33 thoughts on “Catalina Mail / CPU Issues NOT Resolved (still investigating) – Update 03/04/20

  1. I have the same issue while using 2 Gmail accounts and 1 Exchange account. I was thinking that maybe the issue is due to the 2 Gmail accounts (rather than the Exchange account) – but proved it only partially…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My accountsd process took more than 200% CPU and more than 10GB of RAM with 22 hour CPU time.
    I got the accountsd CPU and RAM consumption down via the following steps:
    1. Disable iCloud account for Mail and Cal sync
    2. Disable GMail account for Mail and Cal sync
    3. Force Quit the accountsd process via i.e. Activity Monitor
    4. Restart the mail.app

    I still have 2 Exchange, 1 AOL based and 1 Live accounts active in mail.app.
    My accountsd process is now at 0% CPU and 33MB of RAM with 0 hour CPU time. Memory consumption still increases but not as exponentially as when iCloud and GMail is enabled.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I eventually created a shell script that kills the accountsd process every 5 to 10 minutes (I still have to write it in to actually check for memory consumption and kill if over a certain size). I scheduled this script via the “crontab”, changed email to fetch mail every 5 minutes.
    Unfortunately, there are still times when things slow down, so I’ll disable iCloud and Gmail to see if things speed up more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That should help a lot. I was looking for a way to use ulimit or limit to just cap memory use and couldn’t find a way to do that. I searched for scripts that would kill based on memory use as well. Seems like you could kill it every day and that would be plenty. I have a case open with Apple on some HomeKit issues but then will open a case on this issue.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Wie Sie bemerkt haben, habe ich das Problem auch auf meinem Macbook, und Sie haben Recht, dass ich ein Upgrade von Mojave auf Catalina durchgeführt habe. Ich denke, dass Leute, die von Grund auf neu installieren, dieses Problem möglicherweise nicht haben. Ich kann eine neue Kopie von Catalina auf meinem Macbook installieren, aber ich mache mir Sorgen, dass ich Daten verlieren werde.

      Mit all den Dingen, die ich versucht habe, konnte ich die Auswirkungen reduzieren, aber nicht beseitigen. Ich stimme zu, dass es sehr ärgerlich ist, was Apple getan hat und wie wenig sie darauf reagiert haben. Danke für den Beitrag! Ich war im Deutschunterricht an der High School eingeschrieben, aber das ist lange her. Gott sei Dank für Google Translate!

      Freundliche Grüße –


  4. Unfortunately I can’t confirm accountsd is painful, only if you upgraded to Catalina. I recently did a complete clean install, but was still bugged by accountsd getting out of hand after adding one Exchange account…


    1. That’s terrible news – and I’m glad I saw this because I was just going to do a clean install. I’m opening a case with Apple this week so hopefully they can bring this to resolution. I’ll post their suggestions.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. i have the same Problem with High CPU Power with Mail.
    i have 3 IMAP Accounts, one off them is the Main Account with 8000 emails.
    I do a lot workaround, with same manuals from the Internet and now with Apple Support.

    At the moment i will simulate the 100% CPU Spike with 2 emails Accounts with a “small” Inbox, only 350emails… at the moment i can’t simulate the symptom…!

    Is it possible that this behavior can be related to an email account with a lot of emails 5000 emails and more !?
    Or if emails are deleted or moved, the error occurs ( email Account 5000Mails and more ) !?

    Possible is everything…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It could be. I’ve tried a variety of options including moving most of my accounts to Outlook (yech), moving my Exchange clients to Outlook and leaving Google on Mail, and vice versa. It seems that the accountsd process is trying to cache something and gets larger and larger. There appears to be a memory leak in the application based on my experience developing apps.


  6. I did some tests with export my Inbox… and after this action i see High CPU usage and a high Network activity !
    I disable short the WLAN and enable a few seconds…. the CPU usage goes down to normal and the network activity goes to normal and the Pressure for the Memory goes down…
    So i can now simulate this behavior with high CPU Spikes at my system.
    This is now submitted to Apple Support….

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Having same problem. I didn’t upgrade to Catalina, but I did get a new 16″ MBP with it pre-installed and I migrated from an older MBP running Sierra, so it’s quite possible I brought problematic user prefs with me. Thank you for all the work you’ve done on this! It’s nice to know it’s not just me. 🙂


  8. Hi lads;

    I’m Loic from France, with an early 2013 Macbookpro, and am also encountering the same issue.
    So far, I’ve been killing the accountsd with the activity monitor but this is not a sustainable solution.

