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How to Fix VTDecoderXPCService High CPU & Memory | What Is It?

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: This article from iBoysoft explains what VTDecoderXPCService is and tells you how to fix VTDecoderXPCService high CPU or memory usage on Mac. 

VTDecoderXPCService on Mac

Many users have complained about the high CPU or memory consumption of the process VTDecoderXPCService on Mac. According to their reports, the CPU usage of VTDecoderXPCService can be as high as 361.5%.

VTDecoderXPCService high CPU usage in Activity Monitor

The process also overloads the memory capacity from several hundred megabytes to tens of gigabytes.

A user witnessed VTDecoderXPCService using up 59GB of his Mac's memory and ultimately shutting down with the error "Your system has run out of application memory."

VTDecoderXPCService high memory usage

If you're experiencing something similar, you're likely curious about what this process is and how to stop it from draining the CPU and memory. This article will help you figure them out.

Fix VTDecoderXPCService high CPU or memory usage on Mac:

  • Solution 1: Quit video/audio-related applications
  • Solution 2: Disable VTDecoderXPCService in Activity Monitor
  • Solution 3: Disable iCloud Photos
  • Solution 4: Update macOS

What is VTDecoderXPCService on Mac?

VTDecoderXPCService is a macOS system process that's responsible for video and audio decoding when using Apple's Video Toolbox. The XPCService in its name refers to Extensible Process Protocol, which is the service that facilitates the communication inside the system, ensuring the video or audio decoding tool can work with various applications properly.

That being said, whenever an application is using the built-in audio or video API, VTDecoderXPCService will fire up to decode the content. Video decoding is the process of reverting compressed video files into their original format for playback or editing.

Here are some examples of how it works:

  • Playing a YouTube video in Chrome. When you watch a video in Chrome, VTDecoderXPCService checks if the video's format and resolution are compatible with hardware acceleration and allows Chrome to interact with the Video Toolbox framework if it does. Then your Mac's GPU's video decoder can decode the video and send the decoded frameworks back to Chrome so that you can watch it smoothly.
  • Editing a high-resolution video in Final Cut Pro. When you import a high-resolution video to Final Cut Pro for editing, the software will activate VTDecoderXPCService to see if it can leverage the Video Toolbox framework. If it does, the video can be decoded by your Mac's GPU for smoother playback. 

VTDecoderXPCService, combined with VTEncoderXPCService, forms the VideoToolbox.framework, which handles the video and audio encoding and decoding capabilities of your Mac. It's stored in your system library folder, at Macintosh HD/System/Library/Frameworks/VideoToolbox.framework/XPCServices/.

Where VTDecoderXPCService is located on Mac

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How to fix VTDecoderXPCService high CPU or memory usage?

In my own experience, VTDecoderXPCService is usually idle without using any CPU when I'm not working with any audio or video elements. If I start playing a YouTube video, its CPU consumption will rise, but not significantly. If I pause the video, the usage will drop to 0 again.

If you're experiencing the issue of VTDecoderXPCService high CPU or memory utilization, it's likely caused by the application that's handling videos or audio (such as uploading/downloading/viewing videos), or corrupted video files.

To stop VTDecoderXPCService from hogging your Mac's CPU or memory, try the following solutions:

Solution 1: Quit video/audio-related applications

Closing the applications that are currently engaging with VTDecoderXPCService should put it at ease. This may be anything media-intensive, even a video background, for example:

  • A media player, such as QuickTime Player.
  • A video editor, such as Final Cut Pro.
  • A web browser that's playing videos or audio, such as Google Chrome or Firefox.
  • A file management platform, such as Asana.
  • A messaging client, such as Messages.
  • A social media platform, such as FaceBook.
  • A video or audio calling service, such as FaceTime, Skype.
  • A live screensaver.
  • A website that features a large gallery of motion .jpgs.

If you can't find the culprit, you can run a spindump in Activity Monitor to locate it. Or you can simply close all apps or restart your Mac. Suppose an app is not responding; you can force quit it with the shortcut Option-Command-Esc.

How to find the culprit causing VTDecoderXPCService high CPU or memory

Solution 2: Disable VTDecoderXPCService in Activity Monitor

Another way to resolve the "VTDecoderXPCService high CPU or memory consumption" issue is to force quit the process in Activity Monitor. This won't completely shut it down but will allow it to restart in a fresh state. To do this:

  1. Open Activity Monitor.
  2. Select VTDecoderXPCService and click the x icon. 
    How to force quit VTDecoderXPCService in Activity Monitor
  3. Choose Force Quit.

Solution 3: Disable iCloud Photos

If you have enabled iCloud Photos, it'll automatically upload and store all your photos and videos in iCloud, which may increase resource usage by VTDecoderXPCService. You can disable it with the steps below:

  1. Open the Photos app.
  2. Click Photos at the top-left corner and choose Preferences/Settings.
  3. Select iCloud and uncheck iCloud Photos
    Disable iCloud photos to fix VTDecoderXPCService high CPU or memory

Solution 4: Update macOS

If VTDecoderXPCService continues to use high CPU or memory load, consider updating your operating system. This can potentially address any software-related issues behind the matter. To update macOS, go to System Settings/Preferences > Software Update.

Share this post to help others stop VTDecoderXPCService from draining their computer's CPU or memory!


Is VTDecoderXPCService a virus?

No, VTDecoderXPCService is not a virus but a legitimate process on Mac. If you're concerned that cybercriminals may misuse this process to execute malicous tasks, you can use the steps in the following guide to remove any virus on your Mac.

How to Fix 'Your computer is low on memory' Virus on Mac