Thursday, May 29, 2008

mdworker process 100% CPU usage on Apple OS X

I've noticed more than once a very high cpu usage on OSX and it turns out that the culprit was the mdworker process from Spotlight (text indexing service).

There seems to be several causes to this. In my case the reason was that it was trying to index the contents of a zipped file currently being downloaded by Transmission (bittorrent client). The same could probably happen for any other zip file or directory full of files being downloaded by another tool.

The solution was to add my download directory to Spotlight's ignore list: System Preferences -> Spotlight -> Privacy tab -> Drag your typical download location to the list.

Restarting Finder and Spotlight after that is a good idea.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Excellent!
I had the exact same problem, and this was the perfect solution.

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

me too!
Same problem, same solution!

Thanks Buddy!

Cheers.

Darrell Wade said...

Thank you, this is something that just came up for me with downloading a rather large collection of files in a bundle to my downloads directory. I have had a few other slowdowns too... but not quite sure where they orignated as I had made a slightly similar download not long ago... I might put the resulting download into a folder I can tell spotlight to ignore as well...
Oh, the pitfalls of being an obsessive writer who is researching topics...

Anonymous said...

brilliant, thanks

annares said...

Awesome - I had the same problem and this makes perfect sense. I'm off to do as you suggest.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this!

Anonymous said...

thank you! this seems to be doing the trick! :)

Anonymous said...

Im off to try this as well.
this could change my hole plan to assassinate Steve Jobs. On his behalf: Tx!

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU! Worked! Was so worried!

Anonymous said...

This is the fix!!!

No need to read further.

Sweet! Good Job

Thanks

Anonymous said...

This also fixed my Time Machine hanging...

Anonymous said...

I know it late, but thank you a lot

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much work like a charm