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I just updated ArcGIS to 10.1 and it is so slow. When I load my template mxds they can take 30 plus seconds. And if I have to change the view it's another 30 seconds.

Does anyone have any ideas or methods to speed up the loading and redrawing purpose?


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Are you using any of the ArcGIS basemaps (especially the Bing ones) in those templates? – nmpeterson May 15 '13 at 16:27
If your datasets are shapefiles make sure they have a spatial index – Hornbydd May 15 '13 at 20:04
I know that Arc is using Internet Explorer proxy settings by default (I believe it is used by some of Arcs online services). It was an issue with 10, not sure if it is with 10.1, so you may check this also. – Tomek May 21 '13 at 7:53

If you are re-using templates and documents from a previous version of ArcGIS, then I've found these often cause slow performance (even if they have been 'updated').

Try copying and pasting your data from the existing template into a new map document and see if that makes a difference.

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In addition to @user2375955 answer here are some usefull tips to enhance performance:

  1. Make sure you have latest service pack installed
  2. Make sure you data is in geodatabase and not file based (e.g. shapefiles)
  3. Only leave layers on in your map document that we need during simple panning and editing tasks
  4. Your online basemaps should get faster as they re-cache when you zoom and pan around
  5. Use the Analyze Map tool to figure out what else might be slowing your map performance
  6. When running geoprocessing tools on large datasets you may want to copy your input/output data locally for these tasks

Here are some additional links that may be helpful:

Tips on improving map display performance

ArcGIS Desktop System Requirments

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After hours of frustration, trial and error. I found the reason and solution!

Reason: Basemap layer doesn't have same projection as other layer(s) in one Data Frame! Transformation on the fly takes time.

Solution: Use only one projection throughout one Data Frame for all layers!

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Yes, on-the-fly reprojection can slow things down, especially with online basemaps. However, if you're referring to online basemap layers, you don't really have control over those so you can't permanently reproject them - you either have to deal with on-the-fly or use the same projection for all of your data. If you mean one of your own basemap layers, then of course you can project all of your data to a single, standard projection. – Chris W Jul 8 '15 at 17:58

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