31 Replies Latest reply on May 8, 2018 10:24 AM by greg-ory

    CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups

    Arni Arent

      I have this brand new PC, got it last week,  i7 core, SSD drive, 16gb ram.


      When I open my PSD doc with my design (approx 43mb psd file) then the photoshop application spikes in memory usage, to 3.5gb (from 120mb), and moving groups and layers around is DEAD SLOW, horrible lag.


      I had CS3 on my previous PC, which was Core2 Duo with 4gb ram, and the speeds there were similar on the same psd document.


      I've also tried CS5.1 on a similar PC hardware specs as my new PC, and moving groups and layers around is much faster.


      Is it just CS6? Why is this so slow?

        • 1. Re: CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups
          c.pfaffenbichler Level 9

          What are the Preferences > Performance settings and which trouble-shooting routines have you performed so far?

          • 2. Re: CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups
            Arni Arent Level 1

            I've been reading this thread: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1026715?start=0&tstart=0


            And what I'm experiencing is exactly what the original poster and others in the thread are experiencing, sluggishness in doing all sorts of stuff, primarily moving things around, and also opening files.

            CS5.1 opens very fast, in a few milliseconds, but the same document makes CS6 show a loading indicator for 5-6 seconds.


            I've turned off the thumbnail stuff in layers (which I don't do in CS5.1/CS3), and had a speed increase in moving things around, albeit it's still very sluggish still.


            I've changed cache tile size from 1028k to 128k, and I don't see any difference.


            I've changed scratch disks, but no difference.



            This is very sad. I believe I need to revert to CS5.1 if I can't get better performance, because my  experience from CS6 is just silly bad.

            • 3. Re: CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups
              c.pfaffenbichler Level 9

              Does turning off »Use Graphics Processor« in the Performance Preferences and restarting Photoshop have any bearing on the issue?

              • 4. Re: CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups
                Arni Arent Level 1

                I think it's maybe satisfactory now.


                I did:

                1. Update photoshop

                2. Turn cache tile size from 1028k to 128k. (reduces ram usage DRAMATICALLY)

                3. Turn off thumbnail in layers.


                Toggling graphics processor acceleration had little effect on performance.


                Opening files is still a tad slow.

                • 5. Re: CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups
                  Noel Carboni Level 8

                  When you say maybe satisfactory, is it still sluggish at all?   Honestly, it's hard to imagine that you'd see any kind of slowdown whatsoever in a 43 MB file with a system as powerful as yours.


                  I've kept thumbnails in layers displayed and I never see anything I'd call sluggish.


                  Is there a way you could share your 43 MB PSD file online?  Adobe, in their efforts to make the software more efficient, might benefit from seeing a relatively small file that causes a visible slowdown in Photoshop.



                  • 6. Re: CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups
                    Arni Arent Level 1

                    Things are very sluggish when dragging a group that contains many groups of layers. Nothing seems to change that, even in CS5.1 on same-spec machine.


                    Disabling thumbnails in layer window helps a lot, both in CS5.1 and CS6. I don't have CS3 anymore so I can't compare.


                    There's no need for Photoshop to update in realtime my layer thumbnails. I prefer to have thumbnails, but they don't need to be accurate all the time.

                    But even with thumbnails off, moving groups of layers around is dead slow. It's like getting 1 frame every 2 seconds, no matter your hardware specs it seems.


                    These are two low hanging fruits for adobe to optimize, that would increase editing speed in photoshop by a huge margin. Why this hasn't been done already is beyond me. I guess color themes are more important, and that adobe bridge thing that I've never used in my entire life. (sorry, slight frustration, it is beyond me why primary functionality is so slow when it doesn't need to, with all that offscreen render buffers and stuff and immense memory and graphics cards, can't handle psd docs with 200 layers).



                    Sorry I can't share the designs since my company owns them. All you need to reproduce this are nested groups containing layers, (guessing) 200 layers in a document. (btw. I can't find a way to count the layers in a psd)

                    • 7. Re: CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups
                      Noel Carboni Level 8

                      I have a relatively small but deeply layered Photoshop PSD that derived from a very large file another user experiencing slowness had created a few months ago for testing. 


