Mdworker And Mds On Mac: What Are These And How To Manage Them?

Every moment your Mac is running a whole bunch of processes and each of them can influence the overall performance of the system. While everything is quite clear with user’s apps and system activities, some processes that are running in the system may confuse users. Two of such processes are mds and mdworker. What are those? Why are they running on your computer and how to manage them? This article will give you the answer!

What Are These Processes?

If you are a confident PC user, the chances are that you are checking up on the Activity Monitor quite regularly to keep track of the system’s activity. Most of the apps you will find there are pretty clear. However, there might be a few that you don’t recognize.

Mds and mdworker are constantly running. However, they come without any icons or explanations. Thus, it is natural if you start wondering what are those.

First of all, you need to keep in mind that these processes are absolutely harmless to the system as long as they are running as supposed. Both mdworker and mds are essential elements for the proper functionality of Spotlight. They ensure quick search results by indexing your files. Therefore, if you stop these processes, the Spotlight will stop working as supposed.

What Possible Issues Users May Face With These Processes?

One of the biggest failures that may take place is extensive use of CPU and RAM. If you notice mdworker and mds taking a great deal of your processor’s power and system memory, there might be a few reasons for that:

  • You have recently transferred applications and files from one Mac to another
  • You have added plenty of new items to your system

In both cases, these processes will start running with double power in order to process and index all the files. This is needed in order to ensure quick search results in the future.

How to know for sure that you are on the safe side here? If any of the reasons mentioned above apply to your situation, you don’t have reasons to worry about the safety of your system. To check if that’s the case, you need to launch Spotlight and look at the progress bar. If the system is currently processing new files, it will say Indexing next to that bar. This means that the app is working hard to build up indexes, which results in the large use of CPU and RAM. Luckily, this process usually takes a few hours, and then the system goes back to normal. However, there might be a more significant issue behind that.

Other Possible Problems And Ways To Solve Them

In some cases, you may find mds and mdworker stuck on using 100% CPU, not letting you control or stop them. Some of the reasons behind that might be the use of online backup software.

Whenever you use any backup software, the system keeps uploading and creating multiple files in order to create a copy. The system sees that and tries to keep up with the large flow of files. Thus, both processes start indexing and may get stuck there, which, in its turn, can have a negative impact on the computer’s performance.

How to solve this issue? Probably the easiest and smartest fix is to prevent Spotlight from searching in the folder of the backup software you are using. If you do this, the app won’t need to index the files processed through this software. Thus, the problem will be solved! Here is how to do this:

  1. Go to Spotlight>Privacy
  2. Next, open finder and press Go>Go To Folder
  3. Type in “/Library”
  4. Next, find a folder that your backup software uses and drag it over to the Privacy tab that you should have open

Just that easy!