You are on page 1of 12


To optimize performance, you can make adjustments within your environment to create
the best possible chance for success in the operation of your AutoCAD product. The
check list below is a general list that has shown success for users on a broad scale:
In the Windows environment:
Verify your hardware meets or exceeds the minimum system
requirements (see System requirements for AutoCAD). Remember you will
have other programs that may also take a great deal of RAM on your
system. If you are planning on running them at the same time, you should
have at least 2GB of RAM free available when all programs are active.

Verify you are using an approved/certified driver for your video card
(see Autodesk Certified Hardware).

Download and install the latest service pack and hotfixes for your
AutoCAD software (see Autodesk Downloads).

Set AutoCAD to run as administrator (see How to set a program to run

as administrator).

Set User Account Control (UAC) to "Never notify" (see How to turn off
User Account Control in Windows).

Change the desktop theme in Windows to Windows Basic.

Stop and disable the Windows Presentation Foundation Font Cache:

1. Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services.
2. Scroll down to 'Windows Presentation Foundation Font Cache'.
3. Right-click it and go into Properties.
4. Stop the service.

Delete the contents of your temp folder (see How to delete temporary files in
Within AutoCAD:

Toggle hardware acceleration on and off (see How to enable or disable hardware
acceleration in AutoCAD). One way may work better than the other for your specific
system and the types of drawings you work with.

Go to Options to the Display tab and turn off the "Show Tool Tips" and "Show
rollover Tool tips" and then shut off "Quick properties."

You may also try and do a cleanup on slow drawings that may have performance
issues (see How to repair corrupt AutoCAD files)
Note: You will want to test the steps above to find the best configured results in your
specific environment. Not all changes will have the same effect on all systems which is
why it is important to test and compare results.

Optimize your computer settings for

If you use Windows 7 or Windows 8, you will see it has fancy graphic effects. Slide
effects, shadows, translucent selection, transparency, and many more that we dont
need. It looks fancy, but they consume many resources. Even if you use Windows XP,
this will help to reduce Windows to consume too many resources.
Press Win key (the one Windows logo) and type on search advanced system settings
without quote. Click the icon when it appears.

If you use Windows XP, right click my computer then choose properties. Click advanced
Under performance category, click settings.

In performance option dialog, visual effects tab, choose adjust for best performance. It
will disable any visual effects so your computer will have better performance. Your
Windows may not look pretty, but we care more about performance, right?

Click OK until all dialog boxes are closed.

Remove application that you dont need

Too many applications will also degrade your computer performance. So why keep it if
you dont need it?
Some computer brand has many applications pre-installed. Games and utilities that we
never use. And sometimes we install freeware to try but never use it anymore. Remove
If you install Windows skins to make your desktop looks like Mac OS or Windows 7,
remove it. You dont need it.
There are several web applications that you can use instead of installing desktop
clients. I use Tweetdeck, webmail, Evernote and several more applications using
Unless you really need it, dont install it.

Turn off what you dont need on startup

Now we have removed applications that we dont need. Now lets make change to
Windows startup.

Many applications start automatically when you start Windows. Sometimes you can turn
it off later, sometimes its still running on background and we never notice it. If there are
too many applications start during startup, it will take some times until you can use your
computer. Now lets turn off what we dont need.
Hold Win key and press R. Type MSCONFIG then ENTER. This will open system
configuration window.
In services tab, click check hide all Microsoft Services. Many Microsoft services are
important, so just let them run on startup.
Now you can uncheck what you dont need to start automatically. Do the same thing on
startup tab.

Services run on the background, so you will not see any application to start. Do not turn
off anti virus or other security services. If you are not sure, you can leave this tab.
On startup tab, you will see applications that will run immediately after you start
Windows. Skype, download manager, Instant Messaging, and many more. This should
be easier. You know the applications, dont you? If you dont use it on daily basis,

uncheck it. You can start it anytime using start menu or double click the application icon
on desktop.

Cleanup your hard drive

There is no definite answer of how much space we should have on hard drive. Most
answer will say 10-15% at minimum, related to disk fragmentation. More than that, your
Windows will run very slowly. If you already uninstall what you dont need, now lets
cleanup some space.
Open Windows Explorer. Select a drive you want to cleanup then right click. Choose
properties. Click disk cleanup.
Disk cleanup will not delete your data files. It will only remove temporary files that the
system created. Like browser cache, recycle bin, temporary folder, etc.
After you cleanup your hard drive, you may want to defragment your drive. I dont feel
significant improvement by defragmenting my drive, but cleaning up drive space really

Cleanup your registry

This is not everyone favorite. Many people are worried to mess with Windows registry.
They afraid some software will not run after cleaning up registry. Its correct.
Registry keeps information of your software. Many settings are stored there. The larger
the registry, it will consume more of your computers resources. The thing about registry
is, when you uninstall a software, it may not removed from registry as well. Some
information will be kept there. When you decide to reinstall the software, it will
remember your old settings. If you like to install and test many software, your registry
will be very big.
If you want to try cleaning up your registry, you can try CCleaner.

Warning: Working with registry may damage your system. Remember to create
registry backup every time you clean up your registry. When something goes wrong,
you can double-click the backup registry to restore the old value. Never work with
registry without creating backup!
If you dont know how to create a registry backup and how to restore it, you shouldnt do

Check your network

Do you save your file on shared folder over network? Or probably you share templates
and libraries over network?
If you think opening and saving files are very slow, test to save it locally on your hard
drive. Of it works fine, you may want to ask the IT guys to check your network problem.

