Display Problems in Lightroom

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Today’s Question: I am getting the unusual behavior in the Develop module [in Lightroom Classic]. The functionality of the Develop module works normally for the first image after starting Lightroom. When I select a different image and click on the Develop module the central image display area goes black and stays black, while the side panels show the usual Develop module functionality. The only way I can then process that image in the Develop Module is to shut down Lightroom and start it again. Should I delete the Previews and let the system rebuild the Previews from scratch?

Tim’s Quick Answer: In this case I recommend turning off the “Use Graphics Processor” checkbox in the Preferences dialog. I would then also check to see if updated drivers are available, which might make it possible to enable that feature again.

More Detail: Many software applications (including Adobe Lightroom Classic) make use of the graphics processor for some processing, in order to improve overall performance. This includes, for example, processing in the Develop module in Lightroom Classic.

When there are unusual display issues or crashing with Lightroom Classic, it is a good idea to turn off the use of the graphics processor (GPU) as a troubleshooting step. In Lightroom Classic you can find this option in the Preferences dialog. Go to the Lightroom menu on Macintosh, or the Edit menu on Windows. Choose Preferences, and then navigate to the Performance tab within the dialog. Turn off the “Use Graphics Processor” checkbox, close the dialog, and restart Lightroom.

This will generally solve the types of issues described in today’s question. Once you confirm this solves the problem, I highly recommend updating the drivers for your display adapter. These drivers have a reputation for sometimes being buggy, and they tend to be updated relatively frequently.

So, check the website for the manufacturer of the display adapter in your computer, and see if new drivers are available. If so, install the latest version of those drivers, and re-enable the “Use Graphics Processor” option. Obviously if the problem persists you can turn the feature off again. But once you get updated drivers that do solve the issue, you’ll be able to maximize performance by having the “Use Graphics Processor” option turned on.