I have consistently been having a problem with my computer overheating due to the process QuickLookSatellite-general using 100+ CPU use. (Please see images attached.)

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On googling I found this process is associated with Draftsight, a CAD program. I do not and have never had this program installed.

Restarting does not even fix this problem. I am also worried about damaging my Macbook at such high CPU temperatures.

Any assistance is appreciated.


Troubleshooting steps:

  • See if there are any relevant log messages in Console.app or /var/log/system.log.
  • Use qlmanage -r to reset Quick Look client's generator cache.
  • Run sudo opensnoop -n QuickLookSatellite-general to see if the process hangs after accessing some specific files. Or select QuickLookSatellite-general in Activity Monitor, press command-I, and see the Open Files and Ports tab.
  • Temporarily delete Movie.qlgenerator, Audio.qlgenerator, or other qlgenerator bundles in /System/Library/QuickLook, and run qlmanage -r.
  • Temporarily remove applications shown by qlmanage -p | grep /Applications/.
  • Disable quicklookd with launchctl unload /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.quicklook.*. The plists are loaded again after you log out and back in.

If nothing else works, you could try doing an upgrade install of OS X from the recovery partition.

  • this is awesome. Great to know for other applications as well. Thank you!
    – andrsnn
    Jul 9 '13 at 21:50
  • It looks like resetting the clients generator cache seemed to solve it, but if it acts up again I will try some of your other steps.
    – andrsnn
    Jul 9 '13 at 22:23
  • Just to add to this I find other programs also behaving like above. Firefox and bitcoin client behave the same way.
    – andrsnn
    Jul 10 '13 at 18:00
  • This started happening when I generated documentation for a Rust project which generated lots of html files. The folder was inside iCloud drive and got picked up I think. cloudd and quicklookd both started acting up. Oct 20 '18 at 21:04

What I also found helpful was to turn on QuickLook debugging so I could see exactly what files were being processed. You can do that with this in the terminal. More info in the Mac Developer Library.

defaults write -g QLEnableLogging YES

You can also adjust the debugging level using qlmanage -d debuglevel. Run qlmanage -h for more info.

In my particular case it was QuickSilver causing the issue, which I fixed by disabling image previews using this command in the terminal. My thread on that is here.

defaults write com.blacktree.quicksilver "QSLoadImagePreviews" NO

Also see this similar AskDifferent question.


For me, deleting ~/Library/Application Support/Quick Look/cloudthumbnails.db* seems to have done the job.


For me I ran into this issue when I raised the ulimit number to a very high number. When I changed it back to ~17,000 (from ~260,000) and rebooted, my Mac ran pretty normal again. YMMV obviously.

  • 1
    This answer needs more information to explain how it's related to the OPs question. Sep 6 '17 at 14:26

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