How to Speed up Photoshop CC + How to fix any problem in Photoshop (2023)

Tuning Photoshop for speed and fix bugs.

Here are 10 Tips to make Photoshop CC lightning fast and how to fix almost any problem in Photoshop without reinstalling.

Photoshop is a bit like your car. If you don’t keep it maintained and then take it in for a tuning, you are amazed at how well it runs. Many of us never even take the time to set up Photoshop correctly in the first place (or we don’t know how). A lot of this is in setting up a few simple preferences and a couple of ways of working more efficiently. When things go wrong there are 3 things you can do to fix it and these work almost every time.

Please take the time to watch the video to see these tips in action, I will also reference them below so you can bookmark this page as yourgo to for troubleshooting.

Where are preferences?

NOTE! Ask the preferences ca be found Photoshop>Preferences on Mac and Edit>Preferences on Windows

Please also note, most preferences changes will require a restart of Photoshop to take affect.

How to Speed up Photoshop CC + How to fix any problem in Photoshop (1)


Here is a collection of tips to help make Photoshop run faster and smoother.

1. Use more RAM

Ram doesn’t magically make Photoshop run faster, but it can remove bottle necks and make it more efficient. If you are running multiple programs or filtering large files, then you will need lots of ram available, You can buy more, or make better use of what you have.

Set your RAM to 80% to get the most to Photoshop while still leaving enough for your OS and utilities, If you have a large amount such as 64GB and don’t run other programs with Photoshop, bump it up to 90%.

This is under Preferences>Performance

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2. Optimize your Scratch Disk(s)

When Photoshop runs out of RAM it moves the tasks to your hard drive. If you have more than one, you can set the fastest drive as your scratch disk.

Use your fastest drive (with free space) as your primary scratch disk and try to attach a second drive as a failsafe in case you run out of space, to avoid the Scratch Disk Full error

If you want maximum performance, install an additional SSD drive that you only use for Photoshop, don’t run your OS or other programs from there, not even Photoshop. Set this as your primary scratch disk and you will find that Photoshop runs smoother, particularly for large files or files with lots of layers.

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3. Don’t Copy Paste, ever!

I have seen people Copy and paste images in Photoshop to combine them into 1 document. When you copy, you put that image into your buffer and it will stay there until you restart your computer or you copy something else. It’s better to drag the images from one window to the other and leave that memory free for other things. (See a good demon of this in the video)

4. Emergency Dump – Purge Photoshop

One good thing about being around for a while (Using Photoshop for 20 years) is that we learned to be super efficient while working because computer resources were very tight. A lot of people newer to the Photoshop games aren’t even aware of this feature. Have you ever worked on a huge file and you can’t run a filter for example because there isn’t enough free memory. (Not enough free memory error message). You can to an emergency dump and actually complete that task.

Choose Edit>Purge>All

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Clearing the Clutter In Photoshop

5. Disable huge home screen

When you launch Photoshop you will see a welcome screen that takes over. This can be useful by showing recent files as well as access to your Lightroom photos. However, when you close your document, instead of showing a blank Photoshop, it goes back to this huge screen, If you choose to disable it, it’s easy.

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Choose: Preferences>General

Click: Disable the Home Screen

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And the Home screen will be gone (after a restart)

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6. New Document Window taking over?

Have you noticed the New Document window keeps growing? If you want to go back to the old one, here is how.

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Under General, turn on Use Legacy “New Document” interface

(Video) How to Speed Up Photoshop 2022 | photoshop lag fix | photoshop loading slow faster

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And now the regular dialog box will show. If you want easy access to Templates, use the new dialog box, not the old (legacy) one.

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7. Show MAX recent Files in Photoshop

When you choose File>Open Recent, you will see your last 20 images. You can change that to show the last 100.

Choose Preferences>File Handling.

Change recent files to 100. You don’t need to restart for this one, and it will immediately show the last 100 files.

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Troubleshooting Photoshop

This section will help you fix almost any problem you will encounter in Photoshop. Some “bugs” can easily be squashed with the following 3 tips.

8. Toggle GPU features for a bug free Photoshop

If you are getting display glitches, such as weird interface garble, you can fix that by changing your GPU (Graphic Processing Unit) settings.
Choose Preferences?Performance

First of all turn off Use Graphics Processor (GPU) and see if that fixes the issue.

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If it does fix it, go into advanced settings and try disabling features one at a time until you find the culprit.

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9. Photoshop Legacy Compositing Engine

In the last update some people were complaining that their Blending modes didn’t look right, or the color was weird.

