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Multiple brush adjustments makes lightroom unusable, have tried everything.

Dec 1, 2019
Lightroom Version
Operating System
Windows 10
Lightroom works fine until I start adding a lot of adjustment brushes. It would be okay if it was just a little bit of lagging, but it literally stops the program to a halt. I have tried various setting changes including the gpu. Does anyone know what I should try next?

I have a Dell XPS 15 with the 4K screen (have tried setting it to 1080p). I7 9750H, 32gb ram, gtx 1650, all photos and catalogs on internal ssd.
Jun 20, 2009
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
I would make sure that you have the latest driver installed for your video card and the latest Windows 10 update.
The only other thing that I can think of is that you might be low on free space of your C:\ drive. Lightroom makes lots of intermediate files and uses the freespace on C:\ for working storage.

What are the sizes of the image files in both MB and pixels?

Working with the GPU acceleration off, which kinds of adjustments are you making? At what point does it start to lag?

Because the pixel based adjustments are computationally intensive, it is recommended that this be the last step in your develop process. Lightroom applies the adjustments in a predetermined order and I can't say when these get applied but saving them to last means that they won't exist while you are trying to do things like correct the White balance or crop and won't slow those other develop processes down until the end


Senior Member
Jan 13, 2017
Lightroom Experience
Lightroom Version
Turning off "automatically write XMP data to files" is part of this very useful document.

That document says if you are doing a lot of brushwork use PS. Also the sequence can make a difference.

Spot Removal tool, local corrections, and History panel

The Spot Removal Tool and Local Corrections Brush are not designed for hundreds to thousands of corrections. If your image contains many (hundreds) of localized adjustments, consider using a pixel-based editing application such as Photoshop for that level of correction.
If you have many corrections, check your History panel. The History panel has no limits, and it isn't deleted unless specified. If you've been creating many local or spot corrections, your history could be long, which can slow Lightroom's performance as a whole.
Clear the History panel by clicking the X on the right of the History panel header.

Order of Develop operations
The best order of Develop operations to increase performance is as follows:
  1. Spot healing.
  2. Geometry corrections, such as Lens Correction profiles and Manual corrections, including keystone corrections using the Vertical slider.
  3. Global non-detail corrections, such as Exposure and White Balance. These corrections can also be done first if desired.
  4. Local corrections, such as Gradient Filter and Adjustment Brush strokes.
  5. Detail corrections, such as Noise Reduction and Sharpening.
Note: Performing spot healing first improves the accuracy of the spot healing, and ensures the boundaries of the healed areas match the spot location.