Typing Lags and Sluggishness

If you are experiencing a typing lag or slow loading times in your project, this article will help you identify common issues that may be contributing to the problem. Follow the steps below and test out each option before proceeding to the next. It is recommended that you review the options to see if any of them fit your specific situation before taking any action.

Images within your Text

When dragging or pasting images into the main text editor, Scrivener stores the entire image directly into the text file. If you do this a few times within a single section of the binder you shouldn't run into any problems, but sections with lots of images can slow down saving and loading, which impacts typing lag if auto-save is struggling to keep up with your changes.


  • If you have images embedded in your project text, ensure that the images are as small as they can be, in terms of file size, before you import them into Scrivener. Re-scaling them after they are in Scrivener does nothing to make the files smaller. It will only change how the images are viewed in Scrivener. Most images that are taken directly from your camera will be far too large, both in resolution and file size, to be used in a Scrivener document without re-scaling them in an image tool first.
  • If you use documents containing a lot of text or images, you can also break the document up into smaller documents so that they save faster. Once you are completely done with it, you can copy and paste content or use the Documents ▸ Merge tool to re-combine it if needed.
  • The Insert menu contains three options for inserting images into the editor. The two that use image links will mitigate almost all issues with lag as the image won't be stored in the text itself. Refer to §15.7.4 (15.6.3 for Windows) Linked Images in the user manual, located in the Help menu, and see our article on Embedding vs. Linking Images for further information.

Large Quantities of Footnotes and Comments

If you make use of inspector footnotes or comments and find yourself working in sections of text that contain very large quantities of them, this can cause loading, saving and typing lag.


  • Scrivener is designed to work in short, topical sections as opposed to long complex chunks of text like how we might structure things in a word processor. Splitting up your text into smaller pieces, such as at subsection headings, means less footnotes and comments for the software to work with at once. Similarly, avoid using Scrivenings mode (§4.2.6) when you are working with documents that contain many footnotes and comments.
  • Use inline annotations and footnotes wherever you can. Since these are formatted right in the text editor using special styling, they do not incur the performance hit that a list of notes in a sidebar do. You can convert between notation types by using the commands in the Edit ▸ Transformations ▸ submenu.

Update your Auto-Save Settings

Change the auto-save interval by setting Auto save after X seconds of inactivity to a larger number in the General: Savings options pane. Try not to make it too large, as it’s best to keep it under 60 seconds. This will not eliminate the problem, but it will reduce the frequency of it, which may be enough.

Save your Project to your Local Drive

Make sure that the project is stored on your local hard drive or cloud drive. Working on a project from a network share, such as an office or home file server, or a slow USB thumb drive can cause this sluggishness. If your project is rather large or your connection is slow this could also result in a lag, however, this is not often a problem. Typically your project would need to very large or your internet connection very slow to see any issues here.

More Help

See our Known Issues article or contact technical support if you still have problems and none of the above seems relevant to your situation.