Last week, I was facing a problem with the mds_stores. It consumed 95% of my CPU, which was very frustrating.
After messing around for a few hours, I discovered that the problem was caused by Spotlight, which indexes data from folders I’m unlikely to use. But fortunately, I was able to get this issue resolved.
If you are facing the same mds_stores issue, then don’t worry. In this article, I share all the methods I have used for my personal Mac to fix this issue.
Surely at the end of this guide, you’ll be able to know how to fix mds_stores on Mac. So without any further ado, let’s jump into it.
What Is The mds_stores Process?
Before fixing the mds_stores issue, you need to understand what actually it is.
MDS stands for MetaDeta server. It’s a background process of Mac often linked with the Spotlight feature. With the help of the mds_stores process, the indexing is conducted in the background process.
Mds_stores offers many benefits, but sometimes it does more than is needed and consumes all of your Mac CPU, which is very frustrating.
Even though you don’t even perform a single function on Mac, mds_stores is also consuming resources at that time.
This consumed 92%-100% of your Mac CPU, causing your system to slow down.
Why Do mds_stores Consume High CPU On Mac?
When you start your system, the spotlight feature starts indexing all the contents on your Mac. Due to this indexing process, mds_stores consumes a high CPU, making your Mac slow.
So, when the data is added to the hard drive, the indexing process starts, and the mds_stores CPU usage goes higher.
This increase in CPU consumption is due to the large addition or deletion of the data on your Mac hard drive.
When Spotlight indexes locations and folders you won’t need, like your TimeMachines’ backup, Mds_stores consume more CPU.
Additionally, it occurs when several apps are constantly changing their folder contents.
Mds_stores’ high consumption is also due to these factors:
- High disk size
- Your Mac’s speed
- Size of your directions
- The last date Spotlight indexed your device
In the next section of this guide, I’ll discuss how to fix the mds_stores on Mac.
How To Fix mds_Stores On Mac?
I recommend you fix the mds_stores issue because it might freeze your Mac when the CPU resources are completely consumed.
It also causes hang, deteriorates, malfunctions, and faults in responding to commands.
Below are my recommended methods that you can use to fix the mds_stores issue:
- Reboot your Mac
- Disable Spotlight
- Temporarily stop and restart the Spotlight
- Reduce spotlight indexing data
- Uninstall third-party apps that use mds_stores
I’ve explained each method step-by-step, that’ll help you fix this issue.
Method 1: Reboot Your Mac
Rebooting is the solution to every hardware and software issue, including the mds_stores process on Mac.
Suppose you realize your Mac is working slowly and hanging or overheating; then you should check whether mds_store is consuming CPU.
If the mds_stores consumes a high process, save your work and restart your Mac.
After a reboot, reopen the Activity monitor to check whether the mds_store issue is resolved. Usually, rebooting fixes the problem, as it mostly did for me.
However, you should try another method if the mds_stores still consumes a high CPU load.
Method 2: Disable Spotlight Program
Disabling Spotlight is another method for fixing the mds_stores issue. Using Spotlight on your Mac, you can find things in seconds. Unless you use Spotlight very often, you should disable it.
When Spotlight is disabled on Mac, mds_stores will not be visible in Activity Monitor since Spotlight is its main feature.
This method will show you how to disable Spotlight on Mac. In addition, you can enable it whenever you want.
How To Disable Spotlight On Mac?
Follow these steps to get your Spotlight feature disabled on Mac:
- Locate and open the Finder from your Mac’s desktop.
- Choose the Applications folder to expand it.
- Go to Utilities to access the apps in the utility category.
- Tap on the Terminal app to launch it.
- Enter this command in the Terminal. sudo mdutil -a -i off
- Press Enter key and provide your Admin password as the Mac system asks. Again, press Enter key to complete the command.
- Congrats! The Spotlight has been successfully disabled on your MacBook.
Now open the Activity Monitor again, and check if the mds_stores consume high power.
Method 3: Temporarily Stop And Restart The Spotlight
How To Temporarily Stop Spotlight?
- Locate and open Finder and choose the Applications section.
- Go to Utilities and open the Terminal app.
- Type this command in the Terminal. sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.metadata.mds.plist
- Press Enter key and type your password.
- Restart your Mac.
The Spotlight will be temporarily disabled after you restart your Mac. You can also turn it back on by following the steps below.
How To Restart Spotlight On Mac?
- Open the Terminal app and type the below-mentioned command.
- sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.metadata.mds.plist
- Press Enter key and provide the Admin password.
- Restart your Mac.
The Spotlight feature will reopen after the restart, and the old locations and folders will no longer be indexed. After that, the mds_stores should consume less CPU power.
Method 4: Restrict/Reduce Spotlight Indexing Data
To fix the mds_stores issue, you can also reduce or restrict the Spotlight indexing data. With this method, the mds_stores will stop consuming more CPU.
The logic behind this method is that some folders will be removed from the search criteria of Spotlight. That’s why the mds_stores issue will be fixed. I’ve categorized this method into three steps.
- Delete Spotlight Database on Mac
- Re-index the Spotlight Database
- Prevent Spotlight from indexing some folders and locations.
