Slack’s Rebuilt Desktop App Uses Half the Memory Than Before

Slack is rolling out a brand-new desktop app for its service today. The company is announcing the new rebuilt app, which looks exactly the same as before, but has lots of changes under the hood to make it faster than ever before.

Slack has gotten a lot of — wait for it — flak (sorry) for the performance and resource usage of its app, so it’s finally addressing those with the latest update. The new app, according to the company, loads 33% faster than before, and it’s so fast that Slack’s gotten rid of the loading messages.

Windows Intelligence In Your Inbox

Sign up for our new free newsletter to get three time-saving tips each Friday — and get free copies of Paul Thurrott's Windows 11 and Windows 10 Field Guides (normally $9.99) as a special welcome gift!

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Joining incoming calls on the app is also now 10x faster than before, but do keep in mind that these performance gains will differ depending on your actual network.

But more importantly, the new app uses 50% less memory than before. That’s obviously a massive gain in performance, considering the fact that Slack has been criticised in the past for using lots of memory, especially when a user has a lot of workspaces. An engineering deep-dive into the new app explains how Slack has managed to use less memory and introduce the performance gains, but the notable points include a focus on multi-workspace aware code, and a move to React.

Slack’s new app also introduces limited offline support, which lets you set your status, star items, and react to messages when you don’t have an internet connection.

The new app will be rolled out over the next two weeks, you can get it here. 

Tagged with

Share post

Please check our Community Guidelines before commenting

Conversation 22 comments

  • dontbe evil

    22 July, 2019 - 12:26 pm

    <p>still not fast and light enough, and I have an i7+16gb+nvme ssd</p><p><br></p><p>but guys you love electron and win32 apps, right?</p>

    • wright_is

      Premium Member
      23 July, 2019 - 4:15 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#444246">In reply to dontbe_evil:</a></em></blockquote><p>Electron… That's your problem, right there…</p>

      • dontbe evil

        23 July, 2019 - 5:33 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#444398">In reply to wright_is:</a></em></blockquote><p>now it's mine too … thanks to paul and all the UWP haters </p>

    • illuminated

      23 July, 2019 - 4:38 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#444246">In reply to dontbe_evil:</a></em></blockquote><p><span style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Electron is the resource-wasting hog. </span>win32 is OK. UWP is not bad but with windows mobile dead the whole point of UWP is gone. The most annoying part of UWPs is their inability to access the file system. Were win32 apps can open any file UWP apps are limited to their sandbox. Sometimes restricted access is good but most of the time it is just too damn limiting. As a former windows mobile, phone, mobile again and then "other" mobile OS user I just get annoyed by UWP. It is the dead end that is still being worked on for no apparent reason. </p>

      • dontbe evil

        24 July, 2019 - 3:29 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#444517">In reply to illuminated:</a></em></blockquote><p>that limit there is no more, if your app get approve for that special permission… but most of the apps doesn't need that permission and it's much safer</p>

  • safesax2002

    22 July, 2019 - 12:31 pm

    <p>I'm not a hardcore Slack user but I'm using the version from the Microsoft Store and it runs pretty well.</p>

    • luthair

      22 July, 2019 - 11:27 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#444248">In reply to safesax2002:</a></em></blockquote><p><br></p><p>Same, I found the native application from a year or so back consumed a fair amount of CPU just idling which the store version of the time didn't. About the only store application I've used actually.</p>

    • dontbe evil

      23 July, 2019 - 2:33 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#444248">In reply to safesax2002:</a></em></blockquote><p>it runs… pretty well is a big word… try to compare it with a native UWP… here there is an example of to similar app electron/win32 VS UWP</p><p><br></p><p><img src=""><img src=""></p&gt;

  • beatnixxx

    22 July, 2019 - 1:32 pm

    <p>Think you meant:</p><p><br></p><p>"keep in mind that these performance gains will <em>*differ*</em> depending on your actual network."</p>

  • jgraebner

    Premium Member
    22 July, 2019 - 2:32 pm

    <p>As a quick FYI, the "you can get it here" link in the article is to the regional page for Great Britain. If you remove "/intl/en-gb" from the URL, I think that goes to the generic page with region detection.</p>

