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I use iStat Menus which puts all the information for monitoring the system on the top bar (same bar at the top of the screen as the date and time).  Also, I've updated to the latest Big Sur and it seems more stable than earlier versions (way less fussy about being shut donw).   Also there is a new update to Photoshop, Lightroom Classic and whatever else.

 

iStat Menus is a paid program.  I think it basically draws from Activity Monitor but it's handy to be able to look up at the top bar and see what the statuses of various things are

 

Also, check your configs for Photoshop and and Lightroom Classic and make sure they can use your graphics card memory if you had a low memory graphics card earlier and haven't reset your preferences.  This is under Performance.  Your install would have discovered the graphics card and set things up, but the other thing to check is advanced and pick Normal if it's not already set.    My Photoshop uses up to 70% of the memory (24 GB on this machine; graphics card with 2 GB).  With one larger photo open, I'm using  1.38 GB of memory. 

 

 

 

 

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39 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

I did some editing while waiting for the RAM to be exchanged by B&H. I could tell PS saved slower with only 8GB, but I don’t think I got the low RAM warning then.

When I finish editing, like I said, I always shut off all programs, then I turn my computer off. I seldom allow it to sleep even when I think I might work again later. Off it goes.

It's weird, for sure.

On my old Machine, I often has PS, Bridge, LR and the Internet open to do research. I never got a low RAM warning with 16GB. I just noticed saving a tiff wasn’t instantaneous.

I’ll let you know if I find something.

Mark, if you assign 70% to Photoshop, does that cause LR to slow? My workflow (usually) is edit in LR, open into PS for a few other adjustments, then saving a tiff alongside the RAW. Then I keyword in Bridge, save a jpeg to an upload folder.

 

New installs do some background work, so you might just want to set it to sleep for a week or so after updating to the latest Big Sur.   I frequently have LRC and Photoshop open without problems on my late 2015 27 inch 5K iMac with 24 GB memory. 

 

If your install isn't picking up your graphics card, you can have problems, but I only had that with my Windows laptop (upgrade to system seems to have corrupted the graphics card driver and program but that was fixed with a reinstall of the graphics card software).  

 

I've got Bridge, Lightroom Classic, and Photoshop open, not editing anything, and the three of them are using a little over 4 GB memory.  I don't have Chrome on my iMac, so check to see what's that's using.   I never install it, much prefer Firefox.

Edited by MizBrown
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9 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

Thanks, Mark. I always close out PS with Quit. Always. I will check the activity monitor.

 

9 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

When I finish editing, like I said, I always shut off all programs, then I turn my computer off. I seldom allow it to sleep even when I think I might work again later. Off it goes.

 

OIC, so it is strange that you are getting low RAM warning. The Activity Monitor app wil be your best way to find out what's going on. When you open the Activity monitor, click the Memory button at the top. You'll see quite a long list of apps/processes that are using memory, many of which you won't recognise. To make the list easier to understand, it's best to change a setting using the menu bar at the top.

 

Activity Monitor>View>Tick - All processes Hierarchically

 

Then, to see which using the most, click on the Memory column title and it will sort the list, so the largest (or smallest) consumers of RAM appear first. If the smallest appear first, just click again to get the largest at the top. You can expand or contract sections of the hierarchy by clicking on the little triangles.

 

Here's what mine looks like with PS, LR and Activity Monitor and Screenshot apps running.

 

Activity-Monitor.png

 

The graph at the bottom can also be useful if you leave the Activity Montitor app open. You can use it to see memory being consumed and released as you open and close apps or images.

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
Added screenshot and more info.
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Betty again with all the help on here especially from Michael, Mark and Mia Brown you will get this sorted.  Seems like the Mask topic has now been closed but thanks for all your input everyone😉

 

Carol

Edited by CAROL SAUNDERS
wording
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If it's Spotlight re-indexing files, leaving the machine on sleep or screen locked will get that done faster.  Also, I'm finding the most recent release of Big Sur (11.4) to be less buggy.  Update, leave your machine on but lock the screen when you're not in front of it, and check the preferences for Lightroom Classic and Photoshop.  If one problem is a corrupted preferences file, there's a way to fix that, but I haven't had to do that recently enough to remember the steps.

 

My instincts on this would be to update everything (starting with Big Sur) if you haven't already, then to check the preferences for the Adobe programs, and leave the machine on and only lock the screen when you're not in front of it.  Spotlight on my machine does appear to have indexed PhotosMain, which is my external Thunderbolt 1 photo hard drive.  You can set Spotlight preferences in System Preferences, but not to exclude hard drives, just photos.  If the machine has housekeeping to do, better to just let it do the housekeeping.   Do turn Lightroom Classic and Photoshop off when you're not using them.