                      I can move the "white dots" and "black dots" layer groups around fairly quickly, moving at what looks like 10+ frames per second, though the "gradient group" layers below them move rather more slowly at about 4 FPS.  You're welcome to try it to see whether your system balks on it:





                      • 8. Re: CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups
                        Arni Arent Level 1

                        Your document isn't very heavy, and I can move all the groups quite easily, the gradient group move faster than the dots. Both faster than 10fps.


                        If I group everything together in your document (except background), and duplicate that group so I have 5 groups of it, and move the topmost group around then I get 1 frame every 2 seconds or so.


                        Although my document isn't very large (filesize), it does have a lot of layers, groups, shapes. There's not so much rasterized picture data. In retrospect I think it's closer to 600-800 layers.



                        I don't think photoshop can be optimized to perform any better, so it's probably a waste of time trying to dig any deeper. I thank you for your help. Thumbnails off was the big saver here.

                        • 9. Re: CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups

                          The minimum hardware seems to be there, have you checked your computer for viruses? Are any other programs working extremely slow/




                          • 10. Re: CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups
                            Level 7

                            Photoshop might be optimized better, if we knew exactly what was causing your document to run slow.

                            If you want, send me a copy of the document and I'll investigate.

                            Yes, we'll keep your document confidential (or you could replace the identifiable content with fake content -- doesn't matter as long as it reproduces the slowdown).


                            ccox (at) adobe (dot) com

                            • 11. Re: CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups
                              Noel Carboni Level 8

                              Clearly different computers have different power, but I find it interesting that the relative performance we see differs so much on different parts of the document.


                              I duplicated the entire content as you described into the 5 groups, and I can still move the top group at about 3 FPS.


                              The zoom level of the display seems to matter.  Were you trying with it zoomed at 100%?



                              • 12. Re: CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups
                                nextstep.studio Level 1

                                I read in another thread to switch to the channels pallette (away from layers) when dragging a group of files, and viola' - there is no lag at all and you can drag a bunch of layers instantly.


                                This is a really serious flaw and I hope Adobe can adress it asap. It makes CS6 Photoshop almost unusable without this trick. Even with a fast, loaded with RAM, Mac moving even a moderate group of layers with the layer pallette visible would incure a 5 to 10 second lag with each move.


                                As fundamental as moving a group of layers in Photoshop is this is beyond unacceptable.


                                With all due respect. Adobe, please stop asking all these questions and just fix it. How could you have missed this..?


                                Thanks in advance!!!

                                1 person found this helpful
                                • 13. Re: CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups
                                  Noel Carboni Level 8

                                  91Midtown, what version of Photoshop are you running?


                                  Do you see the problem you described with the test file I provided a link for above?



                                  • 14. Re: CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups
                                    Level 7

                                    ...because many of the problems aren't as simple as you make them sound?

                                    ...because some of the problems only occur with certain types of layers?

                                    ...because some of the problems only occur with certain non-default preferences settings?

                                    ...because some of the problems are very, very document specific - and we need a sample to determine the cause?

                                    ...because some of the problems involve very complex layer grouping?

                                    ...because some of the problems aren't even in Photoshop but in automation plugins and scripts that we don't have on our systems?

                                    ...because if you'd sent me a sample file I might have fixed the problems already?



                                    Someone sent me an insane sample file earlier this week, and I already found and fixed more problems that their file exposed.


                                    If you have a problem - let us know, and work with us to get it solved. Assuming that everyone is seeing the same problem and waiting for it to be fixed when we can't even reproduce the problem - well, that ain't gonna help.

                                    • 15. Re: CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups
                                      nextstep.studio Level 1

                                      Wow, that was kind of an over the top response...


                                      Many of the files I'm using were made in CS4 and didn't have this problem. I updated to CS6 about a month ago. The same files, that worked perfectly in CS4 are having this issue in CS6. It's not about the files - it's about CS6.


                                      Maybe I worded my post wrong. The point I was trying to make is - something is wrong in SC6 Photoshop that's not unique to me or my files. A lot of other people I know complain of the same thing.


                                      I was trying to highlight that this is an unaccepatble issue for software at this cost. And that it's a really, really big deal. What is more fundamental than moving layers?


                                      From the volume of posts I see and the lack of an actual solution, my assumption is that there is not one and that this is a program flaw. I hope Adobe can adress this in an update soon.


