By hpique

2010-04-18 15:02:14 8 Comments

The Android emulator is a bit sluggish. For some devices, like the Motorola Droid and the Nexus One, the app runs faster in the actual device than the emulator. This is a problem when testing games and visual effects.

How do you make the emulator run as fast as possible? I've been toying with its parameters but haven't found a configuration that shows a noticeable improvement yet.


@Dan Alboteanu 2017-12-04 13:39:19

choose a low resolution emulator (eg: Nexus S) if you don't have a good graphic card (like me)

@Gennadiy Ryabkin 2012-10-17 19:27:07

Official web page

~50% faster


  • Install "Intel x86 Emulator Accelerator (HAXM)" => SDK-Manager/Extras
  • Install "Intel x86 Atom System Images" => SDK-Manager/Android 2.3.3
  • Go to the Android SDK root folder and navigate to extras\intel\Hardware_Accelerated_Execution_Manager. Execute file IntelHaxm.exe to install. (in Android Studio you can navigate to: Settings -> Android SDK -> SDK Tools -> Intel x86 Emulator Accelerator (HAXM installer))

  • Create AVD with "Intel atom x86" CPU/ABI

  • Run emulator and check in console that HAXM running (open a Command Prompt window and execute the command: sc query intelhaxm)

enter image description here

Also don't forget install this one

enter image description here

P.S. during AVD creation add emulation memory: Hardware/New/Device ram size/set up value 512 or more


  • Install KVM: open GOOGLE, write "kvm installation "
  • Create AVD with "Intel atom x86" CPU/ABI
  • Run from command line: emulator -avd avd_name -qemu -m 512 -enable-kvm
  • Or run from Eclipse: Run/Run Configurations/Tab "Target" - > check Intel x86 AVD and in "Additional Emulator Command Line Options" window add: -qemu -m 512 -enable-kvm (click Run)

enter image description here

P.S. For Fedora, for Ubuntu


  • In Android SDK Manager, install Intel x86 Atom System Image
  • In Android SDK Manager, install Intel x86 Emulator Accelerator (HAXM)
  • In finder, go to the install location of the Intel Emulator Accelerator and install IntelHAXM (open the dmg and run the installation). You can find the location by placing your mouse over the Emulator Accelerator entry in the SDK Manager.
  • Create or update an AVD and specify Intel Atom x86 as the CPU. Intel x86 Emulator Accelerator (HAXM) showing Location

P.S: Check this tool, very convenient even trial

@Jarett Millard 2013-05-08 15:57:58

This works in OSX as well. You need to install /extras/intel/Hardware_Accelerated_Execution_Manager/IntelHA‌​XM.dmg after you download the package from the SDK manager.

@ADTC 2013-07-28 16:11:39

The Windows instructions with "Use Host GPU" gave me a super-fast emulator! (I have a supported Intel processor and an nVidia graphics card.) The animations are buttery smooth (most of the time; at other times, very little jerkiness)! Note that you have to restart Eclipse for the AVD Manager to pick up the Intel Atom (x86) CPU option. Tip: Don't allocate too much RAM. With 1GB RAM, emulator failed to start (with GPU) but with 512MB RAM it ran smoothly and booted really quickly (again with GPU).

@ADTC 2013-07-28 17:11:13

I found that the LogCat gets spammed with a lot of Trace warnings. To filter them out, use ^(?!.*(nativeGetEnabledTags)).*$ as the text filter. I have reported this as a bug issue. Also, I think you have to properly shut down your emulator device (hold the power button, then select Power off) to avoid having errors when you start it the next time (I could just close the ARM emulator, but with the Intel emulator, just closing seems to create problems).

@Paolo M 2013-08-07 15:28:49

I'd give you +100 if I could. Works on Windows 8 and performances increased terrificly!

@Mike Flynn 2014-01-04 00:03:39

I had to disable Hyper V technology first through program and features under the control panel to get this to work.

@malhobayyeb 2014-02-07 23:43:00

WOW! This is very very fast.

@ferics2 2014-03-26 13:51:19

@ADTC the same applied for me on OSX, once I used Use Host GPU and 512MB ram my emulator ran great. Anything above 512MB ram and it would fail to start.

@Prasad 2015-12-07 10:52:33

this computer does not support intel virtulization technology. can't istall what to do?

@UA_ 2020-03-25 15:06:03

I got this error PANIC: Missing emulator engine program for 'x86' CPU. when run emulator -avd Pixel_2_API_29 -qemu -m 512 -enable-kvm

@rashidnk 2020-08-03 05:55:55

my system has AMD Rayzen, can this run Intel XAHM ?

