What Is Photoanalysisd? and Why Is It Using a Large Amount of CPU?

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Photoanalysisd is a program that recognizes faces and thousands of objects in photos; it does this by analyzing your photo library in the background. It was introduced years ago in macOS Sierra and High Sierra, and there were thousands of complaints related to its large amount of central processing unit (CPU) usage. It is still a problem for some people, including those who have macOS Catalina and Big Sur.

In this article, we have explained if you need to stop the Photoanalysisd or not. If yes? We have described how you can kill the background process in all macOS versions and free up the CPU usage to speed up your machine. 

 

Do You Need to Stop the Photoanalysisd Process?

Photoanalysisd is not a software issue; as mentioned, it is an advanced process with face and object detection technology. The process is a one-time thing (until you add more photos); that’s why most people see it using 70% – 80% of CPU when they buy a new Mac. Once it finishes analyzing, you will be able to use your library in an advanced way. So it’s good for user experience, but in some cases, it can cause problems like high CPU usage that can result in constantly running fans. 

When Does It Become a Problem?

If you have thousands of photos, the Photoanalysisd background process can take weeks to complete. For example, analyzing a photo library with only 500 images will be quicker than analyzing a library with 100k images. You can also check its progress by clicking on “people” in the Photos app’s left sidebar (It stops analyzing photos while the app is open).

Killing the Photoanalysisd process is only required in rare cases. For example, if you have thousands of photos and the process might take days to complete, you may have to temporarily or permanently disable Photoanalysisd so you can do high-end work like 4K editing, 3d modeling, or other activities like gaming that consume too much CPU. Also, if the process is slowing down your computer even when you are not doing any high-end work, you might want to disable it. 

 

How to Stop Photoanalysisd Background Activity

As mentioned above, you should only disable this when it’s causing problems like slowing down your computer even when you are just casually using it. Below we have mentioned some methods to disable Photoanalysisd permanently. Keep in mind that the methods are different for old operating systems and new operating systems. 

Manually Identify Some Photos

The success rate of this method depends upon the type of photos you have in your library. You can name some of the faces the process detects, and you’ll definitely see a drop in CPU usage. 

  1. Launch the Photos app on your Mac.
  2. Double-click on the picture you want to identify.
  3. Click the “i” button in the toolbar.
  4. Click the plus sign in the Add Faces section and add a name.

OR

  1. Go to Library Click on the People album in the left sidebar.
  2. Click on the number below the photos and start naming them.

For Catalina OS

  1. Start Photos.
  2. In the app menu click on Preferences > General, and untick both checkboxes in Memories.
  3. Close Photos.

Remove the PhotoAnalysisD file

Step 1.) Turn off system integrity protection

  1. Turn off the Mac.
  2. Hold Command and R key until the Mac reboots into Recovery Mode.
  3. Choose Utilities > Terminal.
  4. Type csrutil disable.
  5. Type reboot, and your Mac will boot normally.

Step 2.) Remove or rename the photoanalysisd file

  1. Move to /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/PhotoAnalysis.framework/Versions/A/Support
  2. Look for the PhotoAnalysisD file and rename or delete it.

Step 3) Reactivate system integrity protection

  1. Turn off the Mac
  2. Hold Command and R key until the Mac reboots into Recovery Mode.
  3. Choose Utilities > Terminal.
  4. Type csrutil enable.
  5. Type reboot, and your Mac will boot normally.

Use Terminal to Run Some Commands

  1. Launch the Terminal application.
  2. Enter the code mentioned below:

First, disable the GUI instance:

launchctl disable gui/$UID/com.apple.photoanalysisd && launchctl kill -TERM gui/$UID/com.apple.photoanalysisd

For disabling the service:

launchctl disable user/$UID/com.apple.photoanalysisd && launchctl kill -TERM user/$UID/com.apple.photoanalysisd

More commands

If the commands mentioned above do not work, you can use these:

sudo launchctl remove com.apple.photoanalysisd

or 

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

To re-enable photoanalysisd:

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

Sources

How to Train Photos on macOS to Recognize Faces

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