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Photo editor working on desktop computer in the studio with photoshop loading screen on the monitor

5 ways to make Photoshop run faster

Is Photoshop slowing down your workflow? There is nothing worse than waiting for your workspace to load and watching your cursor turn into a spinning wheel of doom. To save you from this pain here are 5 ways you can make Photoshop run faster on your machine.

1. Upgrade your RAMUpgrading your RAM is an important step if you want to ensure Photoshop can run at maximum efficiency. More RAM will help when working with large and multiple files, manipulating images, rendering and other tasks. RAM is significantly faster than storage which is why performance lags when files have to be cached on the SSD. If your files use more memory than what is available, Photoshop will rely on the scratch disk (temporary storage) which will slow down your workflow. Reduce Photoshop’s reliance on the scratch disk by upgrading your RAM! If you stream your work or work primarily with higher bit depths and resolutions, consider between 16 and 32GB.

2. Raise the memory usage – If you’ve added more memory to your computer, you want to make sure Photoshop knows about it. By default, Photoshop uses 70% of available RAM, but this can be adjusted! From Photoshop preferences, click on ‘Performance’ and then adjust the slider upward to allow Photoshop to use more RAM. Adobe advises against allocating more than 85% of your computer’s memory to Photoshop since that can affect the performance of other essential system applications.

3. Upgrade to an SSD – If your computer still uses an HDD, making the move to an SSD will make a huge difference in the speed of Photoshop and other applications on your computer. Your computer’s storage plays a big role in your Photoshop usage; it loads images, saves files and boots up the programme. When your computer runs out of RAM, Photoshop uses a scratch disk to store the temporary data of your files and take on the workload. Even a basic SSD is over three times faster at writing data than the fastest HDD. An NVMe M.2 SSD is over thirty times faster. Using an SSD as your scratch disk will make Photoshop run far more efficiently.

4. Close other programmes – If you can, close all other programmes whilst working on Photoshop to ensure 100% efficiency. Having multiple programmes open can slow down Photoshop as they will be using up your computer’s RAM. More memory-intensive programmes such as Final Cut or triple-A games will have a more dramatic effect on Photoshop’s speed than a simple weather widget.

5. Don’t clutter – Photoshop offers lots of preferences for brushes, fonts and patterns, but downloading every option will clutter your Photoshop and reduce performance. Keep it simple, download a selection of fonts and brushes that really define your work style. In the long run, it will be more efficient to be sparing with your selection of tools, adding and removing them as needed. This is preferable to carrying a lot of dead weight that largely goes unused and serves only to slow down your application.

Stop waiting for Photoshop to load your images and follow these steps to optimise the performance of your computer and make Photoshop run much faster.


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