Slow Notion? Here’s How You Can Optimize It

Facing slow Notion databases? This guide offers practical solutions to optimize performance. Learn to manage content overload, simplify databases, and use linked views and filters. Tips include using the Notion desktop app, compressing images, clearing cache, and avoiding complex properties. Enhance your Notion experience with these steps.

Jun 27, 2024
Do slow Notion databases make you want to scream - Ughhhhhhhhh?
You're not alone! Chances are, if you have tons of content on Notion, you’ve faced this frustrating problem. I almost abandoned Notion due to sluggish databases, but the thought of migrating all that data was a nightmare. Plus, there are so many things about Notion that my team and I absolutely love.
Determined to find a solution, I dove deep into the whys and hows of slow Notion databases. I scoured Reddit, Google, and various forums, collecting a bunch of tips and tricks. This blog will provide you with a comprehensive list of ways to tackle this issue and restore your Notion to its smooth, speedy self.
First, let’s understand what causes the slowdown ⬇️

What Makes Notion Slow

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If you've ever felt frustrated by Notion's sluggishness, you're not alone. Several factors can contribute to slow loading times in Notion. Let's dive into what might be causing these slowdowns:

1. Content Overload

If your database is packed with pages, it might take longer to load. You might wonder, "How many entries make a database large?" Well, databases with around 25,000+ entries can be considered massive, while even those with 4,000-5,000 entries are quite substantial. To keep things running smoothly, avoid filling your pages with unnecessary data.

2. Complex Databases

Pages with mostly text blocks load quickly, but adding complex formulas, high-resolution images, and multiple linked databases can significantly slow them down. Large, intricately linked databases strain Notion's servers, leading to delays. If your database has a sort or filter on properties like title, text, formula, or rollup, the logic behind it can make load times longer.

3. Internet Connection

 Notion relies heavily on a stable internet connection since it doesn’t fully support offline mode. Maintaining a stable and consistent internet connection is crucial when working with Notion. A fluctuating or weak internet signal can lead to slow performance and affect your workflow in Notion.
You can go and check your internet speed on any site on Google.
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4. Background Apps and Processes

Running numerous applications, browser tabs, and background processes can slow down Notion. To improve its performance, check your computer's Activity Monitor (macOS) or Task Manager (Windows) and close unnecessary programs. Fewer running processes mean more resources available for Notion.
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5. Device and OS Performance

Notion’s speed can vary significantly depending on your device and operating system. Users often find that Notion runs more slowly on Windows compared to macOS. Additionally, performance can differ between browsers, with some handling Notion more efficiently than others. Users say that usually Chrome uses too many resources and can make Notion slow.

6. Notion’s Servers

If nothing else improves the speed, check Notion’s servers. Visit Notion’s status page to see if there are any current outages or performance issues with the platform itself. Here’s the link.
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16 Tips To Improve Notion’s Speed

By understanding the factors mentioned in the above section, you can better diagnose and address the causes of slow Notion performance. This insight will help you choose the correct solution from the many available options.
There are several steps you can take to enhance its performance and ensure a smoother user experience.

1. Avoid too many in-line databases -

In-line databases in Notion are a powerful feature that allows you to embed a database directly within a page. They’re incredibly useful for organizing information, tracking tasks, or managing projects all in one place. However, having too many in-line databases on a single page can significantly slow down Notion’s performance.
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Each in-line database you add requires additional processing power and server communication, which can lead to longer loading times. This is especially true if your databases are complex or contain a large amount of data. If you have a large workspace, avoid placing too many in-line databases on the same page. The more databases you view simultaneously, the more stress it puts on your setup.
Instead of embedding multiple databases on one page, consider using links to separate database pages. For example, you can have a main project page with links to individual database pages for tasks, notes, and schedules. This approach keeps your main page lighter and faster to load.
Additionally, you can simplify your data organization by using simple lists or tables where possible. These are less resource-intensive and can help maintain a quick and responsive Notion environment. By strategically managing your use of in-line databases, you can enjoy the best of Notion’s features without compromising on speed.
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2. Try linked views

