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What is Photoanalysisd? Should you disable it?

The macOS Sierra introduced the Photoanalysisd program to mac machines in 2016, and it brought a whirlwind of problems for people worldwide who updated to the OS.

Photoanalysisd is a system process that detects faces and objects in the photos in your Mac’s photo library and supports the facial detection feature on your device.

Since Photoanalysisd runs in the background, it can cause heating issues with your machine. People have complained about the high CPU usage of the Photoanalysisd program since 2016, and some still find it frustrating, especially when executing a program that requires extensive CPU resources.

Here we’ve discussed whether or not you need to stop Photoanalysisd and three ways you can stop it quickly.

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Photoanalysisd high CPU usage: Should you stop the process?

Since the Photoanalysisd feature works in the background, it could result in high CPU usage (50-80%), especially if you’ve got a new device or have recently updated. Once the software has scanned through all the photos in your library, you should see it hogging significantly fewer resources.

The higher the number of photos, the more time the process will take to complete scanning and analysing.

If your Mac isn’t new or hasn’t been updated in a while, and the Photoanalysisd feature still seems to be hogging your CPU’s resources and heating the device, it’s recommended you stop it temporarily, at least.

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How to stop Photonalysisd?

There are several ways you can stop the Photoanalysisd process on Mac, and here we’ve listed a few.

Disable Photoanalysisd via terminal

Launch the terminal and enter the code below to disable the GUI instance.

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

Then disable the Photoanalysisd process using the following code:

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

Alternatively, you can use the following command to disable Photoanalysisd:

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

How to re-enable Photoanalysisd via terminal?

Enter the following code in the terminal to re-enable the Photoanalysisd process:

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

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Remove Photoanalysisd

You can either use the following command in the terminal to remove Photoanalysis or follow the steps mentioned below.

sudo launchctl remove com.apple.photoanalysisd
  1. Turn off your Mac device and hold the Command+R keys.
  2. In the recovery mode, select Utilities.
  3. Then select Terminal.
  4. Type csrutil disable
  5. Then type reboot
  6. Once the Mac reboots, go to/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/PhotoAnalysis.framework/Versions/A/Support
  7. Look for the Photoanalysisd file and delete it; you can also rename it to re-enable later.
  8. Now, repeat Steps 1-5.

Manually identify faces in photos

You can also manually identify faces in your photos to help the process get the work done quicker.

  • Go to the Photos app.
  • Double-click on a photo.
  • Click on the i button.
  • Then on the + (plus) sign.
  • Select Add Faces and add a name to the face.

Alternatively, you can also go to the Library and click on the People album. You can start naming the people by clicking on the number below the photos.

If you’re running Catalina OS, go to Preferences > General in the Photos app and uncheck both the boxes in Memories.

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