@Gennadiy Ryabkin 2020-08-06 14:05:46

@rashidnk No, use "Android Emulator Hypervisor Driver for AMD Processors"

@Oleg Tarashkevich 2016-09-06 06:42:39

Use Genymotion instead of emulator. Genymotion has better performance

@David Dostal 2016-08-30 10:47:56

You could also try the Visual Studio Android Emulator, which can also be installed as a standalone emulator (you don't need Visual Studio). Please note, that it can be installed only on Windows Pro or higher systems.

@Umer 2016-04-09 08:50:55

Update your current Android Studio to Android Studio 2.0 And also update system images.

Android Studio 2.0 emulator runs ~3x faster than Android’s previous emulator, and with ADB enhancements you can now push apps and data 10x faster to the emulator than to a physical device. Like a physical device, the official Android emulator also includes Google Play Services built-in, so you can test out more API functionality. Finally, the new emulator has rich new features to manage calls, battery, network, GPS, and more.

@Koc 2015-12-17 08:41:06

Google recently announced a new emulator for Android. It's a much faster and better than the old one. You can find more info about it here.

@RajeshVijayakumar 2015-11-25 05:11:02

I hope this will help you.

Goto to your BIOS settings. Enable your Virtualization technology in your settings..

It solved my problem...

@horcle_buzz 2014-03-10 01:36:00

Thank you @zest! Worked like a charm. Some things of note: Need to apply Intel's hotfix for the HAXM to deal with kernel panic issue: Also, note, if you have more than one abi, you need to uninstall one due to a bug in the latest version of the Android API (r19): (remove armeabi-v7a in this case, since you want the x86 abi). Other than the 45-minutes it took me to resolve these, it was an very rewarding exercise in terms of the increased performance of the emulator.

@ThomasW 2012-03-22 05:07:08

Edit Although using the Intel images gets some performance gains, the performance gained by using Genymotion is much greater. See Paul Lammertsma's answer.

Previous Answer

With ADT rev 17 the emulator supports running x86 system images in virtualization mode on Windows and Mac OS X. This has a noticeable impact on performance.

ADT rev 17 notes:

Configuring Virtual Machine Acceleration:

@mcohen75 2011-06-04 17:32:12

UPDATE: Now that an Intel x86 image is available, the best answer is by zest above.

As CommonsWare has correctly pointed out, the emulator is slow because it emulates an ARM CPU, which requires translation to Intel opcodes. This virtualization chews up CPU.

To make the emulator faster, you have to give it more CPU. Start with a fast CPU or upgrade if you can.

Then, give the emulator more of the CPU you have:

  1. Disable Hyperthreading - Since the emulator doesn't appear to utilize more than one core, hyperthreading actually reduces the amount of overall CPU time the emulator will get. Disabling HT will slow down apps that take advantage of multiple CPUs. Hyperthreading must be disabled in your BIOS.
  2. Make the emulator run on a CPU other than CPU 0 - This has a much smaller impact than turning off HT, but it helps some. On Windows, you can specify which CPU a process will run on. Many apps will chew up CPU 0, and by default the emulator runs on CPU 0. I change the emulator to run on the last one. Note that on OS X you cannot set affinity (see:

I'm seeing somewhere around a 50% improvement with these two changes in place.

To set processor affinity on Windows 7:

  1. Open Task Manager
  2. Click View All Processes (to run as administrator, otherwise you can't set processor affinity)
  3. Right click on emulator.exe and choose Set Affinity...
  4. On the Set Affinity dialog, select just the last CPU

Note: When you change affinity in this way, it's only changed for the lifetime of the process. Next start, you have to do it again.

enter image description here

@Timothy003 2011-07-06 08:02:47

The CPU percentage doubled when you disabled hyper-threading because you halved the amount of logical processors.

@emeraldhieu 2011-11-30 07:51:22

It works like charm but.. Do you know how to do it on Ubuntu 11.10?

@mcohen75 2012-03-30 17:27:20

@Timothy003 yes absolutely correct. And doubled the CPU the emulator will use.

@Dan Is Fiddling By Firelight 2012-07-27 13:24:08

You only see a doubling in the number task manager shows; not in reality. If you're not running enough software to generate enough work to have the equivalent of at least 4 threads at 100% CPU the the few apps doing heavy CPU usage will still effectively get almost the entire core, not the half core your naive assumption of what task manager is displaying means.

@bartosz.r 2012-09-13 22:57:01

To confirm what @Dan Neely says: I have a single core app, that just burns 100% cpu. When I have HT it shows about 25%, without it shows about 50%, but in fact in computes what it has to compute in the same time. So no difference (at least on Sandy Bridge).

