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Question: High network activity

My Mac mini (macOS Sierra 10.12.6) is causing constant network activity and slowing down my DSL connection. Looking at the Activity Monitor it seems to be the softwareupdated process. Seems to go on forever and seemed to start after a period of inactivity on the computer.

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The only numbers that DON'T change are the Sent Bytes (310) and Sent Packets (1). All the other numbers continually grow. After watching this for an hour I finally used the Force Quit in the Activity Monitor to end the process. What is causing this and how do I stop it? My iMac is running the same OS version and (so far) has not experienced this problem.

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Nov 14, 2017 11:13 AM in response to wyeknott In response to wyeknott

Try running this program in your normal account, then copy and paste the output in a reply. The program was created by etresoft, a frequent contributor. Please use copy and paste as screen shots can be hard to read. On the screen with Options, please open Options and check the bottom 2 boxes before running. Click “Share Report” button in the toolbar, select “Copy Report” and then paste into a reply. This will show what is running on your computer. No personal information is shown.

Etrecheck – System Information

Question marked as Helpful

Nov 14, 2017 11:26 AM in response to wyeknott In response to wyeknott

See some articles If kernel_task is using a large percentage of your Mac CPU - Apple Support

See how apps affect Mac performance, battery runtime, temperature, and fan activity - Apple Support

Quit any malfunctioning processes

To quit a process, first try quitting it normally. For example, quit Safari by switching to Safari and choosing Safari > Quit Safari.

If you can't quit a process normally, you can use Activity Monitor to force it to quit. Save any documents related to the process, then select the process in Activity Monitor and choose View > Quit Process.

If you don't recognize the name of a process, it might belong to macOS or another process that you do recognize. To see the relationships between processes, choose View > All Processes, Hierarchically. If you see that a process belongs to an app, such as Safari or Mail, quit the app before deciding whether to quit any of its processes.

To help avoid malfunctioning processes, keep your apps, plug-ins, and operating system up to date.

In normal working Mac , network incoming and outgoing packets must be zero and there are no collisions but they are varying in your Mac as shown in your screen shot .In recent networks there must not be any packet loss .

Do you use air port router ( hard reset it ) , and what are the settings for service provider router ( hard reset the router and check the box of firewall , and set as automatically ) and what apps have been installed in the system .

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Question marked as Helpful

Nov 14, 2017 11:13 AM in response to wyeknott In response to wyeknott

Try running this program in your normal account, then copy and paste the output in a reply. The program was created by etresoft, a frequent contributor. Please use copy and paste as screen shots can be hard to read. On the screen with Options, please open Options and check the bottom 2 boxes before running. Click “Share Report” button in the toolbar, select “Copy Report” and then paste into a reply. This will show what is running on your computer. No personal information is shown.

Etrecheck – System Information

Nov 14, 2017 11:13 AM

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Question marked as Helpful

Nov 14, 2017 11:26 AM in response to wyeknott In response to wyeknott

See some articles If kernel_task is using a large percentage of your Mac CPU - Apple Support

See how apps affect Mac performance, battery runtime, temperature, and fan activity - Apple Support

Quit any malfunctioning processes

To quit a process, first try quitting it normally. For example, quit Safari by switching to Safari and choosing Safari > Quit Safari.

If you can't quit a process normally, you can use Activity Monitor to force it to quit. Save any documents related to the process, then select the process in Activity Monitor and choose View > Quit Process.

If you don't recognize the name of a process, it might belong to macOS or another process that you do recognize. To see the relationships between processes, choose View > All Processes, Hierarchically. If you see that a process belongs to an app, such as Safari or Mail, quit the app before deciding whether to quit any of its processes.

To help avoid malfunctioning processes, keep your apps, plug-ins, and operating system up to date.

In normal working Mac , network incoming and outgoing packets must be zero and there are no collisions but they are varying in your Mac as shown in your screen shot .In recent networks there must not be any packet loss .

Do you use air port router ( hard reset it ) , and what are the settings for service provider router ( hard reset the router and check the box of firewall , and set as automatically ) and what apps have been installed in the system .

Nov 14, 2017 11:26 AM

Reply Helpful (1)

Nov 14, 2017 11:24 AM in response to Eric Root In response to Eric Root

I downloaded Etrecheck and will have to wait until my systems misbehaves again to try it out. Whether it results in a solved issue remains TBD so I'll hold off on clicking on the Correct Answer button.


Thanks for the hint on screen shots vs. copy/paste. I'll try to remember that next time.


To what "screen with Options" are you referring?

Nov 14, 2017 11:24 AM

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Nov 14, 2017 11:39 AM in response to tygb In response to tygb

Thanks for the links.


I did use the Activity Monitor to quit the misbehaving process. I don't believe there was high CPU usage at the time, just high network activity.


My router is a Time Capsule so next time I see this happening I'll try resetting that and see if that results in a Correct Answer. Thanks for the hint.

Nov 14, 2017 11:39 AM

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Question: High network activity