Legacy Documentation: Version 2018.1 (Go to current version)
How IL2CPP works
Managed bytecode stripping with IL2CPP
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Optimizing IL2CPP build times

Project build times can be much longer when building a project with IL2CPP. However, there are several ways to reduce the build time significantly:

Use incremental building

When using incremental building, the C++ compiler only recompiles files that have changed since the last build. To use incremental building, build your project to a previous build location (without deleting the target directory).

Exclude project and target build folders from anti-malware software scans

You can improve build times by disabling anti-malware software before building your project. (Testing by Unity Technologies found that build times decreased by 50 – 66% after disabling Windows Defender on a fresh Windows 10 installation.)

Store your project and target build folder on a Solid State Drive (SSD)

Solid State Drives (SSDs) have faster read/write speed, when compared to traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDD). Converting IL code to C++ and compiling it involves a large number of read/write operations. A faster storage device speeds up this process.

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How IL2CPP works
Managed bytecode stripping with IL2CPP