Using linked views can help you maintain Notion's speed while still accessing your data efficiently. Linked databases let you include synced copies of the same content across different pages, reducing the load on any single page. For example, you can include a filtered view of team tasks in your meeting notes or create a dashboard of tasks assigned to you from different databases. This method ensures that only one database view is open at a time, improving performance by limiting the number of databases listening for updates simultaneously.
To set this up, type /linked on your desired page and select "Linked view of a database" to create a linked database. Configure the linked database to point to your desired source databases. You can create various database views—such as calendar, list, or board views—each pointing to different source databases and displaying specific aspects of your data without duplicating it.
Use the database's three-dot menu to filter and sort your entries until you only see the data you’re interested in. The changes you make in a linked database reflect in the original, but filters and views only apply to the linked instance. This customization helps keep your main pages lighter and faster to load while still providing quick access to your data.
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3. Use filters in linked views

Linked views allow for tailored configurations, letting you filter, sort, and layout data according to your needs. This way, you see only the relevant information, which further enhances performance.
Applying filters to linked views is a great way to improve Notion's performance. By filtering linked databases, you can focus on the most relevant information, which reduces the amount of data that needs to be processed and displayed.
Filters allow you to display only the data that meets certain criteria, keeping your views clean and efficient. This not only helps you find what you need more quickly but also speeds up page loading times. By breaking down large datasets into manageable chunks, you make Notion work less hard.
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4. Hide unnecessary properties

A large number of “visible” properties in databases is not advisable. When you have a large number of visible properties, each one requires resources to load and render, potentially slowing down your workspace. So, consider hiding unnecessary properties in your databases
To hide unnecessary properties, you can customize your database view settings. Simply deselect properties that are not crucial for your immediate tasks or that you access infrequently.
Maintaining a lean database view not only enhances Notion's speed but also declutters your workspace, making it easier to focus on what matters most.
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5. Convert databases into apps

Transforming your Notion databases into apps using third-party tools like NotionApps can significantly enhance performance. Apps always load fast even for large databases that are slow on Notion. NotionApps is a no-code tool that allows you to build beautiful apps directly from your Notion databases.
With NotionApps, you can view, add, and update Notion data seamlessly within the apps. It offers robust features such as filtering, sorting, searching, uploading documents, and more, all while ensuring security and cross-platform compatibility.
The apps are cache-optimized, ensuring they load quickly and efficiently. They can be easily shared with clients or teams via direct links or embedded directly within Notion pages.
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6. Convert databases into convertible views

Database views in Notion are customized perspectives of your data, presenting it in different formats or filtered views. Noteforms is another 3rd-party tool with a database views feature using which you can create customized database views that are embeddable on Notion pages. I found these views to be loading fast and a decent workaround. In the picture below you can see we have used multiple view like table view, board view , calendar view etc.
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7. Minimize complex filters

To optimize Notion's performance, it's advisable to minimize the use of complex filters in your databases. Filters and sorts based on formula and rollup properties can significantly slow down loading times. Formulas and rollups are extremely powerful, but the more complex they are, the slower your database may be. For example, a formula that depends on several other formulas that each depend on rollups may take longer to calculate.
Instead, opt for simpler filter criteria such as select, multi-select, status, number, and date properties. These types of filters are less resource-intensive and contribute to faster data retrieval within Notion.
Even if you have complex filters, this may help by reducing the number of pages that need to be processed.
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8. Use table view instead of gallery view

