Chances are that you clicked on this post as you’ve come across the performance of lightroom and questioned the meaning of life. How can a photo editing program be so…sluggish at times. And when you have thousands upon thousands of photos to edit, it’s really off-putting when it takes a few seconds to load each image. It may not sound like much at first, but it’s a tremendous amount of time spent “waiting”.

Even if you do have the most powerful computer on the planet, lightroom still can struggle and it’s frustrating. Though I have to take a step back and give Lightroom a little bit of credit as it is dealing with modern digital images which often times pack so many bajillion pixels into a single image that it really is taxing. But come on, we’re 2022 and things need to be working properly.




I know, an underwhelming first point but it’s an important one and one that can make a huge difference. Adobe is always pushing out updates for their products and yes, sometimes they suck and break things but 99% of the time, they work just great. In fact, sometimes you’ll even be surprised by a neat little performance increase.




This is by far the only real thing you need to do to speed up your editing. It’s such a simple thing to include in your workflow and makes such a significant increase in performance that we can’t even laugh about it. What are Smart Previews? To put it simply, it’s a much smaller version (less quality) of your RAWs that you use to edit (so instead of editing 50 megapixel images, you’re editing 10 megapixel images). This speeds things up like a beast. There are a few things you need to keep in mind though:

  • You NEED to have the original RAWs somewhere where lightroom can find them when exporting. Otherwise Lightroom exports the small smart-preview images.
  • It takes a little while to build these smart previews. Chuck them into your workflow as you import your images into lightroom (there’s a checkbox at the top). Go grab a coffee.

How to build smart previews?