                                      If that is wrong and there is a true "solve", please advise.


                                      On a side note. I'm an Creative Director doing web based work. The files are 72dpi. And this issue occurs when dragging / moving simple layers. They are not huge files or items that require substantial redraw.


                                      RAM 15,214 - Photoshop allocated 10,497

                                      History states: 50

                                      Cache levels: 2

                                      Cache tile size: 128


                                      All other preferences are default.


                                      Changing the settings above or alterting graphics processor usage or settings and no noticable affect.

                                      • 16. Re: CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups
                                        Noel Carboni Level 8

                                        I think what Chris asked was that you provide him a file showing the problem, with which he can reproduce it at his place.  He sounds willing enough to fix it.


                                        You talk as though the product is just basically broken.  It's not, and apparently it's not obvious where it's broken for you without your having provided an example file.


                                        A lot of folks never see specific problems with moving layers around.  I haven't, for example.


                                        If you have a file that demonstrates the problem, put it online and make it available to the Adobe folks.



                                        1 person found this helpful
                                        • 17. Re: CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups
                                          Arni Arent Level 1

                                          Having to disable layer thumbnail preview in the layer window just to speed up the process of moving layers or group of layers around is crazy.


                                          Of course Adobe has made a lot of effort optimizing Photoshop, that's not the issue, the issue here is that Adobe doesn't seem to have optimized away the most low hanging fruits. A whopping 50% speed increase in moving layers around... just by disabling layer thumbnails!!! There's something wrong bigtime how Adobe prioritizes things if it really considers that to be satisfactory.


                                          I'm not just a graphical designer, I'm also a programmer and I can imagine how these thumbnails are implemented. Everytime something is changed in the document the thumbnails refresh/re-render. So, if you're moving around bunch of layers, the thumbnails are regenerated for every pixel of movement, eating up  a big chunk of your processing power, hence slowing down your user experience. Nobody cares if those thumbnails are up to date, just re-render then once the layers have been moved, and you won't have this problem.


                                          Honestly, if users are having to tell you how to write your software you're not doing it right.

                                          • 18. Re: CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups
                                            c.pfaffenbichler Level 9

                                            »Honestly, if users are having to tell you how to write your software you're not doing it right.«

                                            Are you serious?

                                            • 19. Re: CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups

                                              @Midtown I totally agree with you. And it's not just CS6, this issue of dragging a bunch of folders and layers at the same time has been happening forever in every photoshop version (CS4, CS5) I've used, whether it's Windows or Mac. And I assure you this happens to everyone, the more layers and folders you have in a file the more sluggish it becomes to move things around. Even more if you have shapes, smart objects, etc. I'm always talking about a 72dpi file.

                                              It's impossible to work like that. Dragging 10/40 or even more layers fluently throughout the canvas should be something basically simple and it's a total hell.

                                              I just tried selecting a folder with many layers in it and switching to Channels view and moving it around and it totally works (it's not a tootal breeze but it's much faster)! But you shouldn't have to do that.

                                              It's really incomprehensible that Adobe hasn't fixed this.

                                              I have a Macbook Pro i7, 8gb ram, etc.

                                              • 20. Re: CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups

                                                I use cs6 on an old laptop and it runs fairly smooth, i guess it comes down to your settings and preferences

                                                • 21. Re: CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups
                                                  melamina80 Level 1

                                                  @stopandreview I would say its got nothing to do with preferences and settings. I believe nearly everyone who works on web has:

                                                  History states: 20/50

                                                  Cache levels: 2/4

                                                  Cache tile size: 128

                                                  I work with CS4/CS5 in UI design and I usually need to duplicate many layers ending up with a file that has hundreds of layers (in this case it has 980 layers within many folders). Once this happens, moving layers and zooming starts to get sluggish and working is unbereable.


                                                  It all depends what you do with Photoshop, if you use it just for fun or work with files that have 20, 50 or even 100 layers at the most, you won't notice any slowness.

                                                  • 22. Re: CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups
                                                    Noel Carboni Level 8

                                                    You're creating a document with nearly 1000 layers that you expect to be combined in real time.  It may be that it's just a matter of no computer has been invented yet that's fast enough to allow you to work the way you want to work.


                                                    Or it could be a bug.


                                                    Could you please post online somewhere a PSD that you find makes Photoshop sluggish in all its glory? 


