Photoshop: Performance issues in with MacOS 10.11 El Capitan

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  • Updated 2 years ago
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  • (Edited)
I have been working with some heavy files now in Photoshop in El Capitan. While my machine in general is much faster and responsive with El Capitan, Photoshop feels slower and handles bigger files worse than in Yosemite.

For example Im working a big illustration, with about 50 layers, some of these layers in groups with effects on. Once I'm adding effects on a layer and continue painting on clipping mask layers on top of that, photoshop becomes completely laggy. And once it start struggling on this level it takes long pauses trying to catch up. Even picking color from such an image causes long waits.
What is peculiar is that the image files aren't enormous, about 500mb, it is the complexity of the layers that causes the problems. So I need to merge down effects and do non-reversible steps to keep working on the files.
I wouldn't reacted on this if it hadn't been for the fact that my machine was more than capable of working on these files earlier in Yosemite, and El Capitan is suppose to optimise the OS and make my machine handle more, not less.

I'm working on a retina iMac 4Ghz with 32gb or ram and with a Radeon M295X, so the machine should be more than capable.
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joachim barrum

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  • frustrated

Posted 3 years ago

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Adam Jerugim, Employee

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Can you do me a favor and take a look at the Console log (/Applications/Utilities/Console) and see if there are any messages that appear when PS slows down?  That may help us diagnose why the app is running slower on the new OS.  Thanks.
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joachim barrum

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Sure thing, here'a a screenshot of the console errors coming in only by trying to zoom and pick color on such a file. Photoshop completely crashed when I tried zooming in, despite it being a file I worked on perfectly fine in Yosemite.
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joachim barrum

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Adam, did that console log give you any useful info? If you need anything else, like the attachment files to that log or if you want me to test anything else, please let me know.

Also if you want, I can give you the PSD file which I tested in this case if you want to check this out yourself in El Capitan. In this file it is simply because of 1 layer that has a stroke layer effect and then another clipping mask affecting that layer, which is enough to make my CPU break down.

From all the bugs I found in Photoshop in El Capitan this is by far the most severe. The fact that files I could easily create in Yosemite are now too heavy for Photoshop in El Capitan is a very serious problem.
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Chris Cox

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Yes, that matches some problems we have seen in MacOS 10.11 and are discussing with Apple to narrow down the cause of the problems introduced in MacOS 10.11.
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jhcibils

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My Adobe Bridge recognizes not more my photo camera, after the update to MacOs 10.11...
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jhcibils

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Should I update to 10.11.3? or not? Thanks
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Design Dept

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same here, the space-cmb zoom is slow/jerky and the whole feel of photoshop doesn't seem to be better as promised.
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Jean Claude Blanchard

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Same problem with space-cmd to zoom in and out.
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murattanhu

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I have some problem with cmd-space to zoom in-out.
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Amy Rosenberg

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Photoshop elements 14 + iMac retina (latest), 332 gigs ram, El Capitan. Just bought it and it is barely working - crashing constantly. What's up?
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Reconfigure

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Same
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Adam Jerugim, Employee

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If anyone is interested in testing a potential fix for this, please email me directly at: first name dot last name at adobe dot com

Thanks.
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joachim barrum

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Hi I would love to test it, I tried emailing you at adam dot jerugim at apple dot com But the email was rejected. did I write something wrong? Or you could email me a joachimbarrum at gmail.com
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JustBob

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It's at Adobe, not Apple.
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joachim barrum

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Since of yesterday, I noticed the whiteworkaround.plugin wont work anymore. My zoom is back to the broken scrub zoom. I still see that the plugin has been loaded in System Info. It might be because I updated to 10.11.1 - the latest bugfix from from Apple, but I'm not sure.

Any help is greatly appreciated!
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Design Dept

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i'm on 10.11.1 and the scrub zoom still works with the plug-in although it's fairly jerky. maybe you could delete and re-install the plug-in? this is still pretty rubbish from apple and adobe though and they should have sorted this by now.
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joachim barrum

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I had installed the one I got on email, but after installing the official workaround from the adobe help page it seems to be working again. I do agree with you though that its fairly sluggish, Photoshop in general is pretty much the only program Ive noticed in El Capitan that has gotten a huge performance loss, while everything else performs better.

But, as long as it works, for now, I can at least work in my normal speed.
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Reconfigure

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I installed the fix from email and no change, photoshop performance is very poor

Opening a file, sluggish
Shortcuts to change tools, beachball
Zooming/painting/erasing, slow, jerky, beachball

Everything was good before el capitain

Version 10.11
iMac 27, mid 2011
16GB 133 MHZ DDR3
512GB SSD / 120G Free
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Have you tried restoring your prefs? http://blogs.adobe.com/crawlspace/201...

