Aperture 3 Performance Fix – Make Slow Aperture Run Faster

by Klaus on April 6, 2010

in Apple, Photography

Just a quick tip to you Apple Aperture 3 users out there, who are experiencing a (very) slow running Aperture 3 – like I did. Mine was so bad, I was about to go crazy. It could easily take 5-10 seconds to make adjustments, and that’s just not good enough. I figured Aperture 3 was buggy, since performance did improve a bit when version 3.0.1 was released.

Then when 3.0.2 came and nothing was changed, I decided that something must be done. Luckily, I found a tip that solved my issues.

Thanks to Matthew Bergsma at the Apple Discussions board, my Aperture 3 is now running fantastic and fast!! He suggests that you first make sure to have done all necessary software updates, then delete all files in the following three folders:

Hard Drive/Library/Caches
Hard Drive/System/Library/Caches
Hard Drive/Users/(Your user)/Library/Caches

Also delete this file:
Hard Drive/Users/(Your user)/Library/Preferences/com.apple.aperture.plist

You might want to create a backup first, just in case. But there shouldn’t be any danger here, since we’re dealing with cache folders and a “settings”-file for Aperture 3 (you’ll have to modify settings again, if you’ve changed them in the first place).

Doing the things above and restarting my Mac, solved my Aperture 3 issues. I don’t know why I was suffering in the first place, it’s possible that it was because I imported my iPhoto library into Aperture 3, but I can’t say for sure.

If you’re not yet an Aperture 3 user, I suggest you check out the demo from Apple – you can also buy Aperture 3 from Amazon for less than $180.

Also read: Aperture 3 Brushes – A Quick Demonstration


{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Bram August 16, 2011 at 18:20

This tip is amazing! I was ready to throw Aperture out and get lightroom in because I couldn’t stand waiting for my photo’s to show any longer. Aperture was using 1,5 GIGAbytes of memory before and 760 mB now.

If all these people experience the samen problem, I don’t get why Apple didn’t send out a quick update yet that gets rid of those cached files that block up Aperture.

Great stuff!

Dave August 20, 2011 at 15:29

I too have been facing the performance issue, and have also performed the ‘fix’ above. It feel more than a little disappointed though, this kind of work-around is not what I have come to expect from Apple …. Have they been employing Microsoft layoffs ??? 😉

James Kendall August 24, 2011 at 01:00

Thanks so much – seems to be working a treat.

Yuri Faber September 6, 2011 at 23:19

thank you for your tip… my aperture is running much faster!

Sally Thompson September 20, 2011 at 13:56

I will surely follow your article! Thanks for a great blog..

Tomas Griger September 22, 2011 at 19:45

I have to say I was very sceptical about this, but lots of positive comments convinced me to give it a try. And it works! 🙂 It does run faster. Thanks mate, great tip!

Just a bit of warning… if you customised your upper toolbar, it will come back to default, together with any other settings. But better to spend 2 mins setting up my toolbar back to way I like it than watching the spinning ball all evening.

Nisa October 3, 2011 at 18:28

Thank you , thank you, thank you. I’ve been using Aperture 3 since it’s release and I’ve been so frustrated with slow speed. It took forever to do anything. You have made my day.

ashley October 9, 2011 at 18:29

Thanks a bunch for this tip!So glad my search turned up your post! Aperture is now back to normal for me. This is a great tips!

ajira November 6, 2011 at 23:49

Going to try this out. Aperture just slowed down for god knows what reason. So annoying.

Donna January 27, 2012 at 06:08

Hi, all — First, thank you for trying to help with these slow Aperture issues! Second, I followed the instructions as mentioned and upon restarting my Mac and Aperture, though I can find all of my Aperture libraries (several I’ve collected over the years for one reinstall reason or another), they all open empty. I will say all of my images live in referenced files, nothing is stored directly in Aperture, so for the time being (fingers crossed) all of my original files are safe on external harddrives. I guess my question is, has anyone had any experience with needing to fully re-import all files after following the above steps? Or if they’ve had the same issue, was there another way to resolve? I’d rather not have to re-import 7 + years of photos and make sure they’re all arranged as I’d like! Any help would be welcome — thank you!

g2 February 4, 2012 at 16:52

Just works! thanks Klaus!

Jan-Peter Koopmann August 22, 2012 at 08:57


just wanted to let you know: I just deleted the caches and left the settings alone. Amazing difference already. So you might want to try that out first. Thanks for this page though. Saved my day.



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