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Lightroom Classic CC slow (what else?)

Participant ,
Mar 28, 2018

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Hi All,

I know this is a question that everyone is asking, but I have seen performance improvement with the release of LR Classic CC? only to have it slow down again after some updates.

On my Desktop, LR is workable, I have one master Catalog, with around 90.000 images in, mostly RAW files. Desktop is: Intel Core i7-4930K CPU @3.40GHz - 3.70GHz, 32GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX770 2GB (Dual EIZO screens), WIN10.

On my Laptop however, I only keep a small working catalog, which is what I am shooting on the day/holiday, typically, LR catalog will not exceed 1.000 photos, as I do all my culling in PhotoMechanic 5, as LR is a nightmare for culling.  My Laptop, is a Dell XPS15 (i7-6700HQ Quad Core, 6MB Cache - 3.5GHz) with a 15.6 inch 4K Ultra HD screen (with touch), 16GB RAM and Geforce GTX 960M 2GB GDDR5 GPU).

Lightroom bogs down and I often get the program to go into "not responding"-mode. Despite knowing LR is slow, I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt and blame my laptop.  I used a fresh WIN10 install (without all the Dell bloatware on it) and only installed programs on it that I will use often and mainly for photos. (Photoshop CC, Lightroom Classic CC (not LR mobile), Photomechanic).  And still, Lightroom doesn't improve on speeds... I have tried to disable the GPU, enable it again, doesn't seem to speed up any work in LR. PS seems to be a lot more responsive.

I often go on underwater photographic trips and have noticed that the LR version of MAC is a lot faster, even for culling.  My Dell XPS has similar, if not better specs than even a recent MacBook Air or even the Pro version, and it is still slower.  As said, even culling in the Library Module (not full screen, just "E"), is loading images fast on Mac, but hangs and gives "not responding" on pc.  Also exporting the images (even if only 20 images), it will stop responding at least 5 times, if not more!

I am using a Canon 5D mk iii (24MP) and a Canon 5D mk iv (30MP, not even used Dual Pixel Raw), I used to convert to .dng, but stopped doing that and am only using the native .cr2 files, as I have had issues with dng - and - for cloud based backup, a dng file will have to reupload every time, in stead of the small xmp sidecar file.

I feel I have tried everything that I have looked up, read about, heard, but LR remains unworkable. The specs of the laptop should be more than enough to keep it running smoothly. CPU is not maxed out at 100%, nor is the RAM when LR throws itself into a fit..

Hoping someone can help me to sort this out... Sorry about the tone, but this is going on for almost 2 years and it is very frustrating!

Large screen (4K) monitors such as yours, large image files, and relatively slow CPUs are situations where the slowdown like you are experiencing can occur, even if you do no editing, the processor has lots of work to do just generating previews. Lots of brushing and/or spot healing make the problem worse.

I am guessing that spec-wise, the laptop should be more than adequate?

But you told me the exact CPU, and you can easily look up benchmarks on this CPU. It is not fast by today's standards, and more importantly, it seems like it is too slow for your large screen monitor and large image files, based on your own observations of speed.

As an experiment, can you set the monitor to a lower resolution, say 1920x1080? Then take some photos and import them and do some editing (but no brushing and no spot healing), is the problem improved?

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Lightroom Classic CC slow (what else?)

Participant ,
Mar 28, 2018

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Hi All,

I know this is a question that everyone is asking, but I have seen performance improvement with the release of LR Classic CC? only to have it slow down again after some updates.

On my Desktop, LR is workable, I have one master Catalog, with around 90.000 images in, mostly RAW files. Desktop is: Intel Core i7-4930K CPU @3.40GHz - 3.70GHz, 32GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX770 2GB (Dual EIZO screens), WIN10.

