Prisma running slow or 'over capacity'? Here's what you can do!

Prisma updated its app to add an offline mode for "the majority of Prisma styles." That means you're less likely to see the "over-capacity" error for many of Prisma's most popular filters! The app was also updated with special "philanthropic styles," that let you make a $1 donation to an Elbi charity.

Prisma is a photo filter app, available on the App Store, that turns your snapshots into digital artwork. It uses artificial intelligence to alter photos for maximum effect.

It can also take hella long to load individual filters. We're talking, like, 10 seconds or more, which is way too long when you're trying out three dozen different filters for one picture. Worse, it can sometimes give you an "over capacity" error and simply not work at all. So, what's going on?

How Prisma works

Prisma uses artificial intelligence to suggest the perfect filter for your photo. It then analyzes the elements involved and, in essence, redraws it.

For Prisma's more complex filters, it uploads your picture to the server, makes the changes, and then downloads it back onto your device. A lot is happening to turn your selfie into a work of art.

Why is Prisma is sometimes 'over capacity'?

You may have seen the message, "Prisma is over capacity. There are too many people using Prisma right now. Please wait a moment and try again." Because of Prisma's popularity, the servers are having a difficult time keeping up.

Why does Prisma sometimes runs slowly?

Even when Prisma's servers are up and running, they can still be slow or even free up if too many people are trying to use it at once. Basically, Prisma is like the Pokémon Go of photo apps. They'll need to add more servers as they get more users to properly scale the service.

Aside from Prisma's server problems, due to the AI process, some filters require your device to be online. So, if you have a slow connection or weak data signal, it is going to take even longer for those filters to load.

Which filters are offline?

If you're struggling to get Prisma's online filters working, you might just want to stick to the offline options. A quick way to tell the difference is to turn on Airplane Mode. Without network access, the app will gray-out filters that need an internet connection to work.

With Airplane Mode enabled, the app will gray out online filters.

Tips and tricks to getting Prisma's online filters to work faster

  1. Make sure you are on a strong network - Whether you are using local Wi-Fi or your cellular data, you can get to the filter faster if your signal is strong. If your Wi-Fi network is slow (like at a hotel or coffee shop), switch over to LTE while you load up filters.
  2. Don't leave the app - If you get a text message or notification while loading a Prisma filter, it won't continue to load in the background. It just stops, mid-load.
  3. Don't run data-heavy programs in the background - If you're streaming music or downloading app updates in the background while trying to load filters, you may see a slight slowdown. Normally, the slowness would be insignificant, but since Prisma is experiencing its own problems with server issues, the less clutter, the better.
  4. Don't restart Prisma - I know, most of the time, when an app is struggling to load, your first instinct is to "hard close" it by swiping up from the Recent Apps tool. But if you've already loaded a half-dozen filters when Prisma started to slow down, you still have those six filters already on lockdown. If you hard close the app, you'll lose all of that progress and have to start over from scratch.
  5. Just walk away - There are times when Prisma just isn't going to work, especially when the servers are overloaded. There is nothing you can do about it except follow the app's advice to, "Please wait a moment and try again."

What has your experience with Prisma been like?

Have you been struggling to load some of the filters on Prisma? How's the update working for you? Let us know how its been working for you in the comments.

Lory Gil

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).