Speeding up a Slow Android AVD/Emulator

In last tutorial, I shared the installation steps for Android ADT toolkit in windows machine. Then we learnt about creating the AVD (virtual devices or emulators) and we deployed our hello world app onto emulator. One thing you must have noticed that emulators are dead slow by default. I mean they are so much slow that you can take your lunch in the mean time and they will be loading all the time. Can we improve this slow emulators? Ye, we can. Let’s see how.

Speed up a slow android emulator

Step 1) Download HAXM Driver using SDK Manager

To improve the performance of an emulator first thing you will need is installing the “Intel Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager Driver” from SDK Manager you get with Android ADT. Look at the screen shot below.

Emulator Accelerator Option
Emulator Accelerator Option

Step 2) Execute IntelHaxm.exe to install the HAXM driver

This will create the IntelHaxm.exe inside “extra” folder in your android ADT package. Execute this file to install the HAXM Driver which is responsible for virtualization in your system.

intelhaxm exe file
intelhaxm exe file

Step 3) Update BIOS if driver installation failed

There are chances that above installation process failed and you are advised to update the BIOS configuration related to “Intel Virtualization Technology“. Go ahead and do it. For related information to this step, read the manual received with motherboard when you purchased it.

Generally, when you go to BIOS options by pressing “DEL” key during boot process, you can easily find the menu option “Intel Virtualization Technology” in third tab. Enable this option and restart the machine.

Step 4) Use Host GPU Option

Once Virtualization Technology is enabled, you can use this feature while creating the Emulator by checking the checkbox “Use Host GPU“. This will enable the system’s native support for virtualization for emulator.


Step 5) Test the configuration changes

Now start the emulator and see the major performance gain you obtained using above steps.

Happy Learning !!

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