Reducing Application Size After Compiling with PyInstaller

What Will You Learn?

In this tutorial, you will learn effective strategies to reduce the size of a Python application after compiling it with PyInstaller. By optimizing imports, excluding unnecessary files, and compressing data within the executable, you can significantly decrease the overall size of your compiled applications while maintaining functionality.

Introduction to the Problem and Solution

When using PyInstaller to create standalone executables from Python scripts, the resulting application size can often be larger than expected due to including unnecessary dependencies. This bloating can hinder distribution and deployment efficiency. To address this issue, we can employ various techniques such as optimizing imports, excluding unnecessary files, and compressing data within the executable.

By implementing these strategies, we can effectively reduce the size of our compiled applications without compromising their functionality. This optimization is crucial for streamlined operation and minimizing storage requirements during distribution.


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In order to reduce the size of a Python application compiled with PyInstaller, we can employ several strategies:

  1. Optimizing Imports: Ensure only necessary modules are imported in your script.
  2. Excluding Unnecessary Files: Use PyInstaller’s –exclude-module flag to exclude non-essential modules.
  3. Compressing Data: Utilize tools like UPX along with PyInstaller for data compression.

By carefully considering imports, excluding files, and compressing data where applicable, you can efficiently reduce application size.

  1. How do I optimize imports in my Python script?

  2. You can analyze your script and remove unused imports using tools like pyflakes or flake8.

  3. Can I manually exclude specific modules when compiling with PyInstaller?

  4. Yes, use –exclude-module <module_name> flag when running PyInstaller.

  5. What is UPX and how does it help in reducing application size?

  6. UPX is an open-source executable packer that compresses executables without affecting functionality.

  7. Are there any downsides to aggressively reducing application size?

  8. Longer startup times may occur due to additional decompression steps required before execution.

  9. Is there a limit on how much I can reduce my application’s size?

  10. While there are diminishing returns beyond a certain point, significant reductions are achievable through optimization techniques.


Efficiently reducing the size of Python applications compiled with PyInstaller is essential for distribution and deployment. By optimizing imports, excluding unnecessary files, and compressing data within executables properly, you ensure streamlined operation while minimizing storage requirements. For further insights into maximizing efficiency through code optimization, visit

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