On my Laptop however, I only keep a small working catalog, which is what I am shooting on the day/holiday, typically, LR catalog will not exceed 1.000 photos, as I do all my culling in PhotoMechanic 5, as LR is a nightmare for culling.  My Laptop, is a Dell XPS15 (i7-6700HQ Quad Core, 6MB Cache - 3.5GHz) with a 15.6 inch 4K Ultra HD screen (with touch), 16GB RAM and Geforce GTX 960M 2GB GDDR5 GPU).

Lightroom bogs down and I often get the program to go into "not responding"-mode. Despite knowing LR is slow, I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt and blame my laptop.  I used a fresh WIN10 install (without all the Dell bloatware on it) and only installed programs on it that I will use often and mainly for photos. (Photoshop CC, Lightroom Classic CC (not LR mobile), Photomechanic).  And still, Lightroom doesn't improve on speeds... I have tried to disable the GPU, enable it again, doesn't seem to speed up any work in LR. PS seems to be a lot more responsive.

I often go on underwater photographic trips and have noticed that the LR version of MAC is a lot faster, even for culling.  My Dell XPS has similar, if not better specs than even a recent MacBook Air or even the Pro version, and it is still slower.  As said, even culling in the Library Module (not full screen, just "E"), is loading images fast on Mac, but hangs and gives "not responding" on pc.  Also exporting the images (even if only 20 images), it will stop responding at least 5 times, if not more!

I am using a Canon 5D mk iii (24MP) and a Canon 5D mk iv (30MP, not even used Dual Pixel Raw), I used to convert to .dng, but stopped doing that and am only using the native .cr2 files, as I have had issues with dng - and - for cloud based backup, a dng file will have to reupload every time, in stead of the small xmp sidecar file.

I feel I have tried everything that I have looked up, read about, heard, but LR remains unworkable. The specs of the laptop should be more than enough to keep it running smoothly. CPU is not maxed out at 100%, nor is the RAM when LR throws itself into a fit..

Hoping someone can help me to sort this out... Sorry about the tone, but this is going on for almost 2 years and it is very frustrating!

Large screen (4K) monitors such as yours, large image files, and relatively slow CPUs are situations where the slowdown like you are experiencing can occur, even if you do no editing, the processor has lots of work to do just generating previews. Lots of brushing and/or spot healing make the problem worse.

I am guessing that spec-wise, the laptop should be more than adequate?

But you told me the exact CPU, and you can easily look up benchmarks on this CPU. It is not fast by today's standards, and more importantly, it seems like it is too slow for your large screen monitor and large image files, based on your own observations of speed.

As an experiment, can you set the monitor to a lower resolution, say 1920x1080? Then take some photos and import them and do some editing (but no brushing and no spot healing), is the problem improved?

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Mar 28, 2018 0
Participant ,
Mar 28, 2018

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Sorry, forgot to mention : I am using version 7.2, ACR version 10.2

I have set my Camera Raw-cache to 50GB

All running software should be updated.

I also tried editing with smart previews, without smart previews, with 1:1 previews, without them and standard previews.  It doesn't seem to improve speed.

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Participant ,
Mar 30, 2018

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No one can offer any help?

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Mar 30, 2018 0
LEGEND ,
Mar 30, 2018

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Lightroom bogs down and I often get the program to go into "not responding"-mode. Despite knowing LR is slow, I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt and blame my laptop.  I used a fresh WIN10 install (without all the Dell bloatware on it) and only installed programs on it that I will use often and mainly for photos. (Photoshop CC, Lightroom Classic CC (not LR mobile), Photomechanic).  And still, Lightroom doesn't improve on speeds...

Same software after re-install, no speed improvement? Why could that be? You have ruled out software, so the next likely reason is because your hardware is slow. In particular, the i7-6700HQ is a relatively slow CPU by today's standards.

Also, are you doing a lot of brushing and/or a lot of spot healing?


What size in pixels (and not inches) is the monitor on this computer?

