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Configure Android Studio

Android Studio provides wizards and templates that verify your system requirements, such as the Java Development Kit (JDK) and available RAM, and configure default settings, such as an optimized default Android Virtual Device (AVD) emulation and updated system images. This document describes additional configuration settings you may want to use to customize your use of Android Studio.

Android Studio provides access to two configuration files through the Help menu:

  • studio.vmoptions: Customize options for Studio's Java Virtual Machine (JVM), such as heap size and cache size. Note that on Linux machines this file may be named studio64.vmoptions, depending on your version of Android Studio.
  • Customize Android Studio properties, such as the plugins folder path or maximum supported file size.

For specific documentation about emulator and device setup and use, see the following topics:

Find your configuration files

Both configuration files are stored in the configuration folder for Android Studio. The name of the folder depends on your Studio version. For example, Android Studio 3.3 has the folder name AndroidStudio3.3. The location of this folder depends on your operating system:

  • macOS: ~/Library/Preferences/CONFIGURATION_FOLDER

You can also use the following environment variables to point to specific override files elsewhere:

  • STUDIO_VM_OPTIONS: set the name and location of the .vmoptions file
  • STUDIO_PROPERTIES: set the name and location of the .properties file
  • STUDIO_JDK: set the JDK with which to run Studio

Customize your VM options

The studio.vmoptions file allows you to customize options for Android Studio's JVM. To improve Studio's performance, the most common option to adjust is the maximum heap size, but you can also use the studio.vmoptions file to override other default settings such as initial heap size, cache size, and Java garbage collection switches.

To create a new studio.vmoptions file or to open your existing one, use the following steps:

  1. Click Help > Edit Custom VM Options. If you have never edited VM options for Android Studio before, the IDE prompts you to create a new studio.vmoptions file. Click Yes to create the file.
  2. The studio.vmoptions file opens in the editor window of Android Studio. Edit the file to add your own customized VM options. For a full list of customizable JVM options, see Oracle's Java HotSpot VM Options page.

The studio.vmoptions file you create gets added to the default studio.vmoptions file, located in the bin/ directory inside your Android Studio installation folder.

Note that you should never directly edit the studio.vmoptions file found inside the Android Studio program folder. While you can access the file to view Studio's default VM options, editing only your own studio.vmoptions file ensures that you don't override important default settings for Android Studio. Therefore, in your studio.vmoptions file, override only the attributes you care about and allow Android Studio to continue using default values for any attributes you have not changed.

Maximum heap size

By default, Android Studio has a maximum heap size of 1280MB. If you are working on a large project, or your system has a lot of RAM, you can improve performance by increasing the maximum heap size in the VM options for Android Studio. If your system is memory-constrained, you may wish to reduce the maximum heap size.

To change the maximum heap size, follow these steps:

  1. Click Help > Edit Custom VM Options to open your studio.vmoptions file.
  2. Add a line to the studio.vmoptions file to set maximum heap size using the syntax -XmxheapSize. The size you choose should be based on the size of your project and the available RAM on your machine. As a baseline, if you have more than 4GB of RAM and a medium-sized project, you should set the maximum heap size to 2GB or more. The following line sets the maximum heap size to 2GB:

  3. Save your changes to the studio.vmoptions file, and restart Android Studio for your changes to take effect.

  4. To confirm your new maximum heap size, open the command line, and type the following command:

    $ jps -lvm

    You will see a list of the instrumented JVMs running on your machine, including the full package name for each and the arguments passed in. Locate the item corresponding to your instance of Android Studio. It should end with -Didea.paths.selector=AndroidStudio[Version]. You should see two arguments beginning with -Xmx for this JVM, one with the default value of 1280mb, and one with your new value, as shown in figure 1.

    Figure 1. The terminal output showing the current arguments for Android Studio's JVM.

    1. The -Xmx argument showing the default maximum heap size, in this case 1280m.
    2. The -Didea.paths.selector showing the version of Android Studio currently running.
    3. The -Xmx argument showing the new custom maximum heap size. Note that this is followed by the location the custom studio.vmoptions file you created above.

Export and import IDE settings

You can export a Settings.jar file that contains all or a subset of your preferred IDE settings for a project. You can then import the JAR file into your other projects and/or make the JAR file available to your colleagues to import into their projects.

For more information, see Exporting and Importing Settings at IntelliJ IDEA.

Customize your IDE properties

The file allows you to customize IDE properties for Android Studio, such as the path to user installed plugins and the maximum file size supported by the IDE. The file gets merged with the default properties for the IDE so you can specify just the override properties.

