Following the release of macOS Catalina version 10.15.7, an increasing number of users have experienced an issue with a system process named "accountsd" showing very high CPU usage in Activity Monitor, causing their Mac to slow down.

One user in the Apple Support Communities shared a screenshot of "accountsd" with CPU usage above 400%, rendering their 2018 MacBook Pro "useless."

accountsd activity monitor
While this issue has popped up occasionally over the years, there has been a noticeable uptick in complaints across the Apple Support Communities, MacRumors Forums, Twitter, Reddit, Stack Exchange, and elsewhere since the release of macOS Catalina version 10.15.7, with users attempting to troubleshoot the issue.

What is accountsd?

Accountsd is a daemon, part of the Accounts framework. Apple's developer documentation says this framework helps users access and manage their external accounts from within apps, without requiring them to enter login credentials.

The Accounts framework provides access to user accounts stored in the Accounts database, which is managed by the system. An account stores the login credentials of a particular service, such as Twitter, and you use those credentials to authenticate with the service. When you integrate the Accounts framework into your app, you don't need to store account logins yourself. Instead, the user grants your app access to use their account login credentials, bypassing the need to type their username and password. If no account for a particular service exists in the user's Accounts database, you can let them create and save an account from within your app.

How to fix accountsd CPU usage?

Affected users have offered a wide range of potential solutions, but your mileage may vary.

Some users have managed to solve the issue by signing out of their Apple ID account under System Preferences > Apple ID > Overview > Sign Out, restarting their Mac, and then signing back in to the account, but this has not worked for everyone.

Some users have solved the issue by resetting their Mac's SMC and/or NVRAM.

One user on Stack Exchange believes the issue relates to a bug with file indexing on the Mac. Their solution involves resetting the indexing by navigating to System Preferences > Spotlight > Privacy and adding (+) your storage drive ("Macintosh HD" by default) to the "Prevent Spotlight from searching these locations" list. Then, remove (-) the drive from the list, and the Mac will begin reindexing. The indexing process can temporarily slow down your Mac, so these steps are recommended to be completed overnight.

As for more advanced troubleshooting, some users have had success with navigating to "~/Library/Accounts" and renaming the file "Accounts4.sqlite" to "Accounts4.sqlite.testbackup" or using more complex Terminal commands, but proceed with caution, as these solutions could impact your iCloud accounts or syncing.

Apple has yet to acknowledge this issue. Should a software update be released with a fix, we will update this article accordingly.

Related Forum: macOS Catalina

Top Rated Comments

trip1ex Avatar
29 months ago
buying a new mac always solves the problem and is the official solution straight from Apple HQ
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
navaira Avatar
29 months ago
There is a bug in Catalina?

Unheard of.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aloshka Avatar
29 months ago
I think this has been happening for the last 2-3 years (including Mojave) for me anyway. If apple is aware of it, it’s not priority and probably will not be fixed.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Internet Enzyme Avatar
29 months ago
This type of crap is so pervasive in macOS. . . Some stupid process like “photolibraryd” or something will just toss a plurality of your CPU into a bottomless pit
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WannaGoMac Avatar
29 months ago
Yet another reason to stick with Mojave...
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dr. James Avatar
29 months ago
Yep, happened to me with a 2015 Macbook Pro. The whole OS was useless. To fix it, I signed out of iCloud and then signed in. No restart required.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

ipad pro vs air early 2022

iPad Air 2022 vs. iPad Pro 2021 Buyer's Guide

Wednesday March 9, 2022 1:59 pm PST by
In March 2022, Apple introduced the fifth-generation iPad Air, featuring the M1 chip, 5G connectivity, and a new front-facing camera system. The updated iPad Air comes almost a year after in Apple introduced its current iPad Pro lineup, which also features the M1 chip and 5G connectivity, but sports a number of high-end features like ProMotion and a Thunderbolt port. The introduction of the...
ipad pro m1 feature

Apple's 2022 iPad Pro: Everything We Know

Wednesday February 16, 2022 1:55 pm PST by
Apple is working on a next-generation version of the iPad Pro, and while there are no major design updates that we know of, there are some new features that are worth looking forward to. This guide aggregates everything that we know about the 2022 iPad Pro so far based on the rumors that we've heard. Mini-LED Display Apple last year introduced an updated 12.9-inch iPad Pro with mini-LED...
MAsk On Face ID iOS 15

iOS 15.4 Features: Everything New in iOS 15.4

Monday March 14, 2022 1:45 pm PDT by
Apple today released iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4, the fourth major updates to the iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 operating systems that first came out in September. iOS and iPadOS 15.4 are huge updates that bring quite a few useful new features to the iPhone and the iPad. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Face ID With a Mask With iOS 15.4, there is now an option to unlock your...
Universal Control Colored Feature

Universal Control vs. Sidecar: What's the Difference?