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Mar 30, 2018 0
Participant ,
Mar 31, 2018

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Hi dj_paige, thanks a lot for your answer.  Before the re-install of Win 10 (ultimate I think), there was a lot of Dell Bloatware still on, and I had some other software on there too.  With re-installing everything, I made sure I only kept the "bare" minimum software.  I have on : PhotoMechanic, Lightroom Classic CC, Photoshop CC Adobe Creative Cloud, Bullguard, Winrar, Microsoft Office 2010 (Excel, Word, OneNote, PowerPoint), hide.me VPN, Datacolor screen calibration software, Loupedeck, Teamviewer 13, Wacom tablet and Whatsapp desktop messenger.

I am guessing that spec-wise, the laptop should be more than adequate? I assume most people edit on machines with far lower specs? Do you know if you can easily swap out the CPU of the Dell Laptop to a faster one?

That's the thing... I do get that the system slows down when doing spot healing and brushing, but even when I have culled my images in PM and import them into Lightroom (I generally use a preset for importing, depending on what I have been shooting) and even then, the system is slow.  Example from last weekend : I did a newborn/day-in-the-life shoot and had around 1100 images, after culling, I kept 249 images, which I imported with a preset that does:

+.50 exposure

-60 highlights

+5 shadows

-40 whites

+5 blacks

-20 Clarity

-5 Luminance

-5 Saturation

That's it.  When in the Grid view (so I haven't done anything else), and I just use my arrow keys to move left and right, I can move over 2 images and then LR goes into it's 'non-responding' state for about 20-30 seconds, then I can usually move another 1 - 3 images, before it goes into that state again.  I have tried restarting LightRoom, restarting my laptop, disabling and not using my Loupedeck device (which works snappy and fast on the desktop),.. But to no avail.

This means the RAW files (from Canon 5Diii and 5Div), in .Cr2 (typically around 30-50MB per file), are basically unedited.  I even tried just to import the files and go from there, but that is no help either.

I have also completely deleted LightRoom and re-installed from the CC, but no help (which would be odd, seeing that I completely formatted my laptop a few months ago, as I thought it might be the Dell Bloatware causing the issue).  If needed, I can send you a geekbench test?

The screen res is 3840*2160 (it's the UltraSharp 4K Ultra HD resolution Touchscreen).

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Mar 31, 2018 0
Participant ,
Mar 31, 2018

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By the way, as far as I was aware, the model I chose, is the one with the fastest CPU and even opted for the XPS15 over the XPS13, as the 15 has a dedicated GPU, which would be better for LR/PS, and a faster CPU.  I have the 512GB SSD version, over the 1TB version, as I don't need that much storage on my laptop.  It typically only contains one shoot/holiday, so I have a lot of space free, as to not bog down the system any further...

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Mar 31, 2018 0
LEGEND ,
Mar 31, 2018

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Large screen (4K) monitors such as yours, large image files, and relatively slow CPUs are situations where the slowdown like you are experiencing can occur, even if you do no editing, the processor has lots of work to do just generating previews. Lots of brushing and/or spot healing make the problem worse.

I am guessing that spec-wise, the laptop should be more than adequate?

But you told me the exact CPU, and you can easily look up benchmarks on this CPU. It is not fast by today's standards, and more importantly, it seems like it is too slow for your large screen monitor and large image files, based on your own observations of speed.

As an experiment, can you set the monitor to a lower resolution, say 1920x1080? Then take some photos and import them and do some editing (but no brushing and no spot healing), is the problem improved?

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New Here ,
Apr 01, 2018

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I have the same issue with LR not responding, freezing up, etc. I've reinstalled windows 10, I've reinstalled LR & PS, I've upgraded my computer, new SSD drive, new graphics card, 16 gigs of memory. 4 TB hard drive, I've unchecked the Acceleration, deleted/renamed preference file. It's not my hardware, so it has to be your software. Every other program runs fast and flawlessly on my system. This system is strictly used for editing, so there are no unnecessary programs installed. It's also not the file size, I've been downloading the same size files with no issues for over a year on this same computer without the upgrades and they didn't take 8 hours to download nor did lightroom freeze continually when doing so until recently. Again, I can download these same files via Camera Raw and I have none of these issues.