Step 1: Delete Spotlight Data On Mac
Follow the below-mentioned steps to get this step done:
- Locate and open Finder and go to the Applications section.
- Choose Utilities in the Applications and click on the Terminal app.
- Type this command in the Terminal. sudo rm -rf /.Spotlight-V100/
- Press Enter and provide your Admin password.
- After that, all the Spotlight Database will be deleted on your Mac.
Step 2: Re-Index The Spotlight DataBase
After deleting the Spotlight DataBase, restart your Mac and allow the Spotlight to re-index all the content on your hard drive.
Re-indexing should take a long time, so you should be patient, as I did, and drink some coffee while it happens.
Step 3: Prevent Spotlight From Searching Some Folders
As I already discussed, the high resource consumption could also be caused by the mds_stores searching folders and locations irrelevant to you.
As a result, you can prevent Spotlight from indexing them.
Follow these steps to get this step done:
- Click on the Apple icon and choose System Preferences.
- Go to the Spotlight and click on its Privacy tab.
- Drag and drop the folders and add the locations you’ll like Spotlight to avoid.
You won’t be able to search for the folders you added using Spotlight, and mds_stores will now consume less CPU.
Method 5: Uninstall Third-Party Apps
Last but not least, this method is also effective in fixing the mds_stores issue.
Remember, some third-party apps on your Mac always utilize the indexing function of Spotlight and mds_stores to complete their tasks.
So, even if you don’t use the Spotlight feature, the mds_store still consumes a high CPU of your Mac.
Uninstall recent third-party apps, especially those downloaded outside the App Store, with the feature of scanning your Mac.
You can then restart your Mac to see if mds_stores consumes less CPU.
Which Folders Should I Restrict From Indexing?
According to my experience, you should consider preventing the following folders and locations from indexing:
- Viber PC
- Timemachine backups
How To Re-Enable Spotlight On Mac?
After you have fixed the mds_stores issue, this method will allow you to use Spotlight again.
- Open the Terminal app and enter this command. sudo mdutil -a -i on
- Press the Enter key and provide your Admin password.
- Again press the Enter key to complete the command process.
- Now Spotlight has been successfully enabled on your Mac.
- Temporarily Stop And Restart Spotlight
Why Does It Take Long To Index?
Spotlight is a vital and unique feature of a Mac that should be allowed to function without interruption.
However, it can be frustrating when a supposed background process prevents you from using your computer.
Nevertheless, I should allow this to encourage you to use your device. T
ypically, the indexing process should take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes, depending on a few factors which are outlined below.
To confirm whether MDS and Spotlight are indexing, check the Spotlight icon at the upper right corner of the menu bar.
A magnifying glass represents this icon. If you notice a dot in the center of the Spotlight icon, it indicates that indexing is currently in progress.
By clicking on the icon, Mac will display the indexing duration.
Related Post: How To Fix Access Denied Website On Mac?
Should I Disable Spotlight’s Indexing?
Whether to disable Spotlight’s indexing feature is entirely up to you as the user.
If you frequently use Spotlight to search for files and applications, it may not be in your best interest to disable it.
Instead, it is recommended to exercise patience and allow me to complete its indexing task or limit it to essential parts of your drive.
It’s worth noting that some third-party applications rely on Spotlight’s indexing feature.
If you use any such apps, disabling Spotlight may cause problems. Fortunately, re-enabling it is a straightforward process if necessary.
How To Open Activity Monitor On Mac?
Activity monitoring on Mac is essential to disable the Spotlight feature. So you must know how to open it. For ease, I’ve explained a step-by-step guide that’ll greatly help you.
Follow these steps to get this done:
- Open the Finder window by clicking your dock’s “Finder” icon.
- In the Finder window, click “Applications” to see your Mac applications. Double-click the “Utilities” folder in this folder.
- Double-click the “Activity Monitor” icon to access it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Is The Process Name MDS On Mac?
MDS stands for metadata server. Its primary function is to manage the indexing that provides quick search results for Spotlight searches.
What Is A Spotlight On Mac?
Spotlight is a System-wide desktop search engine on Mac designed mainly to locate files on Mac.
It keeps an index of all items and files on your Mac and lets you search through it.
Why Is mds_stores Consuming A High CPU?
Due to a bug in Spotlight, mds_stores sometimes keep indexing for weeks at a time, which consumes much power.
How To Fix The mds_stores Process Error?
1. Reboot your Mac
2. Disable Spotlight
3. Reduce spotlight indexing data
4. Temporarily stop and restart the Spotlight
5. Uninstall third-party apps that result in mds_stores high consumption.
What Is mds_stores On My Mac?
It’s a background process of Mac often linked with the Spotlight feature. With the help of the mds_stores process, the indexing is conducted in the background process.
The whole guide concluded that you can fix the mds_stores issue by restarting your Mac, disabling the Spotlight, and uninstalling the third-party apps that result in the high consumption of CPU.
Hopefully, now you know how to fix mds_stores on Mac and all the related queries.
The above guide and solutions are based on my experience, and you’ll benefit significantly from them.
Michael Davis is a tech expert specializing in troubleshooting Apple product issues and navigating the world of modern technology. With a wealth of experience, he simplifies complex problems and offers straightforward solutions.