7 Easy Ways To Improve Premiere Pro’s Performance

Posted on 01-04-2022 Back to blog overview

Premiere Pro is one of the best and most used video editing software out there! Millions of users love working with Premiere Pro because of its fast and cutting-edge technology.

With its feature-rich and codec-friendly library, Premiere Pro remains one of the best and go-to software for amateur and professional video producers all around the world.

But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Because of its feature and option-rich nature, Premiere Pro can be at times really laggy, glitchy, or even crashy. 

This is especially true if you are working on a big project with a lot of moving parts or it just happens that your working PC is not one of the greatest out there.

But there is a solution to every problem! Our team of seasoned video editors here at Film Impact have come together to gather their experience and share 7 super easy-to-implement and powerful ways you can improve Premiere Pro’s performance today!

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1. Use Proxie Versions 

Proxies are a very low-resolution copy of your footage that you can use as replacement for your full quality footage while you edit to reduce the processing demand on your computer.

To create proxies first select the footage in Premiere you want to edit, right-click and in the drop-down menu go to proxy and click create proxies. A new window will open where you can choose the format of your proxy.

You may want to choose the H.264 format with the H.264 Low-Resolution Proxy preset to keep the proxy file small. Keep the Destination next to the original media and click Okay.

Adobe Media Encoder will launch and automatically load all of your videos ready to create proxies. Once your proxies have been created you can use the toggle proxies button in Premiere to switch between using your full-quality video or the proxy version as you edit.

You may need to add the toggle proxies button to your program window if it's not in your current workspace already.

2. Disable The Clips You Don’t Currently Use

I am sure that almost nobody thinks of this when they are experiencing performance issues. The truth is that even if Premiere doesn’t show the video clips under the top track in the preview window, they are still being played in the background and thus take up a lot of resources.

So the first and easiest step, in this case, is to simply right-click on the track that you don’t currently use and uncheck the Enable option. This way you make sure to save some of the resources without deleting the track itself.

You can also use the shortcut cmd+shift+e (ctrl+shift+e on Windows) to enable and disable clips instead of right-clicking on the track.

3. Avoid Extreme-Resolution Images

When importing Photos, try lowering the resolution of the file before adding them to your timeline.

Premiere Pro will work with the full resolution of each file. It will apply effects to the full resolution before scaling it down to your sequence size.

If you are editing at Full HD (1920x1080p) and import an 8K Jpeg image. Your graphics card gets loaded with this single 7680x4320 image. And let me tell you — that's about half a Gigabyte of data (530.84 Megabytes to be exact)!

Let's do the math here:
Stack 4 of those JPGs on top of each other. Then your dedicated amount of video memory just took a 2Gb hit. Yes, it eats away that fast!

Even a video card equipped with a decent 6 Gb will be easily maxed out at some point. How much VRAM does your graphics card have?

4. Point Media Cache To A Different Drive From The Operational System

It’s considered best practice among professional editors to have their media cache saved on a separate drive. This is because you want your OS drive to be focused on delivering the best read/write performance for your OS and applications. 

You can create another disk specifically for cache purposes and point the cache there. Even better you can install a separate SSD for the cache. The faster the cache drive the better.

This will ensure you maximum read/write speeds and less lag while working on your projects inside Premiere Pro.

5. Enable GPU Previewing 

This is probably one of the most effective methods to increase Premiere Pro’s performance if you have a dedicated graphics card. Premiere can preview your video in real-time in 3 different ways: CPU (software only), OpenCL (AMD graphics cards), CUDA (Nvidia graphics cards), and Metal (if you’re using a Mac)

If you have a dedicated graphics card then head over to File/Project Settings/General and click on the renderer dropdown menu to select the appropriate GPU Acceleration option for your graphic card (OpenCL for AMD, or CUDA for Nvidia)

If you don’t have a dedicated graphics card in your system then think of buying one as it will sky-rocket the performance of all graphics-heavy software, Premiere Pro included. Here is a list of supported graphics card for Premiere Pro: https://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/system-requirements.html#gpu-acceleration

6. Decrease Preview Resolution

The preview window is great because it allows us to real-time preview our timeline and how our masterpieces are looking before we export them to the format we need. However, there is something maybe not everyone knows - you don’t need the preview windows at its max resolution.

This is because unless your program monitor is displayed at full screen then the chances are that your monitor can’t display all of the pixels within the preview window, so it’s just taking a hit on the performance of your system. Make sure to use 1/2 or 1/4 from the dropdown menu.

Decreasing the resolution of the program monitor will greatly help your system’s performance and reduce any lagging issues you might have. This is especially true if you’re working with RAW format files!

7. Create Preview Renders

Have you ever had stutter blackback even though your timeline indicates full yellow GPU-accelerated playback? Whenever Premiere Pro is having a hard time playing back everything smoothly, you want to create Preview Renders.

A yellow render bar on your timeline is no guarantee for smooth playback. It only indicates the media and optional effects are GPU accelerated. But if you add 10 GPU accelerated effects, this will increase the load on your machine and will drop the playback performance at some point.

Create an in and outpoint on your time line. Then select “Render in to Out” from the Sequence-Menu. The selected part of your timeline will now be rendered. Yellows and Reds will now turn in to Green. Your preview renders are ready for smooth playback.

To Wrap It All Up

So the next time you have lagging issues with Premiere Pro, just try some (or all) of the methods our team recommends and experience the boost in performance for yourself!

You’ll be amazed at the difference these quick, easy, and simple methods can make!

I hope this article will help you unleash your true editing skills, without any lags, glitches, or crashes!

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