Accountsd: How to Fix High CPU Usage on Mac

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Following the release of macOS Catalina version 10.15.7, an increasing number of users have experienced an issue with a system process named "accountsd" showing very high CPU usage in Activity Monitor, causing their Mac to slow down.

One user in the Apple Support Communities shared a screenshot of "accountsd" with CPU usage above 400%, rendering their 2018 MacBook Pro "useless."


While this issue has popped up occasionally over the years, there has been a noticeable uptick in complaints across the Apple Support Communities, MacRumors Forums, Twitter, Reddit, Stack Exchange, and elsewhere since the release of macOS Catalina version 10.15.7, with users attempting to troubleshoot the issue.

What is accountsd?

Accountsd is a daemon, part of the Accounts framework. Apple's developer documentation says this framework helps users access and manage their external accounts from within apps, without requiring them to enter login credentials.
The Accounts framework provides access to user accounts stored in the Accounts database, which is managed by the system. An account stores the login credentials of a particular service, such as Twitter, and you use those credentials to authenticate with the service. When you integrate the Accounts framework into your app, you don't need to store account logins yourself. Instead, the user grants your app access to use their account login credentials, bypassing the need to type their username and password. If no account for a particular service exists in the user's Accounts database, you can let them create and save an account from within your app.
How to fix accountsd CPU usage?
Affected users have offered a wide range of potential solutions, but your mileage may vary.

Some users have managed to solve the issue by signing out of their Apple ID account under System Preferences > Apple ID > Overview > Sign Out, restarting their Mac, and then signing back in to the account, but this has not worked for everyone.

Some users have solved the issue by resetting their Mac's SMC and/or NVRAM.

One user on Stack Exchange believes the issue relates to a bug with file indexing on the Mac. Their solution involves resetting the indexing by navigating to System Preferences > Spotlight > Privacy and adding (+) your storage drive ("Macintosh HD" by default) to the "Prevent Spotlight from searching these locations" list. Then, remove (-) the drive from the list, and the Mac will begin reindexing. The indexing process can temporarily slow down your Mac, so these steps are recommended to be completed overnight.

As for more advanced troubleshooting, some users have had success with navigating to "~/Library/Accounts" and renaming the file "Accounts4.sqlite" to "Accounts4.sqlite.testbackup" or using more complex Terminal commands, but proceed with caution, as these solutions could impact your iCloud accounts or syncing.

Apple has yet to acknowledge this issue. Should a software update be released with a fix, we will update this article accordingly.

Article Link: Accountsd: How to Fix High CPU Usage on Mac
 
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nickjd331

macrumors newbie
Apr 21, 2015
4
7
I've had the same happen on multiple occasions, and I have yet to update to 10.15.7.

I've had it on several different versions of Catalina and was hoping the new version might solve that.
 

antbob

macrumors member
May 12, 2020
72
29
Had this too and none of the above worked. Signing out and removing dbs helped for a bit but then it came back again.

What I did to resolve this is in Activity Monitor along with accountsd there will be couple more processes with high cpu usage as well. One of them is secd or something like that and another one I cant recall now. Killing those (Force Quit) makes accountsd settle down then after reboot the problem never came back again so far.
 
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Gatto37

macrumors newbie
Mar 29, 2016
21
10
OneDrive causes high cpu usage (180%) as well. Fans are spinnig up like crazy... Very disturbing.
 

rb24

macrumors member
Jun 20, 2017
40
18
I had this problem (accountsd around 400% - problem not fixed by restarting computer) and contacted apple support. They suggested that I restart in Safe Mode. Did that. Accountsd revved up slightly in safe mode and then settled down (to negligible CPU). Then restarted as normal and problem has not recurred.

Recommend trying this procedure because it's easy and fast.

 
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aloshka

macrumors 65816
Aug 30, 2009
1,410
668
So basically what the article says is this:

  • SOME people (around 40, out of MILLIONS) have this issue
  • Nobody knows what causes it
  • Nobody knows specifically what resolves it
  • Apple doesn't acknowledge it

Sound about right?
All based on random assumptions with random numbers that you absolutely have zero knowledge over. 40? Why not 50? Why not 2? WTF man, this i literally what is wrong with news these days. Random statistics and opinions stated as if they were facts.
 

FloatingBones

macrumors 65816
Jul 19, 2006
1,297
375
Yet another reason to stick with Mojave...
Hear, hear, Note to Apple: I'm never going to Catalina, and I'm tired of you asking -- especially when the update now? window pops up at 3am. I'll probably update to MacOS 11 -- a few weeks after release. Could you please stop bugging me?
 
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gilbertmc

macrumors newbie
Aug 9, 2013
8
4
got the issue on my macbook pro 2012 and the only way i found was to reinstall actually. and actually it was more worth it since now it works even better
 

macdos

macrumors 6502
Oct 15, 2017
350
570
For me Mail.app may run at 100% from time to time on 10.15.7… it's good to have Menumeters installed to spot anomalies in an increasingly buggy OS.
 

mono1980

macrumors 6502
Feb 15, 2005
381
120
Lansing, MI
I haven't had high CPU issues with Catalina, I've had the same things, like accountsd, etc using insane amounts of memory. It drives me crazy.
 
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