Help! iconservicesagent is using 60GB of RAM and 100% of CPU

Picho13

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 26, 2017
1
1
Hi all,

I have been dealing with a pretty nasty problem ever since I upgraded to High Sierra and it has to do with iconservicesagent and external hard drives that have files with custom icons.

It first happened when I plugged in an external hard drive after upgrading from Sierra to High Sierra. iconservicesagent basically went crazy and used an astonishing 32GB (yes, GB) of physical RAM on my computer, before running out and continuing to use the SSD space via swap memory to keep using RAM until it ran out of space on the SSD. I first though it was a problem with permissions, ACL's and such, so I tried repairing those, no dice.

Went and did a clean install of High Sierra and the exact same problem happened as soon as I plugged in the external hard drive.

I have custom icons for my files on that hard drive (by copying and pasting a photo to the icon on the "get info" panel) and that is what is driving the CPU and RAM usage thru the roof.

I have a maxed out late-2015 iMac 5K with a Core i7 6700K and 32GB of RAM and the whole thing comes down to a crawl when iconservicesagent goes berserk. Finder completely stops responding until I reset the computer or disconnect the external hard drive.

I tried formatting the drive to APFS and same thing happened. Only when I removed the custom icons from the files, did iconservicesagent not go crazy, but this is not an option for me and is a problem that wasn't present in Sierra.

I have also tried clearing caches, rebuilding databases, swapping hard drives and nothing fixes this problem.

Any ideas or someone with a similar problem?
 

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Fory360

macrumors newbie
Oct 28, 2017
5
1
Hi, I have the same problem and apple says to reinstall, I already did it 3 times and it still does not recognize the bug.
I have a htpc with 8tb of videos with their custom icons and for me it is a real annoyance since I can not open any file, iconservicesagent goes crazy and I can not do anything just disconnect the hard disks and only work with the disk of installation of high How do you remove custom icons? I can not even open the finder with the hard disks connected as it goes crazy the finder and it does not respond
 
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PicnicTutorials

macrumors 6502a
Dec 29, 2013
546
12
Hi all,

I have been dealing with a pretty nasty problem ever since I upgraded to High Sierra and it has to do with iconservicesagent and external hard drives that have files with custom icons.

It first happened when I plugged in an external hard drive after upgrading from Sierra to High Sierra. iconservicesagent basically went crazy and used an astonishing 32GB (yes, GB) of physical RAM on my computer, before running out and continuing to use the SSD space via swap memory to keep using RAM until it ran out of space on the SSD. I first though it was a problem with permissions, ACL's and such, so I tried repairing those, no dice.

Went and did a clean install of High Sierra and the exact same problem happened as soon as I plugged in the external hard drive.

I have custom icons for my files on that hard drive (by copying and pasting a photo to the icon on the "get info" panel) and that is what is driving the CPU and RAM usage thru the roof.

I have a maxed out late-2015 iMac 5K with a Core i7 6700K and 32GB of RAM and the whole thing comes down to a crawl when iconservicesagent goes berserk. Finder completely stops responding until I reset the computer or disconnect the external hard drive.

I tried formatting the drive to APFS and same thing happened. Only when I removed the custom icons from the files, did iconservicesagent not go crazy, but this is not an option for me and is a problem that wasn't present in Sierra.

I have also tried clearing caches, rebuilding databases, swapping hard drives and nothing fixes this problem.

Any ideas or someone with a similar problem?
This affects me too. I can tell when I see my ram drop 1GB a second. Seems to need two things in tandom to turn iconservicesagent into a cpu/memory whore. Finder and navigating an external drive. Until apple gets off their butt you can use forklift (finder replacement). Seems to prevent the issue.
 

GuilleA

macrumors regular
Jun 8, 2015
144
133
Buenos Aires
When you say custom icons, are you referring to when Finder displays covert art for a MP3/AAC file or a poster for a TV Show/Movie file? Or for files and folder you have set customs icons?

I have one of my Minis with High Sierra with an external USB hard drive in which I store my iTunes media library. I Have hundreds of m4v files with customized icons and I don't have this problem.

