Indesign Slow

Exporting to PDF (Print) results in a hung background task that cannot be cancelled. If you attempt to quit InDesign, you get the message, 'InDesign cannot quit because one or more tasks are running in the background.'

The worst new feature in Indesign CS5 is the 'live redraw' feature which on our computer (a brand new Mac Mini with plenty of RAM) made Indesign painfully slow and buggy, especially when trying to work with images, and even more so when there are many images in the Indesign CS5 layout. If you're on a PC, easily upgradable. Definitely cheaper to do than on a Mac but I'd probably take it to a technician to do it. If yours is still running slow you could just have a slower computer, and you need an upgrade. But hopefully in there, you'll find a little bit of nugget of good speediness to help with your InDesign work flow. If “build my website” is still on your To Do list and you’re an Adobe Creative Cloud member, Adobe Portfolio might be your next stop. Adobe Portfolio is a web-based service that lets you build a website for your best photography, design, video, and other creative work. Indesign CC 2021 is running extremely slow. I still work in CC 2019, it's the last version that is OK for me. What can I do to speed up the last.

Solution 1: Install the latest InDesign updates.

Install the Iatest InDesign updates by choosing Help > Updates, or by visiting the Adobe product updates page:

Indesign Slow Performance

Indesign slow performance

Solution 2: Disable preflight and restart InDesign.


Solution 3: Add the document to a new book and export from the book panel

  1. Select the INDD document that is affected and click Open.
  2. From the Book Panel pop-up menu, choose Export Book to PDF.
  1. Create an empty text file and save it as 'DisableAsyncExports.txt'.
  2. Navigate to the location of the InDesign executable, for example:
    Win: C:Program FilesAdobeAdobe InDesign CS5
    Mac: /Applications/Adobe InDesign CS5.5/Adobe InDesign
  3. Move the text file from step 1 into this location.

Note: For a startup script that provides a menu choice to control background export, see this link.

Indesign Slow Response

InDesign CS5 introduced PDF export as a background task via multi-threading capabilities. Some third-party and InDesign native operations become confused by this new method and result in a hang.