It is unavoidable to upgrade your computer to keep up with the technology. The
common lifetime for computer is 3 years. After that you need to purchase a new one if
you want to keep up.
However, if you dont want to purchase a new one yet, you need to optimize what you
have. Dont install what you dont need, focus the computer settings for performance,
and make it efficient.
You are here: Home / AutoCAD / AutoCAD Tips / How to speed Up AutoCAD: configuring
AutoCAD (part 2)

How to speed Up AutoCAD:

configuring AutoCAD (part 2)
December 11, 2012 by Edwin Prakoso 16 Comments

Previously we covered how we can optimize our system to run faster. What we did before can
help to improve overall system performance, not specific to AutoCAD.
In this article, we cover specific configuration for AutoCAD. Lets see what we can configure to
speed it up.

Minimize startup process

Like what we did when we optimizing our system, we can optimize AutoCAD to not load what
we dont need. There are several processes that you can disable.

Disable splash screen

When you start AutoCAD, it will load splash screen like below.

Disabling the splash screen is believed can reduce loading time. It may not gives significant
effects on new computers, but it helps on slow computer. At least it will not load image and
consume memory for that process.
To disable splash screen, right click the AutoCAD shortcut on your desktop. Click properties on
contextual menu.
Add /nologo switch on target field to disable it. Now when you double click the shortcut,
AutoCAD will not show splash screen when loading.

There are many more you can do with startup switch. If you are interested, you can see more
about AutoCAD startup switches here.

Disable creating new file on startup

When you start AutoCAD, it will create a new file using default template. The thing is we dont
always want to create a new file when we open AutoCAD. Many times we want to continue
working with previous drawing. So the opened drawing is usually useless.
Other reason why it would be useless is when you have many templates for your drawings. When
you create new drawings, you probably want to use other template.
You can change this behavior by changing STARTUP system variable to 1. Instead of creating
a new file, it will let you to choose to create a new file or open existing files.
If you use AutoCAD 2012 or later, you can change it to 2 as well. It will load AutoCAD without
opening any file or any dialog boxes.

Disable InfoCenter

InfoCenter or Communication Center provides information related to your products. It has

several tools, like AutoCAD Exchange, Stay Connected, and Autodesk 360 sign in.
There are many reported problems that say it prevents AutoCAD from starting. After AutoCAD
starts, it will run a background process as WSCommCntr4.exe. It takes your computer resources
without you noticing it.
You can disable InfoCenter by changing a registry value or install this free program from
ManuSoft here.
This is my AutoCAD title bar looks like after disabling InfoCenter. As you can see, no more sign
in and AutoCAD Exchange icon there.

For AutoCAD 2013, you MUST sign out from Autodesk 360 before disabling InfoCenter. If you
disable it while youre still signed in, AutoCAD will not be able to run. It will give fatal error
If your AutoCAD cant run after disabling InfoCenter, enable it again. Your AutoCAD should be
able to run normally again.
Be careful when working with registry!
See how you can disable Info Center here.

Drafting Settings
There are many new drafting settings have been added. There are useful for sure. However, they
consume many resources. Lets see what you can turn off to get better performance.

Dynamic Input

Dynamic Input is always accused to degrade graphic performance. Many veterans dont like to
use it. Try to turn it off.

Quick Properties
Quick properties is a small properties palette that will appear when you select an object. I like it.
But again, if you use slow computer it can be annoying.

Selection Cycling
Selection cycling is a small window that will appear when you select overlapping object.
Anything popping up automatically will consume resources. Try to turn it off and use manual
selection cycling instead. You can manually cycle between object by pressing SHIFT + SPACE.

Live/Quick Preview
Live preview also consume resources. There are several live preview you can see when editing
objects in AutoCAD.

Hatch Quick Preview is very heavy. Ive seen some old computers can take few minutes before
they can use hatch command. Literally. You can disable this feature by changing

Selection Preview
Selection Preview is quite fancy in recent versions. It show transparent color when you use
window selection and highlight faces in 3D. Transparent display can degrade computer
performance, especially graphical performance.
If you want to disable it, open AutoCAD options. In selection TAB, Preview category click
visual effect settings. Disable selection effects here.

In AutoCAD 2013, one more thing that you can turn off: property preview. Its below visual
effects settings button.
If you often to override object properties, you might want to turn it off.

Command Line
You can undock AutoCAD 2013 command line and make it just one line. It will show three
command history and can be transparent.
Again, transparency is not good. You will get better performance if you just dock command line.

Now the drawing file itself. AutoCAD keeps many objects and style definition. If you dont use
them, you can remove them from drawings using PURGE command. You can manually select
object then click purge button. You can also choose to purge all automatically.
Another purge option that many people are not aware off is PURGE REGAPPS. Regapps can
make your drawing 5 times larger than it should be. You can purge regapps by typing PURGE
(notice the in front of PURGE command) then ENTER. Choose Regapps. You can find detailed
information about Regapps on Without a Net here.
By purging unnecessary objects, it will make your drawing file smaller. And it can affect
performance significantly.

What else?
Of course if you have powerful machine, you can just turn everything on. But if you cant
purchase a new machine yet for whatever reason, try to optimize your system. Anything looks
fancy, live, automatic and transparent usually consume a lot of resources. Keep an eye on those
Unless you really need it, you may want to try turning off feature that you dont use. Now what
else do you think we should turn off to gain performance?