Adobe has a whole set of procedures to troubleshoot Lightroom. One of their recommendations is:

  • Cleanup and delete all of your temporary files

Why do computers generate all these temporary files?

Sometimes it’s the operating system, Windows or OSx, that creates the temporary files, sometimes it’s the application, including Lightroom that create a whole bunch of temporary files.

  • The operating system creates a whole bunch of temporary files when it needs things that require more memory than you have. Often, especially with Lightroom, the operating system will require 4 to 20 Gb of RAM, yes, you read it correctly. To load your entire catalog and all of the previews on a large catalog will take “monster RAM” so the operating system will assign a whole bunch of temporary files. When you print, the operating system will create temporary images to drive the printers…
  • The application will generate many temporary files, because it’s much easier to write the program, such as Lightroom. Previews are a type of temporary files, and are stored on the hard drive to make it appear as much faster instead of always generating all the previews on the on the fly.

Windows XP

To start the Disk Cleanup: Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Disk Cleanup.

Windows Vista

To start the Disk Cleanup: Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Disk Cleanup.

Windows 7

To start the Disk Cleanup: Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Disk Cleanup.

OSx

Either:

  • Download and install a third-party utility, such as Cocktail or Yasu that provides a function for running the maintenance scripts.
  • Open Terminal from the Utilities folder and do: sudo periodic daily weekly monthly and type your Admin password when asked.