Playback on Timeline Appears Choppy, Out-of-Sync, or Delayed In Camtasia on Windows

Problem

While editing in Camtasia, the timeline and/or canvas preview appears choppy, delayed, or out of sync.

Camtasia may also stop responding or crash.

Solution

Option 1: Create a Proxy Video (Camtasia 2021 and Later)

Create a proxy of your high definition videos to improve editing performance such as lags or skips during playback.

Right-click media in the Media Bin and select Proxy Video > Create Proxy Video. An icon appears in the video thumbnail when the process is complete.

c2021-Proxyvideothumbnail.png

The video will play in lower quality while editing however the final video will produce at the original quality.

Option 2: Set Camtasia to use High Performance Graphics

Change the graphic settings on your computer to High performance:

  1. Click on your Windows 10 Start Menu and go to Settings
  2. Go to System
  3. Scroll down to the bottom and click on Graphics Settings
  4. Make sure Desktop App is selected under the Choose an app to set preference
  5. Click on Browse and browse to: C:\Program Files\TechSmith\Camtasia 2020
  6. Click on CamtasiaStudio.exe and click on Add
  7. Click on Options and then select the High-performance option
  8. Repeat steps 5-7 above except add CamRecorder.exe instead

Video of the above steps:

Option 3: Change Camtasia to Software-Only Mode

  1. Select Edit > Preferences > Advanced.
  2. In the Hardware Acceleration dropdown, choose Use software-only mode.
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  3. Click Ok.
  4. Restart Camtasia.

Option 4: Match Editing Dimensions and Media Dimensions

Having the editing dimensions the same as the source media dimensions will improve performance as Camtasia will not have to work as hard to scale the media. This is true for video and for images. See our tutorial on Getting Crisp, Clear Screen Video for more information.

To view the source media dimensions, right-click the file in the Media Bin and select Properties (Camtasia 9 and later) or Details (Camtasia 8).

To view the project editing dimensions, in Camtasia and later, select File > Project Settings > Canvas Dimensions. In Camtasia 8, see the example below.
CS_dimensions.png

Option 5: Source Media Location

Importing content from external hard drives, network drives or cloud-based drives can cause performance issues. If you have done so, you can export your project out as a ZIP file and re-import it from your internal hard drive:

  1. Select File > Export as zip...
  2. Choose a folder location on your local hard drive to save the ZIP to.
  3. Select the option to Include all files from the Media Bin in zip.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Find the ZIP file you just created, unzip it and open the project file.

If you happen to be importing from and saving to your Desktop or Documents folder, please make sure it is not synced with OneDrive:

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Option 6: Lower the Bitrate

Video files with extremely high bitrates can cause performance issues. For most users, anything over 20 Mbps (20,000 Kbps) is usually not needed. To reduce the bitrate, convert the video to MP4 using Handbrake:

Download Handbrake and watch the tutorial below to learn how to convert the file to MP4 using Handbrake.

Option 7: Check System Specs

To get the most out of playback performance, we recommend using a machine that meets our Recommended specs or higher from our system requirements. Please see this support article for guidelines for working with specific content. In rare cases, we have seen Camtasia not use the discrete graphics card even when in high-performance mode. Here is how to force that on the computer:

  1. Click on the Windows Start menu and type Device Manager
  2. Open the Device Manager
  3. Expand Display adapters and disable the integrated graphics card *If you only see one listed here, do NOT disable it. If you are on a desktop, please make sure your monitor is plugged into the discrete graphics card on the back of your computer before disabling the integrated graphics.

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  4. Once disabled, restart the computer
  5. Open Camtasia and see if you have the same performance issues

Option 8: Update Camtasia

To update Camtasia, select Help > Check for updates. Updates can also be downloaded from the Techsmith Downloads page.