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Question: mds_stores cpu

Hello.


My mds_stores process (presumably spotlight indexing service) has been consuming close to 100% CPU (as per Activity Monitor) for months now (yes, months). I have tried everything I can think of (and then some), and a lot of things suggested in this and other forums, including:

  • Stopping the process, removing the index and re-starting it (mdutil)
  • Restarting my computer (duh)
  • Checking my disk and volume for issues (there are none)
  • Resetting the whatever ROM (command-control-PR during boot)
  • Adding various directories to the 'do not index' list (either via mdutil or gui)
  • Disabling certain functions of my antivirus
  • Stopping time machine (I have a hunch the two are related)
  • Hoping it would just go away

Alas, nothing works.


Help. Please. PLEASE...


BTW by just typing mds_stores in google and watching the results, one may jump to the conclusion that mds_stores CPU consumption issues have plagued many MacOS users, and that maybe Apple should give this annoying little process some proper engineering (and QA) attention, befitting a premium brand and product. But that would be jumping to conclusions.

MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, 4 TBT3), iOS 12.1

Posted on Dec 3, 2018 5:54 AM

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Question marked as Solved
Answer:
Answer:

Made a shocking discovery and discovered the actual culprit:


It turned out to be the Pinterest Pin It Addon on my Firefox browser.


I started getting suspicious when mds_stores was finally quiet and then when I started up Firefox, mds_stores immediately went to 100% CPU. Incredible. I previously thought it was Dropbox or Google Backup but with mds_stores suddenly going bonkers once I started Firefox I started wondering if maybe it was Firefox after all.


So I stopped using dropbox, Google Backup and Firefox for a couple of days and mds_stores was quiet as a mouse. I finally had a computer again.


Then I started up Firefox again and mds_stores IMMEDIATELY went to 100% usage again. I tested further by disabling the addons once mds_stores calmed down again, and nothing triggered it until I enabled the Pinterest extension, and then RIGHT ON CUE back to 100%.


Unbelievable, all this because of a Pin It button that is OFFICIALLY provided by Pinterest. To say I'm angry is an understatement. How do you build such a crap addon that can create these kinds of problems and why on God's earth would a Pin It button even need Spotlight to begin with.


Even though it's not Firefox related, I'm removing it altogether as I also fault them for not having safeguards in the code that could prevent addons for running amuck like this. Just awful. I think there's a good reason why Apple is suddenly keeping extensions tightly controlled and part of the App Store now.


Hope this helps someone, aside from remote drives commonly being the culprit in excessive Spotlight loads, the browser you use with particular addons could also be to blame.

Posted on Dec 16, 2018 8:27 AM

Dec 3, 2018 11:51 AM in response to majortom1967 In response to majortom1967

How do you reach this conclusion?
mds_stores is the spotlight indexing service. If I stop it, obviously it stops indexing - how does that imply that there's a corrupt file? It could be a bunch of other things as well.

And if there is (which might be the case), how could I identify this file?

Dec 3, 2018 11:51 AM

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Dec 3, 2018 12:15 PM in response to yaron-r In response to yaron-r

It’s a supposition, of course. A Spotlights doesn’t stop working I believe it’s in a loop with something. Of course might be one or more files or even sonething else. But I can’t help further. I could if you had the possibility to check the disk with Disk Warrior.

The only solution I can see is reinstall everything from scratch hoping it isn’a document created by an App.

(what about running Etrecheck?)

Dec 3, 2018 12:15 PM

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Dec 4, 2018 3:09 AM in response to yaron-r In response to yaron-r

Going over Console error logs, I see this, which I suspect could be related:


Sandbox: mdworker(1987) System Policy: deny(1) file-read-data /Users/yaron/Library/Mail

Violation: System Policy: deny(1) file-read-data /Users/yaron/Library/Mail

Process: mdworker [1987]

Path: /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Frameworks/Metadata.framework /Versions/A/Support/mdworker

Load Address: 0x107889000

Identifier: mdworker

Version: ??? (???)

Code Type: x86_64 (Native)

Parent Process: launchd [1]

Responsible: /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Frameworks/Metadata.framework /Versions/A/Support/mdworker [1987]


----------

And also, constantly:

si_remotepsid_gettmpath:724: Got reply <xpc object>

Dec 4, 2018 3:09 AM

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Dec 11, 2018 5:44 PM in response to yaron-r In response to yaron-r

I'm having the same problem, mds_stores 100% constant. In my case it started with my old 2014 MacBook Pro some time after installing Mojave. I recently bought a new MacBook Pro 2018 and decided to do a fresh install on it rather than a backup restore because I was having so many issues with the old MacBook, and thought with a new MacBook and fresh install surely my troubles would be over.


