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Android Studio Emulator Slow Mac

12/4/2021

Command+r on mac with iOS simulator to refresh react-native / metro server. As an added note, Android studio emulator does get slow when there is an. Deploy, test and debug Android apps with our fast, free, and best-of-breed Android emulator. Download our Visual Studio IDE for free today.

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This article explains how to use your computer's hardware accelerationfeatures to maximize Android Emulator performance.

Visual Studio makes it easier for developers to test and debug theirXamarin.Android applications by using the Android emulator insituations where an Android device is unavailable or impractical.However, the Android emulator runs too slowly if hardware accelerationis not available on the computer that runs it. You can drasticallyimprove the performance of the Android emulator by using special x86virtual device images in conjunction with the virtualization featuresof your computer.

ScenarioHAXMWHPXHypervisor.Framework
You have an Intel ProcessorXXX
You have an AMD ProcessorX
You want to support Hyper-VX
You want to support nested VirtualizationLimited
You want to use technologies like Docker(with WSL2)XX

Accelerating Android emulators on Windows

The following virtualization technologies are available foraccelerating the Android emulator:

  1. Microsoft's Hyper-V and the Windows Hypervisor Platform (WHPX).Hyper-Vis a virtualization feature of Windows that makes it possible to runvirtualized computer systems on a physical host computer.

  2. Intel's Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager (HAXM).HAXM is a virtualization engine for computers running Intel CPUs.

For the best experience on Windows, it is recommended that you use WHPX toaccelerate the Android emulator. If WHPX is not available on yourcomputer, then HAXM can be used. The Android emulator willautomatically make use of hardware acceleration if the followingcriteria are met:

  • Hardware acceleration is available and enabled on your developmentcomputer.

  • The emulator is running a system image created foran x86-based virtual device.

Important

Android Studio Emulator Slow Mac Os

Android Studio Emulator Slow Mac

You can't run a VM-accelerated emulator inside another VM, such asa VM hosted by VirtualBox, VMware, or Docker (unless using WSL2). You must run the Androidemulator directly on your system hardware.

Android Studio Emulator Download

For information about launching and debugging with the Androidemulator, seeDebugging on the Android Emulator.

Accelerating with Hyper-V

Before enabling Hyper-V, read the following section to verifythat your computer supports Hyper-V.

Verifying support for Hyper-V

Hyper-V runs on the Windows Hypervisor Platform. To use the Androidemulator with Hyper-V, your computer must meet the following criteriato support the Windows Hypervisor Platform:

  • Your computer hardware must meet the following requirements:

    • A 64-bit Intel or AMD Ryzen CPU with Second Level Address Translation (SLAT).
    • CPU support for VM Monitor Mode Extension (VT-c on Intel CPUs).
    • Minimum of 4-GB memory.
  • In your computer's BIOS, the following items must be enabled:

    • Virtualization Technology (may have a different label depending on motherboard manufacturer).
    • Hardware Enforced Data Execution Prevention.
  • Your computer must be updated to Windows 10 April 2018 update(build 1803) or later. You can verify that your Windows versionis up-to-date by using the following steps:

    1. Enter About in the Windows search box.

    2. Select About your PC in the search results.

    3. Scroll down in the About dialog to the Windows specificationssection.

    4. Verify that the Version is at least 1803:

To verify that your computer hardware and software is compatible withHyper-V, open a command prompt and type the following command:

If all listed Hyper-V requirements have a value of Yes, then yourcomputer can support Hyper-V. For example:

Enabling Hyper-V acceleration

If your computer meets the above criteria, use the following stepsto accelerate the Android emulator with Hyper-V:

  1. Enter windows features in the Windows search box and selectTurn Windows features on or off in the search results. In theWindows Features dialog, enable both Hyper-V and WindowsHypervisor Platform:

    After making these changes, reboot your computer.

Important

On Windows 10 October 2018 Update (RS5) and higher, youonly need to enable Hyper-V, as it will useWindows Hypervisor Platform (WHPX) automatically.

  1. Install Visual Studio 15.8 or later(this version of Visual Studio provides IDE support forrunning the Android emulator with Hyper-V).