 

I use Lightroom Classic as my cataloging program, so things for me are easy to find through LRC so I've never used Spotlight to find photos, didn't realize it had catalogued them with their associated keywords until testing just now.   If Bridge has to catalog the photos, then leave it turned on overnight to do its own house keeping.  (I just looked at Bridge and it seems to try to catalog every thing.

 

Lightroom Classic before the version before this one didn't play nice with earlier versions of Big Sur, mostly a LRC problem, but a bit from Big Sur. 

 

If you're working in layers, that can take more memory. 

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Photoshop didn’t show on activity monitor until I opened it, then it showed 1018.3 MB

LR Classic open shows 1.19 GB open

Adobe Bridge shows 1.02 GB open

everything else is MB OR KB

I am up to date on OS and PS, Bridge and LR classic.

In Advanced, the one thing MizBrown mentioned was set to the lowest and I put it on Normal before seeing her post.

 

I’m preparing to open everything and work on a couple of images and see what happens. I have not done anything with the memory sticks as of yet.

Adobe PS with an image open shows 1.92GB in activity monitor.

 

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3 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

Photoshop didn’t show on activity monitor until I opened it, then it showed 1018.3 MB

LR Classic open shows 1.19 GB open

Adobe Bridge shows 1.02 GB open

everything else is MB OR KB

I am up to date on OS and PS, Bridge and LR classic.

In Advanced, the one thing MizBrown mentioned was set to the lowest and I put it on Normal before seeing her post.

 

I’m preparing to open everything and work on a couple of images and see what happens. I have not done anything with the memory sticks as of yet.

Adobe PS with an image open shows 1.92GB in activity monitor.

 

 

Activity Monitor only monitors apps that are running. Leave it running and take an occasional peek at the Memory tab. You can sort it so the apps using the most memory are at the top which makes it easier to see. 

Edited by MDM
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I have another problem now. I wanted to edit a few photos to see if I got the “low RAM” message again. I was working in ACR/Photoshop only, not LR.  
I chose an image in Bridge, then opened In ACR, adjusted the image, then hit “open”, it won’t open in PS.  I get a spinning ball some of the time.

I wanted to close out everything, shut off the computer, reboot and try again, but when I try to Quit PS, the “Quit Photoshop” is grayed out. I can’t quit it. Preferences is also Greyed out.

Bridge can be closed and Preferences is available. I have not messed around in these at all since the last time I edited, which was yesterday, and everything was working.

The only thing I’ve done is open activity monitor, open programs to see what they were doing re: activity monitor, and change ONE SETTING to normal.

I take that back. When Mark said he allocated 70% to PS, I checked mine. It was on 70% also, and I bumped it up to 72%. I though with 32GB of RAM vs the 16GB on my old machine, I could do that and have plenty to spare.

Edited by Betty LaRue
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15 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

I have another problem now. I wanted to edit a few photos to see if I got the “low RAM” message again. I was working in ACR/Photoshop only, not LR.  
I chose an image in Bridge, then opened In ACR, adjusted the image, then hit “open”, it won’t open in PS.  I get a spinning ball some of the time.

I wanted to close out everything, shut off the computer, reboot and try again, but when I try to Quit PS, the “Quit Photoshop” is grayed out. I can’t quit it. Preferences is also Greyed out.

Bridge can be closed and Preferences is available. I have not messed around in these at all since the last time I edited, which was yesterday, and everything was working.

The only thing I’ve done is open activity monitor, open programs to see what they were doing re: activity monitor, and change ONE SETTING to normal.

 

if you have set graphics prefs in Photoshop to Normal then set it back to Advanced - any advice to the contrary is nonsense for your new machine. You have a brand new advanced GPU in there. I am not saying that is the problem but it Is totally unnecessary.

 

To quit an app that is not responding, hit command-option-escape all at the same time and force quit.

 

Did you check how much memory is being used by Bridge by the way?

 

I would run the Apple hardware check as I mentioned before in case it is faulty RAM. 

 

Edited by MDM
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After doing the hardware check and if all is ok, I would advise you to stop using Bridge temporarily. Keep it closed and work in Lightroom.. Copy all working images to your internal drive, import them into a Lightroom catalog, do your processing within Lightroom, disconnect any external drives including any USB flash drives and see if problems continue. 

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The first thing I did was escape PS. There was a couple of other things running, activity monitor was one, I force quit it, and something else, I don’t remember, but I quit it too. Then I opened PS again and Preferences was available. I set the graphics pref to advanced. Before going to LR as you suggested, I wanted to see what the graphics change did for PS. I opened one image in Bridge to ACR. Minor adjustments and opened into PS. It worked as expected. Everything seems to be a go, now. 

Again, you’ve helped me. I didn’t understand the settings on the graphic card. Funny thing, it was set to the lowest of the three options initially. I changed it to Normal, the middle choice. Whether that caused ACR to not open PS, I have no clue. But changing it to Advanced did the job.

