Imagine you’re drawing in Krita, but it takes more than 5 seconds for the brushstroke to be rendered. Krita sometimes feels slow and laggy, especially if you’re on a budget laptop and PC setup.
You came to the right place if you’re also experiencing lag when drawing and painting in Krita.
We will show you various methods to improve Krita’s performance and throw away the random lag when using the brush.
Our solution works well on both Windows and MacOS versions of Krita. If you use Linux or Android Tablet, you can use our guide as a reference to fix your problem.
Table of Contents
How to Fix Krita Lags
Method 1: Enable Canvas Graphics Acceleration in Krita
Canvas Graphics Acceleration allow you to use GPU to render the canvas in Krita. This will reduce loads on your CPU when you’re drawing.
Step 1: Click the “Settings” menu and select the “Configure Krita” option. On MacOS, click “Krita” at the top left menu and select “Preferences”
Step 2: Click the Display tab on the left.
Step 3: Turn it on by checking the Canvas Graphic Acceleration option.
There are two different renderers you can use, OpenGL and Direct 3D.
- Choose either the “Direct3D” or “Auto” option on Windows Operation Systems.
- On Macbook with Intel Processor, choose the OpenGL option. If you still experience lag when using Krita on your Macbook, try to disable Canvas Graphic Acceleration instead. Compare the difference between them and choose the best option.
- Always enable the Canvas Graphic Acceleration option on Macbook with Apple Silicon Processor (M1 or M2).
Step 4: To make scaling and zooming in and out smoother in Krita, you can reduce the scaling quality in Krita. Click on the dropdown next to Scaling Mode and choose either “Trilinear Filtering” or “Bilinear Filtering”
I don’t recommend you select the Nearest neighbor scaling option. It will introduce a large number of artifacts when you’re zoomed in.
Step 5: Restart Krita to save the changes
Method 2: Increase Memory Limit in Krita
On Default, Krita will only take a maximum of 50% of your RAM/memory. If it’s not enough for you, follow these steps to increase the memory limit.
Step 1: Click the “Settings” menu and choose “Configure Krita”.
Step 2: Select the Performance tab.
Step 3: In the General tab, increase the Memory Limit to at least 60%-70%.
Make sure to leave at least 2GB of available memory for your operating system and other applications.
If you only have 8GB of RAM, don’t increase the limit above 75% or else Krita will randomly be forced to shut down due to insufficient RAM.
Increasing the swap file size is a workaround if your system has less than 8GB of RAM.
Step 4: In the “General” tab, expand the swap file size to 8GB. This solution only works if you install Krita on an SSD drive.
If you have AMD CPU, then you need to disable Vector optimizations. Vector optimizations are buggy on AMD systems,
Step 5: Click the Advanced tab and toggle on the “Disable All Vector Optimizations (for AMD CPUs)” option.
Click OK to save the change and Restart Krita.
Method 3: Lower the Frame Rate and Disable Progress Reporting in Krita
Step 1: Click the “Settings” menu and select “Configure Krita”
Step 2: On the “Performance” menu, open the “Advanced tab” and uncheck the option for “Progress Reporting”
Step 3: In the choice to Limit frames per second while painting, reduce the frame rate to 60 fps.
A high frame rate can make drawing feels smoother, but it will consume more system resources. Reducing the frame rate will improve stylus precision on Macbook.
Progress reporting is a feedback progress bar that appears when you do heavy operations in Krita.
Switching off the progress reporting can reduce the time needed for performance-intensive operations like heavy filters or complex brush strokes.
Method 4: Reduce the number of layers
I usually draw with a maximum of 10 layers. But I know some artists use more than 100 layers.
The thing is, the more layers you use in Krita, the more memory is consumed. If you are experiencing lag in Krita, you can try to reduce the number of layers by deleting redundant layers or merging them
Step 1: To delete a layer, right-click on a layer and click “Remove Layer”
Step 2: To merge two layers together, right-click on a layer and click “Merge with Layer Below”
Method 5: Draw on a Smaller Canvas
If you draw on a canvas size that is too big for your computer can handle, it will make drawing and painting feel slower. A bigger canvas means more pixels are being processed in the background.
You can set the canvas size in Krita by following these steps:
Step 1: After opening Krita, click “New File”
Step 2: Select the “ Custom Document” menu, and set the width and height to less than 3000 pixels each. Make sure the resolution stays at 300 pixel/inch. I recommend setting it to 1920×1080.
Step 3: After choosing your preferred canvas size, click “Create” to start drawing.
If you already create and draw on your canvas, you can resize the canvas size to become smaller.
Step 1: To resize the canvas size in Krita, click the Image menu and select the “Resize Canvas” option.
Step 2: Resize your canvas size to a smaller size. If you draw on 4000×4000, reduce it to 2000×2000.
Make sure Constrain proportions are turned on. Constrain proportions will automatically adjust width and height based on the previous dimensions.
Click “OK” to save changes.
Method 6: Reduce the Color Depth in Krita
When you create a new custom document in Krita, you can set the color depth of the canvas. Choosing the lowest color depth is the recommended option for systems with a low number of RAM.
Step 1: Open “New File” and Select the “ Custom Document” menu.
Step 2: Click on the dropdown next to Depth, and choose the “8-bit-integer/channel” color depth.
16-bit and 32-bit float color depth is only helpful for professional artists with an expensive professional-grade monitor.
For average artists, the 8-bit color depth is sufficient.
If you want to change your current canvas’s color depth, click Image and Select the “Convert Image Color” option. Choose the “8-bit-integer/channel” option.
Method 7: Enable Instant Preview
According to Krita Docs, Instant Preview is a feature that can improve Krita’s performance on budget systems.
It’s a bit complicated, but the canvas you draw in Krita is a simplified version of the actual Canvas that is processed in the background.
You don’t need to wait for the software to finish rendering every time you draw. Instant Preview is available for freehand brush, move, filters, and animation tools.
Step 1: Open the view menu and select the “Instant Preview Mode” option.
Step 2: There will be a notification bubble when Instant preview is successfully turned on
If you can’t find the Instant Preview Mode option, enable Canvas Graphic Acceleration first. Then increase the scaling quality as I explained in Method 1 above.
Instant Preview mode is useless for small brushes, so disable them when you don’t need them.
How to Fix Brush Lag in Krita
Step 1: Click Settings > Dockers > Tool Options.
Step 2: On Brush smoothing, click the dropdown menu and choose the “Basic” option.
Basic brush smoothing will reduce smoothing quality but significantly reduce brush lag when drawing.
Switch the brush smoothing to None if the Basic brush smoothing option doesn’t fix the issue.
Here are other tips to prevent brush lag in Krita
- Draw on A4 Canvas Size. Most brushes in Krita are optimized for A4 canvas size.
- Set brush precision to 3 or auto. For heavy complex brushes, disable brush precision.
- Only use a color smudge brush when finishing your digital artwork.
- Quick brush and pixel brush engine is faster than color smudge brush and should always be used when sketching.
- Master Krita basic brush instead of importing photoshop brush to Krita. Krita’s basic brush is well-optimized and enough for most artists