my hands on one. My hardware should have no issues at all running Lightroom though. Sonar S3 and Video Software which needs more system resources run beautifully on my current system.
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Nicolas Gee

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For the record, my catalog has a little less than 40k images, doesn't sound huge to me. it happened in a folder with 134 images (not that big either?).

What I feel is that the metadata is very slow to update when changed, and that does not seem to vary if "automatically write XMP" is unticked (I keep it ticked by default).
This update time gives a lag, and then when one makes successive updates, the lag add themselves and might lead to flickering white screens (it did happen once in double screen mode).
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Nicolas Gee

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To add a bit of data, the lag is already present when selecting images - they highlight after half or one second, sometimes, and only selecting an image or a few, that have not been selected shortly before, makes one of the 4 CPU cores peak at 100% (the 3 other stay at a few percent as expected) and lightroom becomes unresponsive for that second. Add a few other operation and things start to jam.
I'm in grid mode and I did render the standard previews.
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Greg Lundgren

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Any solutions to this yet? I just upgraded from 4.4 to 5.2 and have found the library module to be unusable for something as simple as selecting or rejecting an image. I've had the same experience as mentioned above: flickering screen, unresponsive mouse, etc. Yet resource monitor doesn't show anything outrageous. My hardware is more than adequate and 4.4 ran perfectly fine.
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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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1. Reset your preferences file.
2. If that doesn't work. Uninstall and reinstall LR 5.2
3. If using a Wacom tablet instead of a mouse, update your drivers.
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Sammy Tan

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I did that 5 time.. including upgrading the main CPU, RAM,OS to 64bit,new HDD..etc and I also have a wacom which is already reinstalled 5 times.. you want guess the end result ???
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Greg Lundgren

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Why would any of those suggestions help? I'll do them, but speaking as a software developer, I'd like to understand the logic behind them. BTW, I'm experiencing this problem on 2 completely different systems with different catalogs. It has to be a bug within the 5.2 product.
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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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I am experiencing it on on Zero out of Four systems.

"Why would any of those suggestions help?"
This has fixed other systems in the past.
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Greg Lundgren

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How large are your catalogs? One machine has a catalog of about 85k images; the other is about 70k.

By "reset your preferences file", do you mean delete it?
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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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Largest catalog 213,000 images.

Instructions for Preferences files:
http://www.lightroomforums.net/showth...
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Frank Kloskowski

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I am thankful for any suggestions at this point but unfortunately resetting the preferences file, something I have done so many times I have lost count, only seems to impact extremely poor performance when tagging images. This impact is like night and day for awhile but after about a half hour of tagging images the same poor performance creeps back into place. The general library module slowness for me is more a factor of how long Lightroom is running and actions taken in the library module.

The only good thing I can say that the develop module is performing fairly well when I render standard previews. Lightroom 4 develop module was sluggish and at least 5 provides adequate performance in this area.
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Greg Lundgren

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I reset the prefs but it made little, if any, difference. I also rebuilt all previews and thought that was the answer. Alas, it provided only a temporary reprieve. Once I started selecting and rejecting images, the performance began to degrade again. After only a few minutes, the mouse was barely usable and LR would stop responding. According to resource monitor, CPU, memory, and disk usage were all normal. This is very weird. Version 4.4 ran fast always. Something in the program's architecture must have been changed. Adobe needs to solve this so we can actually try the develop module rather than spending the rest of our lives waiting to select the next image.
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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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@Greg,

You don't say but did you attempt the uninstall/reinstall I recommended?
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Greg Lundgren

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Yes I uninstalled/reinstalled. I had hopes for about 5 minutes, but as soon as I started rejecting photos, performance headed toward zero as usual. This is not good.
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Greg Lundgren

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I just tried to do some keywording and the screen started losing and regaining focus and I couldn't switch to other apps. I think this is getting worse.
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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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Do you have Autowrite XMP checked in preferences?
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Greg Lundgren

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No. I use dng files anyway. I wonder if this issue has something to do with the lrcat-journal file. I don't recall seeing such a file in version 4 (but could be wrong). Since my catalog is on an SSD drive but my images are on a "spinner" - could the system be getting out of sync because the SSD is too fast? My hardware configuration has remained the same since LR3.6.
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Joel Holcomb

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I've been experiencing this same exact problem in the Library module since upgrading from LR 4.4 to LR 5.2 several weeks ago. My system is also reasonably well powered--Windows 7, 64 bit, Core 2 Quad Dell desktop at 2.66 GHz, 8 GB ram. I'm using two monitors, but that doesn't seem to make any difference. Some days, it doesn't seem as bad, but I'm not sure why.

One thing I've noticed that I haven't seen mentioned here yet is a big difference in the time it takes to display the histogram between the Library module and the Develop module. In the Library module, in either grid display or loupe display, after selecting a thumbnail for the first time in this session, it takes 6 to 8 seconds for the histogram to calculate and appear. There also seems to be a great deal more disk access going on when selecting different thumbnails, whether or not I have "Automatically write changes into XMP" selected in Catalog Settings. After selecting several thumbnails, one after the other, I can go back through them and the histogram appears within one second.

In the Develop module, it's much faster. Histograms for newly viewed files appear in 1 to 2 seconds at most. I am beginning to think it's something related to this difference in histogram calculation speed that is the main cause of the slowdown in the Library module.

Things I've tried that seemed to help, but haven't completely cleared this up are:
- Resetting preferences,
- Reinstalling LR 5,
- Increased cache size,
- Splitting my catalog up into several smaller catalogs.

Any thoughts on this?
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Nicolas Gee

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The slow histogram display may not be related : I have it with LR4.4, without the general slowness and the lag between the click and highlight of selection.

LR5.3RC does not seem to cure the bug completely : there can still be some lag at selection. I didn't manage to freeze it, but didn't try to either.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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For those experiencing a lag between clicking and the highlight of the selection: Try closing the Metadata panel in the right column.

I've noticed that when the metadata is set to show "Exif and IPTC", the lag gets pretty annoying. But closing the panel or setting it to "Default" gets rid of the lag.
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Nicolas Gee

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Great, many thanks John!

That did also the trick for me, the lag only happens when parsing the full IPTC data (EXIF & IPTC, IPTC, IPTC extended, but not Location), it is otherwise minimal and not obtrusive (as it was in LR4).
LR5.3RC for me.
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Frank Kloskowski

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Thanks John,

I was showing "Exif and IPTC" and setting it to default has made a major improvement. I still wish performance was faster all around but I can live with this.
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Sarah-fiona Helme

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John Ellis - you are a genius. Okay, this discussion was a year ago, but I've just found it - been having an identical problem for months/year and finding this fix has just made me the happiest photographer on the planet today!! So just wanna say thank you!
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Jens Lumm

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Wow! John... thank you very much. Had the same issue with CC and your solution works like a charm.
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Chris Nicholson

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BINGO! Thank you, thank you, thank you, John Ellis. That did the trick.

I was having the exact same problem as others, with the same troubleshoots failing. Closing the Metadata panel fixed it.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Good to hear. Which version of LR?
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Chris Nicholson

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5.2
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jukka vuokko

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Just found this discussion. I have suffered from same LR slowdown since 5.0, tried almost everything, frustrated, ...

I could never guess that solution is that simple as I have always keep EXIF + IPTC visible.

Now I have used LR 5.3 two days with matadata panel displaying only default information and all slowness are gone.

Thank you all!