There can be nothing more frustrating than working with software that cannot perform well. Although when it comes to speed a lot depends on hardware configuration, there are other factors also that if implemented properly can speed up AutoCAD performance.
In this article, I have compiled six tips to improve the performance of AutoCAD. Using these tips you can visibly boost the speed of AutoCAD software without making any hardware changes.
Disabling startup programs
It is one of the most effective methods that can speed up the performance of your AutoCAD software and also your PC. To disable startup programs go to control panel and select Small icons option in view list. Select administrative tools from available tools and select system configuration shortcut.
Go to startup tab and disable all unnecessary apps from the list. For windows 8 and 10 you need to launch task manager by pressing the Ctrl+Alt+Delete key and disable unnecessary apps from startup tab as shown in the image below.
Restart your PC after making all of these changes to see the effect on software performance.
Removing unnecessary clutter
AutoCAD will perform faster if it gets more memory to perform its task and you can clean up memory by uninstalling unnecessary software thereby limiting the background processes. Uninstall all unnecessary software and try to keep only the required software on your PC.
You can also clean disk space to boost performance.
Type Disk Cleanup in start menu search field and select Disk Cleanup tool from results. Select C drive from the tool and click OK, it will take some time to check your C drive. Click on Clean up system files button as shown in the image above and click on OK again.
A new list of files will appear which will contain more unnecessary file types like contents of temporary folder and residuals of old OS installation. Select all of the check boxes from the list (you can leave backup files and offline web pages from the field) and click OK.
To enhance graphics as well as overall performance you can turn on hardware acceleration. This feature can only be used if your video card supports OpenGL, a 2D and 3D graphics API.
To enable hardware acceleration type 3DCONFIG on the command line and press Enter then turn the Hardware Acceleration button On in the Effects Settings panel as shown in the image above.
If your video card does not support OpenGL the hardware acceleration option will remain grayed out or inactive.
Cleaning AutoCAD files
Sometimes slow performance of your software is due to a problematic CAD file. You can remove unused elements from the CAD file using PURGE command to make it less bulky or you can also use AUDIT command to make it free from errors.
In the task manager, you can change the priority of AutoCAD to ensure its fast performance. By changing the priority to high you are essentially allowing AutoCAD to take precedence over less important windows processes.
Press Ctrl+Alt+Del key to open task manager, go to details tab and select AutoCAD related application. Generally, it is mentioned as acad.exe, right-click on it and select Set Priority from the contextual menu and then select Realtime which is the highest priority as shown in the image above.
The priority change will only remain active until your AutoCAD session is active, once you close the AutoCAD session or restart your PC the settings will return back to the default.
Update your software
Keep your software up to date with latest service packs and hot-fixes to have a smooth performance and to keep it free from bugs. You can download latest updates for AutoCAD from this page.
Also, consider changing your windows theme to basic which can positively affect system performance.
Did you find these tips helpful? Let us know in the comments below.
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I am a mechanical engineer and I have worked with Design, Manufacturing and Training industries but now SourceCAD is my full-time work and I use it to train students all over the world. I also train corporate clients and help them develop the skill set of their workforce.
I am Autodesk AutoCAD Certified Professional and an Autodesk expert elite member. I am a regular contributor of AUGI World magazine and apart from SourceCAD I also develop AutoCAD video courses for Pluralsight and other E-Learning businesses.