  • fersomecat57

    22 July, 2019 - 2:39 pm

    <p>It is "differ" not "defer" in the sentence ending "performance gains will defer (differ) depending on your actual network." You really need to check you spellchecker.</p>

    • ikjadoon

      22 July, 2019 - 2:45 pm

      <p>An automated spellchecker would not catch differ vs defer because they're both spelled correctly, FWIW. This would've wanted just ordinary <em>proofreading</em>.</p><p><br></p><p>Looking at the state of grammar on <em>most</em> of the internet, having Microsoft Office's grammar checker might be a dope feature.</p>

    • wright_is

      Premium Member
      23 July, 2019 - 4:19 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#444261">In reply to fersomecat57:</a></em></blockquote><p>He's a writer, not a wizard, so he doesn't need a spellchecker, he needs to use a spelling checker. 😉 /pedant</p><p>And defer is spelt correctly, that was a grammatical mistake.</p>

      • Greg Green

        25 July, 2019 - 7:10 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#444399">In reply to wright_is:</a></em></blockquote><p>I never thought of spell checker that way, thanks for the smile it gave me. I’ll pass this on to my kids who were Harry Potter fans.</p>

  • ikjadoon

    22 July, 2019 - 2:40 pm

    <p>If this is already present in Slack 4.0.0, it's actually a <em>major</em> improvement. I'm honestly surprised how fast it runs now.</p><p><br></p><p>Props to Slack. This was a much-overdue update. Chats load faster, the UI loads faster, channels switch faster, etc. I've tested on an 15W i5-6200 U / 8 GB / Samsung 850 EVO SATA SSD, plus a 95W i5-8600K / 16 GB RAM / Samsung 960 EVO NVMe SSD: it's noticeable on both! Though, on the higher-end system, it might feel more like a network upgrade (wired 120 Mbps / 10 Mbps).</p><p><br></p><p>React versus jQuery was a major win. Offline caching significantly reduces redundant network/API requests. And, thank God, you can pick up a call now without it ringing on your phone for 3 more seconds.</p>

    • wright_is

      Premium Member
      23 July, 2019 - 4:24 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#444262">In reply to ikjadoon:</a></em></blockquote><p>, one of the biggest publishers of high quality IT content in the German language domain, has a big article (in German) about how they went through their whole web presence and remove jQuery – they say that it is dated and no longer relevant to modern browsers and just slows things down and clogs things up.</p><p>I think they said they saved something like 80KB – 140KB per page impression, depending on what jQuery features were used.</p>

  • illuminated

    22 July, 2019 - 8:57 pm

    <p>Not only 10 times slower and only 5 times more memory-hungry than the crappiest native desktop app.</p>

    • dontbe evil

      23 July, 2019 - 2:32 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#444339">In reply to illuminated:</a></em></blockquote><p>people talked, many of them here, starting from paul, preferred win32/electron apps to UWP … now we'll "enjoy" it</p><p><br></p><p><img src=""></p&gt;

  • MikeGalos

    23 July, 2019 - 1:09 am

    <p>Half the memory and 10X performance? Man, that old program must have been garbage.</p>

    • dontbe evil

      23 July, 2019 - 2:30 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#444360">In reply to MikeGalos:</a></em></blockquote><p><br></p><p>still electron, still half garbage…people here can enjoy electron/win32 apps, I still prefer UWP as long will be possible</p><p><br></p><p><img src=""></p&gt;

      • wright_is

        Premium Member
        23 July, 2019 - 4:25 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#444385">In reply to dontbe_evil:</a></em></blockquote><p>Electron has nothing to do with Win32, a tightly written Win32 application can be smaller and more efficient that UWP, just look at InSpectre from, the whole application fits in under 130KB, and around 90KB of that is the bloody icon! ;-)</p><p>But that is hand-crafted assembler.</p>

  • AW

    23 July, 2019 - 6:53 pm

    <p>Don't see much if any difference on Slack 4.0 running on my X1 Yoga / Win10 laptop. Slack still takes around 30 seconds to open up. The network here is 2x 400M circuits for WAN.</p>

Windows Intelligence In Your Inbox

Sign up for our new free newsletter to get three time-saving tips each Friday

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Thurrott © 2024 Thurrott LLC