Screen Shot 2017-10-28 at 17.24.39.png
 

Fory360

macrumors newbie
Oct 28, 2017
5
1
When you say custom icons, are you referring to when Finder displays covert art for a MP3/AAC file or a poster for a TV Show/Movie file? Or for files and folder you have set customs icons?

I have one of my Minis with High Sierra with an external USB hard drive in which I store my iTunes media library. I Have hundreds of m4v files with customized icons and I don't have this problem.

View attachment 728560
files or a poster for a TV Show/Movie file
 

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Fory360

macrumors newbie
Oct 28, 2017
5
1
That's f**ked up. Are the images embedded in the files? Which software are you using for custom icons? I do all my m4v files with Subler, which add the posters and TV show art to the files.
I just downloaded the devianart icon in icns format and added it to the file from get information.
 

GuilleA

macrumors regular
Jun 8, 2015
144
133
Buenos Aires
I just downloaded the devianart icon in icns format and added it to the file from get information.
Ok, have you tried embedding the art in the files and let Finder display it as an icon as I'm doing? Perhaps the issue lies in the amount of icons it needs to render. Do a test with folder and see if removing the icons doesn't fire up RAM usage, and then use something like Subler to embed the art into the files.
 

Fory360

macrumors newbie
Oct 28, 2017
5
1
I think it would not be a good option, keep in mind that the files I am referring to are MKV UHD between 30 GB and 60 GB and I do not want to change extension or recode the video, nor is it that I know very well how subler works.
 

J.Gallardo

macrumors 6502
Apr 4, 2017
290
72
Spain
Hi all,

I have been dealing with a pretty nasty problem ever since I upgraded to High Sierra and it has to do with iconservicesagent and external hard drives that have files with custom icons.

It first happened when I plugged in an external hard drive after upgrading from Sierra to High Sierra. iconservicesagent basically went crazy and used an astonishing 32GB (yes, GB) of physical RAM on my computer, before running out and continuing to use the SSD space via swap memory to keep using RAM until it ran out of space on the SSD. I first though it was a problem with permissions, ACL's and such, so I tried repairing those, no dice.

Went and did a clean install of High Sierra and the exact same problem happened as soon as I plugged in the external hard drive.

I have custom icons for my files on that hard drive (by copying and pasting a photo to the icon on the "get info" panel) and that is what is driving the CPU and RAM usage thru the roof.

I have a maxed out late-2015 iMac 5K with a Core i7 6700K and 32GB of RAM and the whole thing comes down to a crawl when iconservicesagent goes berserk. Finder completely stops responding until I reset the computer or disconnect the external hard drive.

I tried formatting the drive to APFS and same thing happened. Only when I removed the custom icons from the files, did iconservicesagent not go crazy, but this is not an option for me and is a problem that wasn't present in Sierra.

I have also tried clearing caches, rebuilding databases, swapping hard drives and nothing fixes this problem.

Any ideas or someone with a similar problem?
An idea:
Normal icons are low size files; but even with those files, system makes a lot of thing regarding them... (relative sizes & effects, animations... for example).
I think when you paste a big size image to make an icon in info window system doesn’t reduce its weight.
Perhaps you could get things to work better by reducing image mb size... I’m not near a mac now to confirm, but I believe you can do it in Preview, or “GraphicConverter”. Maybe you could batch-process all those images to a reasonable low weight (color bit depth, pixels). You can keep the video file intact, but try to make your icons something system is more used to manage.
 

H2SO4

macrumors 601
Nov 4, 2008
4,416
4,060
I'm getting this too. All I have to do is open the wrong folder and that's it. RAM usage, kernel task and iconservicesagent go crazy necessitating nothing less than a hard shutdown.
 
Last edited:

GuilleA

macrumors regular
Jun 8, 2015
144
133
Buenos Aires
I think it would not be a good option, keep in mind that the files I am referring to are MKV UHD between 30 GB and 60 GB and I do not want to change extension or recode the video, nor is it that I know very well how subler works.
Alright, Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate also has a metadata editor you can use to try.
You can also check out MovieIcon, although I'm not sure it supports MKVs.
 
