10 Great Ways of Improving Photoshop CC Performance

Photoshop CC is a complex software that consumes a lot of system resources. You can always buy a better computer to speed up the performance, however, this can be costly and not always feasible.

In this article, I will talk about 10 great ways of improving Photoshop CC performance. These tricks have worked for me and I’m sure they will help boosting your Photoshop performance.

1. Adjust Memory Allocated to Your Photoshop CC

First & foremost is to have a look at the memory allocation to your Photoshop CC. Go to Edit > Preferences > Performance and you will see the option to adjust memory usage:

For my current computer, I let Photoshop use 75% of the total available memory (The default setting is 70%). Depending on your computer specs, you can set a memory amount suitable to your circumstance.

Never allocate more than 85% of the available memory to Photoshop – doing so will make your other application unusable.

2. Set Optimal History States

You can reduce amount of History States in the Edit > Preferences > Performance window:

History States are the ones you see in the History panel. By reducing the number of History States that Photoshop stores, it will improve your Photoshop speed.

3. Fine-tune Your GPU Settings

You can set your GPU advanced settings to “Basic” to reduce the amount of GPU memory used in Photoshop. This setting can also be found in Edit > Preferences > Performance:

By doing so, you use only the most basic OpenGL functions, which is fine for most editing jobs. This would improve Photoshop responsiveness.

4. Scratch Disk Setup

You can find the option of Scratch Disk under Edit > Preferences > Scratch Disks. By default, Photoshop store info on the default C:\ drive. However, you would find that C:\ drive is your main system drive and is often clogged with system files from other programs. This slows down Photoshop.

We can create a new partition (or use a new disk) with a lot of empty space (like drive F:\ shown below), and set it as Scratch Disk. By doing so, Photoshop will have a clean run and not having to fight with other applications for space.

5. Adjust Automatic Recovery & Background Save options

You can reduce or turn off automatic recovery of Photoshop files via Edit > Preferences > File Handling as shown below:

This ensures Photoshop doesn’t save as often and reduce the amount of intermittent slowdown of Photoshop.

6. Change File Compatibility Options

If you don’t need to work with old version of Photoshop files, you can disable compression of PSD and PSB files and change the “Maximise PSD and PSD file compatibility” to “Ask”:

This setting can be found at: Edit > Preferences > File Handling.

7. Close Unused Document Windows

This may seem obvious, but remember to close any unused document windows can save a lot of system resources:

8. Turn Off WYSIWYG Font Preview

Turn off font preview if you don’t need it. You can find this setting under Type > Font Preview Size > Medium:

9. Purge Memory

Regularly purge Photoshop memory can improve system performance, especially if you have limited hard disk space. You can find this setting under Edit > Purge:

10. Perform Disk-cleanups & Hard Disk Defragment Regularly

Last but not least, run regular disk-cleanups and hard disk defragment regularly (every month). For Windows, you can right-click on the disk icon and go to Properties, then go into Tools:

If you’re using Mac, Try these ways of cleaning up your disk.

That’s for this article! Hopefully these methods help you speed up your Photoshop. If you’re aware of any other tips or tricks of making Photoshop faster, leave a comment below!


  • My name is James and I have been using Photoshop since version 5.0 (long time ago!). PSD Vault is my spare time hobby and I write majority of the Photoshop tutorials and articles here. I hope you enjoy my blog, and feel free to leave a comment or contact me if you have any questions.

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