14 Replies Latest reply: Apr 12, 2010 4:45 AM by Barm
Fizwidget Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)
Here's the short summary of my problem:

A process called "QTKitServer" has been hogging my CPU. It's happened three times in the last couple of days, and two of those times it caused Finder to stop responding. Needless to say, it's starting to get on my nerves! It causes the fan to start roaring and slows down the computer.

Here's some more detailed information:

-This is a clean installation of Snow Leopard (less than 1 week old).
-I have not installed any plugins or tweaked any settings (Perian/Flip4Mac is NOT installed).
-I do not know what triggers the problem. One time I was watching an AVI video in VLC Player, but the other two times I was doing something completely different (using Photoshop, Safari, etc).
-My hardware is a 13" 2Ghz Unibody MacBook with 2GB of RAM, purchased late last year.

I had a quick browse through the Console, but couldn't find any relevant logs. I might have missed something though - I don't know exactly where or what to look for. The last time it happened, I did use the Activity Monitor to sample the process. I don't know if it'll be any help, but I've uploaded the sample here:


I have also uploaded a couple of screenshots of the Activity Monitor while the problem is occurring:


Has anyone else seen this? Please help!

Message was edited by: Fizwidget

Unibody MacBook, Mac OS X (10.6), 2Ghz | 2GB RAM | 250GB HDD
  • Josef Kowalewski Level 4 Level 4 (1,915 points)
    You're not the only person having these issues, there's another thread in the Quicktime section about this, and I wrongly attributed it to an out of date Flip4Mac plug-in.

    I believe that the "QTKitServer" is responsible for handling 32 bit Quicktime Codec Processes, so I'm guessing that the 64 bit Finder is having a problem with with a non-native Quicktime movie file somewhere on your system.

    I have looked in Activity Monitor to see when QTKitServer-(Finder) launches on my system (I see the process, but do not experience the processor hogging)
    It appears only when I open a Finder window, and then click on a .wmv or .avi file - it doesn't happen when I select a .mov or .mp4 file.

    I do have the new Flip4Mac Beta and the latest version of Perian installed, and I don't know if this why I'm not experiencing the problem - maybe you should try installing them to see if they help.

    My other suggestion would be move every non-native Quicktime movie file off your drive to see if that helps. You can then add them back one at a time to find the offending file.

  • J D McIninch Level 5 Level 5 (4,060 points)
    QTKitServer streams data to/from Quicktime X to Quicktime 7. Generally this is because video is being accessed/manipulated using a codec not directly supported by QTX, or something is trying to perform an action that QTX doesn't support (most of the QT transcoding, filtering, and editing functions).

    I can't guess precisely what the cause my be. Certainly watching a video in VLC might if it draws on QuickTime. Safari shouldn't unless you've loaded a page with some sort of video/animation in it. Photoshop? No idea.
  • Josef Kowalewski Level 4 Level 4 (1,915 points)
    What's interesting about this problem is that if you look at his Activity Monitor screens, he doesn't have anything open other than Finder and Safari, and it's QTKitServer (Finder) that's causing the problem.

    On my system, I can invoke that process by selecting a non-native Quicktime Codec in the Finder, and as soon as I close the Finder window, it goes away.
    It also appears when I play one of these files in Quicktime player, and again disappears when I close the file.

    QTKitServer (Finder) is not triggered by opening these files in VLC, on my system.


  • Fizwidget Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)
    Thanks for the replies people, they were very helpful. I think I have now pinpointed the source of the problem - a corrupted AVI file.

    I copied this AVI onto my MacBook several days ago, but I only realised it was corrupt last night when I tried to watch it (VLC threw up error messages). I've done some testing, and whenever I select this file in Finder, the QTKitServer process appears and starts hogging the CPU. It remains like this even after I've closed the Finder window. I have not been able to reproduce the situation where Finder stops responding however (shown in the first screenshot that I posted).

    I've deleted the AVI file, so hopefully it'll be smooth sailing from here on out. Once again, thanks for the help!
  • J D McIninch Level 5 Level 5 (4,060 points)
    QTKitServer starts because QTX can't open the file itself and needs QT7's help. It's attempting to open the AVI to generate the preview / quickview of the file for Finder.
  • eliteMacGamer Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    This problem really *****... It makes my safari all stuffy and "spinning wheel of death" and with my bran new laptop cant have more then 4 applications open. So via terminal I quit finder. Here are my results

    Before Finder Quit:


    After Finder Quit:

  • appuru_guru Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hey.. i just wanted to thank everyone on this thread for the help. I just noticed my CPU was running over 100% and my battery like was almost nothing after a full charge. My computer was also getting extremely hot and the fan was out of control, which usually never happens to me. I noticed it when i was watching a few videos, but i figured that's why the computer was running hot. A few hrs later i just picked it up and noticed it was still working hard when i wasn't running any major apps. after reading this thread, it turns out it was a corrupt .avi file that i attempted to open with VLC. i trashed the file and relaunched finder and everything is back to normal. Thanks again and i hope this helps solve other people's issue.
  • pier25 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm having the same issue from time to time...

    It's strange... because I never use QuickTime. VLC is much better IMO, although it's ugly.
  • Daelyn Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Same thing here. been going on during the evening. Got a bit puzzled at first, but, then realized it must be because I'm for the first time I'm actually downloading something this machine. Guess what?

    5x torrent containing DivX/XviD files.

    *Solution for me:*
    *Mark the incomplete downloads (5 x XviD) in Finder, right click "Show View Options" and untick "Show icon preview".*

    Voila, no QTKitServer hogging CPU power to try make a preview of a poor, little incomplete AVI file.

    I didn't notice it when downloading single AVI file earlier tonight, but, became easy to spot once I got a couple going.

    Not bad for a Mac newbie, eh?

    Issue disappeared for a good 15 minutes, but came back when opening the Downloads folder in Grid View (the incomplete files as previously stated).
    Issue disappeared by itself a minute later. False alarm? Don't know what happens really, but seems to be working in the long run for this particular issue. Keep track of your files guys n' gals

  • svante.lindback Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thankx a million , that was great work!
  • CndrllC Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Is there a quick way to find out which file it is...

    I have a few movies archived on my HD - digital while traveling FTW - but I cant seem to find the one making QTKitServer go crazy.

    It's really absurd how much CPU it's eating up and that there is no way to end task, or find a way to kill the process.

    Any help is appreciated.

  • T.C. Manasan Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Also encountered this problem. I noticed that the file icons on my downloads folder were slow to load— the "broken lines" box outline took the place of the missing icons. and QTKitServer was hogging my CPU, going up to 99%.

    Fortunately I found this thread and located the culprit: a corrupt video file I downloaded from the internet. Sent it to the trash, deleted the darn thing, and now my MacBook is back to normal.
  • triise Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I had the same problem on my mbp. The problem was only present when I had .mkv files in my downloads folder. The process is trying to make a thumbnail picture for the grid view of downloads in the dock, remove the file or place it in a separate folder and the problem should be gone.

    To my understanding this happens when you have a videofile which QT can't play in your downloads / documents folder in the dock.
  • Barm Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have the exact problem and it's caused by QTKitServer and quicklood processes trying to create thumbnail/preview images based on partial or corrupt avi files. I get this when downloading an avi... the processes hog 100+% of CPU until the files are completely downloaded.

    To fix: start Terminal and enter the following commands:
    killall STOP quicklookd
    killall STOP QTKitServer

    This will permanently (until reboot) kill all preview/thumbnail processing - which fixes the CPU issue but will mean you have no preview/thumbnails for any files seen in Finder (a small price to pay for me!)