How to Speed Up Lightroom – 6 Simple Steps

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Speed Up Lightroom


Lightroom is a fantastic program. It allows you to catalog and edit hundreds of RAW images with a simple click. It has practical interface and a beautiful presentation of the images, but it is basically a big database. The problem with databases is that, as they increase in size, they begin to slow down and, sometimes, even to return confused or incomplete data. It happens even with Lightroom. But there are a number of strategies you can use to keep your Lightroom fast and efficient. So let’s dig into it and have a look at the best ways to speed up Lightroom.


#1 Use a dedicated hard drive

A very useful thing is to use a hard drive dedicated only to your photographs. Possibly an internal, fast and with great capacity. If you do not have space to add an internal hard drive seeks to acquire one external USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt.

On this hard drive you should only put your photographs master (with their backup, of course) and the Lightroom catalog. If you have enough money, consider buying an SSD dedicated exclusively to your images.

How to speed up Lightroom


#2 Create Multiple Catalogs

When the archive grows it is natural to begin to create more catalogs divide. It’s a way to create sets of photographs that make sense for us, so if your collection of images includes thousands of shots, try to divide it into a more “manageable size”, around 10-15 thousand images for each catalog.


#3 Increase ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) Cache

The files in the Camera Raw cache contain thumbnails used in the Develop module in Lightroom. By default, the Camera Raw cache is limited to 1 GB, but you can increase it to increase the number of thumbnails stored in the cache. This allows the display of photos in Lightroom’s Develop module is significantly faster as suggested by Adobe itself.

To change the size of the Camera Raw cache go to Preferences> Files> Cache Settings Camera RAW (on the Edit menu in Windows, from the Lightroom menu on Mac).

If you have enough space on the disk where the cache is located, you can increase the size up to the maximum allowed of 200 GB! Normally values ​​around 10-20 GB already provide good performance. To change the location of the Camera Raw cache click on the Choose button that you find the same menu and choose the destination folder.


#4 Add metadata informations during the import

The metadata containing information on copyright, keywords and more, can be entered during the import via the import interface panel.

This information is added to all photos automatically, greatly speeding up the next job. Obviously not all of the information applies to all pictures, so sometimes you need to work on even after importing metadata, individually or in groups of files.

#5 Create previews when importing photos

Whenever you view an image, Lightroom, you’re actually showing a visual preview calculated from the original file, whether JPEG or RAW. If the preview of the photo you are viewing has not been previously created, Lightroom generates in real time, using a time ranging from a fraction of a second to a few seconds. Some factors that affect the time it takes to render the preview are: your computer’s performance, the type of the original file size, the screen size. If the preview of the picture to be displayed is already in the Lightroom catalog, that has already been generated previously, the display is much faster and it will help to speed up Lightroom.

Lightroom lets you create thumbnails of photos during the import. In this way, thumbnails of photos will be ready when you want to view photos.

Please note that thumbnails may use large amounts of disk space.

For this reason, by default, Lightroom automatically deletes previews unused for more than 30 days. This time frame can be changed from the present option in the Catalog Settings> Files> Delete automatically 1: 1 previews (on the Edit menu in Windows, from the Lightroom menu on Mac).


#6 Update to the most recent version of Lightroom

Updates help fix bugs and improve performance. Make sure to make the most recent update of Lightroom version. Choose? > Check For Updates.



If you know any other ideas to speed up Lightroom, please share below. Let me know if these tips help you as well.

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