To create a new file or to open your existing file, use the following steps:

  1. Click Help > Edit Custom Properties. If you have never edited the IDE properties before, Android Studio prompts you to create a new file. Click Yes to create the file.
  2. The file opens in the editor window of Android Studio. Edit the file to add your own customized IDE properties.

The following file includes the commonly customized IDE properties. For a complete list of properties, read about the file for IntelliJ IDEA.

# Uncomment this option if you want to customize path to user installed plugins folder. Make sure
# you're using forward slashes.
# idea.plugins.path=${idea.config.path}/plugins
# Maximum file size (kilobytes) IDE should provide code assistance for.
# The larger file is the slower its editor works and higher overall system memory requirements are
# if code assistance is enabled. Remove this property or set to very large number if you need
# code assistance for any files available regardless their size.
# This option controls console cyclic buffer: keeps the console output size not higher than the
# specified buffer size (Kb). Older lines are deleted. In order to disable cycle buffer use
# idea.cycle.buffer.size=disabled
# Configure if a special launcher should be used when running processes from within IDE.
# Using Launcher enables "soft exit" and "thread dump" features
# To avoid too long classpath
# There are two possible values of idea.popup.weight property: "heavy" and "medium".
# If you have WM configured as "Focus follows mouse with Auto Raise" then you have to
# set this property to "medium". It prevents problems with popup menus on some
# configurations.
# Use default anti-aliasing in system, i.e. override value of
# "Settings|Editor|Appearance|Use anti-aliased font" option. May be useful when using Windows
# Remote Desktop Connection for instance.
# Disabling this property may lead to visual glitches like blinking and fail to repaint
# on certain display adapter cards.
# Removing this property may lead to editor performance degradation under Windows.
# Workaround for slow scrolling in JDK6
# Removing this property may lead to editor performance degradation under X Window.
# Workaround to avoid long hangs while accessing clipboard under Mac OS X.
# ide.mac.useNativeClipboard=True
# Maximum size (kilobytes) IDEA will load for showing past file contents -
# in Show Diff or when calculating Digest Diff
# idea.max.vcs.loaded.size.kb=20480

Configure the IDE for low-memory machines

If you are running Android Studio on a machine with less than the recommended specifications (see System Requirements), you can customize the IDE to improve performance on your machine, as follows:

  • Reduce the maximum heap size available to Android Studio: Reduce the maximum heap size for Android Studio to 512Mb. For more information on changing maximum heap size, see Maximum heap size.
  • Update Gradle and the Android plugin for Gradle: Update to the latest versions of Gradle and the Android plugin for Gradle to ensure you are taking advantage of the latest improvements for performance. For more information about updating Gradle and the Android plugin for Gradle, see the Android plugin for Gradle Release Notes.
  • Enable Power Save Mode: Enabling Power Save Mode turns off a number of memory- and battery-intensive background operations, including error highlighting and on-the-fly inspections, autopopup code completion, and automatic incremental background compilation. To turn on Power Save Mode, click File > Power Save Mode.
  • Disable unnecessary lint checks: To change which lint checks Android Studio runs on your code, do the following:

    1. Click File > Settings (on macOS, Android Studio > Preferences) to open the Settings dialog.
    2. In the left pane, expand the Editor section and click Inspections.
    3. Click the checkboxes to select or deselect lint checks as appropriate for your project.
    4. Click Apply or OK to save your changes.
  • Debug on a physical device: Debugging on an emulator uses more memory than debugging on a physical device, so you can improve overall performance for Android Studio by debugging on a physical device.

  • Include only necessary Google Play services as dependencies: Including Google Play Services as dependencies in your project increases the amount of memory necessary. Only include necessary dependencies to improve memory usage and performance. For more information, see Add Google Play Services to Your Project.

  • Turn on Offline Mode for Gradle: If you have limited bandwitch, turn on Offline Mode to prevent Gradle from attempting to download missing dependencies during your build. When Offline Mode is on, Gradle will issue a build failure if you are missing any dependencies, instead of attempting to download them. To turn on Offline Mode, do the following:

    1. Click File > Settings (on macOS, Android Studio > Preferences) to open the Settings dialog.
    2. In the left pane, expand Build, Execution, Deployment and then click Gradle.
    3. Under Global Gradle settings, check the Offline work checkbox.
    4. Click Apply or OK for your changes to take effect.
  • Reduce the maximum heap size available for Gradle: Gradle's default maximium heap size is 1,536 MB. Reduce the value by overriding the org.gradle.jvmargs property in the file, as shown below:

    # Make sure to gradually decrease this value and note
    # changes in performance. Allocating too lttle memory may
    # also decrease performance.
    org.gradle.jvmargs = -Xmx1536m
  • Do not enable parallel compilation: Android Studio can compile independent modules in parallel, but if you have a low-memory system you should not turn on this feature. To check this setting, do the following:

    1. Click File > Settings (on macOS, Android Studio > Preferences) to open the Settings dialog.
    2. In the left pane, expand Build, Execution, Deployment and then click Compiler.
    3. Ensure that the Compile independent modules in parallel option is unchecked.
    4. If you have made a change, click Apply or OK for your change to take effect.

