17 Replies Latest reply on Aug 6, 2012 7:36 PM by streubie

    Lightroom 4 performance issues




      Months ago I switched from Aperture 3 to Lightroom 3 and quickly fell in love with the program.

      I switched due to constant freezing and crashes in Aperture 3. I invested time and money to learn Lightroom 3. Performance in Lightroom 3 was superb. Anything I would do with regards to any type of adjustment gave instant results on the screen. Program never crashed or froze onec. Quite frankly, I was shocked in a very positive way.


      This was on Macbook Pro i5, 8GB RAM, Hi Res Antiglare screen with Snow Leopard.


      I purchased Lightroom 4. I did a clean install of OSX Lion and, clean install of LR4. New catalogs, no importing of anything. LR 4 is sooo slow. It works just like Aperture 3 worked, the  precise reason that made me dump it.


      The longer LR4 is opened, the slower it becomes. The more adjustments are applied, the slower it becomes. I will use brush and I have to wait to see results. I can't use brush. It takes me 15-30 min to brush small part of the image. I will slide adjustments and wait. I will click on crop tool and wait, wait, wait. I really love this program but I just can't work like that.


      Would anyone share some light or advice on what could be done, on what is going on?



      Thank you.

        • 1. Re: Lightroom 4 performance issues
          Hal P Anderson Level 6

          If you aren't already using it, try LR 4.1. It fixes some of the performance problems of 4.0.



          • 2. Re: Lightroom 4 performance issues
            kdlb_2 Level 1

            Thank you for the reply. Sorry I forgot to mention, yet this is version 4.1.  It seems that when I reboot the Macbook Pro and go back into LR it works fine and fast. The longer software is opened and more adjustments there are, the slower it becomes. I don't have any other apps opened. Maybe this is something with OSX Lion? I am not sure how LR 4 would work under Snow Leopard or how LR 3 would work on OSX Lion.

            • 3. Re: Lightroom 4 performance issues
              Hal P Anderson Level 6

              I saw a post on another forum where a performance problem went totally away with a switch to Mountain Lion. The author of the post was very happy. On the other hand, there is no guarantee that that would solve your problem.



              • 4. Re: Lightroom 4 performance issues
                kdlb_2 Level 1

                I will try updating to Mountain Lion then and see what happens.

                • 5. Re: Lightroom 4 performance issues
                  Hal P Anderson Level 6

                  Please share your results with us. Another data point never hurts.



                  • 6. Re: Lightroom 4 performance issues
                    kdlb_2 Level 1

                    I definitely will. It might be few days.


                    • 7. Re: Lightroom 4 performance issues

                      I used LR3 on MAC OSX Lion and was hooked from day one. Then I bought LR4 and I was disgusted that Adobe could release an unfinished product in the market. Performance was so slow, it crashed, it did not want to export all the files I selected. Not even 4.1 upgrade fixed anything. How can Adobe expect a professional photographer can work with such an unrealiable tool? A carpeter will not work with a skill saw that has a slow turning blade and sometime it works and sometimes not. With the result I'm back to LR3 and very happy I parked LR4. Disgusted that I spend the money on it.

                      • 8. Re: Lightroom 4 performance issues
                        areohbee Level 6

                        It may be worth noting that the problems are system-dependent, and only affect a minority of users. I have no idea why or how...


                        Lr4 is almost the same speed as Lr3 on my win7/64 machine, and on other's similar Macs...

                        (likewise some win7/64 users are also having problems...).



                        • 9. Re: Lightroom 4 performance issues

                          LR4 is much slower on my PC then LR3.

                          I'm using an I7 windows 7/64bit machine with 6 GB RAM

                          Already tried all suggestions i could find on other forums, but nothing helps.

                          Think i'm going to do a complete clean install of windows & LR and see if that helps..    



