Photoshop performance?


  • SVS OG

    I know this isn't a tech forum, but I figure that a lot of you here work more or less in the same way I do, so I thought I would just give this question a try:

    My Mac and Cintiq have been behaving weirdly for about six months. They are both relatively new, but basically tools I didn't press--radial menu, notification center, rotate, etc.--would pop up unexpectedly and interrupt my work flow. There was even a chronological sequence to it. It was annoying, but manageable until I updated to Apple Mojave a couple of weeks ago. The problems increased, so in my attempts to make things run more smoothly, I updated my Wacom driver and Photoshop as well. Since then things just keep getting curioser and curioser and I'm spending a too-large portion of my workday just managing the problems. I have contacted Wacom and Adobe tech support, surfed Wacom Reddit, Apple forums, Photoshop forums, Adobe forums, etc., tried uninstalling and reinstalling various drivers, going back to PS 2018, and was even thinking about stepping back to High Sierra with my Mac OS, but didn't have the right cable and it was going to be a lengthy and risky process, so I've held off.

    The worst of it is sticky cmd and alt keys (they get stuck and turn my brush into the move tool or scissors, which requires a reboot to unstick), lost touch capability on the Cintiq, and at the moment the whole program is incredibly sluggish. Last night it was taking a full 5-10 seconds for layers to turn on and off. I enlarge my drawing, nothing happens, and when I give up and start drawing, suddenly I'm looking at individual pixels. Or I get the spinning symbol on the brush for a long time.

    The current file I'm working on is about 290 MB, and I've diagnosed all performance settings. Usually with PS plus Safari and other programs I'm using about 10-13 of 16GB RAM. I just don't see anything glaringly amiss and neither do the people in tech support.

    Just wondering--is anyone else experiencing the same? It doesn't have to be exactly the same thing because my problems keep changing, but is anyone having a lot of problems with recent updates? If it's everybody and not just me, maybe there's nothing to do but simplify my setup and wait. But if it's just me, then maybe I need to step up my tech support efforts. Thanks!



  • The only thing I can think of to do at this point is try and isolate the point of failure. See whether it's photoshop, your computer, or the cintiq.

    Try photoshop and your cintiq on another computer. If it works, you've narrowed it down.

    Or download a trial of an art program. If the problems aren't present in that other program, it might be a photoshop problem.

    Borrow someone else's tablet or go buy a cheapo wacom bamboo or something. If that works fine, then... Well, let's hope it's not your tablet that's the problem 😞

    Wish I could be more help. Good luck!


  • SVS Team SVS OG

    @lauraa I am on a PC but with the latest update to CC did mess up my photoshop. Brushes started to lag when working with lots of layers. Using layer modes would show strange color boxes all over the document. I found under performance if I select Legacy Compositing it seemed to fix everything for me. Best of luck!


  • SVS OG

    @chip-valecek Thanks, Chip! Done. Let's see if it helps. I've since noticed that my whole computer is turning certain every day programs non-responsive, when there should be plenty of RAM to run them, and the error report mentions Adobe. I'm not savvy enough to know what any of it means, though!

    @Art-of-B I don't have another computer that runs well enough to install Photoshop, but I might be able to try another program. I'll let you know if that clears something up! Anything you recommend?



  • @lauraa

    clip studio pro, corel painter and autodesk sketchbook should all have wacom support.


  • SVS OG

    @art-of-b Thanks! Will try.


  • Pro

    I have a sinking suspicion it might be your computer update.. I usually have a lot of tablet problems whenever Windows comes up with a new version 😕 I often spend hours googling for solutions after an update



  • @chip-valecek Strangely my PS 1/2 updated so if I open a file with PS it opens as 2019 version with all my plugins and tool setting missing but if I open it from my windows tool bar were I have a shortcut I get 2018 version with all my setting and functions setup properly.


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