Why are simple file operations so slow in LR?

Participant ,
Jan 14, 2020 Jan 14, 2020

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Anytime i do simple file operations in LR, it takes forever. It would be 10x faster for me to do the same file operation in windows explorer then in LR. Why is LR so slow for simple tasks like this? It just took LR about 10 minutes to just move some files to another drive (about 300 files) that windows would take 1-2 minutes to do.

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Performance, Problem or error, Windows

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 15, 2020 Jan 15, 2020

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Hi there,

 

Sorry that Lightroom is running slower than expected while working on multiple tasks. 

 

Which version of Lightroom are you using? As Lightroom is running slow, could you please try turning off the GPU option from Lightroom's preferences? Go to Lightroom > Preferences > Performance tab > Uncheck "Use Graphics Processor" > Restart Lightroom and let us know if it helps?

 

Also please checkout the the steps mentioned here and let us know if it helps: https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom-classic/kb/optimize-performance-lightroom.html

 

Thanks, 

Akash

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LEGEND ,
Jan 15, 2020 Jan 15, 2020

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This is one of several reasons why you should move the files using your operating system, and then reconnect in Lightroom; and why you should not move the files in Lightroom. Or better yet, develop a workflow that doesn't require moving files from here to there, which would then be even faster.

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Mentor ,
Jan 15, 2020 Jan 15, 2020

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Lightroom is doing two things not one, when you move files to another drive: telling the operating system to do a series of file operations, and updating its own database to reflect the change.

 

In order to keep the these two tasks synchronised, and to make sure a safe situation will be left in the event that one or more of the file moves might be unsuccessful, or delayed - or if the user were to cancel midway - or in case LR was closed while background operations were not yet complete - it may be that this is carried out as a sequence of individual moves AND individual database updates - each one needing to be verified and cleaned up after, in turn; leaving something sensible displayed throughout, perhaps including e.g. the image counts progressively reducing for one drive, and increasing for the other.  Also various indexing, and emergent matters such Smart Collection contents must be updated in response to the changed location of each image file.

 

If OTOH you carry out a multiple-items move using your operating system's file browser then this is well optimised for speed and safety without needing lots of extra to-and-fro. Also then telling LR about the move of (say) a single containing folder, can kick off the needed cascade of database updates relating to a whole batch, to all be done in one go.

 

AFAICT it might be the interdependent mix of internal LR tasks and external OS tasks which has made the overall operation so slow and laborious.

 

Some people advocate doing a copy instead, not a move (doing this external to LR), which is often physically faster to carry out than a move, as well as safer. Then re-browse to the new location inside LR. Then confirm the outcome of doing so. Then delete the now redundant stuff from the starting location at leisure, having made a recent backup of that.

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LEGEND ,
Jan 15, 2020 Jan 15, 2020

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Yes, excellent points in the last paragraph, Richard. Do a copy, not a move, point Lightroom to the new location, make sure everything is properly working, and then you can delete the originals, which then turns the process into a move. I agree completely with this.

 

And also make sure you have current backups of the catalog file and all photos before doing any of this.

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Explorer ,
Mar 16, 2021 Mar 16, 2021

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This makes sense for "moving" folders or large files in lightroom but what if you are just sorting large numbers of files that already have ratings and metadata etc?

 

Seems like all the steps you suggest lightroom carries out are an obvious overhead but the "time" we are talking for "slow" isn't justified. a simple 3 files "moved" to another folder on the same HDD thats.

 

1. File Table Update (String)

2. Database File Path Update (String)

3. Lighroom Previews and non DB Files, assume "moves and db updates too"

 

I don't see how those overheads add up to the total delay that "moves" have.

 

As we are using Databases and File Tables, the Source image Path Change shouldn't cause many carry on effects as it should be all pointers and links not requring much movement in the database at all.

 

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