Quick Selection is Slow

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Today’s Question: My Quick Selection tool on Photoshop CC is very slow. I have 16GB of memory. It is so slow that it is difficult to use at all. Do you have any suggestions??

Tim’s Quick Answer: There are a few things I would do to help improve this issue, but I think the most important may be to adjust the Performance settings in Preferences.

More Detail: First, I would adjust the cache settings on the Performance page of the Preferences dialog. You can bring up this dialog by going to the menu and choosing Photoshop > Preferences > Performance on Macintosh or Edit > Preferences > Performance on Windows. Set the Cache Tile Size option to 1024K, and the Cache Levels setting to 6.

Once you’ve established these settings, click OK to close the Preferences dialog and restart Photoshop. Test whether this has resolved the issue with the Quick Selection tool.

If you are still experiencing an issue, I would also try to clear the preferences altogether. There are a variety of issues caused by corrupted preferences files. To reset, quit Photoshop and then prepare to hold the Command, Option, and Shift keys on Macintosh or the Ctrl, Alt, and Shift keys on Windows. Launch Photoshop, and immediately (while Photoshop is still loading) press and hold the keys referenced here on the keyboard. Click “Yes” in the confirmation dialog that appears, and test the results. Note that this process will cause the settings in Preferences and Color Settings to be reset to their defaults, so you’ll need to re-establish your preferred settings after performing this task.

If the issue still hasn’t been resolved, I would then disable GPU acceleration. To do so, turn off the “Use Graphics Processor” checkbox on the Performance page of the Preferences dialog. It is very much preferred to have this option turned on in order to maximize performance, but in some cases this setting can cause problems. If turning off this option improves the issue, I would highly recommend updating the drivers for your display adapter, and see if you can then enable GPU acceleration again without any problems.

A last recourse would be to uninstall and reinstall Photoshop, but I suspect one of the above steps will resolve the issue.