Crazy Initialization times when Creating 3D Unity Project on External Hard Drive

Hey everyone,

I would just like to let you know about an issue I had been having. In an effort to save space on my local disk, I had been loading all new projects onto an external HDD. It was taking 15+ mins for a blank 3D project to initialize. I decided to just start initializing projects on the local drive and the time taken was reduced to <2mins. If you were experiencing similar issues, I hope this helps.

It also reduced the time to reload script assemblies after changes were made to scripts.

I can absolutely believe that -- the Library folder in one of my modestly-sized projects contains around 50,000 files (with 105k in the entire project).

Reading and writing lots and lots of files on spinning rust (especially when it's connected via USB) can get veeeeery slow.


This can also speed things up a lot:

Extra unwanted packages in new projects (collab, testing, rider and other junk):

About the fastest way I have found to make a project and avoid all this noise is to create the project, then as soon as you see the files appear, FORCE-STOP (hard-kill) Unity (with the Activity Manager or Task Manager), then go hand-edit the Packages/manifest.json file as outlined in the above post, then reopen Unity.

Sometimes the package system gets borked from all this unnecessary churn and requires the package cache to be cleared:

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