performance – Why is the Android emulator slow?-ThrowExceptions

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slow android emulator

Does anybody know why the emulator is that slow? Other emulators like for iPhone, Corona SDK load fast…

Wondering why Google doesn’t work on this, it’s an enervating drawback developing…

Are maybe already known plans to change this?

How to solve:

Why is the Android emulator slow?

The biggest problem is the whole rendering process. It’s basically a software OpenGL renderer running inside an ARM emulator. Thats really expensive to do. Try playing around with AVDs that have various screen sizes. You will see that (mostly) the AVDs with the bigger screens are way slower (e.g. tablets are unusable on my machine, hvga is almost like a real device).

Google is actually working on this, they demonstrated a (very) early hardware-accellerated, OpenGL based solution at the Google IO ADT session
(minute 42:00 and onward) this year.

Until this is done, the only thing you can do is increase the RAM (as long as you have free physical RAM on your machine, if you add more than you can afford you will cause swapping, which slows things down even more) and enable snapshots for a faster startup.


  • Increase your device ram size when your system resources allow it
  • In the edit-device window set the enable-checkbox for “Snapshot”

that should already help boosting the speed.

The reason why it is quite slow: the Emulator is not really Android-specific or built just for Android – there is QEMU running behind the scenes.

Another important thing: The iPhone Simulator does not emulate the iPhone processor, therefore it’s faster.
(Android) Emulator does emulate the ARM processor on the other hand side which makes it less performant


Emulator is slow only while it is loading. once you load , you don’t have to load it at every execution of your project, so it’s only a one time effort, as long as you don’t close your emulator.

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