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Adobe’s Photoshop is one of the most commonly used pieces of software today.

Designers use it to create and improve graphics, but whatever your business, there is a chance that you use this vector graphics software for one purpose or another. Even if you use it to create hero images for your new business website, it has a raft of benefits on offer.

Photoshop is a powerful and multi-faceted piece of software, which is great for its users but this also means that it can throw up occasional errors. Whether you are a frequent or occasional user, it is possible that the software will run slowly.

You might experience frozen panes, struggle to open files, or in some cases, even struggle to open the software itself. Fortunately, there are tips that you can follow to help speed up Photoshop when using it on a Mac.

Update Your Installation

Whenever you suffer any software problems, the first step should be to ensure that you have the latest version installed.

Companies like Adobe release patches, updates, and software improvements. Some of these will fix known bugs and prevent errors from occurring. Other updates aim to improve the software.

Try Using Your Desktop Installation

The latest iterations of Photoshop are primarily cloud-based. This ensures that you always have the latest features and that you can use your software from any computer or compatible device.

However, it also means that you are hit with any patches or upgrades that cause the software to slow.

If you are suffering a slow running Photoshop and can’t determine its cause, consider closing Photoshop CC and running the desktop version instead.

Read also: How to Manage Files on Mac More Efficiently

Disable Or Remove Third-Party Plugins

There are thousands of third party Adobe plugins, and it is not uncommon for users to have a dozen or more of these installed.

With so many additional pieces of code running, it is common for the software to run slowly.

Two plugins could be interacting, causing your installation to slow down and having a negative effect on the application.

You can run vanilla Photoshop, with no plugins running, by holdng the Shift key when launching the software. If it runs smoother, it’s time to start disabling plugins. Try disabling plugins one at a time and testing the software again.

If you find that Photoshop runs smoother after disabling a plugin, and you can do without that plugin, uninstall it.

Check Your RAM Settings

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Knowing that you have enough RAM to run Photoshop does not necessarily mean that you are using it to its fullest.

Photoshop typically uses 70% of your RAM, by default, but you can increase this to give your installation a little more oomph.

In the Performance preferences, try increasing your Memory Usage to 85%. Any more than this and you might not leave enough RAM for other apps and software to run.

Clear Scratch Disks

A scratch disk is a portion of your hard drive that is used for storing temporary data. Photoshop uses a scratch disk to store whatever you’re working on, making it possible to retrieve lost data.

The software should clear these scratch disks whenever you log off, but errors are known to occur when this doesn’t happen, or when you have an issue with your scratch disk space.

You can use dedicated software to clear and clean your scratch disk, prevent these errors, and help ensure the clean running your Photoshop installation.

Free Up Hard Drive Space

A poor responding Photoshop isn’t always Photoshop’s fault.

If you’re the kind of person that stores dozens of files every day, never deletes anything, and never cleans up disk space, then there is a good chance that this is causing your system to slow.

If Photoshop is just one of a number of programs that are running slowly, consider freeing up hard drive space on your computer.

Save Locally

Servers and file shares are great. They’re convenient because they allow you access to the files wherever you are, and whenever you want them.

They can also make collaboration much easier than having to send the latest versions of projects between team members. However, this can also cause a slowdown while Photoshop attempts to read and write to the remote server.

Consider changing and saving files to your desktop, rather than your server. You can always save server versions incrementally, while accessing those that are on your own hard drive to work on.

Delete Unused Files And Versions

Photoshop regularly saves versions of your projects as you work. This is great if you need to revert after a mistake, but it also takes up a lot of disk space.

Locate and delete all but the first and last versions of your project, and this will free up a lot of space: free space means that your software will be better equipped to run optimally.

Replace Photoshop

For some of us, Photoshop is the program we love to hate. It can be frustrating but it is because it offers a massive selection of tools and beneficial features.

With that said, if you’ve tried all fixes and you simply can’t live with how slowly the program is running, you could try uninstalling it and, instead, installing a Photoshop alternative that offers similar features.

This should be one of your last options – there is a reason that Photoshop is the leader in its field, and you might struggle to find software that offers similarly beneficial features.

Replace Your Mac

Similarly, shelling out thousands on a new Mac is far from desirable, and is easily the most expensive option, when it comes to speeding up your Photoshop installation.

However, if you’ve been using the same Mac for years, have tried cleaning the hard drive, and you are suffering regular errors and slow running software, it could be a sign that it is time to upgrade.

This will allow you to choose a model with a Solid State Drive, increased RAM, and other beneficial features that ensure a fast running Photoshop installation.

It is costly, but it could prove worthwhile in the long run. Consider this to be your last option because of the cost.