This can be fixed by using the legacy compositing engine. (Make it work like it did in CC 20018 and earlier). This can be found in Preferences>Performance.

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10. Reset Photoshop Preferences to fix most problems

This fix has been around as long as Photoshop, it’s just easier to do now.

When all else fails, resetting your preferences can fix most issues. Make sure to back up your presets first, (I show this in the video above).

When you trash your preferences file,Photoshop builds a new preferences file as it launchesand resets all the settings and libraries to the factory settings. This resets everything and removes bad presets etc. Most of the time this will fix Photoshop problems. Case in point, some people were freaking out (Some youtubers had a melt-down) with some bugs when they upgraded to CC 2019. Resetting the Preferences actually fixed the bugs. (Aren’t you glad you’re part of PhotoshopCAFE CAFE Crew and get the email that showed how to do it, on day 1. Oops, you’re not a member? Sign up here, its free and takes 11 seconds).

Good news, you don’t have to find the prefs file anymore. When you go to launch Photoshop hold down Ctrl+Alt+Shift (Windows), Cmd+Option+Shift (Mac) and click the Photoshop launch icon.

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You will see a dialog box that asks if you want to delete the settings file (Did you back up your presets yet? Make sure you do first) Click ok and Photoshop will launch with the default factory settings.

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NOTE: Choose Edit>Presets>Export/Import Presets to back up and reinstall custom presets (shown in the video)

I hope you found this article/tutorial really useful. It seems that people don’t write about this kind of thing much these days. If there are other obscure things in Photoshop you are curious about, let me know in the comments.

Thanks for checking out this weeks tutorial and see you all next week.

Great to see you here at the CAFE


PS Don’t forget to join our mailing list and follow me on Social Media>

(Video) When Photoshop Starts to Lag, Here's What to Do!

(Ive been posting some fun Instagram and Facebook Stories lately)

You can get my free Layer Blending modes ebook here

28 responses to “How to Speed up Photoshop CC + How to fix any problem in Photoshop”

  1. Colin
    if I clean up my preset for refresh photoshop will delete any actions I created also?


    • I don’t believe it erases actions, but back them up anyway to be safe.


  2. Thank you very much for this tutorial! I intend to purchase a DDS drive now just for a scratch disk. These tend to be more expensive than a regular external drive … so my question is: if the dds drive is smaller and fills more quickly, can I just erase it from time to time to keep my photoshop app working efficiently?


    • If you just use it as a scratch drive, you don’t need a huge size. Even if you work off it with your images and move them later, sure.


  3. I’m an old photoshop user but can always be taught new tricks…..Thank You!


  4. Hello Colin! I met you at Creative Live in Seattle last year. I gave you a Post Card from Klaass Images. Thank you for your generosity in sharing knowledge! If you send me your address, I’ll send you my latest Panoramic Postcard. My website still goes to my FB page. I’m working with Zenfolio to get a regular website.


  5. Thanks Colin! Brilliant and definitely a time and memory saver!


  6. Changing available RAM was my favorite.


  7. My favourite is: Purge All


  8. Hi Colin Thanks this is very helpful.

    (Video) How to fix Photoshop cc slow startup | Photoshop run within 5 second | new method 2020


  9. Thanks. I made some changes according to your suggestions. I am still having a problem with enhanced detain in that the enhanced box renders a black screen. The before is normal with a picture. My GPU is a GTX 760, nvidea, which is approved. I have ordered a GAMING GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Twin Fan Graphics Card for this and better graphics overall. Latest Win 10 as recommended, 64MB ram i7 processor, 1TB SSID, two 8TB internal HDs. My ASUS laptop renders enhanced detail just fine, although with Canon and Nikon I use, I see no improvement in detail.


  10. Thanks for the postcard Johann, it was nice meeting you when I was last on Creative Live!


  11. Question Colin, How does going from 20 to 100 “Recent file list” in Prefs’ increase the speed of Photoshop. Logic tells me that it would slow it down.
    Thank you,


  12. This is super helpful – guilty of copy paste – so learning how to purge my clipboard was good – Glad to know how to reset photoshop preferences. You are the best! Thank you


  13. I wish I had learned this before I called a technician to do just what you described. He charged me $70 and wouldn’t tell me what he did to fix the problem! Thank you so much!