Tuesday February 1, 2022 2:02 pm PST by
Apple's Macs and iPads include support for two separate features called Sidecar and Universal Control that allow the devices to be used together, but in different ways. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. In this guide, we'll go over everything you need to know about Universal Control and how it differs from the Sidecar feature that's been available since 2019. What...
iPad Air Feature 2 teal

Everything We Know About the 2022 iPad Air Coming in March

Monday February 7, 2022 1:07 pm PST by
Update: 📢 New iPad Air has been announced.📢 👀 Read the details. We will update this guide to reflect the release information shortly. Apple is working on an updated version of the iPad Air, and the new tablet is set to launch this spring at an event that's going to be held on March 8. We're not expecting too many changes to the iPad Air, but there are a few updates, with everything...
universal control

Universal Control Not Working? Here’s How to Fix It

Thursday February 10, 2022 1:26 pm PST by
In iOS 15.4 and macOS Monterey 12.3, Apple introduced Universal Control, a feature designed to allow you to control multiple Macs and iPads with a single trackpad/mouse and keyboard. This article offers solutions to the most common problems encountered when getting Universal Control to work. With Universal Control, you can use your main Mac's trackpad and keyboard to control additional Macs...
1 Save IMessage photos

macOS Monterey: 40 Tips, Tricks, and Features You Might Have Missed

Thursday December 2, 2021 10:39 am PST by
Apple released macOS Monterey to the public in the fall, and the new desktop OS brings a whole slew of useful new features and changes to apps like Safari, Maps, FaceTime, Notes, Photos, Messages, and more. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Beyond the headline features, Apple has also made numerous tweaks and changes to macOS that aim to make the time you spend using ...
ipad mini vs air early 2022

iPad Air 5 vs. iPad Mini 6 Buyer's Guide

Thursday March 10, 2022 10:49 am PST by
Apple recently introduced the fifth-generation iPad Air, featuring the M1 chip, 5G connectivity, and an upgraded front-facing camera system. Last year, Apple introduced the sixth-generation iPad mini, offering an iPad Air-style redesign with a larger display, the A15 Bionic chip, and more. The iPad mini now effectively shares the design of the iPad Air, with both devices possessing many of...

Popular Stories

maxresdefault

Can't Get an iPhone 14 Pro? Here's Why You Should Wait for the iPhone 15 Ultra

Monday December 5, 2022 11:44 am PST by
Due to production issues at Apple supplier factories in China, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are backordered and basically out of stock at every store. If you were planning to gift or receive an iPhone 14 Pro model for the holidays and didn't already get one, you're basically out of luck because they're gone until late December. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more ...
Apple advanced security Advanced Data Protection screen Feature

FBI Calls End-to-End Encryption 'Deeply Concerning' as Privacy Groups Hail Apple's Advanced Data Protection as a Victory for Users

Thursday December 8, 2022 2:45 am PST by
Apple yesterday announced that end-to-end encryption is coming to even more sensitive types of iCloud data, including device backups, messages, photos, and more, meeting the longstanding demand of both users and privacy groups who have rallied for the company to take the significant step forward in user privacy. iCloud end-to-end encryption, or what Apple calls "Advanced Data Protection,"...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

iOS 16.2 for iPhone Launching This Month With These 8 New Features

Thursday December 1, 2022 8:44 am PST by
Apple plans to publicly release iOS 16.2 for the iPhone in mid-December, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The update remains in beta testing for now, with at least eight new features and changes already uncovered so far. iOS 16.2 introduces a number of new features, including Apple's new whiteboard app Freeform, two new Lock Screen widgets for Sleep and Medications, the ability to hide...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Apple Music Sing in iOS 16.2

Wednesday December 7, 2022 12:24 pm PST by
With the iOS 16.2 release candidate that came out today, Apple added the new Apple Music Sing feature that was announced earlier this week. We thought we'd check out the new karaoke feature to see how it works. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple Music Sing is available on modern iPhones and iPads, as well as the newest Apple TV 4K. It's built in to the Apple...
Apple car wheel icon feature yellow

Apple to Charge Under $100,000 for Apple Car, Launch Planned for 2026

Tuesday December 6, 2022 2:31 pm PST by
Apple is aiming to launch an Apple-branded consumer-oriented vehicle by 2026, and its goal is to hit a price point under $100,000 to make the car appeal to a wider range of customers, reports Bloomberg. Apple initially planned to design a car that might look similar to Canoo's Lifestyle Vehicle, where passengers could face one another in a limousine-style car with no steering wheel or...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

iOS 16.2 for iPhone Expected to Launch Next Week With These 12 New Features

Thursday December 8, 2022 7:05 am PST by
iOS 16.2 is expected to be released next week following nearly two months of beta testing. With last-minute additions like Apple Music Sing and Advanced Data Protection, the software update now has over a dozen new features for the iPhone. Below, we've recapped many of the new features coming with iOS 16.2, including Apple's new whiteboard app Freeform, two new Lock Screen widgets, the...
introducing apple music sing

Apple Music Adding a Karaoke Experience With Apple Music Sing

Tuesday December 6, 2022 7:09 am PST by
Apple today announced Apple Music Sing, a new feature in Apple Music that lets users sing their favorite songs with adjustable vocals and more. Apple Music Sing will utilize Apple Music's real-time lyrics to allow users to sing to their favorite songs using adjustable vocals, background vocals, and duet view to allow more than one singer.Apple Music Sing includes: Adjustable vocals: Users...
Twitter Feature

Twitter to Charge $11 Per Month for Twitter Blue on iPhone, $7 on Website

Wednesday December 7, 2022 6:47 pm PST by
Twitter plans to charge $11 per month for a Twitter Blue subscription on the iPhone in order to account for the 30 percent cut that Apple takes from in-app purchases, reports The Information. On the web, Twitter Blue will be priced at $7 per month. Prior to when Twitter Blue was paused, Twitter was charging $7.99 for a subscription, but the pricing will change before it relaunches. According ...
Apple advanced security Advanced Data Protection screen Feature

Apple Announces End-to-End Encryption Option for iCloud Photos, Notes, Backups, and More

Wednesday December 7, 2022 10:00 am PST by
Apple today announced it is expanding end-to-end encryption to many additional iCloud data categories on an opt-in basis for enhanced security. iCloud already protects 14 data categories using end-to-end encryption by default, including the Messages app when backups are disabled, passwords stored in iCloud Keychain, Health data, Apple Maps search history, Apple Card transactions, and more,...