How to Make Adobe Photoshop CS6 Run Faster on Any Computer

Chaitanya Tapase

Computing software can be tricky to make, especially since Apple and Microsoft run on different ideologies and their OS’ need different customizations. But companies like Adobe have found great workarounds around these issues and their products like Photoshop run in the same way on a Windows PC as it does on a Mac.

Photoshop can be faster | Shutterstock
Photoshop can be faster | Shutterstock

The biggest problem, though? Users tend to complain that Photoshop slows down after a few months of use. And this complaint is the same for Windows as well as Mac users. So let’s see what can anyone do to make Photoshop run faster and perform better.

Tweaks Under Preferences

Local Cache & History

Hit Ctrl + K (or Cmd + K on a Mac) to access Preferences for Photoshop on your computer. On the Preferences menu, locate the Performance tab which will give you access to information that you can tweak. Under Memory Usage you should increase the amount of RAM that the machine can dedicate to the Photoshop process.

Memory Allocation Photoshop

You can either increase or decrease this, increasing the amount will allocate more memory for the Photoshop process, but also reduce the memory for other processes that may be running in the background.

On the right, there are two more options, namely History State and Cache Levels. The description for both these is provided right below, but the gist of what it says is that the changes won’t affect the program till you quit and restart it. Also, you need to change the Cache Level depending on the type of project that you’ll be working on.

So, if it’s a big project with not many layers, then turn up that number. Vice-versa for smaller projects with several layers.

Cache and History

History State is exactly what it sounds like, Photoshop remembers the last N number of things you’ve done on the tool. Reducing this number will take away those many ‘Undos’ that can be handy, but the default value of 20 might be high for most use cases.

Scratch Disks

Another option found in the same preferences menu, a scratch disk should ideally be an SSD on your system. Also, it’s preferable that this not be the primary SSD where your OS is loaded. By simply ticking the drive under the Scratch Disks menu, you can effect this change.

Scratch Disk Photoshop

The change, however, only takes effect once you reboot your machine. Assigning a traditional HDD as your scratch disk is not a good idea.

Additional Ideas for Your Computer

  1. Get more RAM: More RAM will always benefit a heavier workflow with multitasking being handled more efficiently.
  2. Invest in an SSD: Traditional hard drives just won’t make the cut for loading, saving and copying files from any program to the computer. SSD is a much better option if you use Photoshop a lot.
  3. Multi-core Processors? Nah, you’d be better off with a faster clock speed on a processor. Adobe still haven’t optimized Photoshop to take full advantage of multiple cores of a CPU.

Speed up your PC: Here’s how you can speed-up a Windows 10 PC which can also be helpful to the overall performance of individual programs.

Also See
#PC maintenance#perfomance

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Chaitanya Tapase has varied interests in Technology from Android to Windows to DSLR Photography. On weekends, you'd find him catching up on TV Shows like Game of Thrones and enjoying House Music.