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

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

Improvements and resolved issues are achieved via NVivo service packs. It's recommended that you always have the latest NVivo service pack installed. To do this, follow the directions on our Downloads page

How to improve performance


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

  1. Select View > Highlight > None 
  2. Select View > Coding Stripes > None (or Selected Items )

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

In NVivo 8:

  1. Select Tools > Options
  2. In the General tab, select Large for Optimized for project size  
  3. Check the option for Display plain text for nodes with and select a minimum number of sources


In NVivo 7:

  1. Select Tools > Options
  2. In the General tab, select Large for Optimized for project size
  3. Check the option for Enable plain text


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

  1. At the NVivo Welcome screen, select menu item Tools > Compact and Repair...
  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. 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.

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. 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

If you've already started coding materials (sources) in NVivo, 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
  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.

 

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