Today’s Question: I’ve noticed in my Lightroom [Classic] Plug-in Manager that I have several plug-ins I never use. All indicate “Installed and running”. If I remove the plug-ins, is there any benefit to be gained? Any risk in degrading Lightroom performance if I remove them?
Tim’s Quick Answer: Removing plug-ins from Lightroom Classic won’t have a dramatic impact on performance. However, I do think it makes sense to remove unused plug-ins, in part to simply remove clutter, to possibly improve performance in some cases, and to reduce the risk of compatibility issues.
More Detail: Some of the plug-ins you’ll find in the Plug-in Manager in Lightroom Classic (File > Plug-in Manager from the menu) are installed automatically by Lightroom. Others may have been installed by the user. If there are plug-ins you don’t use, you can certainly remove them. Note that in the case of plug-ins included with Lightroom, plug-ins you remove may get installed again with a future update to Lightroom.
While there is a Remove button in the Plug-in Manager dialog, this option often won’t be available. Instead, you’ll need to remove plug-ins directly from the folder where they are installed. You can select a plug-in from the list within the Plug-in Manager dialog, and then click the “Show in Finder” (Macintosh) or “Show in Explorer” (Windows) button in the Status section to the right. This will bring up a window in your operating system, where you can delete the applicable plug-in file. I then recommend restarting Lightroom.
Of course, whatever features are provided by the plug-ins you delete will no longer be available once you’ve deleted the plug-in. But there may be some minor benefits in some cases if you remove plug-ins you definitely don’t plan to use.