Following the release of macOS Catalina version 10.15.7, an increasing number of users have experienced an issue with a system process called “accounts“shows very high CPU usage in Activity Monitor, which causes the Mac to slow down.
A user in the Apple Support Communities shared a screenshot of “accountsd” with CPU usage above 400%, making the MacBook Pro 2018 “useless.”
While this issue has occasionally appeared over the years, there has been a noticeable increase in complaints about Apple Support Communities, MacRumors Forums, Twitter, Reddit, Stack Exchange and elsewhere since the release of macOS Catalina version 10.15.7, with users trying to troubleshoot the issue.
What is accountsd?
Accountsd is a demon, part of the Accounts framework. Apple’s developer documentation states that this framework helps users access and manage their remote accounts from apps, without requiring them to provide login information.
The account framework provides access to user accounts stored in the account database, which is managed by the system. An account stores the login information of a specific service, such as Twitter, and you use the credentials to authenticate with the service. When you integrate the Account framework into your app, you do not need to save account logins yourself. Instead, the user gives your app access to use the login information of the account, in addition to the need to enter the username and password. If there is no account for a particular service in the user’s account database, you can let them create and save an account from your app.
How do I fix accountd CPU usage?
Affected users have offered a wide range of potential solutions, but your mileage may vary.
Some users have been able to resolve this issue by logging out of their Apple ID account under System Preferences> Apple ID> Overview> Sign Out, restarting their Mac, and then logging in to the account, but this has not worked for everyone.
Some users have resolved the issue by resetting the Mac’s SMC and / or NVRAM.
A user of Stack Exchange thinks the problem is related to a file indexing error on the Mac. Their solution involves resetting the indexing by navigating to System Preferences> Spotlight> Privacy and adding the (+) storage drive (“Macintosh HD” by default) to the “Prevent Spotlight from searching these places” list. Remove the (-) drive from the list and the Mac will start indexing again. The indexing process can temporarily slow down your Mac, so these steps are recommended to be completed overnight.
For more advanced troubleshooting, some users have been successful in navigating to “~ / Library / Accounts” and renaming the “Accounts4.sqlite” file to “Accounts4.sqlite.testbackup” or using more complex Terminal commands, but proceed with caution, as these solutions may affect your iCloud accounts or sync.
Apple has not yet acknowledged this issue. Should a software update be released with a solution, we will update this article accordingly.