Does Having a Lot of Fonts Slow Down a Computer?

Personalizing the fonts on your computer is popular among writers, graphic designers, and other digital artists. However, many people wonder if installing lots of fonts on their computers will slow things down.

Generally, you will only run into lag issues when you have hundreds or thousands of additional fonts installed on your computer. This may lead to slower booting, memory problems, or slow loading for programs that use fonts.

Below, we’ll discuss more information on how fonts affect computer performance. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know.

Do Fonts Slow Down a Computer?

If you have hundreds or thousands of additional fonts installed on your computer, you may experience lagging issues. In most cases, your computer as a whole will not be affected. However, loading tons of fonts will often slow down programs that use them, such as:

  • Apple Pages
  • Microsoft Word
  • Adobe Photoshop

In programs like this, the font menu may take a few seconds to appear after you click it. The program may also experience general slowdowns when you’re switching between fonts.

While most modern computers will not noticeably slow down due to additional fonts, the booting process may be affected. Windows computers in particular load all font information during startup, so you may notice a longer booting time due to the number of fonts you have installed. The difference will usually only be a few seconds, but thousands of additional fonts can create a significant slowdown.

The bigger problem with a lot of additional fonts is storage. Each font you install takes up memory on your computer, so other operating system processes may take longer to load due to a lack of space.

The good news is that you can have hundreds of additional fonts installed on your computer before you experience any loading delays. Usually, you’ll only run into problems if you have between 800-1000 downloaded fonts. The maximum number depends on the amount of storage you have available.

How to Keep Your Fonts and Speed Up Your Computer

Perhaps you have thousands of fonts installed on your computer, causing issues with loading. However, whether you use your system for personal or professional purposes, you may not want to or be able to permanently delete them. Thankfully, there are a couple of ways to keep all your fonts and still let your computer run at peak performance.

Install a Font Manager

A font manager simplifies the process of installing and uninstalling fonts. You can create different folders for different fonts, then adjust your settings to only load certain folders unless you specify otherwise. Your frequently-used fonts will be ready for use at all times, while the others will only become available if you choose to activate them.

Font managers also make it easy to uninstall different fonts, then reinstall them without re-downloading the files. You can browse through your library of uninstalled fonts and reinstall them quickly when you want to use them. This gives you access to thousands of fonts at a moment’s notice without experiencing any lag.

Store Your Fonts on a Flash Drive

If you can’t find a font manager you like, storing your specialty fonts on a flash drive is another option. It’s generally pretty easy to install fonts on your computer, so the process of moving files from your flash drive to your computer shouldn’t take much extra time.

Find all the fonts you don’t use regularly, and move the files to a removable flash drive. When you want to use a particular font, you can plug in your flash drive and install it for use. When you’re done working on a project, move the file back to your flash drive until you need it again. 

How to Delete Additional Fonts and Restore the Default Fonts

Maybe you’ve installed a lot of fonts you now want to remove. Instead of going through your fonts folder and deleting files one by one, follow the steps below to clean everything up and improve your computer’s performance.

How to Delete Additional Fonts on Windows

If you have a Windows computer, follow the steps below to restore the default fonts and remove everything else:

  1. Open the Control Panel from the Start menu.
  2. Within the Control Panel, choose Appearance and Personalization, then click Fonts.
  3. On the left side of the Fonts menu, you should see “Font Settings.” Click this,
  4. Press “Restore Default Font Settings.”

This will remove any fonts you’ve installed yourself, leaving only those that came with the operating system on your computer.

How to Delete Additional Fonts on Mac

Macbooks and iMacs also allow you to easily remove any fonts you’ve installed over the years. Follow the steps below to do so:

  1. Press Command+Space on your keyboard. This will open Spotlight Search.
  2. Type in “font book,” then press Enter.
  3. When the Font Book application opens, click the File menu and choose Restore Standard Fonts.
  4. Press “Proceed” when the prompt appears.

This will delete any fonts that did not come with your version of macOS.

Final Thoughts

Installing fonts on your computer will only become a problem if you have between 800-1000 additional fonts installed. You may experience a slower booting process, memory issues, or slow loading of programs that use fonts. If you want to keep all your fonts and improve your computer’s performance, you can install a font manager or store your font files on a flash drive.