How to Fix Mac mds_stores Error and Reduce High CPU Storage Usage


By Jack

Update on

Mds_Stores Mac

Mds_stores on Mac is an error that defines high CPU storage on an Apple computer. If you are bothered by this error and wonder how to fix it, keep reading this article.

We list down practical solutions to address this error conveniently, even if you are a novice. So, let’s dig deep and learn how to fix Mac mds_stores error.

An Introduction to Mac mds_stores Error

Spotlight is considered to be an exceptionally handy feature. It is considered to be a useful search engine integrated into the desktop.

This feature was initially introduced in 2004, and the release began in 2005. The purpose of Spotlight is to find the files stored on your Mac.

Spotlight Search

This specific feature ensures all the items and the files found on the mac. What happens on a selection basis? Then, it will retain that index to perform a search easier.

It is easier to activate the Spotlight feature simply by clicking on it. This feature appears in the form of a magnifying glass and is in the menu bar of the main interface.

If not, there is another method to activate this feature. In this case, you can press the command and spacebar on the keyboard when you’re on the main interface.

What Does mds_stores on Mac Mean?

Spotlight begins the indexing process when users first log in to their macOS. After wiping the respective SSD, you either buy a new Mac or have a fresh option for macOS. The Spotlight will begin indexing immediately once you log in.

The metadata server keeps track of the indexing of files. The metadata server is abbreviated as “MDS.” It’s a procedure that runs in the background on the Mac.

As a result, it can index almost everything on all the files on the SSD. Moreover, it can connect any other external drives you’ve connected to the respective computer.

mds_stores on Mac

PS: let’s figure out how to approve your iPhone.

What Makes mds_stores on Mac Consume Heavy System Resources

MDS stores usually finish indexing quickly. It consumes some CPU resources during the indexing phase. However, once the initial indexing is complete, it uses only a little CPU power.

This method is used to index files unless your Mac has had a lot of data removed and added to it. Nevertheless, the time it takes will differ based on the computer’s data.

It continues to index the files and consumes significant CPU power. In other words, that could lead to mds_stores’ high CPU usage.

Due to a Spotlight issue in a few rare instances, MDS stores keep the indexing process running for weeks. A large number of Mac users have reported this.

Now that you have a basic understanding of Spotlight, its indexing mechanism, and why it uses so much CPU. Finally, we’ll discuss all potential solutions for resolving this vexing problem.

Besides, if you are experiencing issues like the Mac keeps crashing, here are the top solutions.

What Are the Best Fixes to Try if You Notice mds_stores High Cpu Usage?

Now that you have substantial knowledge about mds_stores on Mac. Let’s proceed with the fixes. Mentioned below are the most practical fixes you can try.

So, let’s go ahead and learn how to solve the Mac mds_stores error.

01. Perform a Restart on the Mac

You may try a few different approaches to fix MDS stores using many CPU resources. The majority of them have anything to do with Spotlight. But our first advice to anybody having problems with their gadgets is just to restart them.

In most instances, restarting the computer resolves problems caused by minor defects. In this instance, too, I recommend restarting your Mac before diving into more complicated remedies.

● How to Restart Your Mac

You should first click the tiny Apple logo in the upper left corner. You’ll find Sleep, Restart, and Shut Down choices here.

Restart mac to fix mds_stores Mac

If you click on the option “Restart,” you can see that it terminates open applications. It also terminates the background applications as well. That allows you to switch it on and off as you wish.

Restart Mac

Once it is restarted, you can enter the password. Then, you should begin using your Mac.

After about a half-hour of use, go over to Activity Monitor. After that, you should see whether any MDS-related processes still utilize the CPU.

If not, just rebooting your Mac will solve the problem. However, if the problem persists, don’t worry; the next patch is on its way.

02. Stop Spotlight and Start It Again

As you already know, mds_stores on Mac is directly related to your Mac’s Spotlight feature. So, you should restart that Spotlight feature and see if it does any good. With many users, this method has worked perfectly.

Also, this is a very simple process that can be performed easily by a novice. So, let’s go ahead and learn how to do it.

  • First, you should go to the “Finder” app and then to the “Applications” option.
  • In “Application,” you should open Utilities and look for the option “Terminal.”
  • Now, you should launch “Terminal” and enter the below command.

sudo launchctl unload -w/System/Library/LaunchDaemons/

Once you have done that, you should hit the “Enter” key to execute the command.

sudo launchctl unload -w/System/Library/LaunchDaemons/

Once you have done that, you will be required to enter your password on the PC. You will need to do it because the system wants you to check if you have administrator privileges. So, just enter the password and proceed.