AMD FX 4300 Quad Core Processor 3.80

16GB Ram

Windows 10 Home 64 bit

Radeon RX 560 Series Graphics Card 4GB

Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB

WD 4TB Internal HD

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Apr 01, 2018 1
LEGEND ,
Apr 01, 2018

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An AMD FX 4300 is over 7 years old, and is an even slower CPU than the other person's CPU in this thread. This is why your Lightroom is slow.

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Apr 01, 2018 0
Participant ,
Apr 03, 2018

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dj_paige,  Thanks a lot for your comment! I never realized that the screen could be the issue here.  I have set it to 1920*1080, as you suggested, and it seems a lot more responsive.  It is still pretty slow, but this at least, is workable!

Probably a stupid question, but would upgrading RAM to 32GB make any difference in speed of editing? I think the CPU is soldered on the Motherboard, so I would have to change over my laptop to a faster CPU, if I want better performance?

As Penmar is saying, LR has slowed down significantly again. When Classic CC just came out, I found it to be much more responsive, but now it's slow again. I would have loved to see the spot healing tool from PS to be incorporated into LR, as that is soooo much faster!

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Apr 03, 2018 0
LEGEND ,
Apr 03, 2018

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RAM has no effect on editing speed. Editing speed is driven entirely by CPU speed (and GPU speed if enabled).

If you have large photo files (you do have large photo files) and Lightroom is slow editing, the best thing to do is get a faster CPU (which usually means a new computer).

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Apr 03, 2018 0
Community Beginner ,
Apr 11, 2018

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Except that apparently RAM is important since the latest updates of LR use tons of it. Adobe even stated that the performance improvements would be most pronounced in machines with at least 12 GB of RAM.

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Apr 11, 2018 0
LEGEND ,
Apr 11, 2018

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joshnl77

Sorry, no they didn't say 12 GB RAM would affect editing speed.

Adobe said:

For best performance, the recommendation is to run Lightroom on machines with 12 GB of RAM or more.  Using the recommended amount of RAM yields significant performance benefits, especially when you import and export photos, move between photos in Loupe view, or create HDR images and panoramas.

Editing speed is conspicuously absent from the above statement.

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Apr 11, 2018 1
Community Beginner ,
Apr 11, 2018

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Fair enough... you're right. The references I saw seemed to indicate the 12 GB of RAM was more relevant to import speeds and things like that.

I'm just really frustrated with Adobe. It took them FOREVER (many years) to improve editing performance, which finally happened over the last month or so. But then, after a nice honeymoon period of just a few short weeks, the latest update threw this back several steps, to the point where, at least for me (and apparently others from what I've seen in the forums), performance is just as bad as it ever was, possibly worse. Who knows how long it will take Adobe to even acknowledge this, let alone fix it.

I have a pretty powerful computer (i7 5820k @ 4.2 GHz, 64 GB RAM, GTX1070 GPU), and I'm getting sick and tired of struggling to edit 12 MP DNG files from my 2 year old phone, never mind 36 MP raw files from my D810.

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Apr 11, 2018 1
Participant ,
Apr 12, 2018

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I also felt that LR was slowing down again.  I do think the first LR Classic CC was pretty snappy (for Adobe standards that is), but I never really got it to work right on my Laptop.  Downscaling the laptop screen resolution, seemed to speed up the process significantly, I still feel this shouldn't happen (I guess most 4k screen users would be photographers, at least, that is why I paid the extra money for that!)

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Apr 12, 2018 0
Explorer ,
Apr 24, 2018

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I think there is something going on with the latest release of ACR. I have an i7 8700k, 32GB RAM, GTX 1080 ti, Samsung 960 Pro SSDs and it's taking about 30 seconds per image for me to open multiple images from ACR to Photoshop. It used to take about 5 seconds per image last week for me on a slower machine (i7 4790k, 16GB RAM, 1080ti and Samsung 960 Pro).

