Performance

Sketch is great at dealing with complex designs, but if you’re working with a large document and you’re experiencing performance issues, you may want to know what is causing the problem.

Images

Adding many images to a Sketch document may slow down general navigation, but it can increase the filesize dramatically. Especially when larger images have been imported, and resized to smaller dimensions. A handy workaround to this, is to periodically Reduce Image Size on your document after you’ve added many images, which will help with improving its performance.

Blurs

Applying many blurs to layers may cause Sketch to slow down. The reason for this is because Sketch needs to render far more pixels than a non-blurred layer. The larger the blur radius, the many more pixels Sketch needs to try and process.

For a 1 px blur, Sketch needs to examine each pixel around each pixel; that makes for nine pixels to be examined per pixel to calculate the new average value. Increase the blur radius to two pixels or more and it’ll begin to increase exponentially.

Shadows

Shadows, both inner and outer, are treated in much the same way as blurs. Sketch will try to improve the performance of large shadows when zooming in, by only showing them when necessary. If viewing a document when zoomed in past 400%, shadows with a large blur radius won’t appear in order to speed things up — but they will appear as expected when you export them.

Multiple Pages

Sketch can handle a good amount of Artboards in a document, but when you start to add many across the infinite Canvas, and if they nearly all contain large images, shadows, or blurs—then you may see a drop in performance. A simple remedy is to take advantage of the Pages feature by including some Artboards on different Pages.

Convert to Outlines

Perhaps the number one cause for slow performance is when vast quantities of text has been converted to outlines. This is a great and useful feature for vectorizing various words and characters, but it is not recommended to convert entire sentences and paragraphs to outlines.

Plugins

Sometimes incompatible plugins can be the source of performance issues or can cause Sketch to quit unexpectedly.

If Sketch does crash, all plugins will be temporarily disabled when you relaunch the app. You can then click on Sketch › Preferences › Plugins and reenable your plugins, until you find which one is causing the problems.

If you want to manually disable your plugins, close Sketch and launch it again while holding down Shift.

Note: Some plugins, like Craft, will still be loaded even when you disable them, so uninstalling is the only way to make sure they’re not causing performance issues in Sketch.