How to Fix mds_stores High CPU Usage on Mac

So, you notice that your CPU is being consumed by one main thing. This is the mds_stores and its pretty much the only thing that uses the CPU.

On your Mac, the mds_stores can take up to 100% of the CPU. A lot of Mac users have been experiencing this error, so I thought that it’s time I put an end to it.

What is mds_stores Mac?

Spotlight index

Mds_stores is one of the main features in the Apple spotlight.

This is the data server that indexes the hard drive and it helps to find what you’re looking for when you make a search in Spotlight.

It stands for Metadata server and it is a very powerful part of Spotlight. If you use spotlight a lot, this is the driver behind it all. If you look at the top right of your mac, you’re going to see a magnifying glass, and this is the spotlight feature.

Before you are able to make a search using Spotlight, your hard drive needs to be indexed. The mds_stores indexes the hard drives directories so you can make a search quickly.

Why Does mds_stores Have A High CPU?

The mds_stores are taking up most of the CPU because it has to index your hard drive. If you have a lot of files and documents that take up a lot of memory, it’s likely that the mds_stores is going to take up most of the CPU because it has to store a lot of the files.

Since it takes up most of the CPU, this will cause your computer to slow down and crash very regularly. You may also notice that your Mac desktops overheat quite a lot.

The Spotlight Program on your Mac is the software that indexes all of the files and documents on our hard drive. The mds_stores is the data server that indexes the hard drive which allows you to find data and documents easily through the spotlight search bar on your Mac.

If you want to check how well mds_store data server has indexed your Macs hard drive, then you can click the magnifying glass icon on the right side of your desktop, and search for anything that you know is contained on your Mac. If you notice that the size of the mds_stores cpu is high on your mac, is because it’s indexing everything on your hard drive so it’s constantly working to make sure that you’ll be able to find anything that you could possibly want to find your Mac.

How Fix mds_Stores High CPU

If you want to get rid of the mds_stores high cpu, then you need to get rid of some of the content in your hard drive so that the mds_stores data server on your Mac isn’t trying to index as much on your hard drive. The fewer data on your hard drive, the less data that mds_stores will have to index.

Delete Directories in the Spotlights Index

Delete directories in the Spotlights Index

Since the metadata server has to index all of the directories so that you can make a quite search in spotlight, it’ll benefit you if you deleted someone of the directories.

This means that the mds doesn’t have to index a lot of files meaning that it doesn’t need that much power to run.

This also means that it won’t consume most of the CPU. Since all the directories have already been indexed, you’ll need to delete everything in Spotlight, so you can re-index it again. The second time it re-indexes, there won’t be many directories that need to be indexed therefore it shouldn’t take up much CPU.

To delete Spotlights database:

  1. Launch System Preferences from the Apple menu
  2. Click on “Spotlight
  3. Click on the “Privacy” tab
  4. Drag Macintosh HD (and other drives if necessary) into this window
  5. Click “OK” when asked to confirm.
  6. Now select the drive(s) you just added and click the “-” minus button to remove it from the list

After deleting the database, you now need to let Spotlight re-index the database.

This may take a while. After you’re done, you need to restart your Mac desktop and you should be able to reduce the amount of CPU the mds_stores take up.

Disable the Spotlight Feature Entirely

One of the best ways to get rid of the high CPU for the mds_stores data server is to disable the Spotlight feature entirely. This way, the data server isn’t constantly working in the background to index the hard drive so you can use the spotlight feature effectively. With this on, you should see a drastic drop in the CPU that’s being taken up.

To disable the spotlight feature:

  1. Open Finder from Desktop.
  2. Go to the Applications folder and open it
  3. Go to Utilities and open it to access list of apps under Utilities.
  4. Select on Terminal App to open it.
  5. Type the Command in Terminal “sudo mdutil -a -i off” and press Enter key to enable it.
  6. Enter the Admin Password.
  7. Press Enter to complete the command. Spotlight should now be disabled.

Stop Spotlight and Restart Spotlight

Another way to fix the mds_stores high CPU is to disable and enable the Spotlight feature.

Stop Spotlight on Mac:

  1. Open Finder and select Applications section.
  2. Go to Utilities and open Terminal App.
  3. Type the Command in Terminal as “sudo launchctl unload -w/System/Library/LaunchDaemons/” and press Enter.
  4. Type your Admin Password if asked and again press the Enter key.

Restart Spotlight on Mac:

  1. Open Terminal App.
  2. Type Command in Terminal as “sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/” and press Enter.
  3. Provide your Admin Password and again press the Enter Key.
  4. Restart your System.