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Apr 24, 2018 0
Explorer ,
Jul 29, 2018

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RobertSmits​ Just wondering: How is your current 'status' regarding Lightroom? I also have an 15" Dell XPS with UHD (bought it because if the high Adobe RGB coverage) but even with a Core i7-7700HQ + 1 TB SDD + 32 GB RAM it's painfully slow. I honestly have given up on Adobe and their support mails, because nothing seems to work and I wasted a TON of time, installing, uninstalling software/driver/OS without any meaningful results. I currently use the LR 7.2 version, since this was not as bad as the newer versions on my laptop.

But what's really frustrating: A colleague with an way older Macbok (non-Pro) was running Lightroom way smoother than my machine. For a slightly better performance, I also reduced the resolution to Full-HD which makes the UHD display kind of obsolete, but changing the resolution everytime when opening LR was not an option, since some applications need Windows to restart to correctly "adapt" to UHD resolution ... Today I rendered Smart Previews but I havent had the time to test if this changed anything. I also don't use the GPU acceleration, since the performance was the same (slow) but with GPU acceleration I always ran into heat problems with the nVidia. Okay, that's propably on Dell....

I use a lot of gradient on my landscape images and also a lot of brushing - but thats simply part of my style and workflow and cannot be achieved in any other way using Lightroom.

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Jul 29, 2018 0
LEGEND ,
Jul 29, 2018

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UHD Monitor, plus a relatively slow CPU by today's standards ... this is a known cause of slowness ... you don't have enough CPU horsepower to compute the number of pixels required by UHD screen in a reasonable amount of time; doing a lot of brushing in Lightroom makes it worse, another known cause of slowness.

Your colleague with an older Macbook probably doesn't have a UHD screen and may not be doing the amount of brushing you are doing, removing both causes of slowness.

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Jul 29, 2018 0
Explorer ,
Aug 05, 2018

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... this seems to be the official excuse/answer everywhere I look. But sorry, if a 2.500 USD laptop from 2017 with a 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ + 1 TB SDD + 32 GB RAM is not enough to keep a quite simple piece of software running smoothly - that's on the Adobe! Every other software  from the Creative Cloud is running okay or quite fast. But Lightroom is just slow and becoming slower with every update. And I'm not the only one using the brush tool and it's even way too slow in Full HD mode. I think I will give up here, since there seems to be no real solution.

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Aug 05, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 05, 2018

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If there was an official answer I'm sure it would be provided. The weird thing is that I'm using an old HP Pavilion desktop that was originally a Windows 7 computer that I have "upgraded" to Windows 10. It runs on 8 GB RAM, won't accept any more, no graphics card (onboard graphics only) and I have no performance issues at all with Lightroom Classic CC 7.4. I haven't had problems with any of the previous releases either. There's something in your system that is conflicting, but I don't know what it might be.

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Aug 05, 2018 0
LEGEND ,
Aug 05, 2018

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For anyone else who is reading this far, the problem with buying pre-configured computers is that the computer is configured with hardware that the manufacturer wants to sell you. They are not specifically configured to run Lightroom well, and in fact are usually a poor choice for Lightroom. You can't just say that you bought a $2500 computer and so it should run Lightroom well.

You want to get the fastest CPU you can afford. Preconfigured computers usually have middle-of-the-pack CPUs. You also can skimp on memory above 16 GB (well, for Lightroom, anyway; maybe your other software requires more memory); you don't need a fast hard drive for your photos; and if you get a standard HD monitor (1920x1080), you eliminate a major cause of slowness, and then you also don't need an expensive GPU (well, you don't need an expensive GPU for Lightroom, your other software may require faster GPUs), and then with the money you save on the GPU, you can get an ever faster CPU. Of course, if you absolutely have to have a 4K or larger monitor, then you need the powerful GPU, and you will run into slowness when you do brushing or spot healing.