The last settings before changing to Advanced, with an image open in ACR was:

Adobe PS - 3.29GB

Adobe Bridge - 1.64GB

LR Classic - 1.19GB

Green line on “memory pressure across bottom almost to right side (whatever that’s supposed to look like)

 

Physical Memory 32GB

Memory used 18.70

Cached Files 1240

Swap 0

App memory 16.23

Wired memory 2.47

Compressed 0

 

The way the computer acted when I tried to open from ACR to PS was like there was NO memory available to do it. Spinning ball. Then it would just close out back to Bridge.

I did import a folder of new images to LR and will be working from there.
Recently I had been working from cherry picked images from 2009 DVRs and was doing all of those in ACR/PS because I continued to add images to the folder, and I have never quite understood how to do that in LR, so I stuck with PS.

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16 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

The first thing I did was escape PS. There was a couple of other things running, activity monitor was one, I force quit it, and something else, I don’t remember, but I quit it too. Then I opened PS again and Preferences was available. I set the graphics pref to advanced. Before going to LR as you suggested, I wanted to see what the graphics change did for PS. I opened one image in Bridge to ACR. Minor adjustments and opened into PS. It worked as expected. Everything seems to be a go, now. 

Again, you’ve helped me. I didn’t understand the settings on the graphic card. Funny thing, it was set to the lowest of the three options initially. I changed it to Normal, the middle choice. Whether that caused ACR to not open PS, I have no clue. But changing it to Advanced did the job.

The last settings before changing to Advanced, with an image open in ACR was:

Adobe PS - 3.29GB

Adobe Bridge - 1.64GB

LR Classic - 1.19GB

Green line on “memory pressure across bottom almost to right side (whatever that’s supposed to look like)

 

Physical Memory 32GB

Memory used 18.70

Cached Files 1240

Swap 0

App memory 16.23

Wired memory 2.47

Compressed 0

 

The way the computer acted when I tried to open from ACR to PS was like there was NO memory available to do it. Spinning ball. Then it would just close out back to Bridge.

I did import a folder of new images to LR and will be working from there.
Recently I had been working from cherry picked images from 2009 DVRs and was doing all of those in ACR/PS because I continued to add images to the folder, and I have never quite understood how to do that in LR, so I stuck with PS.

 

You have obviously carried over some legacy settings from the old machine as Photoshop and Lightroom should be using full GPU acceleration so check Lightroom prefs as well. If it was me I would just delete the Photoshop and Lightroom prefs, uninstall and reinstall but you may not want to do that.

 

If you are working directly from DVDs, then that is a bad idea. Copy the images to the internal drive and eject the DVD. It is very simple to work in Lightroom directly. Just import the images but only images you have already copied to the internal drive. It doesn't have to be a permanent change to your workflow but just working with Photoshop and Lightroom might help to diagnose the problem. 

 

There is something that doesn't add up in your RAM usage numbers. If 17GB is used, try to figure out what else is using the RAM. 

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4 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

I just might uninstall and reinstall. It should be simple enough, hey? Just take some time? I’ll think about it.

 

If you have any valuable LR import, PS/LR develop or LR export presets set up you may need to make sure you don't lose them. Michael may be able to advise the best way to do this. In my own case I manually took a backup copy of them all using Finder and put them back after I'd completely wiped my HDD and was doing my "bare metal" reinstall. If you need help finding where they are stored let us know. It's possible that a simple uninstall and reinstall might not wipe them, but I'm not sure.

 

Mark

 

PS. I just finished my "bare metal" install of Catalina + clean up on my MacBook Pro. It now boots from cold faster (60 secs -> 40 secs) and I appear to have saved quite a bit of disk space. But it's taken a long time to get everything setup the way I like it. Migration assistant is so much easier and quicker. My next step maybe to do a bare metal install of Big Sur on my iMac and then migrate my already cleaned up files and apps from my MacBook.

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33 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

I just might uninstall and reinstall. It should be simple enough, hey? Just take some time? I’ll think about it.

 

It's very simple to do but it Is pointless unless you delete your existing prefs. I see Mark has just posted as I write. As he says it is best to locate them and back them up manually but you may not have very much anyway. I usually only have keyboard shortcuts and some Lightroom presets.  None of this is difficult. There is loads of info on the Adobe site about how to do it.

Edited by MDM
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Mark has a much more complicated setup as he has mentioned before (e.g. running Windows in software on the same machine and loads of apps). My setup is light and very easy to reinstall. I have learned a lot simply redoing settings from scratch.

 

Be aware that you will probably need to reinstall plugins if you uninstall PS and LR but you should be an expert at that now 😀.

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 Lightroom should also find the graphics card and adjust itself appropriately, but if it's been turned off earlier, you may need to turn it on.  I use the Auto setting.  MDM may give other suggestions which would be worth following.

