Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Slow Document Preview in M-Files Desktop
Posted by Sakari Heinonen (M-Files) on 24 August 2018 02:55 PM

M-Files first checks if the file can be found from client's cache at the user's computer: If it is not found, M-Files Server will then generate a PDF preview of the document as a one-time operation for the first time. Subsequent previews will render faster than on the first run.

Speed of this conversion is dependent on the source material and it can be resource intensive. It may take time if the source document's contents don't convert to a PDF effectively. An indicative example would be a case where previewing a less than optimally formatted Microsoft Excel document results in a PDF preview file with over 15 000 pages and file size in tens of megabytes. On the other hand, you some other types of documents would turn up in preview quickly.

A very slow conversion will halt if it exceeds the duration of 30 seconds or if the source file is larger than one megabyte. These limits can be adjusted by applying specific Windows Registry settings. Details of these settings are provided by M-Files Customer Support in case they are deemed necessary.

Some potential methods for avoiding excessively long preview times would be to:

  • Disable Highlight Search Hits via the View menu in M-Files Desktop.
  • Disable PDF conversion for preview purposes by applying specific Windows Registry settings, which are available from M-Files Customer Support.
  • Set up PreviewCacher for automatically generating preview conversions in the background. This is a separate software offering in the M-Files catalog. Please, contact for a quote.

In regards to assuring performance of M-Files in general, please refer to our article "Monitoring and Optimizing M-Files Performance" which is available in our Knowledge Base at
You can find some important factors that affect performance and some administrative tasks for addressing poor performance in this article.

M-Files Customer Support Team,

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