                                                    That way we can try to get to the bottom of whether it's a performance issue, how well different kinds of computers work with it, and whether everyone with similar system sees the same kind of performance.  Also describe VERY SPECIFICALLY the performance you see - e.g., "I move layer xxxxx with the Move Tool and I see the screen update only about 2 times per second".


                                                    If, for example, you see 2 FPS update speed, and another person with a similar system says it moves smoothly, then it's pretty clear there's a specific bug and not just that you're expecting too much from your computer.


                                                    Just making general statements doesn't help resolve problems.  I assume you're here to try to get Adobe to improve the product, so let's embark on a very specific process of troubleshooting to help them do that.



                                                    • 23. Re: CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups

                                                      I bought new PC with GPU GTX980 and I have same problem.. lagging when i move lot of layers etc.. Any solutions please?

                                                      • 24. Re: CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups
                                                        JakubLang Level 1

                                                        .PSD only 40MB and about 40 layers

                                                        • 25. Re: CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups

                                                          Here is my problem with Photoshop CC 2014.15.2 x 64bit

                                                          Creating a large panorama with 9 frames of 458.6mb 25.8" x 34.4", the program starts, then hangs and goes into a continuous loop. Which needs a Ctrl - Alt - Delete restart.


                                                          The same panorama using Photoshop CC 14.2.1 x 64bit processes the nine frames into a seamless panorama in 9.5 minutes with NO holdups

                                                          The size of the finished panorama is 73" x 36" at 300 dpi, with a size of 1.33 GB


                                                          The computer is an Intel i7 940 at 2.93Ghz, 12 Gb of Ram, Windows 7 x 64 bit, Windows on Drive C\ plus two scratch disks D and E


                                                          Settings of Photoshop the same.


                                                          Have had no problems creating panoramas with Photoshop until now, I have been very pleased with results obtained

                                                          • 26. Re: CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups
                                                            JakubLang Level 1

                                                            I have same problem with my GTX 980 (new Nvidia GeForce 900 series GPU)... Please help me

                                                            • 27. Re: CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups

                                                              I had problem but its solved. Clash On !!!

                                                              • 28. Re: CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups
                                                                cec Level 1

                                                                I took JJMack's advice to update my graphic driver and I installed the latest Windows updates. Photoshop CC 2014.15.2 is now working as expected !!!


                                                                Even though you may have a new computer it may be best to update your software before installing Photoshop.


                                                                Re: Photoshop CC 2014 keeps crashing, JJMack Jan 2015 6.09pm

                                                                • 29. Re: CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups
                                                                  Dabatross Level 1

                                                                  i have a feeling whenever apple gets around to updating the drivers for video cards on their systems that it will fix this issue as well. luckily with windows you can actually download them yourself and not have to wait for apple to get around to it, its dissapointing

                                                                  • 30. Re: CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups
                                                                    sbrewerBT Level 1

                                                                    I've had this same issue (dragging layers is way to sluggy) with different computers, different versions of photoshop, different files, and different versions of photoshop. It honestly blows my mind that the photoshop staff not only hasn't encountered this issue, but don't take the "many" users who report it seriously.


                                                                    I've fiddled with the settings more than I want to, and I've suffered from this very annoying issue overs many different settings and files. Every time I google the issue, I see many users who also have the issue, but the consistent response from the staff is "we cant reproduce the problem, its probably an issue on your side"


                                                                    It makes no difference how "powerful" the different machines I've work on are, and it makes no difference whatever settings I try. Not to mention this happens with ALL of the files I work on.


                                                                    This IS an issue we wish could be resolved; and I have no idea how it is that the staff does not experience it, or are able to address it.

                                                                    1 person found this helpful
                                                                    • 31. Re: CS6 dead slow moving layers and groups
                                                                      greg-ory Level 1

                                                                      I'm with you on that ( even if the post is a bit old )

                                                                      I've also tried everything I could to resolve that issue, and even thought it was maybe my computer that wasn't powerful enough. But I also tried the same files on top notch hardware ( Xeon CPU, 1080GTX, high speed RAM + ssd ... ) with no difference at all... So I really don't know what to do now, unless working in unbearable conditions.

                                                                      Also this issue is more and more important as we advance in Photoshop versions...