Accurate performance tips for Gradle & Android Studio

There’s a lot out there on how to improve Android Studio / Gradle performance. After trying out everything using a consistent method, I can now sum up the things that work:

1. Upgrade Java, Gradle and the gradle-android-plugin

Keep everything upgraded to the latest versions. I have the gradle wrapper in every project, but that’s up to you. The gradle-daemon is enabled by default in latest gradle.

2. Sensible JVM options for Android Studio and Gradle

I have tried out many JVM-settings, and those were the best allround-fit. Others made the build slower or made no difference.

  • -Xmx3g maximum heap: 3G (2G if you have less than 8G of RAM)

Settings like -XX:ReservedCodeCacheSize or -XX:UseCompressedOops are enabled by default in Java-8, therefore not necessary. You see the default-flags using this command:

java -XX:+PrintFlagsFinal -version

Global Gradle JVM-options

The following line goes in your ~/.gradle/


Android Studio JVM-options

Same goes in your ~/Library/Preferences/AndroidStudio<Version>/studio.vmoptions


3. Important: make Android Studio use the same Gradle daemon you use on the commandline

Gradle’s daemon is enabled by default since 3.0.

But Android Studio keeps firing up it’s own daemon, because it uses it’s own JDK.

Therefore, if you build on the command-line as well, you often have two daemons running, each swallowing gigabytes of RAM. If you use Kotlin, you have additional compiler-daemons running as well, which make it worse.

To remedy this, set the JDK location of Android Studio project to the globally installed JDK:

Final Testing

Check your new settings:

  1. Close Android Studio
  2. Kill all Gradle-daemons: ./gradlew — stop
  3. Clean the project: ./gradlew clean (this will start the Gradle-daemon)
  4. Build: ./gradlew assembleDebug (this will start the kotlin-daemon)
  5. Clean again: ./gradlew clean
  6. Build:./gradlew assembleDebug --profile . If you are still unhappy with your build-time check out the generated profile. If your kotlin takes ages to build, there’s a chance that the DNS-configuration of your machine has a problem.
  7. Start Android Studio
  8. Clean the project, make sure it doesn’t start a new daemon by checking your Activity Monitor and the log.
  9. Build the project


There are many other settings out there, e.g. setting the build-process to offline, fiddle around with dexing etc. I tried ALL of them and repeated the clean-build-test-process above to get consistent measurements.

If you have any tips that improve on this, when measured using the process above, tell me.

Happy, hopefully a little faster, hacking.