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PDFpen Pro with slow performance and freezing (Apple M1 MacBook Pro)

Neil Singer

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I am having a similar problem on an M1 MacBook Pro.  

When I open large documents on an M1 MacBook Pro I often get slow performance and freezing. The document linked below (a manual from Texas Instruments' website) is especially difficult — it works for a while but over time, if I keep PDFPenPro open, the program gets unstable. I often put the machine to sleep (maybe this has an impact??). Its intermittent but regular. I would suggest you open this document, move around and then leave it open and work on other documents and see what happens. Texas Instruments Processor Manual


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  • Allain Umailin changed the title to PDFpen Pro with slow performance and freezing (Apple M1 MacBook Pro)
  • Official Nitronaut
Allain Umailin

Hello @Neil Singer,

Thank you for reaching out to us through our Community Forums!

Please allow me to perform some tests with that document and rest assured I will get back to you once I have an update.

Thank you for choosing Nitro and stay safe always!

Edited by Allain Umailin
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  • Official Nitronaut
Allain Umailin

Hello @Neil Singer,

Thank you for your patience.

Unfortunately, we are unable to replicate the issue you have described with the document you have provided. I am using Apple MacBook Air M1 chip device.

In order for the Nitro Support team to narrow down this behavior, please refer to these steps:

1. Check whether PDFpen Pro launches if you hold down the Shift key while it is opening. This will ensure that PDFpen Pro doesn't attempt to reopen any windows. If that fails, we can do a more thorough job by trying a clean install of the app.

2. If you have any items saved in your library that you may want to save, like signatures, you may want to back them up if you don't have the Mac App Store version (the Mac App Store version does this automatically through iCloud). To back them up, simply save the PDFpen folder at the end of this path:

~/Library/Containers/com.smileonmymac.PDFpenPro/Data/Library/Application Support/PDFpen/Library

The easiest way to get to ~/Library is by going to the Finder, selecting Go in the menu bar, hold down the option key, and then click the Library menu item that should've appeared.

3. Then quit PDFpen and move it from the Applications folder to the trash. Also, move the following folders to the trash:

~/Library/Preferences/com.smileonmymac.PDFpen* (all files with this prefix)

4. Kindly note that if you may see something different to com.smileonmymac.PDFpen depending on whether you use this or the Pro version, or whether it was bought from our website or the Mac App Store. The best rule to follow is to simply look for anything beginning with com.smileonmymac.PDFpen.

5. Afterwards, empty the trash and restart your Mac. Then try reinstalling PDFpen Pro 13.1 afterward, either from the Mac App Store or from our website (https://smilesoftware.com/PDFpen/download), depending on where you purchased it. 

PDFpen Pro is trying to open a file on launch that crashed the product prior, especially if you have the "Close windows when quitting an app" macOS setting under System Preferences > General unchecked. 

For your kind information, continuous freezing or high CPU utilization and cannot properly launch the app or use PDFpen Pro, it is possible PDFpen Pro is stuck in a crash loop.

Thank you for your patience and please let us know how it goes on your end.

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