@Stan 2012-12-10 15:59:56

Yes, no difference (or if there is some difference, it is minimal). @ cores + HT = 4 logical cores. Each one can make at most 25% usage. The other case: 2 cores without HT = 2 logical cores. Each one can make at most 50% usage. I have 4 cores + HT = 8 logical cores. Each core can make at most 12.5% usage. But this 12.5% = 25% = 50% in terms of performance for your app in case the cores have the same architecture and frequency.

@Elist 2013-08-18 10:21:17

Perfect! I can now have multiple AVDs running simultaneously, each on a separate CPU!

@Paul Lammertsma 2013-07-11 16:34:27

I would like to suggest giving Genymotion a spin. It runs in Oracle's VirtualBox, and will legitimately hit 60 fps on a moderate system.

Here's a screencap from one of my workshops, running on a low-end 2012 model MacBook Air:

Nexus 7 emulator running at 56.6 fps

If you can't read the text, it's a Nexus 7 emulator running at 56.6 fps. The additional (big!) bonus is that Google Play and Google Play Services come packaged with the virtual machines.

(The source of the demoed animation can be found here.)

@John Lehmann 2013-01-28 19:21:20

Enable GPU Hardware Acceleration (in addition to Intel's HAXM), if you are using API 15 v3 or newer and SDK Tools v17+. Graphics acceleration for the emulator takes advantage of your development computer's graphics hardware, specifically its graphics processing unit (GPU), to make screen drawing faster. This gives a noticeable boost in speed.

To enable graphics acceleration enabled by default on your emulator: when creating the AVD, in the Hardware section, click New, select GPU emulation and set the value to Yes.

To enable acceleration only at runtime: use the -gpu flag while starting the emulator like this:

emulator -avd <avd_name> -gpu on

Source: Google's Using the Emulator tutorial.

@sonicboom 2012-12-30 15:31:38

Just wanted to say that after I installed the Intel HAXM accelerator and use the Intel Atom image the emulator seems to run 50 times faster. The difference is amazing, check it out!

@strange_developer 2012-10-27 08:47:35

I've been using the Intel(86) CPU/ABI. I created another emulator using the ARM(armeabi-v7a) and i found quite an improvement with the speed. I'm using platform 4.1.2 API level 16

@Cesar 2011-06-14 18:38:54

On this year google I/O (2011), Google demonstrated a faster emulator. The problem is not so much on the byte code between ARM and x86 but the software rendering performed by QEMU. They bypass the rendering of QEMU and send the rendering directly to an X server I believe. They showed a car game with really good performace and fps.

I wonder when that will be available for developers...

@alcor 2015-11-19 18:16:06

Any news of this emulator? What was its name?

@Cesar 2016-02-10 17:20:08

I don't have any news. I have not followed up the Android emulator updates for the last year or so.

@Joe P 2011-05-09 02:53:38

I noticed that the emulator defaults to only Core 0, where most Windows applications will default to "any" core. Also, if you put it on another core (like the last core), it may make the emulator go crazy. If you can, you can try putting your heavy-CPU usage applications on the other CPU cores for a boost in speed.

Hardware-wise, get the fastest CPU you can get that works for single-core applications. More than 2 cores might not experience a huge difference in terms of emulator performance.

Eclipse + the Android emulator together eat up a ton of RAM. I would recommend 3 gigs of RAM at least because I used a system with 2 gigs of RAM, and it slowed down because the system ran out of RAM and started to use the page file.

I feel that the best CPUs for it will probably have a high clock (only use clock as a measure for CPUs in the same series btw), handle non-SIMD operations well, and have a turbo boost mechanism. There aren't many Java-based benchmarks, but overall look for application benchmarks like compression and office. Don't look at gaming or media since those are affected greatly by SIMD. If you find a Java one, even better.

@TripleG 2011-02-01 05:43:39

I recently switched from a core 2 @ 2.5 with 3gb of ram to an i7 @ 1.73 with 8gb ram (both systems ran Ubuntu 10.10) and the emulator runs at least twice as fast now. Throwing more hardware at it certainly does help.

@Clearer 2014-12-02 16:37:32

This is not really a solution: it may make the emulator have a higher throughput per time, but it won't actually make it run any faster.

@assad 2010-12-20 19:30:25

I think it is because clr virtual machine uses cpu directly without code opcode translation. It may be optimization for clr application or may be windows mobile/window phone 7 started on INTEL proccessor. Android platform based on linux and theoretically you can start android on virtual machine in i686 environment. In this case virtual machines such as vmware could execute some opcodes direcly. But this option will be allowed only if you write on the Java. Because the Java interpret their byte-code or precompile it before execution. see:

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