FIX: mds_stores Process Consuming High CPU Usage

Apple’s Mac is undoubtedly one of the most popular and widest-used computer operating systems in the world today. Thanks to its innovative and unique features Mac OS finds fans around the globe. It has features and functions that rival others when it comes to being efficient and easy-to-use.

However, as with any other software, Mac OS is also vulnerable to errors and bugs. One of the more prevalent and unwanted types is the “mds_stores” which results in abnormally high CPU usage. This slows down the speed of processing terribly.

What is mds_stores in Mac?

The “mds” in mds_stores error stand for MetaData Server. This error normally occurs in Apple’s extremely fast and efficient Spotlight search feature.

You can easily access Spotlight by pressing “Command” + “Spacebar” simultaneously on your Mac.  Spotlight is essential for Mac users as it works to index all documents and data on your hard drive. This is to let users search for and find features, data and files instantly on their Mac computers. This is possible due to the constant indexing process between Spotlight and the mds. This background process is often repeated every time you switch on your Mac systems. It normally takes anywhere between 15 and 45 minutes for the entire indexing process to be completed. The specific time for indexing on Mac depends on the type of content and size of data being processed on your hard disk. This is an automatic or manual process (depending on your set preferences/settings) and is performed after every major change (downloading/deleting) data on your Mac.

mds_stores Process Consuming High CPU Usage
mds_stores Process Consuming High CPU Usage

What is mds_stores Process Consuming High CPU Usage?

The issue of mds_stores process consuming high CPU usage usually stems when the indexing process going on in the background consumes abnormally high processing power. This error usually results when a significant volume of data has been added to or deleted from, your Mac’s hard drive. Hence, the remarkable change in content or data on your system is normally responsible for the problem of mds_stores process consuming high CPU usage to develop.

How to Fix mds_stores Process Consuming High CPU Usage

In the event of mds_stores process consuming high CPU usage, the processing speed of your Mac computer slows down to a crawl, this making it almost impossible to get any work done. You Mac system may even start to deteriorate, malfunction, get hanged or even fail to respond to commands on time. If mds_stores process consuming high CPU usage continues, this might also result in over-heating your Mac computer. Hence, it is important to get a solution and fix mds_stores process consuming high CPU usage.

Our team of tech experts suggests these four excellent solutions to fix mds_stores process consuming high CPU usage successfully.

Reboot Mac OS

Many times, rebooting your Mac OS manually may fix mds_stores process consuming high CPU usage problems. If you notice your Mac system processing commands slower, programs getting hanged frequently and overheating issues, you should check the system’s Activity Monitor.

To access Activity Monitor:

  1. Open “Finder”
  2. Scroll over to “Applications”
  3. Choose “Utilities”
  4. Click on “Activity Monitor” icon

This will allow you to check the amount of CPU usage being consumed by mds_stores and other background processing programs. In case you notice mds_stores process consuming an abnormally high volume of CPU power than simply restarting your Mac can help solve mds_stores process consuming high CPU usage easily.

Once you restart and your Mac is ready for use, you will need to check the Activity Monitor once again to ensure that the mds_stores process consuming high CPU usage problem was successfully resolved.

In case you still find mds_stores process consuming high CPU power, then move on to the next solution.

Disable Spotlight

In many cases, disabling the Spotlight feature on Mac can help fix mds_stores process consuming high CPU usage problem. If you don’t usually use the Spotlight feature then it is advised you disable the feature.

Here are 7 simple steps to disable Spotlight on Mac and fix mds_stores process consuming high CPU usage problem successfully:

  1. Open “Finder” app on your desktop
  2. Select to expand the “Applications” folder
  3. Click on “Utilities” to open a list of apps in it
  4. Open “Terminal” app
  5. Type: “sudo mdutil –a –i off” and hit Return key
  6. Type in your Admin password when prompted
  7. Press Return to confirm your decision

These seven steps will successfully disable Spotlight feature on your Mac system. Check to see whether your Mac computer has resumed its normal fast speed of processing.

If you still see mds_stores process consuming high CPU usage, then you can try the next solution to fix this issue.

Stop/Restart Spotlight

This solution varies a little from the one above but also requires accessing Spotlight feature. At times, simply stopping and then restarting the Spotlight feature helps to fix mds_stores process consuming high CPU usage problems effectively for many Mac users.

Check out the simple steps for stopping and then restarting Spotlight to fix mds_stores consuming high CPU usage issue:

Stop Spotlight

  1. Open “Finder” app
  2. Expand the “Utilities” app by clicking on it
  3. Click on the “Terminal” app and open it
  4. Type in: “sudo launchctl unload –w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.metadata.mds.plist” and hit Return
  5. Type the Admin password of your Mac system when prompted for it
  6. Restart your Mac computer for the changes to take effect

Restart Spotlight

These are the simple steps for restarting the Spotlight feature once you stop it:

  1. Click on the “Terminal” app
  2. Type in: “sudo launchctl load –w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.metadata.mds.plist” before hitting Return key
  3. Type in the Admin password when prompted by your computer
  4. Restart your Mac computer for the changes to take effect

You will need to check the processing speed of your Mac once it reboots completely. In case you still face the problem, then you can move to the fourth solution and fix mds_stores process consuming high CPU usage.

Restring Spotlight Search Parameters

The final solution to fix mds_stores process consuming high CPU usage is through preventing Spotlight app from searching/indexing certain folders and location. To do this, first you will need to delete the Spotlight database and re-index Spotlight database before preventing Spotlight from searching in certain specific folders and locations on your system.

Delete Spotlight Database

  1. Open “Finder”
  2. Click on “Applications”
  3. Expand the “Utilities” option
  4. Select the “Terminal” app
  5. Type in: “ sudo rm –rf /.Spotlight-V100/* “ before hitting Return key
  6. Type in Admin password if prompted and again hit the Return key

These 6 simple steps will help you to delete the Spotlight database on your Mac system.

Re-Index Spotlight Database

Once your Spotlight database is deleted from its directory, you will need to restart your system for Spotlight to begin indexing the data on your Mac system once again. This re-indexing process may take significantly more time than usual as it is creating a fresh index for all data and documents stored on your Mac hard drive. Have patience till the entire re-indexing procedure is completed.

Restrict Spotlight from Searching Specific Folders/Locations

Once Spotlight has complete re-indexing the entire data on your Mac system, follow these simple steps to restrict Spotlight from searching specific folders and location on your computer:

  1. Open “Desktop Menu”
  2. Choose “System Preferences” option
  3. Scroll to “Spotlight”, click on “Privacy” tab
  4. Simply drag-and-drop folders you wish to restrict Spotlight from searching/indexing (such as ViberPC, CrashPlan, MobileSync, CrashReporter, Dropbox, etc)

This step prevents Spotlight from searching and indexing the chosen folders and results in less CPU power use.

Final Words

These are the four excellent ways to fix mds_stores process consuming high CPU usage successfully and begin to enjoy the legendary high speed of your Mac system once again.

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