Slowness in specific areas

Created: 25.03.2021 | Updated: 12.08.2021

Sometimes there are settings or things about your documents that can cause unusual slowness. Here are some things to look for.

Starting in Version: 18.0
Up to Version: Current

Solution Details

Libraries
Un-compiled libraries containing many components can be slow to load. This can cause the program to appear frozen for several seconds when the Libraries panel is accessed.  Large libraries are more efficiently accessed if they are compiled into an Integrated Library.  These are in a compiled, compressed format, and will load much more quickly into the Libraries panel.  For more information on creating an Integrated Library, refer to this document:
https://www.altium.com/documentation/altium-designer/working-with-integrated-libraries-ad
 
Remove installed libraries that are not being used in the current project.  Extra libraries will take up extra memory, so removing these may improve performance.  To remove installed libraries, open the Available File-based Libraries dialog from the Components panel by clicking the "hamburger" button in the upper right corner of the Components panel, and choosing the File-based Libraries Preferences from the associated menu.  The Available Libraries dialog will appear.  Remove any unnecessary libraries from the Installed tab.  If a library is required in the future, it can be reinstalled in the same dialog.  For more information on the Available File-based Libraries dialog, refer to this document:
https://www.altium.com/documentation/altium-designer/integratedlibrary-dlg-addremovelibrariesformavailable-file-based-libraries-ad

Schematic
Try checking (or unchecking) Preferences ► Schematic ► General ► Optimize Wires & Buses checkbox
 
Reduce the number of wires in your schematic by using net labels and ports. (Especially when dragging components with "Always Drag" checked in Preferences ► Schematic ► Graphical Editing ► Options section).  Documentation (search for Always Drag):
https://www.altium.com/documentation/altium-designer/sch-dlg-schprefsform-grapheditschematic-graphical-editing-ad
** Interesting note about Always Drag:  versions 18 & 19 swapped function of Spacebar & Ctrl+Spacebar (rotate the component(s) & corner modes) compared to 20.  19.1 documentation has a note to hold down Ctrl before drag, to let spacebar work as if the AD checkbox was unchecked, thus allowing spacebar to rotate symbol.
Documentation to help with reducing the number of Wires In your schematic:
https://www.altium.com/documentation/altium-designer/creating-connectivity-ad

https://www.altium.com/documentation/altium-designer/sch-obj-netlabelnet-label-ad
 
PCB
Turn off on-line DRC
in PCB ► Tools ► Design Rule Check… ► Rules To Check section ► right-click anywhere > choose On Line DRC - All Off
 
Slow routing or moving parts, try shelving polygon pours.  Tools ► Polygon Pours ► Shelve ... Polygons  (AD17)
 
2D zoom and pan performance issue
or
Laggy performance when dragging with right mouse button to pan the view
- Copy the contents of the pcb file to a new PCB file.
- Turn on PCB Standard toolbar, then set pull down to Altium Standard 2D (from New Configuration or Not Saved) 
- Reset preferences:  
How do I reset the Altium Designer configuration to the installation defaults?
 
AD19 PCB moving parts is much slower than AD17 (Reported fixed in 19.0.13)
https://forum.live.altium.com/#posts/231609/695108
 
Slow polygon pours
Try increasing the "Arc Approx." value. In PCB ► Tools ► Polygon Pours ► Polygon Manager ► in the Properties section of the right pane, the "Arc Approx." under the Solid tab.  One of our examples has it set to 0.013mm (.5mil).  In a region-based polygon, circular holes are approximated by a series of straight edges. Reducing this value will result in a larger number of straight edges being used to give a better approximation of an arc.
https://www.altium.com/documentation/altium-designer/pcb-obj-polygonpourpolygon-pour-ad
https://www.altium.com/documentation/altium-designer/pcb-prop-polygonpourpolygon-pour-properties-ad

Loading 3D body objects
There is a known issue with Malwarebytes as described in this forum post:
https://forum.live.altium.com/#posts/238134/728145
In the post, there's a screen shot that shows you can add
C:\Program Files\Altium\AD[version#]\AltiumMS.exe to the Allow list to resolve this issue, but you can just add C:\Program Files\Altium.
One of our product specialists also noticed, "…without any Malwarebytes exception, the PCB document was exceedingly slow to load, and 3D Body object did not show in the PCB document in 3D Layout Mode. Adding an exception improved performance and resulted in the 3D Body objects being correctly displayed."
 
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