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distnoted causes the highest CPU usage on my Mac. Is it normal?

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3 Answers 3

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Distnoted is a system message notification process. Often Distnoted will go wild when another process crashes. This other process is what distnoted is attempting to processs the system message for. Locum is an example of a process that sometimes crashes and is tied to finder.

In my case a 3rd party software used for windows virtual machine was trying to access a area of the disc that it wasn't authorized to access. The access denial caused Locum to crash and Distnoted to get stuck in a circular process of Locum trying to access the disc, fail and crash causing distnoted to cause Locum to try again. (this ate up the processor cycles) Once I updated the VM software so it would not attempt all of my internal disc the distnoted service stopped being an issue.

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Distnoted is a "distributed notification" service, so is not necessary at all. You can force quit it. This bug will go away updating to the latest version of MacOS. Hope it works. Good luck!

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  • Note: Killing the process you will be working a little faster, but you will also experience bugs, so...
    – Esteban
    Apr 28, 2020 at 8:29
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For me spikes of

Finder ~150% disnoted ~100%

with computer fan going crazy....

Onedrive ~7%

Killed Onedrive and Finder and disnoted calmed down completely to less than 1% and the fan is off...

...the problem is that I need Onedrive to backup files and sync across different computers.

got the idea of what to try from answer of @Wizbang-FL

This issues seems to be known --- see https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum/all/high-cpu-usage-on-macos-catalina-this-is-very/ebc9b35b-d736-4fa0-9974-8b6007942de7

Edit Aug-2022

I still have onedrive issues, but slightly different - after the latest updates to onedrive I have onedrive 200% and ondrivefiled (or something similar) 70%... and that happens regularly for 2 to 3 minutes after saving one file...

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    I've sorted the OneDrive high CPU usage while syncing with AppPolice, setting a 30% limit of CPU usage. github.com/AppPolice/AppPolice
    – Thomas
    Apr 20, 2021 at 13:16
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    @Thomas - many thanks for the suggestion, it is an ongoing issue for me, will have to try it out
    – tom
    Apr 21, 2021 at 22:55
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    OneDrive's Finder integration tool may be another culprit. Unchecking the Onedrive Finder extension in Preferences -> Extensions fixed this for me. Waited 10 mins for the machine to settle back down, then re-checked the extension to have it enabled again. See here for more info: answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum/all/…
    – drapkin11
    Jan 20, 2022 at 0:17
  • On MacOS 12.3.1 I have 17 distnoted agent processes. Is that bad?
    – NeilG
    May 9, 2022 at 4:36
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    Spot on. All I had to do was quit OneDrive and restart OneDrive. CPU went back down to low levels instead of over 100%.
    – wisbucky
    Aug 8, 2022 at 20:26

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