And yet the ^@&*ing issue followed me to a brand new computer. How the ****...


I started noticing the issue when my flagged emails would no longer show up. Rebooting fixes it for five seconds, then it disappears again. Since this is indexed by Spotlight it's definitely Spotlight related, but I only recently came to realize mds_stores was going nuts in the background today, because the first time I used my shiny, shiny new MacBook touted as having 10 hours of battery life, my battery died in only 3 hours.


All because of mds_stores.


By any chance are you using any mail account from Microsoft Exchange? I thought it might have been this but I'm fairly certain I can rule it out for now.


Can you post an Etrecheck as well? The only thing I can think of is that there's a rogue app that's triggering Spotlight to index forever. If we have a common app between us it might be the culprit. I can't conceive of this being a corrupted file when the computer is brand new and the only thing ported over was from iCloud (such as documents and photos).


That this would happen across two different computers at least tells me the problem is software related.

Dec 11, 2018 5:44 PM

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Dec 11, 2018 6:16 PM in response to Lincoln Adams In response to Lincoln Adams

Took some steps that has simmered down mds_stores for now:


Deleted my Exchange account and then re-added it via Internet Accounts in Settings, and only enabled Mail. Had to download thousands of emails, but whatever.


Also closed DropBox and Google Backup and Sync. I think that's the only thing I did notably differently, and so far mds_stores is finally at 0.0 CPU usage. I think I'll need to keep these two apps closed for a while and see how it goes. Simply closing them before didn't appear to do anything, so maybe there's a significant time delay before seeing results which might be why this is so vexing to troubleshoot. From everything I read though, one of the biggest culprits of mds_stores going wild is when remote drive services are used.


I would try closing these apps if you have them, then set it so they don't start up again when you reboot the machine, then reboot the machine and see how it goes when they're not running at all. It's possible that Spotlight still has to to continue a while indexing one more time while these applications are closed, and then finally, FINALLY, when that index concludes the loop will at long last break, since the offending apps aren't running to trigger it again.

Dec 11, 2018 6:16 PM

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Question marked as Solved

Dec 16, 2018 8:27 AM in response to JasonMiL In response to JasonMiL

Made a shocking discovery and discovered the actual culprit:


It turned out to be the Pinterest Pin It Addon on my Firefox browser.


I started getting suspicious when mds_stores was finally quiet and then when I started up Firefox, mds_stores immediately went to 100% CPU. Incredible. I previously thought it was Dropbox or Google Backup but with mds_stores suddenly going bonkers once I started Firefox I started wondering if maybe it was Firefox after all.


So I stopped using dropbox, Google Backup and Firefox for a couple of days and mds_stores was quiet as a mouse. I finally had a computer again.


Then I started up Firefox again and mds_stores IMMEDIATELY went to 100% usage again. I tested further by disabling the addons once mds_stores calmed down again, and nothing triggered it until I enabled the Pinterest extension, and then RIGHT ON CUE back to 100%.


Unbelievable, all this because of a Pin It button that is OFFICIALLY provided by Pinterest. To say I'm angry is an understatement. How do you build such a crap addon that can create these kinds of problems and why on God's earth would a Pin It button even need Spotlight to begin with.


Even though it's not Firefox related, I'm removing it altogether as I also fault them for not having safeguards in the code that could prevent addons for running amuck like this. Just awful. I think there's a good reason why Apple is suddenly keeping extensions tightly controlled and part of the App Store now.


Hope this helps someone, aside from remote drives commonly being the culprit in excessive Spotlight loads, the browser you use with particular addons could also be to blame.

Dec 16, 2018 8:27 AM

Reply Helpful (1)

Dec 19, 2018 12:50 AM in response to Lincoln Adams In response to Lincoln Adams

Amazing discovery - does it still hold?

I'm happy I came back to this thread, just before attempting to fix this problem by re-installing the OS (which apparently is a lot of fun, but doesn't help this issue).


I've stopped using FireFox and re-booted (yes, I have the Pinterest button too). I'll give it a few days and report back.

BTW I have an exchange account as well (and also MS Outlook). But I have the mds_stores issue also when I have no network connection, so my guess is that it's not related (even though not having a network doesn't rule it out completely).


Even if this is indeed caused by the Pinterest button (I hope), this is a serious design flaw / vulnerability of the OS. Having a situation where a process in User space could cause a system process consume 100% CPU doesn't make sense.

Dec 19, 2018 12:50 AM

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User profile for user: yaron-r

Question: mds_stores cpu

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