Will disabling excess fonts free up resources, or need to delete them?

Discussion in 'OS X' started by jman995x, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2007

    I have about 1,500++ fonts loaded on my MBP and it has been running really slowly lately. I've come to find out that having a ton of fonts is a huge resource hog and can really chug a computer.

    I've read about "disabling" fonts in Font Book, but my question is, "Will that give me back those resources because those fonts aren't being used / loaded?...or do I need to entirely remove the fonts from font book in order to get those resources (and lost speed) back?"

    I already have a list of "Don't ever delete these specific fonts", so I just need to know which way to go to get my MBP to run like it used to...."Disable" or "Delete"?


  2. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2009
    Among the starlings
    Yes, that will give you back your resources. The system and apps (other than Font Book) will treat disabled fonts as if they weren't there at all.
  3. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Disabling should work fine. Remember to restart your Mac after changing the contents of the font directory.
  4. thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2007
    In FontBook.app and disabled about 1,300 fonts, and then rebooted.
    Programs such as Word, Excel, Photoshop, etc. are still taking up to 2 minutes to build font menus.

    What's going on?

    Any suggestions?


  5. r0k
    macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    Perhaps the fonts take a while to load the first time you run the app after making the change. How about the second time?

    Would you be willing to run a quick set of experiments and post your results?

    How about after a reboot (does it have to build them every launch, every boot or only on change). You can conduct a few basic experiments to find this out by noting how long the app takes to launch after the first time. Since all apps are slow, pick the faster one and only do your test once with that app for each situation.
  6. thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2007
    I disabled all of those fonts about a month ago and have rebooted several times since. However, Word, Excel, Photoshop, etc. still seem to take a fair amount of time to boot.
    I just closed Word, waited a minute or so, and then rebooted it and it took 92 seconds to give me the blank start up document.
    Photoshop didn't linger on the "Building Font Optimization Menu" (or whatever it says when it boots), but it did take about 45 seconds to get up and running. I guess in partial answer to your question, the programs seem to need to build their font menus after reboot, but not after a relaunch of the program.

    Another thing that doesn't make sense to me is that the different apps (Word, Photoshop, etc.) seem to all pick and choose which fonts they want to use. For instance, Word still has many (but not all) of the fonts I disabled using FontBook and under the "All Fonts" category. Photoshop seems to disavow any knowledge of my FontBook changes at all, and still has ALL of my fonts still available in its font menu.

    I wish I could just drag-n-drop all of my fonts from all font folders into another folder and then reinstall the ones that I want. I'm sure this excess of fonts is causing my computer to run much slower than normal.

    Any thoughts?


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