When choosing between displaying your data in a table or a gallery, opt for the table view. Tables are more efficient in terms of loading speed and overall performance.
Table view in Notion presents your data in a grid format, similar to a spreadsheet. Each row represents an entry, and each column represents a property of the entry. This format is straightforward and allows for quick sorting, filtering, and editing. Tables are efficient because they focus on text and basic data, which load quickly and put less strain on Notion's servers.
Gallery view, on the other hand, displays your data as a collection of cards, with each card representing an entry. These cards can include images, making the view more visually appealing but also more resource-intensive. Gallery views are great for visually-oriented content but can slow down page loading times, especially if they contain high-resolution images or a large number of entries.
Gallery views, with their visual-heavy layouts and image previews, require more resources to render. This can slow down page loading times, especially if you have a large amount of data or high-resolution images. The gallery view's emphasis on visuals can be appealing, but it comes at the cost of performance.
By opting for table views, you enhance the efficiency of your Notion workspace, making it faster and more responsive.
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9. Adjust Load Limits

Adjusting load limits for your databases can significantly improve Notion's performance by reducing the amount of content that needs to load at once. Setting a load limit means only a specified number of entries will be displayed at any given time, making it easier and quicker for Notion to process and render the data.
To adjust the load limit, click the menu icon (⋯) in the top right corner of your database, next to the blue “New” button. From the dropdown menu, select “Load limit” and choose the new load limit—options include 10 pages, 25 pages, 50 pages, or 100 pages.
By setting load limits, you prevent overwhelming Notion with too much data simultaneously, which can slow down loading times. This way, you enhance the speed and responsiveness of your Notion workspace, ensuring a more focused and manageable view of your data.
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10. Use the Notion Desktop App

For a faster and more stable experience, switch to the Notion desktop app. This version is optimized for speed and offers several advantages over the web browser version.
Firstly, the desktop app boasts load times that are 50% faster than the web version. This speed boost can significantly enhance your productivity, especially when working with large databases or complex projects. Secondly, the desktop app provides a more focused writing experience, free from the distractions that often come with using a web browser.
Additionally, the desktop app supports opening links directly in the app by default, making navigation more seamless. Another significant benefit is the ability to use tabs, allowing you to manage multiple pages and databases more efficiently within a single window.
An added advantage of the desktop version is its partial offline capability. This ensures uninterrupted productivity regardless of your internet connection status.
Switching to the Notion desktop app can greatly improve your workflow, providing a faster, more organized, and more reliable Notion experience.
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11. Clear Your Cache

Clearing your cache periodically can free up space and boost Notion's performance. Over time, cache files accumulate and can slow down your application. Here’s how you can clear the cache on different platforms:
On Windows: Navigate to the “Notion” folder located in C:\Users\[Your Username]\AppData\Roaming. Deleting this folder will clear the cache and local data for Notion, helping to improve performance.
On Mac: Open the Notion app, then select “Notion” from the menu bar at the top of your screen. Choose “Reset App and Clear Local Data” from the dropdown menu. This action will clear the app’s cache and local data, providing a performance boost.
On the Web: Go to your browser settings and find the options for clearing cookies, cache, and site data. The specific steps can vary depending on the browser you are using, but typically you will find these options under the "Privacy and Security" section. (Be aware that clearing your cache might log you out of some sites.
Regularly clearing your cache ensures that outdated and redundant data does not clog your system, which can significantly improve the speed and efficiency of Notion.
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12. Avoid Complex Properties

To maintain optimal performance in Notion, it's essential to avoid overly complex properties within your databases. Formulas and rollups are powerful tools, but when they become too intricate, they can slow down your database significantly.
A formula property lets you run all kinds of calculations and functions based on other properties. You can use formulas to manipulate existing data and arrive at many other helpful values However, when formulas become complex—such as those depending on multiple other formulas—they can slow down your database because each calculation requires additional processing power.  
Rollups are used to aggregate data from related entries in other databases. They can sum numbers, concatenate text, or perform other operations based on the properties of linked database entries. While rollups are incredibly useful for summarizing information, they can also slow down your database, especially when they rely on other rollups or formulas to gather their data.
Instead of having one complex formula, break it down into multiple simpler ones. Whenever possible, create relation properties directly instead of creating long chains of relations.
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13. Archive Old Content