If that doesn't work, does disconnecting from Wifi/'net connections speed things up?
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Reconfigure

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Thanks for the tip, tried it, same, bad performance.
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Charlie Pratt

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Same result here.
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Charlie Pratt

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Same problems here. Doing anything is on a severe delay. Pretty much unusable for professionals.
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michael angove

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I am having the same problems. Tools have a lag when holding down to swap. Also Zoom bit crappy. NOT GOOD considering I am renting via CC - should be super up to date.
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haizdesign

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I am having problems with crashes on a regular basis, most often when trying to use Refine Edge commands. Opening type icons is really slow and I see the spinning beachball when going into the blur gallery. The whole thing is noticeably slower than on Yosemite, even opening PS.

These slowdowns are moving me to use Sketch for UI work...
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Peter Müller

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Think I have the same issue just on windows7. Everything is fine but if a layer is clipped to another photoshop starts working really slow.
Hope someone can help to fix this.
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G. MATTHEW DIXON

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I am having very similar issues with frequent hangs and crashes at random points. I have now been waiting a free transform scale up of a basic logo for 10 minutes with a spinning beach ball! Sometimes it will clear but not always and if i force quit and try to relaunch photoshop, sometimes it won't reopen the application. This is VERY frustrating since i am under deadline and have clients waiting on changes!
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Chris Cox

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Did you install the compatibility plugin to work around the known OS bugs in MacOS 10.11?
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G. MATTHEW DIXON

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yes. that was one of the first things i did but it doesn't seem to help. The issues have gone into illustrator now too... not sure what is happening and I have been fixing apples now for 10+ years...
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Chris Cox

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Photoshop and Illustrator share very little code. So most likely it is yet another OS issue.
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Andi@redfishblack.com

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I have a similar problem here with the latest Retina iMac maxed out with an addition of 64 GB of memory, el capitan, System is fast but photoshop gets sluggish on the zoom and on visibility of layers. Turning off the drawing mode to NORMAL in the advanced settings helped quite a bit, before the system's fan turned itself on after 15 minutes.
On my 2 year older iMac with the same image and the same settings this doesn't happen ( even when the drawing mode is on "advanced)
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Chris Cox

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The advanced GPU mode uses more shaders for display, which indicates that your current GPU or drivers have a serious problem with shaders.
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Andi@redfishblack.com

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How do I test that ? How does apple test that ?
What do I tell them ?

Chipset Model: AMD Radeon R9 M395X
Type: GPU
Bus: PCIe
PCIe Lane Width: x16
VRAM (Total): 4096 MB
Vendor: ATI (0x1002)
Device ID: 0x6920
Revision ID: 0x0000
ROM Revision: 113-C905AA-799
EFI Driver Version: 01.00.799
Displays:
iMac:
Display Type: Retina LCD
Resolution: 5120 x 2880 Retina
Retina: Yes
Pixel Depth: 30-Bit Color (ARGB2101010)
Main Display: Yes
Mirror: Off
Online: Yes
Built-In: Yes
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Chris Cox

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It's something we'd have to work with Apple to document.
But for some reason we aren't seeing it on our retina iMacs. There is most likely some other trigger/factor on the system that causes the slowdowns in the driver/GPU.
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Andi@redfishblack.com

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Chris , Thank you for replying ! Will you please keep me posted, is there something I can send ?, System reports, screen captures etc. It's a brand new computer completely clean installed ?
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Chris Cox

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The report you gave is helpful. I've got a similar system ordered for myself, and will do some extra performance testing on it.
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Andi@redfishblack.com

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I noticed it was the worst the first day when I rebuilt my private iPhoto library. I simply I imported images.
The system froze, fans went on.
Also It gets worse while using Skype. Which was never a problem before. After switching to normal mode in Photoshop it is somehow workable again but not very satisfying with this kind of powerful computer.

Andi
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Reconfigure

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How is this not fixed yet? 4 months and photoshop is unusable, why do I pay $50 a month for this?
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haizdesign

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Agree. No wonder there seems to be a migration by a lot of Mac users to Affinity Photo. I personally open AP 3-4 times more than PS now just because it has become so slow to load and work with. This is not an issue of price ultimately, but the time it is costing my business to get things done.

Part of the problem is that Adobe are building on legacy code and the bloat/lag issues are the result.
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Chris Cox

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Most users aren't seeing any such slowdown.
We keep investigating and finding external causes of the slowdowns (third party plugins, utilities, other applications, bad disks, etc.).

