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What is "mdworker"? (40%+ CPU)


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#1
Adrian Fogge

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I was taking a look at Activity Monitor after seeing my performance was pretty terrible.

I was wondering, does anyone know what "mdworker" does?

I have been watching it for a while and it is consistently over 40% when the CPU is not doing other stuff.

Time Machine backups have not been enabled on this system and Spotlight indexing has already been completed.

There is one for me, one for "nobody" and one for "root". The only one taking resources is mine.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

#2
mikeutter

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I was taking a look at Activity Monitor after seeing my performance was pretty terrible.

I was wondering, does anyone know what "mdworker" does?

I have been watching it for a while and it is consistently over 40% when the CPU is not doing other stuff.

Time Machine backups have not been enabled on this system and Spotlight indexing has already been completed.

There is one for me, one for "nobody" and one for "root". The only one taking resources is mine.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.


It is the new and improved Meta Data importer. Don't worry, after some time you'll see its CPU usage drop. It kicks in when there's any kind of file activity, especially documents.

#3
stryder

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It is the new and improved Meta Data importer. Don't worry, after some time you'll see its CPU usage drop. It kicks in when there's any kind of file activity, especially documents.


Or you can disable it altogether if you don't use Spotlight. Just google "disable spotlight os x tiger".

I find spotlight useless, and have it disabled myself (along with Dashboard).

#4
gadgetdude

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You guys are great, I typed "mdworker" in on google thinking of getting doctors or something. Oh and by the way, spotlight is better than anything on windows, and saved my butt a couple of times with losing a file. :) Also how could you live without Dashboard. That is my life. Oh and the file part complete confirms it, I just finished a huge power point, plus 2 90 paged documents, filled with pics :)

#5
Panther

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mdworker is a tool that indexes what, where, and what is in files.

#6
sg

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its only noticeable and runs for more than a few seconds when you first install Leopard and if you attach a new drive with a lot of files for the first time. one your stuff is indexed you'll likely never notice it run for more than a few seconds.

#7
kinatas

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its only noticeable and runs for more than a few seconds when you first install Leopard and if you attach a new drive with a lot of files for the first time. one your stuff is indexed you'll likely never notice it run for more than a few seconds.


hmm it kicked in here too, and worked for about 5 minutes... no new drives or documents added... but today I did try "iDefrag"... looks like it kinda messes up with indexed files... (I know defrag is almost totally useless, don't even start :) I just needed some contiguous free space for a new partition...)

#8
audioServer

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Spotlight is an overkill for searching for files and content. It has some new features but tries to index at startup, when a drive is connected and so on... Really frustrating. I've disabled it completely.

Terminal, locate, find, and grep together are very powerful for searching stuff.

#9
jkoerber

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I was also wondering why my MacBook was running the mdworker process under my user name at about 90% - 97% of one of my CPU cores?

Come to find out that because it is a Spotlight indexing tool it makes perfect sense.

I had just copied about 46,000 files over my home network from my iMac development machine to my laptop so I can access them while traveling. So the poor little mdworker application is cranking away mightily at tens of thousands of little html, unix, and source code files trying to get them all indexed for Spotlight.

This is one case where it would be nice to be able to shift-ctrl-alt-option drag copy something (if that existed) to bypass any indexing.

But, at least I know what the heck that little process is!

-- Jon

#10
spritrig

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I do quite a bit of data mining and didn't want mdworker working on the files. I steered Spotlight away from my data munging directories, and external disk.

System Preferences --> Spotlight --> Privacy --> [+]

Your selection will be added to the table titled, "Prevent Spotlight from searching these locations".

#11
Toryalai Hart

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I had also been on witch hunt for quite some time to fight off the spinning disk of death... and in the end, spotlight was the culprit.

1. While I'm sure that chipping away at potentials has helped, ultimately putting my photos (why index files named DSC232122?!) and emails (I search those in mail... not spotlight) onto the private list for spotlight fixed a 5 month long saga of angst and rage at my poor MacBook pro which I purchased full loaded less than a year ago and was becoming unusable.

I mention these two folders here as good candidates to exclude because in my case:

Usr/Pictures: 39GB in 1,227 items
Usr/Library/Mail: 24GB in 152,215 items

As you can imagine, when spotlight stupidly started indexing while I was clearly using the machine... it became unusable and I... well... @^#%*!&#%!!!!

2. I also then came across this neat post in which the user suggests that deletion of your old spotlight index results in more processor efficient indexing:
http://coolestguypla...c-os-x-lion-107

Ideally, I wish that OSX would at least wait until the machine was not in use by a human for X amount of time before initiating is spotlight index rebuild... and even then, limit how much processing power it's allowed to hog!





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