This issue started gradually and has now made Lightroom Classic unuseable.
Full system specs from LR are at the bottom of this post.
Macbook Pro M1 - 16GB RAM - LR Classic 10.2
Camera Raw Cache set to 20GB
Brand new laptop with 700GB available space
Upon opening the import dialog (through clicking import, or when adding a folder) to add local photos to my catalog, the tiles for photos in the chosen folder are shown but no thumbnails are generated. CPU is maxed out, disk write useage goes WAY up, and nothing happens if I wait for thumbnails to generate. Clicking import results in an extremely slow import that takes hours for a small handful of photos... even for only 1 photo. If I cancel the import dialog, it closes, then if I close Lightroom, I get a crash dialog and sometimes I have to force quit.
Screenshot of import dialog attached.
This import process used to be blazing fast with no issues. I used to add photos to a folder already in my catalog and use the 'synchronize folder' option to quickly add the pics to the catalog with no error and lightning quick speed.
I have tried EVERYTHING I could find as a suggestion online.
• I've seen posts where users are being told to designate the destination in the import dialog - I'm adding a folder of photos and leaving files where they are. Destination shows 'My Catalog' with no options. I've tried changing to 'Move' and 'Copy' and the same issue persists. Photos can be on an external drive or local machine and it doesnt change the issue.
• I have tried using my existing catalog (on my local machine) adding photos on an external drive – this has been my standard setup for YEARS and has never given me probelems. My external drive is a Sandisk Extreme SSD 1TB. Previous drive was a 2TB Seagate HDD that never gave me issues either.
• I have tried creating a brand new local catalog with no files and adding local files - as little as 1 local file and as many as 100 from a single folder - still has the same issue.
• I have tried uninstalling LR Classic and reinstalling
• I have tried rolling back to v10, v10.1, v10.1.1 and all produce the same issue
• I've reset preferences for all catalogs and still have the same problem
• I've attempted to re-start my macbook and run in safe mode - same issue
• I've attempted to repair permissions and also run first aid on my macbook - same issue
• I've given LR full disk access - same issue
The ONLY thing I've tried that gave different results was creating a new user profile on my macbook and attempting to add photos to a brand new catalog. The first import attempt, the import dialog behaved as usual - super fast and responsive with no issue - I thought the issue was solved. BUT I tried to import a second time and the problem was back - no import thumbnails and a crash when exiting. I don't think creating a new user profile for every import is anywhere near remotely reasonable.
I'm at a total loss for where to go next.. my catalogs are just about useless without being able to import.
Any other suggestions I havent tried yet?
Lightroom Classic version: 10.2 [ 202103041821-226a1211 ]
License: Creative Cloud
Language setting: en-US
Operating system: Mac OS 10
Version: 10.16.0 [20D91]
Application architecture: x64 (emulated)
Logical processor count: 8
Processor speed: 2.4 GHz
SqLite Version: 3.34.0
Built-in memory: 16,384.0 MB
Real memory available to Lightroom: 4,096.0 MB
Real memory used by Lightroom: 5,133.2 MB (125.3%)
Virtual memory used by Lightroom: 11,822.7 MB
Memory cache size: 47.1MB
Internal Camera Raw version: 13.2 [ 738 ]
Maximum thread count used by Camera Raw: 5
Camera Raw SIMD optimization: SSE2
Camera Raw virtual memory: 426MB / 8191MB (5%)
Camera Raw real memory: 433MB / 4096MB (10%)
Displays: 1) 3360x2100
Graphics Processor Info:
Metal: Apple M1
Thanks for the extensive and detailed post, and I am sure this is frustrating for you.
I had a look at your linked screen shot (BTW in future its easier for all to use the "Insert photos" icon if your could thanks) and am looking at you file naming structure for each thumbnail.
Can you give us some detail about those (I cant see an import template applied) and perhaps camera model?
You have probably tested copying to the desktop before the import, but could you confirm this for us?
Thanks for the reply and the tip about inserting a photo into my post - I'll be sure to use that function in the future.
File names for 80% of the library are standard dropbox camera upload generated file name format:
I've used this format for over a decade for jpg. Raw files are standard Nikon file names which I've also used for 10+ years and are converted to DNG after importing.
Nearly all of my importing to Lightroom is done with the 'Add' function as I sort all of my files prior to adding to my catalog. I have also attempted importing with the copy & move options just to test but had no success.
Camera for the files doesnt have any affect on behavior. I've tested Nikon RAW files, Adobe DNG files, iPhone image files, and even jpg images downloaded from the web. No difference in behavior.
I do not use any custom import templates. In LR settings, Raw Defaults is set to use Camera Settings upon import which I've tried chaging to Adobe Default but there was no change in behavior and shouldnt apply to attempting to add JPG files.
I have tried moving files to the desktop before importing - no change in behavior. The same issue occurs for all image files (and video files if they exist at source) no matter what source folder I select.
Since the first post I've also attempted the following with no success:
• Used the Adobe Creative Cloud Cleaner Tool to remove Lightroom - no change
• Uninstalled all other installed Adobe applications (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Camera Raw and Acrobat) - no change
• Quit all other running programs (Dropbox, OneDrive, etc) - no change
• Checked lightroom-specific files/logs written to my user library that seemed relevant and temporarily removed them to see if any of them were corrupt - no change
Unless there are any other suggestions, my planned next steps will be to completely remove Adobe Creative Cloud and all Adobe apps/files then reinstall. If that doesn't work I'll remove Adobe again then attempt a reinstall of OSX Big Sur and another reinstall of Adobe and report back.
I really feel like the may lie somewhere in the files Adobe/Lightroom writes (at some point) when using the catalog. Seeing how the import dialog worked perfectly ONE TIME after creating a new user profile makes me question what changes after that point. I have tried deleting the Lightroom Catalog Helper.lrdata file and even the Lightroom Catalog Previews.lrdata file but that didn't change anything either.
I'll also note that as I started to see the import process fail, I was also noticing incredibly slow speeds to save metadata to jpg files or when resolving metadata conflicts in my main catalog. Initially the metadata saves were incredibly fast, then they slowed down to 1 file saved every 5-10 seconds. I havent seen this issue return yet though and it does not replicate in a new catalog.
Can I ask if you have been to Adobe Support regarding this issue?
Yes, this same post has been copied and posted on the Adobe Lightroom support forum - no feedback or suggested fixes received at this time.
Macbook Pro M1
Are you using Apple's Rosetta translation software?
Yes... The translation software autimatically installs with the install of Lightroom or any other non-native software in the latest version of Big Sur.
There was another report here of extremely slow import into Classic running on M1 Macs. Unfortunately there is no native M1 version of Classic available yet. It does appear to be a bug. We can only hope Adobe releases the native version soon.