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What is Photoanalysisd on Mac | Fix Photoanalysisd High CPU

Updated on Friday, June 14, 2024

iBoysoft author Jenny Zeng

Written by

Jenny Zeng
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee

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Summary: After reading this article, you'll learn the purpose of the photoanalysisd process, the solutions to stop it from using too much CPU, and the steps to disable it on Mac.

photoanalysisd high CPU usage in Activity Monitor

Seeing the photoanalysisd process consuming an excessive amount of your Mac's CPU in Activity Monitor can be concerning, as it can impact your Mac's performance. This is a common scenario after importing a large number of photos into the Photos app or updating macOS.

However, if it persists in hogging up your CPU for an extended period or continues to drain the CPU resource even if you didn't import (many) photos to your Mac, it is likely facing some issues.

What is photoanalysisd on Mac?

What is photoanalysisd on Mac

The photoanalysisd process is a photo library analysis agent that's responsible for identifying items in your photos library and categorizing them accordingly to power people, scenes, or object-based searches. After your photos are indexed, you'll be able to type a keyword like "beach" in the search box and get all the related photos without tagging them yourself.

It's also the engine behind the Ventura Duplicate Album and other albums like People, Places, and Memories in the Photos app. Photoanalysisd runs automatically in the background and you can view its status and CPU or memory usage in Activity Monitor. Its folder resides in /Users/user_name/Library/Containers/com.apple.photoanalysisd.

While photoanalysisd is active, you may often find another macOS photo library agent called photolibraryd running too.

How to fix photoanalysisd high CPU usage?

When the photoanalysisd consumes high CPU usage, it may cause your Mac to slow down, make loud fan noises, or overhead, which will negatively impact your work efficiency. If you want to stop photoanalysisd from overusing the CPU resource on your Mac, take the following solutions.

  • Fix 1: Kill photoanalysisd in Activity Monitor
  • Fix 2: Wait for the photoanalysisd process to complete
  • Fix 3: Name tagging the faces in your photos manually
  • Fix 4: Disable Memories holiday events and notification
  • Fix 5: Prevent your Mac from going to sleep
  • Fix 6: Disable photoanalysisd on Mac

Kill photoanalysisd in Activity Monitor"

As the first step, you can force quit photoanalysisd in Activity Monitor by selecting it, clicking the ( ⤬ ) button, and selecting "Force Quit." This will temporarily kill the process, but it will reappear when the operating system needs it. If photoanalysisd restarts with high CPU consumption, keep trying the other solutions below.

Kill photoanalysisd in Activity Monitor

Wait for the photoanalysisd process to complete

The photoanalysisd process can be CPU-hogging, especially if a lot of photos and videos are added to the Photos app or an operating system upgrade was just performed on your Mac. In such cases, it's recommended to wait patiently until photoanalysisd is complete.

If you want to check the progress of photoanalysisd, you can open the Photos app and select the People album. There should be information about the number of photos that have been scanned and the remaining ones.

Name tagging the faces in your photos manually

If you wish to accelerate the photo analysis process, you can add names to some photos manually. This method has significantly sped up the photoanalysisd process for some users. Here's how to do it:

  1. Open the Photos app.
  2. Select the People album.
  3. Move your cursor to a face and click " + Name" to enter a name. 
    Name people in Photos
  4. Press the Enter key to save the change.
  5. Repeat the steps for a few photos.
  6. Check if photoanalysisd progresses faster after some time.

If you have no unnamed people, you can add a face and its name for other photos.

  1. Select any photo that has a face that hasn't been identified.
  2. Double-click to open it.
  3. Click the Info button (ℹ️).
  4. Click the face thumbnail under "Add a keyword" and give it a name. 
    Add faces and their names in Photos
  5. If the face isn't automatically selected, click the "Add faces" button, then type a name.
  6. Apply the same procedures to a few other photos.

Disable Memories holiday events and notification

Another way to fix the photoanalysisd high CPU issue is to tweak some settings in the Photos app. Some users have seen an immediate drop in CPU load after disabling the following features. You can also give it a try.

Fix photoanalysisd high CPU on Ventura or earlier:

  1. Launch the Photos app.
  2. From the top-left menu bar, click Photos > Settings/Preferences.
  3. In the General tab, uncheck "Show Holiday Events" and "Show Memories Notification." 
    Change Photos settings on Mac

If these options are grayed out, it means that the select photo library isn't your system photo library. To modify it, simply click the "Use as System Photo Library" button.

Prevent your Mac from going to sleep

If the photoanalysisd process is still utilizing an excessive amount of CPU, you can minimize the Photos app and let your Mac stay awake overnight with power plugged in. This allows the process to work at night. Note that you also need to change the macOS sleep settings to prevent your Mac from sleeping.

Disable photoanalysisd on Mac

If none of the above solutions work, you can disable photoanalysisd on Mac using Terminal. Be reminded that this will cause features, such as People, Places, and Memories to stop working or become inaccurate. Still, you can always reenable it after the issue is gone.

How to disable photoanalysisd on Mac:

  1. Open Terminal from the Applications/Utilities folder.
  2. Type the following command and press Enter.launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.photoanalysisd.plistlaunchctl: a command that's used to manage system daemons and agents. 
    unload: tells launchctl to stop a running agent or daemon. 
    -w: tells launchctl to disable (in this case) or re-enable the agent or daemon so that it won't automatically start again in the future.
    /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.photoanalysisd.plist: path to the photoanalysisd LaunchAgent file.

If you want to reload the photoanalysisd process on Mac, execute the following command in Terminal.

launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.photoanalysisd.plist

A few other fixes you might try:

  • If you have an Exchange or Office 365 account enabled for Contacts, go to System Preferences/Settings > Internet Accounts > My Exchange Account and uncheck/disable Contacts.
  • Kill the photoanalysisd process and rename your photo library folder at ~/Pictures.

Is the issue resolved? If the answer is yes, please share it with more people.