9

Several sites and blogs advise users to remove the excess fonts from their OS. Does this help in performance or is this just a myth? If it is true, why is that so?

  • Why is it these blogs suggest moving the fonts? That'd be a helpful point. – cutrightjm Dec 18 '12 at 13:10
5

The reason that it is recommended is that Windows (at least, not sure about Mac and Linux) has to load font information on boot. Not only can this slow the boot process (though I don't think you would actually notice this on a modern computer) but, more importantly, each font requires an amount of in-memory storage. This is then no longer available to other OS processes and so can slow down the OS due to paging.

So on a modern computer with plenty of memory and a fast drive, you won't notice any difference under normal circumstances.

1

The main performance hit is not the fonts on their own, but the extended load times for applications using them (Word, Excel, Corel etc.).

Graphics-Unleashed
SourceDaddy

  • If you're not actively using the fonts, then why load them and consume system resources? – da4 Dec 18 '12 at 14:41
  • @da4 I'm not OT, I on my own have to develop and test software with different fonts, an since I've to use chinese for testing too, a few others won't harm me. – bummi Dec 18 '12 at 14:55
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From my own experience, I have to say yes, installing many fonts will slow down a system. My own anecdotal evidence is as follows:

In early 2011, I wanted to see if there was any truth as to whether a lot of fonts slowed down a system. To test it out, I used FontFrenzy on a Windows 7 machine to unload all but the fonts installed with Windows 7 by default. In all, I disabled about 250 fonts I had accumulated. That being the only change I made, my boot time (from BIOS screen to useable Desktop screen) lowered by 6 seconds (from 50 seconds to 44 seconds). Programs like Word, Photoshop, etc. felt like they loaded faster (however, I didn't actually time them).

I don't recall the exact system specs, but it was an i5 machine running Win 7 Home Premium with 6GB RAM and a 750GB Caviar Green 5400RPM drive.

The problem with anecdotal evidence like this is that I'm sure that no one is going to have the exact software/hardware setup I had. However, for the one test I ran, it cut the boot time slightly by having less fonts.

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Just an idea:

If you need many fonts sometimes, then you'd better to have those fonts in other folder like c:\my1 and make a symlink of those inside files into c:\windows\fonts.

Everytime you close Photoshop (or other software you need many fonts for), then you can just rename that folder to to C:\my2 (so, all those fonts will be delinked automatically from c:\windows\fonts). And, whenever in the future you want to include all those fonts again (before you open Photoshop or etc), then rename the folder back to c:\my1,so the fonts will be resolved again.

  • 1
    A more practical implementation would be to create a batch file that renames the folder, launches the software, then renames the folder again when you terminate the application. Use the batch file rather than the application executable to launch the software. – fixer1234 Jun 19 at 21:09
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Yes it does, as windows reads all fonts on start up and must validate all fonts in:

C:\windows\fonts

before resuming start up.

If you install new fonts in windows, you will experience slower boot by windows.

That is why it is recommended that you only keep the main fonts in windows listed in this link and keep also fonts you are using in special editing software like Photoshop or CorelDraw, or installed software or games on your system that require special fonts.

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