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

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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.


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!

  • Note: Killing the process you will be working a little faster, but you will also experience bugs, so... – Esteban Apr 28 '20 at 8:29

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

  • 1
    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 at 13:16
  • 1
    @Thomas - many thanks for the suggestion, it is an ongoing issue for me, will have to try it out – tom Apr 21 at 22:55

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