  14. Really helpful, thanks. As a Windows 10 user I find Edge runs in the background, even though I never open it, and often interferes with PS & my Wacom tablet. So I run a clean with CCleaner before opening PS as that ensures Edge is properly closed. And my system gets a clean 🙂


  15. Thanks for the Tip Colin, I’ve made some changes and now i’m going to try them out.


  16. Hi Colin Very interesting I have had problems with opening raw files from Camera Raw I can double click and get them into Camera Raw but after I have done my adjustments etc and want to open in back in Photoshop it just will not go I have had two tech guys look at it they say it is because I am working on a net work I have installed a a Synology drive have you any suggestions There is a work around by bring photos onto my main Mac and it will then click through the process cheers Sue Shepherd New Zealand


  17. Thank you, Colin, for your always helpful videos. I have hundreds of brushes I have downloaded. How can I back them up onto an external hard drive without removing them from my computer? If I understand the export/import feature, it will remove the brushes until they are imported back. Also, all of my downloaded brushes are on the panel on the Photoshop screen, but are not listed in the Preset Manager. Thanks for your help.


  18. Getting rid of that Home screen was my favorite and really glad to know about cutting & pasting. Thanks

    (Video) Solve Adobe Photoshop lag/freeze problem in 30sec


  19. You are always a great wellspring of information. Thank you for this information!


  20. Hi Colin,
    I ran into a trailing problem when using brush tool. Is there any way to have the brush moves constantly without delaying or trailing? Thanks so much.


    • turn off smoothing, or turn it down to 0


  21. Is there a font number limit like there was in earlier versions? Would that slow PS down?
    – my problem is with using any liquify, or today when I was in Camera Raw and used the Eclipse tool to mask and work on a specific area, it shut down the program completely.


  22. Hi Colin. Thank you for helping so many. I have an issue with CC 2019 ver 20.0.5. If I’m working in CMYK, the type tool doesn’t work properly (can’t select individual words, only the entire text block) and the lasso tool doesn’t show line you trace while you trace, only after you unclick. I read online that keeping an RGB file open while working on CMYK file fixes these issues. I tried it and it worked. Seems a little ridiculous to have to open a file you’re not editing to make upgrade work. Thoughts? I’m on Mac.


    • I typically don’t work in CMYK, If it’s a print job, I convert at the end


  23. It’s also happening in Working Gray – Dot Grain 20%.

    As for CMYK, I am converting at end too, however, the cyan and green are taking it in the shorts, which means I have to make limited edits in CMYK.

    More than anything, I am just wanting to know why I need to have an RGB file open to get the marching ants and fonts to work.


  24. Hello, thank you very much for giving information. As a beginner, I have learnt a lot from this.


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(Video) How To Make Photoshop Run Faster 2020-2021-2022 (Faster) Speed Up Photoshop 2022 | Photoshop lag fix

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How do I fix Photoshop problems? ›

Solutions: If you cannot open image files, be it JPEG, RAW, or others try to fix the issue by the following workarounds:
  1. Close and restart Photoshop.
  2. Check the file extension and rename it if not correct.
  3. Update Photoshop.
  4. Reinstall Photoshop.
Jun 21, 2022

Why is my Photoshop CC so slow? ›

Increase the Maximum Allowed RAM Usage

You'll find that option under the Performance tab of your Photoshop preferences. You'll see a recommended an ideal range, and it's highly recommended that you don't go over 85% of the memory available on your computer, to leave some memory for other applications.

What do you need to run Photoshop smoothly? ›

Minimum Photoshop system requirements on Windows
  1. CPU: Intel or AMD processor with 64-bit support, 2 GHz or faster processor.
  2. RAM: 8 GB.
  3. HDD: 4 GB of storage space.
  4. GPU: DirectX 12 support and 2 GB of memory.
  5. Operating System: Windows 10 (64-bit) version 1809 or later.
  6. Screen Resolution: 1280 x 800.

How to clear cache in Photoshop? ›

Here's how to clear your Photoshop cache:
  1. In Photoshop, open the Edit menu and click Purge.
  2. Select All to clear all caches, or choose an individual cache to clear (Clipboard, Histories, Video Cache).
Mar 24, 2022

Why is Photoshop malfunctioning? ›

The most common cause for this problem is that Photoshop failed to update due to a metered connection, slow internet, or because you've installed a pirated version. If you're looking for a quick fix, you can reset Photoshop to its default settings.

Is it possible to fix Photoshop freezing? ›

Force quit and restart Photoshop or restart your computer. Keep your macOS or Windows operating system up to date.

How much RAM does Photoshop use? ›

How much RAM does Photoshop need? The exact amount you need will depend on exactly what you are doing, but based on your document size we recommend a minimum of 16GB of RAM for 500MB documents or smaller, 32GB for 500MB-1GB, and 64GB+ for even larger documents.

