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Why does MATLAB take a long time to start?

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John on 4 Jan 2011
Edited: Serge on 3 Oct 2023
I notice that MATLAB takes a long time to start. Other times it fires up right away. Any ideas on how to fix this?
  1 Comment
Giancarlo Storti Gajani
Giancarlo Storti Gajani on 4 Feb 2021
Using Matlab 2020b on linux.
If I start matlab in the usual way it takes 10 minutes or more, but I've noticed a "strange" behaviour: if I start matlab as
matlab -nodesktop
it starts in about 5 seconds, if I then enter
>> desktop
at the matlab console prompt, the desktop is up and running in less than 10 seconds. If I then try starting Simulink it takes at least 5 more minutes.

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Accepted Answer

Ian Jessen
Ian Jessen on 6 Jan 2011
A slow startup is often caused by issues with the license search path. You probably need to adjust one of the license environment variables (LM_LICENSE_FILE or MLM_LICENSE_FILE) used by MATLAB, or else bypass them all together.
There are also some instances in which your MATLAB preferences or Anti-Virus program may negatively impact startup times.
For detailed info on applying these workarounds, visit the following Technical Support solution:

More Answers (2)

Dan Cogan
Dan Cogan on 2 May 2018
Edited: Walter Roberson on 2 May 2018
Double check with -c that the issue has to do with licencing (e.g. <path-to-matlab>/matlab.exe -c <path-to-license-file>). If it opens quickly then Matlab is having some difficulty with LM_LICENSE_FILE.
Some have recommended removing LM_LICENSE_FILE (and using MLM_LICENSE_FILE) but I couldn't because of other software. However, one of those software tools had their own unique license variable as well, so I moved the pertinent license info to that one. Now Matlab loads quickly.
I suspect that because the other tool licences in LM_LICENSE_FILE were accessed over a network, and there were several network servers, this throws Matlab off somehow. Seems like a good solution is to minimize what goes into the shared LM_LICENSE_FILE variable.
  1 Comment
Joshua Lawton
Joshua Lawton on 20 Jan 2021
I made a batch file using your suggestion and am very happy with the new start-up time of ~15 seconds compared to ~10 minutes without. -- Thanks Dan!!!

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Serge on 6 Sep 2023
Edited: Serge on 3 Oct 2023
For me on Windows10 the "Antimalware Service Executable" process slows down MatLab boot time.
I was able to reduce MatLab R2023a start time from 70 sec down to 20 sec by doing the following:
In windows press Start > Windows Security > Virus & threat protection > Manage settings under Virus & threat protection > Add remove exclusions > Add an exclusion > Fodler > "C:\Program Files\MATLAB\"
Note: I had to restart MatLab twice for it to take affect, and the first time it may actually be slower!


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