  2. Install the Android Emulator package 27.2.7 or later. Toinstall this package, navigate to Tools > Android > Android SDKManager in Visual Studio. Select the Tools tab and ensure thatthe Android emulator version is at least 27.2.7. Also ensure thatthe Android SDK Tools version is 26.1.1 or later:

When you create a virtual device (seeManaging Virtual Devices with the Android Device Manager),be sure to select an x86-based system image. If you use an ARM-based system image,the virtual device will not be accelerated and will run slowly.

Hyper-V should now be enabled and you can run your accelerated Android emulator.

Accelerating with HAXM

If your computerdoes not support Hyper-V, you may use HAXM to accelerate the Android emulator. You mustdisable Device Guardif you want to use HAXM.

Verifying HAXM support

To determine if your hardware supports HAXM, follow the steps inDoes My Processor Support Intel Virtualization Technology?.If your hardware supports HAXM,you can check to see if HAXM is already installed by using thefollowing steps:

  1. Open a command prompt window and enter the following command:

  2. Examine the output to see if the HAXM process is running. if it is,you should see output listing the intelhaxm state as RUNNING. Forexample:

    If STATE is not set to RUNNING, then HAXM is not installed.

If your computer can support HAXM but HAXM is not installed, use thesteps in the next section to install HAXM.

Installing HAXM

HAXM install packages for Windows are available from theIntel Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager GitHub releasespage. Use the following steps to download and install HAXM:

  1. From the Intel website, download the latestHAXM virtualization engineinstaller for Windows. The advantage of downloading the HAXMinstaller directly from the Intel website is that you can be assuredof using the latest version.

  2. Run intelhaxm-android.exe to start the HAXM installer. Acceptthe default values in the installer dialogs:

When you create a virtual device (seeManaging Virtual Devices with the Android Device Manager),be sure to select an x86-based system image. If you use an ARM-based system image,the virtual device will not be accelerated and will run slowly.

Troubleshooting

Android

For help with troubleshooting hardware acceleration issues, see theAndroid emulatorTroubleshootingguide.

Accelerating Android emulators on macOS

Visual Studio Android Emulator Slow

The following virtualization technologies are available foraccelerating the Android emulator:

  1. Apple's Hypervisor Framework.Hypervisoris a feature of macOS 10.10 and later that makes it possible to runvirtual machines on a Mac.

  2. Intel's Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager (HAXM).HAXMis a virtualization engine for computers running Intel CPUs.

It is recommended that you use the HypervisorFramework to accelerate the Android emulator. If the HypervisorFramework is not available on your Mac, then HAXM can be used. TheAndroid emulator will automatically make use of hardware accelerationif the following criteria are met:

  • Hardware acceleration is available and enabled on the developmentcomputer.

  • The emulator is running a system image created foran x86-based virtual device.

Important

You can't run a VM-accelerated emulator inside another VM,such as a VM hosted by VirtualBox, VMware, or Docker. Youmust run the Android emulatordirectly on your system hardware.

For information about launching and debugging with the Androidemulator, seeDebugging on the Android Emulator.

Accelerating with the Hypervisor Framework

To use the Android emulator with the Hypervisor Framework, your Mac mustmeet the following criteria:

  • Your Mac must be running macOS 10.10 or later.

  • Your Mac's CPU must be able to support the Hypervisor Framework.

If your Mac meets these criteria, the Android emulator willautomatically use the Hypervisor Framework for acceleration. If you are not sure if Hypervisor Frameworkis supported on your Mac, see theTroubleshootingguide for ways to verify that your Mac supports Hypervisor.

If the Hypervisor Framework is not supported by your Mac, you can useHAXM to accelerate the Android emulator (described next).

Accelerating with HAXM

If your Mac does not support the Hypervisor framework (or you are usinga version of macOS earlier than 10.10), you can use Intel's HardwareAccelerated Execution Manager(HAXM)to speed up the Android emulator.

Before using the Android emulator with HAXM for the first time, it's agood idea to verify that HAXM is installed and available for theAndroid emulator to use.

Android studio emulator download

Verifying HAXM support

You can check to see if HAXM is already installed by usingthe following steps:

  1. Open a Terminal and enter the following command:

    This command assumes that the Android SDK is installed at thedefault location of ~/Library/Developer/Xamarin/android-sdk-macosx;if not, modify the above path forthe location of the Android SDK on your Mac.

