PhotoAnalysis Daemon Consumes Large Amount of CPU. What’s the Matter?

One of the anomalies Mac owners notice after upgrading to Mac OS X Sierra is he PhotoAnalysisD consuming a large amount of central processing unit (CPU). In other words, something goes wrong when it comes to the user’s photos.

photos mac high sierra

The computer becomes rather slow without any good reason. So, what are some of the possible ways to solve the issue? Is everything left to do is to wait patiently for weeks for the process to finish?

What is That All About?

As you may guess, PhotoAnalysisD refers to the work of the Photos software. The latest version of Photos in macOS Sierra and High Sierra scans all images to recognize faces as well as more than 3,000 objects. It does not matter if the application is launched or not. It drives many users mad as most of the Mac owners have thousands of pictures saved on their favorite devices. Mostly, only new Macs suffer from this problem.

It makes sense that the more photos you store, the longer this process would take. For instance, something like 30,000 photos will be processing for almost a month! Besides, the process hogs plenty of CPU. Most attempts to quit the process fail as it re-spawns thirty minutes later. Putting the Apple computer to sleep does not help too – it activates the process once a user switches to the regular mode.

Arguably, the Best Solution Found Yet

The problem is the operating system is processing user’s images. Once it is done, a user will be able to query the library in smart ways. It is possible to force the Photoanalysis Daemon to stop by launching the Photos application. It delays the activity while the tool is open. In case you reduce the application, PhotoAnalysis Daemon will get back to life.

Pick the People tab in the left of the Photos window. It will show the number of pictures it has already processed as well as the number of remaining images (still in process).

So, how can one deal with the problem? To prevent the endless process, try taking these steps:

  1. Deactivate System Integrity Protection.
  2. Move to /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/PhotoAnalysis.framework/Versions/A/Support
  3. Discover the PhotoAnalysisD file and place it into the Trash.
  4. Choose Empty Trash.
  5. Re-activate System Integrity Protection.

One more way is to use good old Terminal.

  1. Launch the Terminal application.
  2. To disable the process, enter the given code:

sudo launchctl remove com.apple.photoanalysisd

These two commands also work:

launchctl disable gui/$UID/com.apple.photoanalysisd

launchctl kill -TERM gui/$UID/com.apple.photoanalysisd

The primary command stops the process from re-spawning while the next one kills the currently running process.

In case a user kills the process without deactivating it, the process will die. However, a new one will start from the place an older process left off.

On the whole, the commands rely on UNIX signals. A Mac owner could theoretically delay and resume the process with the help of functions “STOP” and “CONT” respectively.

To enable the process, type the following line:

sudo launchctl load com.apple.photoanalysisd

Here are a couple more commands that work as well:

launchctl kill -STOP gui/$UID/com.apple.photoanalysisd

launchctl kill -CONT gui/$UID/com.apple.photoanalysisd

Some people believe that one risks making the Apple computer unstable by deactivating various system services, so think twice. Perhaps, sometimes, it is worth waiting. The commands above will manipulate the particular service and similar services. This way, the running processes will not obtain any CPU time.

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