NVivo 9 is running slow, how can I improve its performance?

Working with large projects in NVivo 9 can be demanding on your computer, however there are a few things you can do to improve performance.

How to improve performance

Option 1: Turn off coding highlighting and coding stripes by selecting the following NVivo 9 menu items:

  1. Open the source or node in  Detail View  
  2. On the View tab, in the Coding group, click Highlight and/or Coding Stripes
  3. Select None

Option 2: Optimize for large projects and enable plain text by setting the following NVivo 9 options:

  1. Select  File > Options
  2. In the General tab, select Large for Optimized standalone projects for size
  3. Check the option for Display plain text for nodes with and leave the minimum number of sources as '0'

Option 3: Perform a 'Compact and Repair' on your project in NVivo 9.

  1. At the NVivo Welcome screen, select File > Manage > Compact and Repair Project...
  2. Select the location of the project to repair
  3. Click Open


Guidelines to help improve performance

Every project varies in size and complexity, which depends on a number of factors. Consider the following guidelines to improve performance.

Remove unnecessary content

Content in project materials or 'sources' that won't be analyzed should be removed prior to being imported into NVivo 9. For example, delete large images if they're not needed, along with pages containing the table of contents and index.

Reduce the size of materials before importing

It's best to reduce the size of project materials (sources) before importing them into NVivo 9.

If a document contains many pages, tables or high resolution images, it's recommended that you divide it up into several documents and import them separately into NVivo 9. Similarly, large multimedia files or transcripts with many rows should also be divided to reduce the overall file size.

Reduce the size of coded materials in NVivo 9

If you've already started coding materials (sources) in NVivo 9, you can still reduce their size. This is done by cutting content from one source and pasting it into another so that existing coding work is not lost.

If you're working with a document for example, you'll need to: 

  1. Create a new document in NVivo 9
  2. Open the document that needs to be reduced
  3. Select (highlight) the content to be transferred
  4. Cut the selected content from the existing document 
  5. Paste the content into the new document and then save it.

The above steps exclude spreadsheets and databases (called 'datasets' in NVivo) because you cannot edit these materials after import.


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