The Retina iMac 5k may be a special case - we're still investigating that one.
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haizdesign

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Chris, with respect, there are multiple posts across the Internet regarding system slowdowns with CC and El Capitan. I don't rule out that my system may have issues that play a part in this, but in my experience, CC2015 is not working well on El Capitan.

I have used PS for over 15 years on a daily basis and upgraded through operating systems and PS incarnations. I have performed clean installs on systems that have been wiped and rebuilt and different machines.

It seems disingenuous to suggest that users' experiences are all isolated and given the appearance of Adobe on stage at a recent Apple event, disappointing that a lot of money is being paid to use a product that is not performing as expected.
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Chris Cox

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Yes, multiple posts. And yet most users have no such problem.
Again, we have investigated several cases and found external causes, but no internal causes yet.

But the iMac Retina 5K seems to be a special case that needs more investigation.
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haizdesign

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Chris, I have just updated to OS X 10.11.3 and notice a big improvement loading and running the also newly-updated Photoshop 2015.1.2.
Crossing my fingers!
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Reconfigure

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This seems to have fixed it for me, thanks google.

https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/...
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Andi@redfishblack.com

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Hi Chris, did the update today and OSX yesterday. Nothing changed so far but I didn't expect that. But what I also notice while working is that transformation is quite sluggish in 50% or 100% and very strong in 66.7% etc.
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Andi@redfishblack.com

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@Chris... today I noticed that while I was working with Photoshop the fans went on, I was using Skype with a client.
I didn't actually work while on Skype, but after I ended the call and went back to Photoshop there was a lag, most noticeable when I went to liquify. It took at least a couple of seconds for the picture to built up in the liquify mode.
Fans are off. as if something is blocking the video card or holding the ram of it.
And liquify hardly worked.
I just restarted Photoshop only and it's back to "normal".
I restarted the computer that didn't improve the "drawing" lag.

(What i definitely noticed. Every time I upload or download data the fans go on and Photoshop slows eventually. I am hardwired to the internet and have a fast upload and download speed 50 mps up and down)
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Andi@redfishblack.com

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also when I look at the % CPU usage, just toggling the layer visibility spikes the usage easily to 225 %. Is that normal ?
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Chris Cox

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That depends on the image, but Photoshop is using all the cores to composite the image and show you the preview. But that shouldn't take long.

And the lag in Liquify sounds like something is wrong with the video card driver.
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Andi@redfishblack.com

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Chris, a week later, definitely the use of Skype even without the camera on on both sides gives a lag while using the stamp tool for example. After ending the call ( Skype is still open) it works normal again.
And I experience crashes in toggle windows (F) which only gets resolved by a system restart.
(Edited)
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Andi@redfishblack.com

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Wait, is this a brand new plugin or is this older ?
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Reconfigure

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The one emailed to me did not work, that plugin works for me.
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laden m

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hello,

i'm following this discussion for a long time, cause was not sure if it's safe to upgrade to El Capitan.

i was working on Mavericks (10.9.5) and avoided Yosemite (10.10) because of all the incompatibility with the Adobe products.

After the recent updates from Adobe and Apple, i decided to try El Capitan.
I've done a clean OSX install of El Capitan 10.11.2 and the 10.11.3 update came just yesterday.
I'm working already a week with it and can't find any major problems.
I'm working with heavy PSB files, mostly compositing with a lot of layers.

I can't make a direct comparison, but i have the feeling that there is some slight lag when using the pan tool. the movement is kind of "jagged". also moving the layers and objects feels slow.

the liquify tool works smooth and fast.
it was only once very slow, with one very small black pixel drawing on transparent background?

didn't saw any black boxes or distorted images either.

so overall it's acceptable until now.

i am working on two different machines and have the same results on both of them:

Mac Pro 6,1 (2013)
3,5 Ghz
32GB ram
2x AMD FirePro 500

MacBook Pro Retina (2013)
2,7Ghz
16GB ram

i'll keep you posted if anything changes.
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Chris Cox

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Thanks for the update.
Yes, we know that most users are not seeing big slowdowns or problems on MacOS 10.11. But we still have a number of OS bugs open with Apple that have not yet been fixed in MacOS 10.11. (some of which we've gone ahead and worked around)

The iMac Retina 5K still seems to be a problem, and we are continuing to investigate reports of performance problems there.
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laden m

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hi chris,

after some further testing and actually working on some real projects, i can definitely see some lag when zooming in/out. (cmd+ cmd-) i don't use scrubby zoom. also panning is kind of jagged. transforming an object also needs some more time before the transform frame shows. sometimes even the rotating beach ball appears. all this was definitely not the same on mavericks (10.9.5).

on top of it i just added additional 32gb of ram, with total of 64 now.

the rest like: filters, layer palette, brushes, etc. feels fine.

i hope apple and adobe are still working on some tweaks to bring back the smooth user experience.

thanks!
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joachim barrum

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After I upgraded El Capitan to 10.11.2 the problems I was adressing got fixed. I used the white windows patch fix from Adobe earlier, which fixed some of the problems but I noticed performance lags because of it. But after 10.11.2 and now 10.11.3 it works fine and I have also removed the Adobe patch plugin.