    I’m now simply considering returning back to the good old Mozilla thunderbird.. what a pain !

    I’m running with Catalina 10.15.4 by the way but no “fix” seems to have been found by apple since 10.15.3.

    Thanks for your work.
    I’ll keep checking from time to time to see if somebody found a solution.


  9. I updated to Catalina about two weeks ago and also updated many other apps. After update my computer was so slow as to be pretty much unusable.
    Examination of Activity Monitor pointed to the problem possibly being the Mail app. which had frequent high CPU and memory usage.
    So I searched the web and found this thread.
    I focussed on the accountsd process – and its memory usage was also high … >3GB.
    Early in this thread you mentioned ghost keychains. I found a locked entry called Microsoft Intermediate Certificates. Unlocking wasted time! But leave the password blank and it opened to reveal it was empty.
    I deleted Microsoft Intermediate Certificates. Voila! All working better than ever.
    I’ve had about 5 days of good performance. But I’ve noticed that accountsd memory was at ~400MB after starting at 35MB, and was steadily increasing.
    A reboot has knocked it back to 35MB. No doubt it will increase again.
    Console shows a large number of accountsd errors – that doesn’t seem healthy, does it?? And actually, overall the total number of errors for all processes seems huge! That also doesn’t seem healthy. Too daunting to delve into them at present!
    For now I’ll just be happy I have a usable system.
    Many thanks for the ghost keychain tip!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m at the same point as you – disgusted with Catalina. And Apple Support is ghosting me now.

      In one of my articles, I showed how to add a cron script to kill accountsd every night at 2am or so. Also, I created a script that fixes the trait of Mail to scramble the order of your accounts. It doesn’t fix it, it resets the accounts back to their correct order.


  10. I could not agree more, Mine spun up to overload over a few days after I thought I fixed it using your previous methods. None of it worked, outside of killing the process in Activity Monitor.


  11. Finding the solution for a client. My Mac is an updated MacBook Pro (13″ 2016) and doesn’t have the problem. My bosses Mac does have this issue and it is a newer MacBook Pro (13″ 2018), our client had a new preinstalled Catalina on a 2020 15″ MacBook Pro and also has the issue.

    It doesn’t seem to be related back to this.
    Alle MacBook Pro’s are running Exchange, for my bosses MacBook it started after we made the switch.

    I have read your thread and I think I can manage the issue for my client through MDM and manataince. Thanks I will keep myself updated for an definite fix. (or wait foor Big Sur to fix the issue and create countless others)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi DAVID – The only good stop-gap I found was the article I wrote on using Cron to restart the accountsd process each night at 2am. Everything recovered and the size of the process would stay pretty small thru 24 hours. It still does intermittently shuffle around your mail account order on the left pane but otherwise… Thank you for posting and following, btw!


  12. after getting mad with my macBook Pro`s accountsd, I found (at least my) solution: In mail settings, De-select Trashcan as search location. This calmed the nasty daemon down to 15 % CPU time or so. Not sure what the value normally should be, but accountsd is now just one of many daemons / processes in the middle of the table of proccesses (top) and the fan shuts up.


      1. after 1 week with an idle accountsd it started all by itself again running mad. I silenced it again by doing this:

        -in mail, go the settings. For each account, select Windows->check connection or whatever it says (I am running German as language and it says ‘Verbindung prüfen’).

        -De-select logging

        -Go to show logs

        -check for the size of logs. Delete big logs, or simply delete all logs. I believe accountsd runs into File I/O-problems if logs are too big by opening, writing and closing into these logs multiple times in short period, while being multithreaded. Then one thread waits for another thread to close the stream, but the other thread is already finished long ago, or is dead or whatever.

        -Log into your mail accounts using browser access. Check for the existence of multiple trashcans. In my case there is one mal account where there are 2 trashcans, one in English, one in German. I guess accountsd gets confused with this. Parts of the problem might might be related to a localisation bug. Delete all unused mail folders, limit the storage time of sent/received mails to 3 months or so, which reduced the number of mails in my accounts by several thousand.

        After this, keeping trashcan, spam and encoded mails als search source unchecked, my accountsd is finally calm.

        Liked by 1 person

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