Archiving old content helps declutter your databases, making them more efficient and responsive. As databases accumulate data over time, they can become slower to load and navigate. Archiving ensures that only relevant and current information is actively used, improving overall performance.
Before removing any content, make sure to create a backup. This precautionary step ensures that you can restore any accidentally deleted information if needed. Notion provides features like page history and the Trash folder, which allow you to retrieve archived content easily.
To delete a page, click the menu icon (⋯) located either in the sidebar or at the top right corner of the page. Select ‘Delete’ from the dropdown menu.
Deleted pages are automatically moved to your Trash folder, where they are stored temporarily. To permanently delete pages, navigate to “Trash” at the bottom of your Notion sidebar. Click the trash can icon next to the page you wish to delete permanently.
 If archiving content is not an option for you, adding a filter on the ’Created time’ property to filter out old pages may significantly improve performance for very large databases.
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14. Compress Your Images

Large image files can significantly slow down page loading times and consume more storage space. Here’s how you can efficiently manage and compress images:
Compressing images reduces their file size without sacrificing much visual quality. This helps in faster loading of pages, especially those with multiple images like page covers, custom icons, gallery view covers, and image blocks.
Utilize tools like, TinyPNG etc. to compress your images before uploading them to Notion. These tools employ smart compression techniques that reduce file sizes while preserving image quality. This ensures that your images load quickly without compromising on visual appeal.
Visit their website and upload your image files. The tool will automatically compress them. Once compressed, download the optimized images to your computer. After compressing your images, upload them to Notion. This practice not only enhances page loading speed but also optimizes storage usage within your workspace.
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15. Use Local Images for Page Cover Photos Instead of Unsplash

To optimize Notion’s performance, consider using local images for your page cover photos rather than relying on Unsplash. When a page loads with a cover photo from Unsplash, Notion needs to fetch the image from Unsplash servers each time, which can introduce delays if the image isn't cached effectively.
Local images are stored directly on your device, allowing Notion to cache them more efficiently. This reduces the need for repeated requests to external servers, resulting in faster page loading times and a smoother user experience.
If you find an image on Unsplash that you want to use as a cover photo, download it to your computer. Upload the downloaded image to Notion and set it as the page cover directly from your local storage. This eliminates the need for Notion to fetch the image from Unsplash each time the page loads.
Alternatively, if performance is critical and cover photos are not essential, you may opt to use text-only covers or simple graphics that are stored locally within Notion. This approach further reduces dependencies on external sources and enhances overall performance.
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16. Use Toggles

Toggles allow you to nest blocks within collapsible sections, enabling users to show or hide content with a simple click. This feature reduces the initial load time of a page by loading only essential content first, enhancing overall performance.
Toggles in Notion come in various forms, such as toggle blocks, headings, and lists. They function as collapsible sections that can contain multiple blocks of text, images, or other content. This organizational feature helps keep your Notion pages tidy and streamlined, especially when dealing with extensive information.
To add a toggle in Notion, place your cursor where you want to add the toggle, then type "/toggle" or click on the "+" icon and select "Toggle" from the block options. Once the toggle block is created, you can nest other blocks within it by dragging and dropping or typing within the toggle section.
Toggles allow you to organize content more effectively by collapsing sections that are not immediately necessary, reducing visual clutter.
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In conclusion, optimizing Notion for faster performance involves a combination of smart strategies and thoughtful practices. By understanding the factors that contribute to sluggishness—such as complex databases, excessive use of images, and inefficient use of formulas and rollups—you can take proactive steps to streamline your workspace. It will take some time before you find the perfect solution for yourself.
Ultimately, by adopting these strategies, you not only improve the efficiency of your Notion workspace but also create a more enjoyable and productive user experience. Whether you're managing personal projects, collaborating with teams, or organizing extensive databases, optimizing Notion ensures that your digital workspace operates at its best.