Configure your project for Instant Run

Instant Run is a behavior for the Run and Debug commands that significantly reduces the time between updates to your app. Although your first build may take longer to complete, Instant Run pushes subsequent updates to your app without building a new APK, so changes are visible much more quickly.

Android Studio enables Instant Run by default for projects built using Android plugin for Gradle 2.0.0 and higher. You can improve build performance with Instant Run by modifying a few settings for your project. For more information about configuring your project for Instant Run, read Configure and optimize your project for Instant Run.

Set the JDK version

A copy of the latest OpenJDK comes bundled with Android Studio 2.2 and higher, and this is the JDK version we recommend you use for your Android projects. To use the bundled JDK, do the following:

  1. Open your project in Android Studio and select File > Project Structure in the menu bar.
  2. In the SDK Location page and under JDK location, check the Use embedded JDK checkbox.
  3. Click OK.

By default, the Java language version used to compile your project is based on your project's compileSdkVersion (because different versions of Android support different versions of Java). If necessary, you can override this default Java version by adding the following CompileOptions {} block to your build.gradle file:

android {
    compileOptions {
        sourceCompatibility JavaVersion.VERSION\_1\_6
        targetCompatibility JavaVersion.VERSION\_1\_6

For more information about where compileSdkVersion is defined, read about the module-level build file.

Set proxy settings

Proxies serve as intermediary connection points between HTTP clients and web servers that add security and privacy to internet connections.

To support running Android Studio behind a firewall, set the proxy settings for the Android Studio IDE. Use the Android Studio IDE HTTP Proxy settings page to set the HTTP proxy settings for Android Studio.

When running the Android plugin for Gradle from the command line or on machines where Android Studio is not installed, such as continuous integration servers, set the proxy settings in the Gradle build file.

Set up the Android Studio proxy

Android Studio supports HTTP proxy settings so you can run Android Studio behind a firewall or secure network. To set the HTTP proxy settings in Android Studio:

  1. From the menu bar, click File > Settings (on macOS, click Android Studio > Preferences).
  2. In the left pane, click Appearance & Behavior > System Settings > HTTP Proxy. The HTTP Proxy page appears.
  3. Select Auto-detect proxy settings to use an automatic proxy configuration URL for the proxy settings or Manual proxy configuration to enter each of the settings yourself. For a detailed explanation of these settings, see HTTP Proxy.
  4. Click Apply or OK for your changes to take effect.

Android plugin for Gradle HTTP proxy settings

When running the Android plugin from the command line or on machines where Android Studio is not installed, set the Android plugin for Gradle proxy settings in the Gradle build file.

For application-specific HTTP proxy settings, set the proxy settings in the build.gradle file as required for each application module.

apply plugin: ''

android {

    defaultConfig {

For project-wide HTTP proxy settings, set the proxy settings in the gradle/ file.

# Project-wide Gradle settings.


For information about using Gradle properties for proxy settings, see the Gradle User Guide.

Optimize Android Studio performance on Windows

Android Studio performance on Windows can be impacted by a variety of factors. This section describes how you can optimize Android Studio settings to get the best possible performance on Windows.

Minimize the impact of antivirus software on build speed

Some antivirus software can interfere with the Android Studio build process, causing builds to run dramatically slower. When you run a build in Android Studio, Gradle compiles your app’s resources and source code and then packages the compiled resources together in an APK. During this process, many files are created on your computer. If your antivirus software has real-time scanning enabled, the antivirus can force the build process to halt each time a file is created while the antivirus scans that file.

To avoid this issue, you can exclude certain directories from real-time scanning in your antivirus software. The following list shows the default location of each directory that you should exclude from real-time scanning:

  • %USERPROFILE%\.gradle
  • %USERPROFILE%\AndroidStudioProjects\Project_Directory
  • %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Android\SDK
  • C:\Program Files\Android\Android Studio\system