Last edited:

Fory360

macrumors newbie
Oct 28, 2017
5
1
The question is that I can not access the HDD other than the boot, the moment I open it from the finder, ForkLift or Patch Finder will block the system and only return to normal if it restarts or forces the exit of the iconserviceagent
 

H2SO4

macrumors 601
Nov 4, 2008
4,416
4,060
The question is that I can not access the HDD other than the boot, the moment I open it from the finder, ForkLift or Patch Finder will block the system and only return to normal if it restarts or forces the exit of the iconserviceagent
10.13.1 or 10.13.2?
 

ViktorEvil

macrumors member
Oct 8, 2014
67
43
England
The question is that I can not access the HDD other than the boot, the moment I open it from the finder, ForkLift or Patch Finder will block the system and only return to normal if it restarts or forces the exit of the iconserviceagent
I have this as well on an external HDD filled with movies that all have custom icons using the “get info” method. As soon as the HDD is accessed it locks the Mac mini solid and only a hard reset brings it back. Also the “get info” way of changing icons no longer works as before as the copied image is now squashed into a square and not displayed in its portrait dimension.

Just had to download Sierra and I am downgrading tomorrow when I have some time, never had to downgrade an OS before in all my time using Apple hardware :(
 

kcwyckoff

macrumors newbie
Jan 28, 2008
7
0
I'm also having this issue with an external HD with ~3TB of video files with custom icons. Didn't have any issues before upgrading. Did the old OS save a cache version of custom icons that allowed it to preview them more easily? I can't deal with more than an hour of loading image previews every time I plug my HD in. Not sure Subler or MovieIcon will actually solve the issue.
 

ViktorEvil

macrumors member
Oct 8, 2014
67
43
England
I couldn't bring myself to downgrade the OS and start from scratch so I bought an AppleTV 4K and I access the movies etc using infuse. Not the best solution I know but it did also solve another issue I was having with High Sierra where full screen SD video is all green using Netflix. Plus I got a great excuse to buy the new AppleTV

Hope Apple sort these issues ASAP
 

Dr. Cashberg

macrumors newbie
Aug 31, 2014
1
0
Are there any news? Today I was copying several GB of movies from my MacBook Pro to my external HD, but it was never completed. The RAM was completely in use and the total amount of free disk space was used for swapping memory, which slowed down the Mac and the transactions. I had to hard-reset my Mac and from now on, every time I open the specific target folder (which does contain many movie files) our beloved iconservicesagent pops up and uses 10, 20, 30 GB before I kill it... Needless to say, the Finder is rendered completely useless in that time. My only way to copy files into or out of this folder right now is mv.

Is this a bug or can I do something to stop this madness?

Thank you!
 

macrm

macrumors newbie
Jan 31, 2008
6
0
Same problem in Mojave.
run this as root (or with sudo) to kill the process every three seconds
while : ; do PID="$(ps -fe | grep '/System/Library/CoreServices/iconservicesagent' | egrep -v '^\s+0\s+' | awk '{print $2}')"; if [ -n "$PID" ] ; then kill -9 $PID; echo "$PID killed"; fi; sleep 3; done
 

typecase

macrumors 6502
Feb 2, 2005
286
153
Happening to me on Mojave too. Finally upgraded from Sierra (which was almost as solid as snow leopard) and this is one of many slow, lag bugs to hit me. Anyone have a solution?
 

Hey Jude

macrumors 6502a
May 9, 2008
707
168
Florida
Happening to me on Mojave too. Finally upgraded from Sierra (which was almost as solid as snow leopard) and this is one of many slow, lag bugs to hit me. Anyone have a solution?
Unfortunately not. I had to remove one of my internal HDs from my Mac Pro because I was using all 32gb of ram after I upgraded to Mojave from High Sierra. Apple's tech support is useless - I was referred to an authorized Apple repair center for a software issue.