Why is the Mac app slow?

Sketch is great at dealing with complex designs, but if you are experiencing performance issues in the Mac app, there are a few things that may be causing this and some steps you can take to fix them.

If none of the suggestions below help with the issues you’re having, please get in touch with us for more help. We’ll ask you for a few different things to help us investigate your issue and find a solution.

Note: If you’re experiencing issues with the Mac app crashing, there are a few other solutions to try. Read more about How can I stop the Mac app from crashing?

General troubleshooting

Check your plugins

We do our best to check plugins and work directly with plugin developers to prevent issues. But sometimes they can cause issues. To work out if a plugin is at fault, check How do I launch Sketch in Safe Mode?

If you do come across an issue caused by a plugin, check to see if there’s an update available for it, or get in touch with it’s developer for further support and assistance.

Try a complete reinstall

Sometimes a problem with your current installation of the Mac app can cause issues, especially if it’s an update from a previous version. In this case, it’s worth trying a clean reinstall. To do this:

  • Quit the Mac app and open Finder
  • Select Go > Go to Folder… (G)
  • Enter the following path in the dialog that appears: ~/Library/Application Support/com.bohemiancoding.sketch3 and click Go
  • Copy the Plugins and Libraries folders to your Desktop
  • Download, install and launch AppCleaner (free)
  • Drag the Sketch Application icon from your /Applications folder onto the App Cleaner window
  • Click Remove to have AppCleaner remove all files (not Sketch documents) related to Sketch
  • Download and install the latest version of the Mac app from www.sketch.com/updates
  • Make sure you move the latest version of the Mac app to your Applications folder
  • Launch the Mac app and enter your license Information or log in with your Sketch Account details

If you need to, you can now reinstall your Libraries and Plugins by dragging and dropping them onto the relevant pane within the Mac app’s Preferences.

Document-specific troubleshooting

There might also be something in your document itself that is compromising the Mac app’s performance, so we highly recommend checking some of these points:

  • If you are adding lots of images to a document, a handy solution to keep its size under control is to use the reduce image size feature.
  • Watch out for multiple blurs and shadows, as they require more processing power than regular layers to render them.
  • A large number of Artboards all on the same page might not be the best structure in terms of performance. A good practice to follow is to take advantage of Pages and move some Artboards to different pages.
  • Be aware of importing highly-detailed vector artwork from elsewhere that might contain an extremely high number of bezier curves and points. A typical example of this might be a world map, or a textured pattern.

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