Lightroom Classic - Radial Filter Not Working

I have a new Mac, and a half empty SSD drive. I use the new LR Classic program. Recently the radial tool stopped functioning. I can outline the object but when I make adjustments, those changes are made to the entire image. I’ve played with some of the radial tool options individually (e.g. switching to the inverse option to see if that might have a different response - it didn’t). I’ve signed out and then back on again - that didn’t help. I haven’t made any changes to my settings, so I am stumped. Has anyone else experienced this issue? What was your remedy?

Thank-you in advance.

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That’s really strange! I personally have never seen that happen. A good test would be to try it again and hover over the grey “pin” that is created in the center of the radial circle that you draw out. That should highlight in red the areas that are supposed to be changing. If that works, go over to the sliders and verify that the entire image is still changing.

Report back and I’ll see what I can come up with!

Also, if you want to take some screenshots, that might be helpful!

Thanks for your prompt response!

Here are the two same photos: the darker one is the untouched original, I opened the radial tool and drew an oblong circle to cover the gray car and just a small section of the black daybag to determine clearly illustrate the effectiveness of the tool. When I used the "show selected mask overlay!it correctly identified the section to be exposed. When I clicked “done” the entire image had increased exposure as opposed to the selected gray card.

IMG_0500 IMG_0500-2

Thanks, Forest.

By the way, since I started using LR Classic the program has slowed immensly (I have a new mac, w/SSD , and only 50% of drive is used). Are there specific setting I should be using for Classic?

When you are actively dragging the sliders in the radial tool do you see the change happening locally or globally?

As per LR running slowly, join the club! It’s been slow for most everyone lately. We are all hoping they put more attention into performance vs. adding features in the upcoming releases.

With that said, there are a couple of things you can do to improve performance. First, go to File -> Optimize Catalog. This will work a bit of Adobe magic and make sure that your catalog is as optimized as it can be. Second, I would try increase your camera raw cache size a bit. This cache is stored on your internal hard drive and can be as big as you want it to be (as long as you understand that it will take up that much space on your internal HD). For me, I have a pretty large internal HD with a lot of free space so I set mine to 100GB which is a lot but I can handle that space being allocated for Lightroom. As far as performance, the larger the better as it gives Lightroom more space to cache important files.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Choose Lightroom > Preferences (Mac OS) or Edit > Preferences (Windows).
  • Click the File Handling tab.
  • In the Camera Raw Cache Settings area, experiment with a Maximum Size of 10.0 GB or more.

If none of that helps, I would take a look at this help page:

Catalog optimized - no change

Cache was purged. It was already set to 100.

Image change was local affecting only that one image (virtual copy) and not the original.

Unfortunately Adobe didn’t offer any remedies I haven’t already tried. Could this have anything to do with newly installed presets?

Bummer. It might just be that slow. It shouldn’t have anything to do with presets I wouldn’t think. How many images are in your catalog?

By “local” I meant that when you are actively dragging the sliders in the radial tool are the changes happening to the image only inside or outside the radial selection or on the entire image? I know you said the entire image is changing when you hit the “done” button, but what do you see changing when you are actively dragging the sliders?

Hi Forest,

I give up. I searched all over the internet fora solution to my radial tool challenge (I’m not the only one) but without success. So now I’m thinking I should just uninstall and reinstall the LR Classic software. Is there anything I need to know about uninstalling the Classic version? How about the re-installation. Lord knows, I don’t want to make matters worse!

In the meantime I hope you and all your family had a wonderfrul hoilday.

Happy New Year,


Hi Robin,

I’m sorry to hear that! I honestly have no idea on what might be causing that. I’ve never seen this issue before.

I agree that a reinstall of Lightroom Classic is probably the right way to go. The process is super simple as it doesn’t change your catalog at all. Just use the Creative Cloud manager to do the uninstall and reinstall of Lightroom Classic and you should be all good to go.

The only thing that sometimes happens is that once the program is reinstalled it decides to open the incorrect catalog. My recommendation would be to reinstall Lightroom Classic, then manually navigate to your catalog folder and double-click the .lrcat file to launch it into the program.

Good luck! I hope that solves it.

Dear Robin,

I have been following this thread and I am sorry to hear that your Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic Radial Filter issue remains unresolved. I don’t have a solution for you off the top of my head but if it helps I run a private Lightroom tech support business.

If you would like me to take a look inside your computer via the Internet, or if you would like help with the reinstallation process, please give me a call at 406-356-6279.

One suggestion though if it is not too late. Have you tried resetting all of the preferences for Lightroom Classic? To do this on a Mac hold down the Shift + Alt / Option + Command keys as you start up the program.


I make no guarantees that this will solve your troubles, and you will have to configure all of Lightroom’s preferences menus again after the reset, but it is less drastic than an uninstall and it will not hurt your images or your Catalog.

David Marx

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Just a thought. Are you making adjustments in the Radial Filter tool or in the Basic Panel? If your Radial Filter is collapsed like in the screen shot below, you may be inadvertently making your adjustments in the Basic Panel, which will always affect the full image, even when the Radial Filter is open and active.


If it is collapsed, click the arrow icon in the upper right of the light grey area in the screenshot above to expand it. Then you should see this:


Making adjustments in the highlighted area will now only affect the masked area.

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David, Forest, I apologize for not responding sooner - life got in the way.

Tony - you are brilliant - you solved my problem. Oh those pesky little details . . . .

now I can get back to work .Thank you very much.

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