                          • 10. Re: Lightroom 4 performance issues
                            kdlb_2 Level 1

                            Unfortunately no luck after updating to Mountain Lion. I have no choice but to remove it and install back LR3.

                            • 11. Re: Lightroom 4 performance issues
                              kdlb_2 Level 1

                              I doubt the clean install will help so don't waste your time. Obviously there is a significant problem with the software. I did clean OS install and clean LR4 install. I am running on Mac but I doubt clean install would help in any way on Windows.

                              • 12. Re: Lightroom 4 performance issues
                                areohbee Level 6

                                Some people have performance problems in Lightroom only (not ACR), and some people have them in ACR too. Many different possible problems means solutions will come in 4.2, more in 4.3, still more in 4.4... (as happened with Lr3, and Lr2, and Lr1...).


                                If performance problems are in Lightroom only, consider using Bridge(and-or 3rd party cataloger/launcher)/Photoshop/ACR instead, or at least until the dot rev to Lightroom that fixes your particular problem(s) is released.

                                • 13. Re: Lightroom 4 performance issues
                                  areohbee Level 6

                                  erwinbeckers wrote:


                                  Think i'm going to do a complete clean install of windows & LR and see if that helps..    

                                  Consider yanking your present system drive out, put in a new one, and re-install just the OS and Lightroom (remove all extraneous hardware and services...). If that doesn't work (also try a different, preferrably cheap graphics card, from different manufacturer), then return drive to computer store, or use for backup/data... If it does work, then you know you have a fighting chance, and could then try doing things to your previous system, if you don't want to rebuild your system on the new drive.


                                  *** DON"T FORGET TO CHECK FOR AND INSTALL BIOS UPDATES - some people are having low level processor/threading/chipset issues...

                                  • 14. Re: Lightroom 4 performance issues
                                    kdlb_2 Level 1


                                    I am working with NEF files and have done so in LR3. I understand from some reading that one of the benefits from converting files to DNG is that they are faster to work with. So I just copied one of my NEF as DNG and I have been working on it for about 15 minutes applying brush after brush and other adjustments to see if LR4 will slow down. Thus far it has been incredibly faster. I will continue to work on this one image and maybe convert few more to DNG to test but do you think that there might be some issue with NEF format? Another bizzare thing I just noticed is that when I open NEF image, my memory quickly goes up to over 3GB and that's not even during applying adjustments. Working now with DNG, memory is just around 1.3 GB. WHAT IS GOING ON HERE???

                                    I wonder what type of files are other LR4 users that are reporing performance issues working with.


                                    Please share your thoughts.


                                    Thank you.

                                    • 15. Re: Lightroom 4 performance issues
                                      areohbee Level 6

                                      HI kdlb_2,


                                      It sure sounds to me like you've hit a file-format dependent bug - after shaking it out a little more, consider reporting to Adobe at:




                                      For me, DNGs and NEFs (D300) are the same.



                                      • 16. Re: Lightroom 4 performance issues
                                        Brett N Adobe Employee

                                        Make sure you check out http://forums.adobe.com/thread/971581 as well. Many different people with similar symptoms, but finding very different solutions. What is fixing the performance issue for one person only seems to work for a couple others. Still others find little to no performance issue at all.

                                        • 17. Re: Lightroom 4 performance issues

                                          I find the devlopment module pretty sugglish, espeically when zooming in and out of any image. Response time on sliders isn't bad, but spot healing, brushes, graduated filter are painful to use. I also get the "loading" message even after rendering 1:1 previews or just on images I've already loaded/previously viewed. I've followed some Lightroom optimization guides found on photoblogs, but nothing seems to alievate the very noticeable lag between LR3 and LR4.1



                                          I have no problem editing 1+ GB 16-bit images in Photoshop.


                                          27" iMac | OSX 10.74 | 3.4 GHz i7 | 12 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 | MD Radeon HD 6970M 2048 MB | SSD OS Drive, all my photos/cache are saved to secondary internal drive