Why is My Photoshop Brush Lagging? – My 6 Chapters Story!

by Azfar in How To on November 1, 2020

Why is my photoshop brush lagging? Ah, I banged my head against the wall thrice to fix that issue! 

Is your Photoshop brush lagging too? Most likely, otherwise you wouldn’t even think to search: why is my photoshop brush lagging? Haha! 

why is my photoshop brush lagging and how I fixed it

Just like you, I suffered from the same problem a month ago.

I was on a tight deadline, and I kept my clients waiting. To be honest, I was so frustrated and time was passing by like a wind.

I took a deep breath and Googled it out for 3 hours. Yes, 3 hours!! 

Fortunately, I found the answer on my own. Now that I got it, I don’t want others to suffer. Being a tremendous social creature, I really want to help. 

Once you end up reading all chapters of why is my photoshop brush lagging, you will be equipped with all the knowledge needed to fix that annoying brush.

Why is My Photoshop Brush Lagging Chapter 1: The Smooth Cause Thing! 

When I researched a little on the internet, I found that many people find smoothing as the real cause for lagging because it’s turned on by default. If you think your smoothing is on, it can make your brush look laggy. 

why is my photoshop brush lagging chapter 1 the smoothing cause it

Technically, it’s not lagging at all. That’s how the smoothing function works. Don’t you believe it? Go ahead and increase the % of smoothing. The more you increase it, the more it will lag. 

Now the question is – why did Photoshop add smoothing feature? 

Well, it’s just for slowing down your line so that you can design stuff better. It may not be suitable for your work, but some designers leverage it. 

Here’s How to Fix Photoshop Brush Lagging Caused by Smoothing

  1.  Set brush smoothing to 0% 
why is my photoshop brush lagging and how to fix it by turning off smoothing
  1. Open brush settings from the windows menu and uncheck smoothing
how to uncheck smoothing to make photoshop less laggy

Along with unchecking, lock it and see whether it lags or not. If it doesn’t, keep it that way!  

If this solved your Photoshop brush lagging problem, that’s great. Unfortunately, my problem wasn’t solved. So I digged further to fix it. Let’s open chapter 2! 

Why is My Photoshop Brush Lagging Chapter 2: The Peripherals 

Have you thought about your peripherals? Of course, they can make your brush lag as peripherals such as mouse, printers, keyboard, and graphic card can trouble the performance of your Photoshop software. 

Learn the Art of Troubleshooting Peripherals

  • Whichever peripheral you are using, update its driver software to the latest version
  • Use Photoshop on a different tablet or computer if possible
  • If you are using Windows 7 or 8, upgrade it to Windows 10
  • Make sure bins extension is not installed in Photoshop
  • If an application named NVIDIA GeForce Experience is installed, uninstall it immediately (it regularly optimise the whole system, which results in lagging) 
  • Sometimes, damaged hardware slows down the whole computer. If you find anything like that, change the hardware

Why is My Photoshop Brush Lagging Chapter 3: Play Around with Preferences

Preference is the place where miracles happen. If the performance of your Photoshop CC is not adjusted as per the workflow, it may get affected. 

Let me Show You How I Played Around Preferences to Solve My Photoshop Brush Lagging

Here comes the phase where I solved my Photoshop brush lagging issue. If nothing worked out for you so far, try this out: 

  1. Select Edit from the menu bar and use arrow to go below (preference may not appear on top as it’s below)
photoshop brush lag 2020 can be fixed by setting preferences right
  1. Hover over preferences so that you can select the performance 
how to find photoshop performance settings
  1. I hope you got the preferences. Here are a few things that you need to tweak: 
how to increase photoshop speed by changing advanced graphic settings to basic
  • Find Graphics Processor Settings from the right side and tick on the “use graphic processor” checkbox
  • Go to advanced settings and try all these 3 drawing modes (make sure to note down as there’s no button to default it)

When I changed my mode to basic, I fixed my problem. You can try that out as well 🙂 

Chapter 4: Large Files Are A Mess 

My hit and trial method made me find more methods than I needed. So I am sharing everything I read on forums and adobe community. 

Brush lag may also happen because of large preset files. When you give a final touch to your design, the PSD file size automatically increases.

If you don’t have a high-end pc, it may take more time to load such files at the time of working, saving, opening, and sharing. 

Large Files Fix – In order to get rid of large files, you can reduce the resolution of your PSD files accordingly

Chapter 5: Update Photoshop to the Latest Version

No matter which software you use, as long as you’re not updating it to the latest version, you will have issues that you can’t even imagine. Haha! 

Most people either use Photoshop 2007 or Photoshop CC 2019 20.0.8, I don’t know which version you’re using, all I know is – you seriously need to update it to the latest version. 

Photoshop CC 2020 version 21.0.2 is the one that should be installed in your system.

Remember – Before you install the latest version, make sure to uninstall CC 2019 or an older version from the Creative Cloud App (it may cause malfunction)

Chapter 6: Who Ate My Ram…!! 

Nothing annoys me more than the applications that eat up my ram. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on Photoshop or Illustrator, you need to kill ram-consuming applications as they slow down most the important work. 

Here’s how you can kill ram-consuming applications on Windows 10: 

  1. Right click on the bottom line and start the task manager 
how to open task manager in windows 10 to kill ram consuming tasks
  1. Analyze the total ram usage. If it’s around 70 or below, leave it as it is. If not, check for ram-consuming apps and terminate them. 
how to analyze total ram usage in windows 10

In most cases, Google Chrome and Windows update are the real culprit. 

Are You Still Trying to Find Photoshop Brush Lagging Problem Fix? 

More than 90% of you must have solved the problem. If not, tell us in the comments and I will do my best to solve your riddle.

By the way, you can also seek professional help from the adobe community. Many people out there have gone through the same issue, and they will be happy to help.

Last Minute Tip: Avoid zooming as much as you can as it creates an irritating brush lag in Photoshop. 

Happy designing 🙂

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