Ask DN: Anyone else finding that Adobe programs are becoming more slower to load?

over 2 years ago from

I've been timing how long it takes to open up Adobe Illustrator these days, and it's always been at least 60 seconds to a minute and a half. (Running a Mac 15" Pro w/ i7 processor and 16gb RAM).

Anyone else finding that Adobe CC keeps getting heavier and heavier, or is it just me?


  • Philip AmourPhilip Amour, over 2 years ago

    Not just you. One of the reasons why I stopped using Adobe software ~3 years ago.

    7 points
  • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, over 2 years ago (edited over 2 years ago )

    While I'm sure Adobe is plenty to blame, there are solutions:

    • first of all, program startup times are heavily influenced by your HDD speed, so having one of the faster SSDs means you'll get much better startup times (for all programs) than if you were running them from a 5400 mechanical HDD.

    I have the 5k iMac with similar specs (i7, 32GB of ram), only it has an SSD, and for me the latest version of AI (2015.3.1) starts in 15 seconds. Photoshop, which I use more often, starts in 6 seconds.

    • secondly, computers can get clogged down after years of use and it's worth looking at cleaning them up. You could use a sledgehammer and just wipe the drive and install clean, or research ways to clean it up (clear all caches and remove leftovers from old software, repair disk permissions, look at whatever software you have running in the background, etc.)

    • it's also worth looking at your setup, so how many plugins AI has to load, what performance preferences it has. There should be enough articles exploring ways to speed it up.

    • lastly, there are always alternatives like Affinity.

    I hope this helps.

    5 points
    • Alim MaasogluAlim Maasoglu, over 2 years ago (edited over 2 years ago )


      Photoshop & Illustrator my pc takes just 10-13 secs to load. I'm using hackintosh (mac on pc).

      1 point
  • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, over 2 years ago

    I’d gladly swap a longer load time for better performance while using tools. Take 10 minutes to open, if you want, just let me work really quickly.

    3 points
    • Andy MerskinAndy Merskin, over 2 years ago

      Completely agree. Adobe's apps have suffered from enormous bloat since CS5 (in my experience), and have only performed worse with each release. I run Photoshop on a brand new Macbook Pro 15" w/ 16GB memory, Core i7, and SSD, and I can barely pan, zoom, or select without seeing major hiccups and beachballs.

      3 points
  • Tony GinesTony Gines, over 2 years ago (edited over 2 years ago )

    I agree that the Adobe apps are slower in general. 60-90 seconds sounds like a lot though.

    I just did a quick timing on my apps (latest versions of each):

    • Sketch: 1 sec
    • Affinity Photo: 4 sec
    • Affinity Designer: 5 sec
    • Adobe Photoshop: 9 sec
    • Adobe Illustrator: 16 sec

    I usually say something to the effect of "Still waiting on Illustrator to open" out loud in my office. The other designers are sick of me saying it :)

    3 points
  • Radley MarxRadley Marx, over 2 years ago (edited over 2 years ago )

    Without knowing your system specs (OS version, storage, retina, year), there's two general factors that cause slowdowns in Macs:

    • using HDD instead of SSD / Flash drive

    Apple stopped supporting HDD over 4 years ago. They still work but they're unbearably slow.

    • full storage or almost-full storage

    Your Mac needs at least 50GB extra space on your storage drive for virtual memory. Less than this and it ends up constantly needing to swap memory space.

    As for Illustrator itself, you can try to trash and recreate your preferences, look for outdated plugins, and make sure the Create Cloud app is up to date (this one's just a guess, but Adobe makes crappy admin software).

    1 point
  • Jimmy Koli, over 2 years ago

    Mine Photoshop takes 8 sec and illustrator 11 sec. Also my system is 5year old running on windows 7, and the version is have is cs6.

    1 point
  • Matt Sullivan, over 2 years ago

    I have certainly noticed a slow down with the Adobe products since moving to Creative Cloud. However, what I’m seeing is less about startup times for the Adobe apps but more beach balling (on a Mac MBP i7 16GB ram, SSD) between operations. In Photoshop, I click, wait while the beach ball spins, and then resume working. Aggravating to say the least.


    1 point
  • Sam SolomonSam Solomon, over 2 years ago

    To me things got noticeably bad when they moved to the subscription model and forced everyone to install Creative Cloud.

    For a long time I had a CC subscription through work, but had a copy of CS6 for personal use. CS6 was noticeably faster on the same exact machine.

    I haven't used CC since I left that job a year or so ago. Between Sketch and CS6, I haven't felt the need for additional creative tools—they cover everything I need.

    Hopefully CS6 continues to work for a few more years. After that I'll probably be looking at alternatives like the Affinity Suite.

    0 points
    • Andy MerskinAndy Merskin, over 2 years ago (edited over 2 years ago )

      The one and only reason I upgraded to CC from CS5 was because none of CS5's cursors would display on Mavericks (at the time), or anything newer. If Illustrator or Photoshop's window was in focus, there was no cursor. :( And I would have been fine sticking with CS5 for ages.

      0 points
  • Corin EdwardsCorin Edwards, over 2 years ago

    I think it's a roughly equivalent time, but because Sketch and Affinity load so quickly it feels much slower by comparison.

    0 points