But I still notice some performance issues when Im making a layer which has layer effects and use that as a clipping mask of another layer or a folder with multiple layers inside. Of course this is something I understand is heavy for the machine to update the effects on all underlying layers, but it was better before in Mountain Lion.
And also Photoshop often starts up without any menus and I need to restart it again.(this happened in Mountain lion too though)

But none of these issues are making my daily work harder, so I haven't complained. So I can say to everyone that its safe to update to El Capitan as long as you get the latest updates of El Capitan
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Chris Cox

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Starting up without menus is a new one -- that shouldn't be possible if the OS is working correctly. My first guess would be a third party plugin causing problems during UI initialization.
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joachim barrum

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Right now I have the Coolorus plugin, thats the only one I have installed in Photoshop. But I've had this problem previously before I installed Coolorus too. And its not broken preferences, I tried to reset that. Also it has happened before a fresh install of OSX and after. It started when I started using Photoshop Retina version. I have a 5K iMac. It happens more frequently if I drag an image over the photoshop program icon to start up Photoshop, and less if I click the icon first and then drag the image in after photoshop is loaded.
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Chris Cox

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I haven't heard of anyone else with that problem since MacOS 8 days.

And the problems we've seen in the OS (and the Retina 5K) wouldn't come close to explaining a lack of menus.

Do you have any utilities that modify the OS menu behavior or drawing?
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joachim barrum

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That's strange, I thought it was common. If I'm the only one having this problem I assume it has to be something apart from Photoshop that are causing it. Weird then that I've had it for a long time both on old and a fresh install of OSX. I dont have any utilities that modify the OS in any way.

Its not a big problem, it happens about every 5th time I start Photoshop.
THough it would have been nice knowing why it happens.
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Eric DosSantos

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Hello, I didn't really have any problems until today. I upgraded my CC to the newest version. I upgraded to El Capitan a while back without any problems. However today, I am getting a bunch of very large colored pixels that follow my cursor.

I have attached an image



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Chris Cox

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Are you using a non-Apple video card and the NVidia web drivers? If so, contact NVidia and see if they have a fix for that yet.
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Eric DosSantos

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Yes I am using a Titan. I figured that may have been the issue. Weirdly it fixed itself after 3 restarts...
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Eric DosSantos

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OK problem is back!  Does anyone have a way to fix this?  This is getting old :(
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Chris Cox

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You need to contact NVidia if you are using their web drivers.
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Federico Obregón

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Hi, I'm having a similar problem.
I am running OS X El Capitan 10.11.3 and Photoshop CC 2015.1.2
Working on a PSD that's about 600mb with several layers, clipping masks and layer styles... is becoming very hard, veeeery laggy. And sometimes impossible (Ps crashes).

I have an old Macbook White 7,1, (2,4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo)  but I've upgraded it to 16gb 1066MHz DDR3 RAM.
My video card is NVIDIA GeForce 320M 256MB.

I was not having this kind of problems what CC 2014, this started when I've upgraded to 2015.
Let me know if I can provide you with more info, but I really need a workaround... it's impossible for me to work with Ps under this scenario.

Thank you.

PS. Sorry for my english.
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Federico Obregón

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No problem Chris, get better.
Please let me know when you have some time to check the PSD I've sent you.
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Chris Cox

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So far I haven't found anything off about the file, and haven't been able to reproduce the crash.  I'll keep looking.
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Federico Obregón

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OK Chris, thank you. Let me know, remember you told me there was something related to vector paths in the crash report.
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Federico Obregón

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Chris, any news regarding the "paths" issue? Thank you.
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Chris Cox

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I haven't been able to reproduce the problem at all.
So while the crash report is a clue that the problem involves paths, we're still missing some important step or factor that actually causes the crash.
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Vincent A

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So what's the final fix for the scrubby zoom and slow running. I installed the plugin as prompted but don't seems to see any difference. Is downgrading finally the best option ? 
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Federico Obregón

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Sadly, it was my choice... now working on CC 2014.