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What have you done for trouble-shooting so far?
Restoring Preferences after making sure all customized presets like Actions, Patterns, Brushes etc. have been saved might be a good starting point:
Recently there was a thread in which the original poster had the apparently same problem with over 2GB of brushes and could resolve it by cutting down to about 1.7GB (if I remember correctly).
What are the four abr-files’ sizes now?
Wow, I just looked and I'm up to 7GB when all loaded! I will thin them out and see if that is the problem. I wasn't aware there was a size limit as such. I will come back and update later. Thanks for the suggestion.
that worked! Thanks. Trimmed down to 1.5GB and have now opened/reopened a few times without any loss of brushes.
I guessed it had to be something obvious, thanks for the advice.
It’s not really obvious, at least I could not locate a definitive statement on a size-limit for abr-files.