Will installing hundreds of Fonts slow down my computer?

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golguin

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#1  Edited By golguin

My old computer had hundreds of fonts installed with hundreds more still available that I simply hadn't installed yet. I'm now faced with a new computer with none of my old fonts installed and I have no feasible way to find out what fonts I used to have install.

Will my computer experience noticeable slowdown if I simply install all my available fonts? I have hundreds of fonts.

This is my system.

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG Laptop, 15.6 Full HD (Intel Core i5, NVIDIA 940MX, 8GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, Windows 10)

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Monkeyman04

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I don't see why they should slow your rig down. I'm no expert (so take this with a grain of salt), but from my experience fonts don't do much to performance.

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jeff

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I don't have an answer for you, but I was just wondering about this recently. Back on Win 95, it'd definitely make your machine boot slower. Not sure if that's still the case.

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citizencoffeecake

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#4  Edited By citizencoffeecake

Whatcha doin with all them fonts bro? All ya need is comic sans, papyrus, and wingdings.

Seriously though I did a little googling as I don't know either and it seems like your PC might be a little slower on startup and programs/applications that make use of said fonts like photoshop, Word, etc.. might load slower but you should otherwise be fine.

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OurSin_360

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If you had them on your old computer they shouldnt do much to mess up the new one.

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golguin

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If you had them on your old computer they shouldnt do much to mess up the new one.

I had around 1/7th of my available fonts installed. People used to say to only keep your working fonts installed, but over the years I added quite a few thanks to my graphic design work.

Looking at this question online it seems that all installed fonts need to be read on boot, but I'm not sure if that's a thing anymore with current PC/laptop power.

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Justin258

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After Google'ing around for a bit, it looks like the real problem will be loading programs that use those fonts. Starting Photoshop with those fonts installed might be slower than it was when you didn't have those fonts installed.

I have that same laptop and the 256GB SSD in it is actually an m.2 SSD, so your boot and load times should actually be pretty fast.

The only way to know for sure is if you go ahead and install them and find out yourself. If you find your computer's performance unsatisfactory afterwards, then just uninstall them.

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whitegreyblack

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I have well over 1000 fonts installed at any given time, but I'm a graphic designer so it is a necessary thing. A few hundred will probably not be a concern. I'm of the opinion that most modern machines can handle a lot of fonts being installed.

The only time you should see a slowdown is when you are starting programs that have to load in those fonts (design programs, et al.)

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Quantris

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*Possibly* 1000s might be an issue, but 100s should be totally fine.

There definitely used to be programs that would struggle with lots of fonts (Word 95 comes to mind) but I really doubt it's as much of a thing these days.

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golguin

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#10  Edited By golguin

I installed the fonts and now I have time comparisons. I don't know how long my laptop took to start up from a complete shutdown because it's usually sleeping, but from sleep mode I didn't notice any change. Illustrator used to boot in 4 seconds and it now takes 8 seconds (I can see "Font Library" loading as it turns on and I hadn't noticed that before) from an initial boot. I didn't notice any change in photoshop. I didn't notice any change to itunes or my browsers.

I suppose the slowdown isn't system wide and the extra seconds for Illustrator probably isn't even a thing.

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rocketblast0063

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@golguin said:

... Illustrator used to boot in 4 seconds and it now takes 8 seconds (I can see "Font Library" loading as it turns on and I hadn't noticed that before) from an initial boot. I didn't notice any change in photoshop. I didn't notice any change to itunes or my browsers.

I suppose the slowdown isn't system wide and the extra seconds for Illustrator probably isn't even a thing.

Interesting, a change from 4 to 8 seconds doesn't seem like the end of the world. In your user case it probably doesn't matter at all, but I wonder how much an aggressive amount of fonts can slow down a system in a worst case scenario. Or for a person that opens and closes a word processor 50 times a day.

About the system wide impact I think it depends on the OS, RAM amount and HDD/SSD speed. At least there are suggestions that fonts are pre-cached into ram at boot (some OS) and therefore leaves a bigger footprint in memory. Making boot up time longer and if you are low on RAM the cache will be paged to disk, which is very slow. This is not hard to believe when it comes to older computers, for example a Win 98 machine with 32 MB of RAM.

But I would like to see some actual performance tests on this on different hardware (and software). My guess is that extra fonts doesn't impact computers that much anymore.

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golguin

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#12  Edited By golguin

@rocketblast0063 said:
@golguin said:

... Illustrator used to boot in 4 seconds and it now takes 8 seconds (I can see "Font Library" loading as it turns on and I hadn't noticed that before) from an initial boot. I didn't notice any change in photoshop. I didn't notice any change to itunes or my browsers.

I suppose the slowdown isn't system wide and the extra seconds for Illustrator probably isn't even a thing.

Interesting, a change from 4 to 8 seconds doesn't seem like the end of the world. In your user case it probably doesn't matter at all, but I wonder how much an aggressive amount of fonts can slow down a system in a worst case scenario. Or for a person that opens and closes a word processor 50 times a day.

About the system wide impact I think it depends on the OS, RAM amount and HDD/SSD speed. At least there are suggestions that fonts are pre-cached into ram at boot (some OS) and therefore leaves a bigger footprint in memory. Making boot up time longer and if you are low on RAM the cache will be paged to disk, which is very slow. This is not hard to believe when it comes to older computers, for example a Win 98 machine with 32 MB of RAM.

But I would like to see some actual performance tests on this on different hardware (and software). My guess is that extra fonts doesn't impact computers that much anymore.

I should note that including the different font weights something like 2200 were installed (around 440 fonts) and I imagine no normal user would ever come across that.

Opening Illustrator right now takes something like 5-6 seconds so if you sneeze you'll miss the difference.

EDIT: As a test I just opened up Word for the first time ever on this machine with all the fonts installed and it was 2 seconds.

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whitegreyblack

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Yeah I think Illustrator is the only program where I see a noticeable difference when opening the program, as well.