Photoshop Tip. No more Pencil Lag

Are you experiencing lag while painting with the Pencil Tool in Photoshop? If you are doing Pixel Art with the pencil  chances are that you are having Lag Issues even if you don’t notice it yet.

There’s a small delay while drawing


Fortunately I found  some quick modifications to Photoshop that surely will solve this problem. I will list them in order of effectiveness:

Number 1: Smooth Criminal

The main suspect of this issue is the Smoothing Settings for the Pencil Tool. By setting the Smoothing value to 0% Photoshop will no longer spend CPU power to calculate the smoothing for the pencil. We don’t need anti-alias on pixel art so don’t worry for adverse reactions. While the Pencil Tool is selected reduce the Smoothing Value to 0%.

smoothing 2
Setting the Smoothing to 0% is the best way to avoid lag

Number 2: Ruler of Evil

Another main culprit of this annoying phenomena is the Rulers. I really don’t know why having rulers active cause this issue. But by hiding them the lag diminishes greatly.

Screen Shot 2018-07-03 at 1.52.47 PM

Hide them fast by pressing Cmd + R on Mac or Control + R on Windows. Or by going to Photoshop Menu > View > Rulers


Number 3: Photoshop Performance Settings

If you still having lag issues after the previous adjustments then you probably have hardware deficiency. You can tell Photoshop to take the most of your CPU by doing some adjustments.

First open the dialog box by going to the Preference > Performance in the Photoshop menu.


Make the following changes in the preferences windows:

Under the Memory Usage Let photoshop have more Ram allocation by setting the “Let Photoshop Use:” value to 80% of your current Available Ram .

Also uncheck the “Use Graphics Processor” Under the “Graphics Processor Setting” 

Finally decrease the number of History States and Cache Levels under the History & Cache. Repeat this for the “Web/UI Design”, “Default / Photos” and the “Huge Pixel Dimensions”.

Customize how photoshop takes advantage of your hardware.
Customize how photoshop takes advantage of your hardware.

That’s it! by making these small and quick changes you should be getting rid of the lag forever. Do you know different ways to stop photoshop lag? Let me know in the comments.


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  • Peter Wootton

    Go Kill Yourself….. Turning a life saving NGO mine clearing website ( into your own version of MineSweeper. Wow! Just Wow! You suck lad.

    • ansimuz

      I think you are confused. I didn’t do that. However “they” are using a web template of mine.

  • Wagner Moraes

    I loved the explanations. I love Photoshop!
    Meu Blog