In 2020 is Photoshop less buggy in a PC than a Mac?

I have always been a Mac user. Currently using a 2013 Mac pro with 32 ram and OS 10.14.6. Before that, for 8 years I used a Mac Tower that was reasonably well fitted out. My desktop is used for LR and Photoshop and little else. I have always kept up to date with OS upgrades (except the current Catalina). Photoshop and LR are on my boot drive, and my photos live on a spinning external drive connected by USB 3. I have checked my hardrives frequently for problems and never have found any. With my old grey desktop, I noticed that over the years Photoshop became increasing fussy, and I had to reset Photoshop preferences often, in the last year about once a month. The same thing is happening now with my 2013 Mac Pro. For the last year I have had to reset preferences about once a month, and currently it is unusable because of some sort of problem that I cannot explain or fix, in spite of uninstalling and reinstalling it multiple times. I have had to create another user and it seems to work OK for now. So, I have questions. What is causing PS to become buggy with age? Is it aging hard drive problems that don’t show up with testing? Is it the upgrades in Adobe and Apple that are creating the problem, ie, a software issue between two complicated programs that just become increasing pronounced with age? Is it inscrutable hidden corrupted files that don’t disapper with uninstalling and reinstalling? And, I would like to know if PC users have had the same problem, Photoshop becoming buggy after a few years and well equipped hardware. It is only a matter of time that my 2013 Mac will not be compatible with the latest Mac OS upgrade and I will need to replace my computer. I am seriously considering jumping ship to a PC, for all of the well described deficiencies in Apple desktops: lack of much of a choice, inability to upgrade components, and cost. Is there any consensus out there regarding ease of use of Photoshop on aging PCs verses Macs?

I can’t address what might be causing your issues. But, I have an almost 12 year old Mac Pro tower. The only issue I have had is when I updated camera raw about a year aog and it would lock up PS. I went back to the previous version and I was good. Otherwise I have no Photoshop issues at all on my ancient Mac.

I am getting a new iMac (delivers today). The old beast is still going strong, but my OS is numerous versions old and it is only a matter of time before the computer gives it up.

A couple of years ago, I bought a Dell laptop with Win 10 to save money. Way too frequently, I wish I had gotten a Mac instead. I can’t wait for the Dell to die!! Not trying to start a flame war, just giving my experiences.

I was on Windows all my life and switched to a Mac about a year ago. Ps was getting wonky on the PC just like yours is, so it’s not OS dependent. Have you tried uninstalling and reinstalling Ps?

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About uninstalling, yes many times. Someone at Luminous Landscape suggested creating another User to see if it worked better, I did, and it has solved the wonkiness for now. The LL person suggested it might be a bizarre permissions issue. At any rate it worked. I suspect that with time corrupted files develop that are not erased when you uninstall and reinstall. The reason I think this is the after uninstalling Photoshop and reinstalling, under Edit/Color Settings/Settings it remembered a Custom Color setting I had created. Granted, the Color Settings are in Camera Raw not Photoshop proper. But who knows how everything plays together, especially with age.

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If you can withstand the effort, try wiping the drive and reinstalling the OS and then PS and LR.

For me it would be like destroying the village to save it!

I was having all sorts of issues with LR and PS on my 4 year old top quality Dell laptop so I finally gave up trying to live with the issues and went through the process of wiping the hard drive and reinstalling the operating system. Both programs are now running much more smoothly and I haven’t had a single crash in a week, which feels like a photo processing miracle compared to what I was dealing with. Maybe whatever Adobe is doing with the regular CC updates is leaving corrupted files here and there, which is degrading performance - at least that is what it seems like for me. I will also mention that my husband has a newer top of the line Mac laptop and he has been having all sorts of issues since he recently updated PS. He says it seems much more buggy than it had been before the upgrade.

Sarah, thanks for the post. You confirm my suspicions. The only thing that makes any since is corrupted files that don’t go away with preference resets or uninstalls/reinstalls. Now if only some clever person could design software to find those roque files and get rid of them. I’ve tried App Zapper and App Cleaner and Uninstaller, and they didn’t help the problem.

@Tony_Siciliano–You might try contacting Adobe and see if they have a tool that will find unused/rogue files and give you the option to delete them?

I had a problem with the Adobe CC Desktop App. It simply would not update. I called Adobe and the tech connected to my computer, removed all traces of the old app and helped me install the latest version. Works perfectly now. Perhaps they could help you fix the issue you are having.

Third (nuclear) option is to backup everything on the drive, wipe it and then do a clean install of the OS and your apps.

I had to do this on Windows 7 laptop, and it made everything snappy and problem-free. That machine has since been upgraded to Win 10, and still no issues.

On my workstation, also Win 10 (32 GB RAM), I have not noticed anything weird about PS or ACR. I do not use LR. I keep junk files cleaned out, have excellent virus/malware protection, and keep it updated.

Now, people say that Macs don’t get viruses, but the opposite is true: they can, if not protected. I suggest running a virus/malware scan and fixing anything it finds.

Hope you get this sorted out.

Adobe products and the larger image files produced by modern digital cameras are now very demanding on computer resources. Inadequate computer memory can be a killer for photoshop. Never skimp on system memory when purchasing a new computer. Operating systems crash when essential portions of a program get overwritten as system memory becomes maxed out. Both Macs and Windows PC’s can be affected by Adobe updates. Before wiping your hard drive, make sure the your Bios or computer’s firmware is up to date. After completing my rebuild, I was experiencing several Blue Screens of Death in Windows 10 when using the latest version of Photoshop. After updating the BIOS, the BSOD’s disappeared. Reformatting the hard drive and doing a fresh install of all applications can revitalize an older computer. Updating your graphics card drivers are also highly important for both Macs and PCs. Photoshop has moved from 8 to 10 bit graphics and most up to date Windows personal computers can now handle 30 bit graphics…Jim

I never understood why Photo Shop, in particular, is still single threaded (uses only 1 CPU core). With very fast multi-core processors available (mine is quad core) PS requires a fast CPU (mine is 3.3 GHz) and lots of RAM (mine has 32 GB) to overcome the limitation.

One mistake people make is allowing PS to use a too high percentage of RAM. Doing so leaves less RAM for other apps running in the background and the OS. The result is crashes, especially given the large files we typically edit in PS.

One thing I have done is disable apps that run at startup that can be started manually when needed. This frees up RAM.

btw: I am using the BIOS version that was installed when my computer was new in 2011. I have never had BIOS errors on this machine, and only a very few BSOD’s over the years.

As far as updating the BIOS/firmware, I was advised by Puget Systems to only do that if I was having problems. In short: Don’t fix it if ain’t broke.

Jim, thanks for the reminder to update my GeForce driver–it’s been a while.

Thanks for the suggestions. As a Mac user, I don’t know what Bios is since it’s not a Mac feature. My problems with buggy Photoshop were present with no other applications running. I have 32 Ram and a reasonably fast GPU. So, as suggested, I bit the bullet and wiped my hard drive clean and reinstalled the OS. So far so good, but reinstalling all my apps and transfering documents and other stuff is certainly time consuming and tedious.

Mac’s call bios firmware. Firmware contains drivers that instruct the cpu and chipset to function normally.