 

I've just uninstalled Bridge now that LIghtroom and Photoshop both have the super enhance featue.  I can keyword and caption in Lightroom.  I have keywords in hierarchies, so the plants are all together, the various kinds of plants (monocots, everything else) are together, and so forth, which makes finding things easier.  I think for people just working with Photoshop, Bridge is useful, but I started with Lightroom and like what it does.   You can set Lightroom up to leave photos in the folders of your choice and simply add them to a catalog.   I know you don't wanna.  Not saying you should. 

 

You can reset preferences in Photoshop and Lightroom Classic without uninstalling and reinstalling according to things I found by Googling but I haven't tried them. 

 

Reset the preferences in Photoshop CC:
  1. Press Ctrl-K (PC) or cmd-K (Mac).
  2. Click on "Reset Preferences on Quit" in the "General" tab and press OK to confirm.
  3. Press OK to close the Preferences window.
  4. Restart Photoshop.

Take a look at System Info under Help and see what either Lightroom Classic or Photoshop says your graphic card can or can't do. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Betty LaRue said:

I just might uninstall and reinstall. It should be simple enough, hey? Just take some time? I’ll think about it.

You can uninstall and reinstall from the Creative Cloud app.  If the uninstall program asks if you want to retain preferences, just say no.

 

If your machine is behaving now, I wouldn't do anything.   Also, before uninstalling, go to the plug in folder and copy what you want to keep to a separate file on your desktop or in your documents folder or somewhere you can find them.

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1 hour ago, MDM said:

Mark has a much more complicated setup as he has mentioned before (e.g. running Windows in software on the same machine and loads of apps). My setup is light and very easy to reinstall. I have learned a lot simply redoing settings from scratch.

 

Be aware that you will probably need to reinstall plugins if you uninstall PS and LR but you should be an expert at that now 😀.

I uninstalled LR classic and the regular LR that got me in trouble before. I uninstalled PS and Bridge. I searched how to do this the right way on the Adobe site. I’ve reinstalled everything but the one LR that I don’t want. I haven’t checked plug-ins (I forgot about those! 😫) because I needed to get away from it and sit somewhere kinder for my back. I did open and work on a couple of images in LR and then close it and work on one in PS. Everything works. But after all that, I checked the Activity monitor and the amount of memory used (in the 20s with programs open) is still way more compared to what’s being used by the CC apps. Looking at everything else down the line, MB & KB, it doesn’t add up to that amount.

I’ll try the hardware check at another time. I’m done for today. My son is coming tomorrow to put my inversion table together, again I’ll be busy with other things.

Thank you all.

I feel like I’ve been beat up by my computer. When is it going to be fun again?

By the way, i unmounted my two exterior HDs, it made absolutely no difference to RAM usage.

Edited by Betty LaRue
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OK Betty. At least it is working. It beats me what app could be using so much RAM. What is Spotlight doing? I've had messages that it is using a lot of system memory but I have more or less turned it off. You can control it in System Prefs. Unless you have some weird malware running in secret that has been carried over from the other Mac but that is probably paranoia. It would be worth turning on the older Mac if you still have it and seeing what Activity Monitor is doing on that - it might tell you if something has been carried over. Or maybe it is just Migration Assistant finishing its business - no experience with that as I am a clean installer from the start. 

 

Anyway take a break and enjoy your son's visit. I am getting back to more normal hours so signing off now. Should be around whenever though. 

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1 hour ago, MDM said:

OK Betty. At least it is working. It beats me what app could be using so much RAM. What is Spotlight doing? I've had messages that it is using a lot of system memory but I have more or less turned it off. You can control it in System Prefs. Unless you have some weird malware running in secret that has been carried over from the other Mac but that is probably paranoia. It would be worth turning on the older Mac if you still have it and seeing what Activity Monitor is doing on that - it might tell you if something has been carried over. Or maybe it is just Migration Assistant finishing its business - no experience with that as I am a clean installer from the start. 

 

Anyway take a break and enjoy your son's visit. I am getting back to more normal hours so signing off now. Should be around whenever though. 

👍😊

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Sorry to butt in but my 27" iMac has developed a fault and wondered if you could help?

 

It seems that the braking mechanism in the tilting system has failed and the screen is sitting at a peculiar angle. (Top out towards me and bottom in away from me. Had to lower height of my chair to see the screen full on.

 

Allan

 

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6 minutes ago, Allan Bell said:

Sorry to butt in but my 27" iMac has developed a fault and wondered if you could help?

 

It seems that the braking mechanism in the tilting system has failed and the screen is sitting at a peculiar angle. (Top out towards me and bottom in away from me. Had to lower height of my chair to see the screen full on.

 

Allan

 

 

I'm afraid I don't do mechanical Allan. Not one of my talents. 

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