Adobe Creative Cloud be lagging?

Has anyone been getting a lot of slowdown from the latest version of CC software? If so, have you found any solutions to get it to be smooth like it was before?

I use a 6+ year old mac at work and the new software is causing me to get pinwheels just for opening windows. It’s frustrating.


The only CC I have trouble with is Acrobat. Every morning, after startup, without fail, it locks up for 3-5 minutes after opening the first file. It’s gotten so I just come in and open something, just to get it over with.

What’s your hard drive space looking like? That’s the first thing I look at when Adobe starts lagging. All of them are Scratch hogs. Especially Photoshop. Some of the history parameters may have changed lately too, so if you’re hurting for hard drive space, that could be your issue. Check your scratch usage prefs. I’d highly recommend somewhere between 150 and 200 gigs of free drive space for relatively seamless working (but I won’t get into gaussian blurs applied in Illustrator, Aaaarrgh! Sometimes the redraw on those things takes long enough to go get coffee.)

I have a late 2012 iMac myself, and I understand your issues. Here’s some things you can try:

If you don’t already have your “Activity Monitor” pinned to your home bar, go ahead and pin it. It’s become my best friend over the years. When your Mac boots up, check the monitor and see how much RAM is being consumed by the OS and background tasks. Ideally it should be using roughly 2gb of RAM. If it’s higher than 3gb, I would look into what’s initiating itself on startup.

Secondly, Adobe CC takes a massive amount of RAM just running the Cloud background software. Without even opening any core programs. I’ve discovered that you can kill the 6 or 7 pieces of CC background software, and still be able to use the core design software. You just won’t have access to your art libraries, and the interactive design assistance, which I never use.

Otherwise you may have to limit yourself, to only two programs at once, and Photoshop can’t be one of the two. PS’s RAM consumption is astronomical. I run InD and AI in tandem with no trouble (takes a while for the programs to load initially) and have Safari running in the background. This usually used up between 6-7gbs of my 8gb RAM capacity.

If you like, send a screenshot of your Mac specs, and total RAM usage, and maybe I can offer further advice.

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I have a soda coozy desktop mac at work (no idea on the year but around 2013)
It has 16 gigs of ram.
For the large format production work I do, I have Illustrator, Indesign, Photoshop, Acrobat, Excel, assorted small helper programs, a web browser and my email open all at the same time. All day. Every day. No lags (except for the previously mentioned Illy gaus blurs.) I also do the same work on a 2011 mac laptop at home, also with 16 gigs ram, with Illy, InDesign, Photoshop, email and browser open, with the added “bonus” of a Dropbox interactive link that is a mixed blessing.
Both machines have over 150gigs of onboard hard drive scratch space available. My work comp has just around 200, the laptop has around 160.
No issues.

If you do happen to be running Dropbox, it is very easy for that dumb software interface to toast your hard drive by filling it up with link files. I have to constantly watch that and quite often reset things to be “cloud only.” I haven’t found a fix. One night the IT admin dumped an archive file into an open folder and I woke up to my laptop telling me it was out of hard drive space. Lovely way to start the day.

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Thanks for the tip about scratch disk. I will have to check my work computer when I return to it on Monday.


@Biggs and @PrintDriver Thank you both for your replies. I have a feeling it’s our ram,the one thing I noticed about the iMacs we have at work is they only have 8 gb’s!

I had been talking to the owner about upgrading to a newer iMac with a Radeon video card and upgraded 16gb’s of ram and a upgraded HD to SSD.

Perhaps all we need to do is upgrade the ram to 16 gb’s somehow if it’s something we can change on an iMac and things may be better.

Right now, 5 minutes passes waiting for a program to open or close, or save for web takes 30 seconds to go to the window, or even resizing the resolution… it’s nuts.


Changing ram in an iMac is really simple. You’ll need to look up the specs on your particular model and year to find out which chips to buy, then look up a youtube video on how to change it. It’s as easy as 3 screws or a push button.

If your Mac is old enough, there’s two screws on the bottom of the screen, under the Apple Logo. If your Mac is my year, or newer, the RAM is foolishly integrated into the device. It CAN be changed, however the screen must be cut away, and then the whole computer disassembled to get to the RAM at the very bottom.

I called several computer shops who will do it for between $350-$450, assuming of course I sign a waiver. Even skilled techs have a higher-than-you-would-like chance of breaking your delicate glass screen in the process.

Eight gigs are enough to run a browser, an email client and an open Adobe app, but that’s about it. Ask your computer to do more and it’ll slow to a crawl. Sixteen is enough (that’s what I’m running), but given Adobe’s propensity to continually bloat out their apps, thirty-two gigs isn’t that far off.

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