Today’s Question: I had heard somewhere along the line that having a lot of presets in Lightroom Classic will cause Lightroom to slow down. Is that still true?
Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, having a very large number of Develop presets can slow overall performance in Lightroom Classic. However, this is generally not a significant issue unless you have thousands of presets.
More Detail: While too many Develop presets in Lightroom Classic can degrade performance, this isn’t likely to be a significant issue for most photographers.
To begin with, Adobe has indicated that performance does not become a significant concern until you have around 2,000 or more Develop presets. In my experience most photographers do not have anywhere near this number of presets. That said, if you have a large number of presets you don’t use, I do recommend removing them to avoid a degradation in performance.
The more significant issues involve overall system performance. That includes using a fast computer with an adequate amount of memory (RAM) and a fast hard drive especially for the catalog. It can also be helpful to optimize the catalog periodically, which is an option available when you use the built-in catalog backup feature in Lightroom Classic.
So, while having a very large number of Develop presets installed can certainly slow down Lightroom Classic, for most users this isn’t a significant concern and the more impactful issues relate to hardware configuration.