What to do if Photoshop scratch disks are full? ›

You can also resolve a 'scratch disk full' condition by selecting additional drives for use as scratch disks. Hold down the Cmd + Option keys (macOS) or Ctrl + Alt keys (Windows) during app launch and set a new scratch disk for your system under the Scratch Disk Preferences dialog that opens.

Is 8GB of RAM enough for Photoshop? ›

In general, you need a minimum of 8GB of RAM for Photoshop. However, Adobe recommends at least 16GB of RAM, while industry professionals suggest at least 32GB. There are a variety of other factors to consider in addition to these requirements, such as application, bit depth, and compression, among other things.

Does having a lot of brushes slow down Photoshop? ›

Having too many brushes, tools and patterns installed in Photoshop can lead to unexpected brush behavior, mis-matching brush textures and generally sluggish performance.

What is cache in Photoshop? ›

Any design software, including Photoshop, requires a substantial sized work space called virtual memory or cache memory to run sufficiently. This is where temporary project files, like your clipboard, are stored and accessed.

How to reset cache? ›

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Chrome app .
  2. At the top right, tap More .
  3. Tap History Clear browsing data.
  4. At the top, choose a time range. To delete everything, select All time.
  5. Next to “Cookies and site data” and “Cached images and files,” check the boxes.
  6. Tap Clear data.

How do I clean up layers in Photoshop? ›

There are two main ways to remove dust from images in Photoshop: the Clone Stamp tool and the Healing Brush tool. Both tools work by sampling pixels from one area of an image and then applying those pixels to another area.

How do you clean a dirty floor in Photoshop? ›

The fastest way to clean a background in Photoshop is by using Photoshop's Filters. We found that the Median Filter works very well and saves a ton of time. Go to Filter -> Noise -> Median and choose a radius that will make all the dirt vanish.

How do I clean up a tree in Photoshop? ›

Turn Your Tree Into a Brush

If you want to learn how to cut out trees in Photoshop, you might also want to learn how to turn them into a brush. Use the Lasso tool to create a loose selection of the trunk area then press Backspace (Windows) or Delete (macOS) to delete those pixels.

How do I get my Photoshop back to normal? ›

Resetting your Photoshop Preferences
  1. Step 1: Open The Preferences Dialog Box. ...
  2. Step 2: Choose "Reset Preferences On Quit" ...
  3. Step 3: Click "Yes" To Delete The Preferences When Quitting. ...
  4. Step 4: Close And Relaunch Photoshop.
Jan 18, 2023

How do I fix Photoshop without tools? ›

Some tools appear to be missing from the toolbar in Photoshop. Learn how to bring back to tools.
Customize the toolbar
  1. Choose Edit >Toolbar.
  2. In the Customize Toolbar dialog, if you see your missing tool in the Extra Tools list in the right column, drag it to the Toolbar list on the left.
  3. Click Done.
Oct 21, 2021

How do you know if Photoshop is bad? ›

11 Ways to Easily Identify Manipulated Images
  1. Check the Edges. When something has been superimposed into a scene, you can sometimes tell by looking at the edges. ...
  2. Look for Reversed Text. ...
  3. Examine Any Shadows. ...
  4. Missing Reflections. ...
  5. Bad Perspective. ...
  6. Look for Remnants of Deleted Objects. ...
  7. Look for Signs of Cloning. ...
  8. Try Zooming In.
Feb 21, 2021

Why does Photoshop CC keep freezing? ›

A bad font or fonts can cause general performance issues, including crashes or hang when launching or using Photoshop. The Photoshop font cache contains the enumerated list of fonts and font features installed on the system that Photoshop can use. Deleting this font cache file will allow Photoshop to create a new one.

Why does Adobe CC keep crashing? ›

Why do my Creative Cloud apps crash when I try opening them? When you launch some Creative Cloud apps, the application window is briefly displayed, and then the application exits without an error message. This usually occurs when an update is pending for your Creative Cloud app or for the Creative Cloud desktop app.

What processor is best for Photoshop? ›

The Best CPU for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom – AMD Ryzen 5900X. For the best overall performance in both Photoshop and Lightroom while keeping costs reasonable, the AMD Ryzen 5900X found in the Chillblast Photo Pro Zen Editing PC, is the processor for the job.

What is a good RAM speed for Photoshop? ›

compatibility and performance, we recommend using DDR4-2400 or DDR4-2666 memory for your photography PC. Beyond this speed, performance benefits are small and there is a chance of impacting long term system stability.