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Aug 05, 2018 0
Participant ,
Aug 06, 2018

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Hi Parafox2000,

Sorry about not getting back to you earlier, I was away abroad with limited to no Internet, hence I couldn't respond sooner.

Lightroom is painfully slow, and I really "KNOW" that it is a pc-issue.  My friends with similar file sizes (and even bigger than I have with my Canon 5Div and 5Diii, as they shoot Nikon D5, Nikon D500, D810, and even D850), who edit their images sometimes on an MacBook Air from 2012, not upgraded or anything and using the latest version of LR all the time.  They fly through the images, whereas other PC users (even those with non-UHD screens), are always painfully slow.

I did find, that LR is a lot slower when using it 'off-the-grid' (so battery), even though I have set my machine up for highest performance.  I am now using LR7.2 on both my laptop, as my desktop, which is way better than the newest versions.  However, it still locks up from time to time.  I generally do not brush a lot in LR for wedding, new borns or underwater images, but I do use radial filter quite a bit.  For spot healing, I usually take it into PS, as that engine is fast and workable, whereas LR is horrible.

A friend just bought the newest MacBook Pro, he downloads 32GB worth of images (from a XQD card), and making smart previews and generating 1:1 previews at the same time, in just minutes.   I also know my machine is fast enough (even though I am now only using the 1080p in stead of UHD, as it makes for less problems). I can download cards filled with images (CF 120 MB/sec) in PhotoMechanic extremely fast, something which is impossible in LR.

I do leave my GPU acceleration ticked ON in LR though.  I sometimes also shut down my antivirus, as well as chrome-browsers, put the laptop on flight mode,... This machine is also bought and used only for editing, so the main programs on here are LR, PS and PhotoMechanic.

I had a MacBook Air 13 inch 2 years ago for some time, but that was also unworkable in LR for me. And then, I had smaller files (Canon 7D "1"), so around 18-25MB per photo.

I hope this helps....

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Aug 06, 2018 1
Explorer ,
Sep 16, 2019

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you aren't the only one. LR on my PC (i6700k, 32GB RAM, ssd, GTX 1070) is painfully slow. can take 10-20 seconds to go to develop module. 10 seconds for each action I take. go to next image etc.

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Sep 16, 2019 0
New Here ,
Feb 09, 2020

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This is a terrible non-answer. I run a mid-2018 MacBook Pro 15 with 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, and Radeon Graphics; and a 2019 Dell XPS 15 with 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, Intel Core i7, and a GTX 1650 with 4GB RAM. The MacBook Pro blows the XPS out of the water even thought the XPS has better stats all around and a newer CPU (9th gen i7 with 6 cores).

All the tweaking in the world doesn't fix how poorly Lightroom performs on a Windows machine.

Even on the Mac it's pretty choppy, and nothing at all like Apple's built in Photos app - which is buttery smooth and offers enough plugins and companion software (Pixelmator Pro, as an example) as to render Lighroom on the Mac nearly irrelevant - and provide a smoother, more buttery experience.

This is a serious problem that you continue to blame baselessly on the CPU. If it's so difficult to render images that high on a high rez display, why can Apple Photos move through thousands of photos so easily without hoggin all the RAM or processing power?

And yes, I do keep ALL ORIGINALS locally on the MacBook.

I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed that I'm once again stuck in a year long contract for what has become essentially bloatware.

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Feb 09, 2020 0
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New Here ,
Jun 20, 2020

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What seems to be left out here is that many of us used classic for quite some time just fine but the issue just developed after updates. Computer XPS 15 loaded was more than enough to whip through this stuff in 4K until recently. The performance of my machine has not changed, the program did. 

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Jun 20, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Feb 10, 2020

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Just have mouse lag issue in LR Classin in 2020. No other soft with this problem and no any problem with this PC, but LR still terrible optimized - its just how Adobe work now and ever. 

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Feb 10, 2020 0