  2. If HAXM is installed, the above command willreturn a message similar to the following result:

    If HAXM is not installed, a message similar tothe following output is returned:

If HAXM is not installed, use the steps in the next section toinstall HAXM.

Installing HAXM

HAXM installation packages for macOS are available from theIntel Hardware Accelerated Execution Managerpage. Use the following steps to download and install HAXM:

  1. From the Intel website, download the latestHAXM virtualization engineinstaller for macOS.

  2. Run the HAXM installer. Accept the default values in the installer dialogs:

Troubleshooting

For help with troubleshooting hardware acceleration issues, see theAndroid emulatorTroubleshootingguide.

Related Links

Question or issue on macOS:

First of all, yes I know there’s a lot of topics similar to this issue, I did use the search function on stack overflow.

But most of the issue that were brought up seems to about long boot times.

For me, the emulator is so slow, simply sliding from one home screen to another is like watching a slideshow. I placed in more ‘RAM’ into the virtual device but nothing changes.

How do I fix this?

I’m using a Macbook Pro 2010 on Mac OS X Lion.

How to solve this problem?

Solution no. 1:

On the latest version of the Android SDK there is support for x86 and native execution. Now it is possible to run the emulator at native speeds on a Mac but there is some work to do by hand.

First you need the latest SDK Tools rev.19+ and Platform tools rev.11+, the Android x86 Atom System Image for 4.0.3 to 4.4 and the Intel Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager (HAX) all this from the Android SDK Manager.

After this you need to install HAX, unfortunately the SDK Manager downloads an outdated version. There is the Intel-HAXM hotfix v1.0.8

When you create a new AVD to use this latest system image and enable the GPU support on it (at the moment the snapshot support are not compatible with GPU but it still worths it. The VM will boot up in just a few seconds anyway.

It considerably accelerates the development on Android, it is just a shame that it doesn’t works like this out of the box.

Solution no. 2:

The bounty is still open incase anyone comes up with something better.

But so far, the only solution I’ve found for testing android on Mac OSX is to use a VM. You can still build/install your app from Eclipse as normal using ADT/abd

See http://software.intel.com/en-us/blogs/2011/10/11/getting-started-on-android-for-x86-step-by-step-guide-on-setting-up-android-2223-for-x86-testing-environment-in-oracle-virtualbox/ for step-by-step instructions.

Solution no. 3:

Try genomotion emulator!
Its very fast, and way lighter than the other simulators*!

  1. Go here https://cloud.genymotion.com/page/customer/edit/, and register
  2. Download the IntelliJ Idea/Android studio plugin, and the Application (works for Linux/Mac/Windows)
  3. Install the application. Install the plugin (Preferences/Plugins/Install from disc)
  4. Open application. Login with registration credentials. Download from genymotion’s cloud an image (eg nexus7 w/o gapps)
  5. Select in IntelliJ/Android Studio the genymotion icon, and the select the path of the Application
    1. Run your app in genymotion emulator! Note: it will appear as “USB Device” and NOT as emulator!

*I have tried nexus7 w/ intels HAXM. Its super fast too, but its very heavy! Genymotion is much lighter!

Edit2: some weird error I faced using this emulator. When running the emulator, I could add text input to EditText if physical keyboard language was not english!

Solution no. 4:

Some tips if you still want to try to use the default emulator:

1) Reduce screen size. Don’t bother to build an emulator with 1280×800 screen, the emulator will choke on it as it only uses one CPU/process (not sure) to do all translation from ARM to MacOS and back again and does all of the screen rendering in software. I think the general recommendation is to stay with 800×480 or 1024×700. Less pixels = less lag. Heck try a 480×320, if its really bad on your machine.

2) If you can use an older version of the SDK like 1.6, do so. Some of the performance gets used up by the fancier home screens of Froyo and Gingerbread.

Android Studio Emulator Slow Mac

3) Allocate more memory to the emulator. If you are using eclipse:
Go to Preferences.
Select “Launch”
ADD “-partition-size 1024” on the “Default emulator option”
Click “Apply”
You may have done this already but added for clarity.

[MC] Oops (3) was parition-size, -m is for memory.

Hope this helps!

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