What graphics card is good for Photoshop? ›

We, therefore, recommend a low to mid-range NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics card for Photoshop in 2022. Testing has shown that high-end cards provide negligible or no Photoshop performance benefits over mid-range cards. Other applications can benefit significantly from more powerful graphics cards.

Why is my Photoshop scratch disk full but not full? ›

Defragment Your Hard Disk

This is because Photoshop requires contiguous, unfragmented free space on the scratch disk drive. If you are getting the "scratch disk is full" error message and your scratch disk drive does show a good amount of free space, you may need to run a disk defragmentation utility.

How do I empty my scratch disk in Photoshop CC? ›

In Photoshop, choose Edit > Preferences. Click Scratch Disks and choose the drive that is used as scratch disk. Remove large files from the disk if it has less than 40GB of free space.

How much space do you need for scratch disk in Photoshop? ›

How much scratch disk space do you need? Minimum free space on a scratch disk should be 6 GB for Photoshop desktop.

How much RAM do I need for Adobe CC? ›

Without a minimum amount of RAM, Adobe CC applications won't even load let alone run smoothly. In order to run Adobe Creative Suite, your laptop needs a minimum of 8 GB RAM. In this article, we'll be discussing laptops that have RAM counts as low as 8GB and as high as 32GB.

What is the quickest way to increase and decrease the brush size? ›

3. How To Increase And Decrease The Brush Size #
  1. Click and hold the Alt key. (On Mac, this would be the Ctrl and Alt keys),
  2. Click and hold the right mouse button,
  3. Then drag horizontally from left to right to increase, and from right to left to decrease the size.
Oct 16, 2018

What is the fastest way to edit brushes in Photoshop? ›

To switch brushes in Photoshop, press < or > to move to the previous/next brush on the Brushes Panel. Adding the Shift key goes to the first or last brush.

How do I make Photoshop run faster in Windows 11? ›

How to Make Photoshop Run Faster
  1. Time to Upgrade Your Hardware. Upgrading Your RAM. Upgrading Your Storage Drive. Upgrading Your CPU.
  2. Software Tweaks. Close Other Programs. Adjust Photoshop's RAM Usage. Make Sure GPU Acceleration Is Enabled. Make Photoshop Load Faster.
  3. A Final Word.
Jun 13, 2022

Is 64GB of RAM too much for Photoshop? ›

Does Photoshop need 64GB of RAM? This depends on the size of your files. As noted above, if you typically work with PSD files larger than 1GB once opened, you'll want at least 64GB of RAM to run Adobe Photoshop smoothly.

What is the max RAM for Photoshop? ›

Photoshop really likes RAM and will use as much spare memory as the settings will allow. The 32-bit Photoshop version on both Windows and Mac are subject to certain limitations in the amount of RAM that the system will allow the program to utilize (roughly 1.7-3.2GB depending on the OS and PS version).

Why Photoshop is lagging in Windows 11? ›

Photoshop lag on Windows might be due to a corrupt plugin. Also, if you are dealing with dozens of plugins in Photoshop, it may lead to sluggishness. Users have an option to load Photoshop without plugins.

How do I clear the cache in Photoshop Windows 11? ›

How to Clear The Photoshop Cache
  1. Open Photoshop.
  2. Go to Edit > Purge > All. You can also choose to just purge the clipboard or histories if you wish.
  3. You'll see a pop-up window asking you to confirm your decision. Click OK.
Sep 1, 2022

Is Windows 11 good for Photoshop? ›

Photoshop may not support all Win 11 display features and UI elements. Illustrator may not support all Win 11 display features and UI elements. Minor performance degradation when the application is first launched. InDesign may not support all Win 11 display features and UI elements.

How much RAM do I need for Photoshop CC? ›

How much RAM does Photoshop need? The exact amount you need will depend on exactly what you are doing, but based on your document size we recommend a minimum of 16GB of RAM for 500MB documents or smaller, 32GB for 500MB-1GB, and 64GB+ for even larger documents.

How many computers can I run Photoshop CC on? ›

You can install Adobe CC on as many devices as you like, but you will ONLY be allowed to be signed into 2 devices concurrently. Should you attempt to sign into a third device you will be prompted with the "You've reached your device activation limit" window.

How many computers can I run Photoshop on? ›

Your individual license lets you install your Adobe app on more than one computer, sign in (activate) on two, but use it on only one computer at a time.

Does RAM speed matter for Photoshop? ›

Photoshop Benchmark Results

While not quite to the same degree as Neat Video, Photoshop can definitely see some benefit from higher frequency RAM with select CPUs.


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