What Is Mds_Stores On Mac & How to Fix Mds_Stores High CPU Usage?

Mac devices are well-known for their seamless operations and top-class surfing. The USP of these devices is how fast-paced they are and how rarely any of such devices slows down. But that doesn’t mean it would be flawless, as things like Mds_Stores may hamper the user experience. 

What is Mds_Stores? Mds_Stores is an index processing user in the spotlight search of Mac. Its primary function is maintaining and compiling the metadata to make the search results faster. Eventually, it consumes much of the CPU and slows down processes.

In this write-up, we’ll discuss things about Mds_Stores in detail and the fixes of associated issues. Therefore, let’s dive right into the blog without wasting a moment.

What is Mds_Stores on Mac?

Mds_Stores is a background process on Mac. It’s an abbreviated form of MetaData server and is primarily associated with Spotlight on Mac.

It is mainly the process with the help of which tracking the data regarding documents, apps, or files becomes possible. With this process, you can get results much faster. Initializing a keyword search in the search box gives you an indexed list of recommendations.

However, the Mds_Stores process consumes a considerable amount of CPU, and it can even consume 70-80% of the CPU in a similar approach. Often it over-utilizes the CPU, which might result in heating and slowing down the device. 

How to stop Mds_Stores on Mac?

You won’t be able to disable Mds_Stores by keeping Mac Spotlight on. It will only be possible to quit Mds_Stores by usually clicking the activity window close button. 

As it wholly works as the indexing feature, you need to turn off Spotlight. The process of disabling the spotlight is as follows:

  • The first step would be to launch the terminal
  • After that, enter the command “sudo mdutil -a -i off “
  • Enter the admin password and tap on return 
  • Restart your Mac after closing the terminal 

Carrying out these steps each after another will help to turn off Spotlight. For confirmation, you can navigate to the Activity Monitor and check whether Mds_Stores is still up there.

How to fix Mds_Stores high CPU usage?

The high CPU consumption can be said as the main issue most users face with Mds_Stores in operations. It’s the indexing process to track the metadata, which is done to make search results more efficient for users. 

But at the same time, frequent editing of the contents on the index overcomplicates things. As a result of this, the Mds_Stores end up using much of the CPU. Other than this, various third-party software and system bugs may lead to unusual CPU usage. 

Such issues need an immediate fix, especially on a Mac, as it will slow down the processes. Some reasonable solutions for the CPU high usage issue are listed below:


The easiest fix for this problem would be to reboot your Mac, which is the most straightforward approach to fixing any issues on any device. 

Therefore, before trying out any other method go for rebooting your Mac. In this process, you must press the power and control buttons together. After that, choose the restart option and start the rebooting process. 

When you are done with rebooting, go to the activity monitor and check if there is a drop in CPU consumption. Reducing consumption means that the issue is resolved, or you must try other methods.

Delete Directories

Since the process is associated with metadata and consists of directories, deleting some directories may help. It would eventually mean that the MDS won’t need to index a large chunk of files, resulting in the CPU consuming much power.

But you need to delete the Spotlight database, as all the directories have been indexed already. There should be a fresh start for a re-index, meaning the deleted directories won’t be there for indexing. The outcome would be a drop in CPU consumption.

The things you need to do are explained in the following points:

  • Navigate to Apple Menu and select the option System Preferences 
  • Launch System Preferences and from there, click the option Spotlight 
  • After that, select the Privacy tab
  • Drag the type of drives required in the window
  • Process the deletion by clicking on OK
  • Choose all the drives you added and confirm their removal by hitting the minus button
  • Restart your Mac after the process is completed

Disabling Spotlight

You can temporarily disable the spotlight to get rid of the issue. The steps to complete this process are below:

  • Press Command and Space Bar together
  • On the search bar that appears, search for Terminal
  • Type the command sudo mdutil -a -i off
  • Type your password then and hit enter

It will eventually disable the spotlight as you wanted.

Prevent Spotlight from indexing specific folders

The high CPU consumption is due to the indexing of irrelevant files or folders. In that situation, preventing the spotlight from indexing those folders would be better. The steps in this process are:

  • Locate System Preferences on the Desktop
  • Initiate a search for Spotlight 
  • After that, look for Privacy and click on it
  • Drag all the unnecessary folders that you don’t want the Spotlight to index in the Privacy tab

This way, you’ll control what should be indexed and what shouldn’t be.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The problem with Mds_Stores is that most people need to know its implications. That’s why, more often, there are queries that users often ponder. Some of them are mentioned here:

Is it possible to quit Mds_Stores on Mac?

Yes, quitting Mds_Stores is possible, but you can’t turn it off as a single process. Since it’s associated with the indexing feature, it includes other functions like mds and mdworker. Therefore, to quit it entirely, you must turn off the Mac Spotlight.

Can Spotlight slow down Mac?

A spotlight is a search tool that helps to find various files and queries. It indexes the files when the Mac gets updated. But this tool can slow down the system and keep it stuck.

How long does it takes to re-index a Mac?

The re-indexing duration depends on the files’ number and your processor speed. In this regard, it can take hours or even as less as 30 minutes to complete the process.


A slowed-down CPU isn’t desired by anyone and is a big no if you use a Mac. The Mds_Stores can end up causing many issues in this regard due to high CPU consumption.

But you can control this thing through some tweaks in the settings. The best solution is to limit the indexing to some extent or disable it for the time being. It will take some pressure off the CPU and reduce consumption to a great extent.

Moreover, the intent should be to lessen the consumption rate by the Mds_Stores process, which would hamper CPU performance. We hope that the fixes above will help mitigate the issue rightfully.

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