Lightroom 4.1 performance improvement tip

Started Jun 27, 2012 | Discussions thread
Mark K W Senior Member • Posts: 1,712
Re: Lightroom 4.1 performance improvement tip

I think there's really 2 aspects to what is described.

Firstly - Check whether it is a preference file corruption that is degrading your LR4.1's performance:
1. quit LR4.1
2. locate and delete system temp files

3. locate and rename all previous LR preference files (so LR thinks they no longer exist)

4. start LR4.1 (it will create new default preference file as per a fresh installation) and check if performance has improved. NB at this stage all previously set user preferences will be lost, though catalog is still there as that is read from elsewhere - just all the user preferences for the look-and-feel, menus, etc., are back to default.

If performance is much better, deduce that there was a preference file problem (which I think likely means one of the config parameters in the prefs file is set out of range or something, rather than a true disk-level file corruption), and so now...

Secondly - Fix & restore the LR4 preference file:
1. quit LR4

2. copy the previous renamed LR4 preferences files back to the correct preferences directory with a "OldLightoom 4 Preferences.agprefs" name
3. Restart LR4.1 again

And LR should now be running OK again, but with your original user preference settings restored.

Now, I am an OS X user, so I just had a call to Adobe about doing this process on OS X, and although it was a confusing - but helpful - call, here is where I think Windows and OS X versions and behaviour differ maybe.

Adobe tells you where to find your preferences files here:

In Windows 7, from the above check and repair steps, it looks like the original preferences can be re-inherited from the "OldLightroom 4 Preferences.agprefs" file as named/created above in the Adobe/Lightroom/Preferences/ directory… or maybe they only come from any LR3 prefs file also there - not sure. My guess is LR4 recreates a new preferences file when started if there is not an up-to-date one, but also sees that other .agprefs file exists in the directory, and presumably reads/imports config settings from that/those also. I asked the Adobe guy this and he just said "yes", and since I am not on Windows thought it was going to get confusing to continue asking exactly how it does things on that platform.

However in OS X there isn't this ability as the LR4 preferences come only from the com.adobe.lightroom4.plist file in the user's OS X overall preferences directory (some are also inherited from the LR3, maybe also LR2, preferences file in the same directory if you had those). So in OS X, after deleting/renaming the current preference files you have to manually re-create your LR4 preferences once you re-start LR - i.e. using the Preferences menu and in all other places (e.g. Export menu) where the preferences are set. This was the clear message from the Adobe customer support guy I spoke to this morning.

(And no you apparently cannot cheat in OS X by renaming your original LR4 preferences file to be called an LR3 preferences file and hoping that LR4 will import from that. Maybe it would also naturally re-import form any LR3 prefs file, but If there's some kind of parameter out-of-range type corruption in there anyway this is not good step to think of anything other than re-creating the prefs from scratch anyways!).

Adobe also got me to re-boot the Mac before second fixing step also - maybe that's the equivalent of the temp file clear above in the Windows 7 case.

I hope I have not made too many under-the-bonnet deductions about LR in relaying above.

Has making a new LR4 preference file made my (extremely slow) LR4 faster? I think so…. not really used it enough yet. Is it back to LR3.6 speed? No… but it does seem to be more usable than before and I love LR4's PV2012 over the PV2010 in LR3.6, so I am happier.

Thanks Shiner for the find.

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