Why is Inkscape So Slow on Your Computer? 5 Reasons

Inkscape is a free and open-source vector graphics editor; it is incredible for drawing vector art, digital painting, and image manipulation. As we all know, Inkscape comes with many amazing features, including hundreds of different tools to help you draw almost anything.

The five reasons that Inkscape may be slow on your computer include:

  1. Not enough RAM
  2. Multiple Plugins
  3. Slow or outdated hardware
  4. Computer default settings
  5. Large file sizes

However, sometimes Inkscape also becomes the reason for your computer’s slow speed. This article presents some common reasons behind Inkscape’s slowness problem and solutions as well.

1. Not Enough RAM Capacity Makes Inkscape Run Slowly

When using old computers or those with limited RAM capacities to run graphic applications such as Inkscape, it is common to experience a sluggish response and slow rendering.

If you are using an old machine with lower performance, it will undoubtedly start running slow after opening any program for a longer time. The reason why Inkscape is slow on your device can also be an insufficient amount of RAM that makes your system take more time to process files with too many objects.

What to Do

The best way to fix this issue is to upgrade your computer hardware. However, if you cannot do so for financial or other reasons, other suggestions can help speed up Inkscape.

You could also install additional RAM. If you are running an application that is memory-intensive, such as Adobe Photoshop or Inkscape, it is best to have a minimum of 4 GB of RAM for optimal performance. However, 8 GB or more will give much better results in processing large files and large drawings.

2. Plugins Make Inkscape Run Slower

Another reason for Inkscape’s slowness problem may be the installation of unnecessary plugins which you never use. When Inkscape starts up, it needs to load plugin libraries into memory even though they are not being used. This will cause the startup process longer, thus leading to slowness.

What to Do

To solve this problem, it’s best to remove or uninstall any unneeded plugins. To do this:

  1. Open Inkscape and click ” File > Inkscape Preferences > Input/Output “
  2. Choose the Plugins tab and find the plugin you want to uninstall or disable and click on it, then choose ” Disable Plugin. “

If you don’t know which one is slowing down your workflow, you can try disabling them all one by one until you notice a speed difference in your work.

3. Slow/Outdated Hardware Causes Inkscape Slowness

Inkscape may run slower on older computers with less memory or hard-drive space since it needs enough resources to load all its data each time it starts up. Outdated hardware can also cause problems working with larger files or images since the hardware can no longer handle all the data.

What to Do

If your computer is outdated or a bit small in size, try locating the Inkscape files into a folder with at least 500MB of free space for processing temporary data during the startup process, then restart Inkscape. You can also try:

  • Upgrade your Operating System – Major upgrades happen every few years, which often include huge updates to your computer’s memory management system. These can significantly improve performance on older computers.
  • Run Disk Cleanup – More memory means less use for your hard drive, which leads to faster speeds. You can free up hard drive space by uninstalling unnecessary programs and files that are just sitting on your desktop or old Downloads folder that you never visit anymore.
  • Run System Cleanup – When your computer is running more slowly than it should, deleting unused applications and temporary internet files will help speed things up again.
  • Install Extensions – Extensions are little programs that add extra functionality to your copy of Inkscape. They can be found all over the Internet for free, but some are only available when purchased from professional software developers.

Another way to fix many performance issues with Inkscape is to simply re-install the application. If you’ve got an old version of Inkscape lying around, try removing it completely with Software Manager or Synaptic and then downloading a fresh copy from the official website.

4. Default Preference Settings are Not Optimal for Your Computer

The default settings of Inkscape are not optimal for all systems, especially when you try to use it on old hardware that can barely run up the software.

If you don’t want to change all the preferences in the program, go to Edit > Preferences and uncheck or disable these features: “Use antialiasing text” option, “Enable ‘Smooth’ zoom,” tool options “Convert objects” and “Convert paths.” These actions will increase the speed performance of your system.

What to Do

Your computer will be faster if you disable antialiasing in Inkscape preferences. Also, delete all paths and shapes created after choosing the “Convert objects” tool option. The same steps should also be followed under Windows operating system.

5. Large File Sizes Create Slowdowns for Inkscape

Since SVG is a document-based format, there are many ways to create an SVG file. For example, bitmap images can be imported to Inkscape as well.

If you have many SVG files in your project, this may be the reason behind their slowness that makes Inkscape slow. It can be anything from a large file size or a huge number of elements within each file, which slows down the rendering process and takes a much longer time opening multiple files simultaneously.

What to Do

To solve this problem, it’s best to reduce the size of each file and divide it into multiple parts. If your system is slow while opening large-sized images inside Inkscape, then delete the images that are not required for work.

If possible, convert these bitmap images into scalable vector formats instead of using them directly inside the software application. Working with other types of formats may decrease work speed dramatically so it’s better for final users if they choose the proper file type which matches their business requirement excellently rather than other types.


Inkscape may be running slowly on your computer, and there are a multitude of reasons for this, but working with different file formats can be one of the leading causes. Also, if your system has a slow processing speed, then the automatic thumbnailing feature should take place that will quickly generate small-size images instead of larger ones.

These are just a few steps you can follow to increase your productivity while using Inkscape; there are many other tried and tested procedures to make the software run faster, no matter how large or complicated an image is.