As a result, Spotlight will be stopped. Once you have done that, the system will close everything related to this with all the other processes. You can use the computer for some time now and open Activity Monitor.

That will display the processes that consume the CPU resources. Once the Spotlight is closed, mds_stores on Mac will not be there. You can restart the Spotlight feature and see if the error is gone.

If You Don’t Know How to Restart Spotlight, You Can Follow the Steps Mentioned Below.

  • First, you should open the “Finder” option and go to “Applications.” After that, you should go to “Utilities” and choose “Terminal.”
Terminal Application
  • Now, open the terminal feature on your mac and enter the following command.

sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/

After that, you are supposed to hit the “Enter” key.

sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/
  • Like the previous option, you can stop the Spotlight feature after entering the “Admin” password. You can enter that password and allow the command to run. That will activate the Spotlight feature on the mac.
  • Once you have done that, you can perform a restart on the MAC and continue using it. You can take a look at the activity monitor now. Then, check if the Mac mds_stores are using extensive resources.

If you still see mds_stores high CPU usage, the reason could be uncompleted indexing. Such scenarios can happen if a huge amount of data is indexed.

So, you can delete some of the directories in the Spotlight index in such a situation. By doing that, you can reduce the size of the index size. Then, mds_stores on Mac might complete the respective indexing process pretty faster.

If You Are Not Know How to Delete Those Directories, You Can Follow the Steps Mentioned Below.

First, you are supposed to launch “System Preferences.” To do that, you can click on the “Apple Menu.” Then, you are supposed to select it from the Launchpad.

macOS System Preferences
  • You should click on the option called Spotlight. You will now see a screen with Search Results & Privacy as two options.
mac Spotlight
  • Go to “Search Results,” and you can define the categories you intend to view. That means the options that should appear in search results. Also, under “Privacy,” you can add folders you don’t want to index with Spotlight.
mac Spotlight Settings
Spotlight Privacy
  • Now, you can add big folders so they won’t appear in search results. That will reduce the time the Spotlight takes to search for your files. That will eventually fix the mds_stores on Mac error. In other words, after this step, you will not see mds_stores high CPU usage.

Hopefully, this method should work. If not, you shouldn’t worry, and you can proceed to the next method to fix the error.

04. Deactivate Spotlight Feature on Mac

Do you still notice mds_stores high CPU usage after attempting the previous methods? If that is the case, this could be the last resort.

In this case, the absolute last option is to turn off Spotlight. The highlight function will be disabled, which will undoubtedly resolve the problem.

However, I oppose it since Spotlight has become such a useful tool. However, to turn it off, take these steps:

  • Launch Finder.
Deactivate Spotlight feature to fix mds_stores error on Mac
  • Open Terminal by going to Applications, then Utilities.
Application -> Utilities
  • Type “Sudo mdutli – a -i off” into the Terminal program.
Sudo mdutli – a -i off
  • If you’re prompted for an Admin password, type it in and press Enter.
  • You are supposed to restart your computer, and Spotlight will be gone from your Mac.


1. What is the mds_stores process in Mac?

The mds_stores process is a part of Apple’s Spotlight feature, which indexes and manages searches on your Mac.

2. Why is mds_stores causing high CPU and storage usage?

Typically, this happens when mds_stores is busy indexing new files or there’s some error in the process.

3. How do I diagnose high CPU and storage usage?

You can use the Activity Monitor tool to monitor your Mac’s CPU and storage usage in real-time.

4. How can I fix the mds_stores error?

You can fix the error temporarily by relaunching Spotlight via Terminal, or permanently by rebuilding the Spotlight index.

5. How can I prevent this issue in the future?

Keep your MacOS updated and consider upgrading your hardware if your Mac is older.

6. Does updating MacOS solve the problem?

Often, yes. Apple regularly releases patches that fix various bugs, which might resolve the issue.


A spotlight is a fantastic tool for searching files throughout the system. However, the truth is that the indexing process may be tedious for certain users. The Mac mds_stores operate from the background and use most CPU resources.

If the system has a fan, it will begin to operate to reduce the heat on the system. It is always possible to attempt all the above procedures to resolve the problem.

To fix the Mac mds_stores issue, you can begin with a basic restart, stopping and restarting Spotlight. Then, you can try deleting certain folders from the Spotlight index and then deactivating Spotlight completely.

Please let us know whether you were able to resolve the problem utilizing the methods that were explained above.

Please let us know if you have yet to succeed with any of the above solutions. We will try our best to assist you. Good luck!


Ten years of experience in information and computer technology. Passionate about electronic devices, smartphones, computers, and modern technology.