accountsd and secd high CPU usage on Catalina

TL;DR:
Go into ~/Library/Keychains and delete the folder that represents your local keychain (the folder will have a GUID-style name). Restart your Mac and all should be dandy. Please note, you MAY lose the convenience of having (some) saved passwords, requiring you to re-enter those.

Longer read:
So it was upgrade time for my Macbook. I updated Mojave to Catalina. Coincidentally, I also had to renew my laptop’s user password (company policy) and meanwhile, also the new iOS came out (13.3).

This morning, my Macbook sounded like it was taking off. The fan was going berserk and checking the Activity Monitor, I saw that both the accountsd and the secd daemons were consistently using between 60% and 100% of CPU.

I tried enabling Keychain, as per forum posts, but it would not let me enable it. I got the spinning wheel and the process was just very slow.

I also tried signing in and out of iCloud, disabling iCloud on my iOS devices. Heck, I even changed the password for my Apple ID. All to no avail.

What eventually set me on the right track was opening Safari and going to the Passwords-tab in Preferences. It said passwords were locked and to enter the password for a user. To which I obliged, but it gave me the uh-oh shake, refusing to open the passwords.

I tried entering my old user passwords, but all to no avail. This ofcourse is very puzzling but led me to thinking that somewhere, something must be blocking access to keychain items. Could this be the reason the daemons were running amok?

So, I finally went into the terminal app and navigated to:

 ˜/Library/Keychains

In it, there were a couple of “keychain-db” files, but more importantly, a subfolder that had a GUID-like-name (ABCDE12-EFG2-21BA-……you get the idea). This folder represents your local keychain and holds your “local” items. It is a bit of a nuisance because of having to enter your passwords again, but it is safe to delete it.

Restarting the MAC then re-generated the GUID folder and the fans quieted down.

Hope this helps someone trying to fix this.

29 thoughts on “accountsd and secd high CPU usage on Catalina

  1. David L

    Perfect! Thanks for the write-up. User processes were running at about 15% with secd and accountsd at the top of the list. Idle is no 1% on the CPU meter.

    Like

    Reply
  2. Vijay Jalihal

    Secd doesn’t stop running even after trying this. The folder comes back again to the library/keychains folder..

    Like

    Reply
    1. waal70 Post author

      The folder is supposed to re-appear and the process is supposed to run. Just not at 80-90% for longer periods.
      The article talks about that case and then deleting the folder (and having it re-appear) solves the high CPU usage.

      Like

      Reply
  3. Svend P

    Thank you for the fix 👍 Had a user with 8 folders in Keychain folder that had to be removed and CPU dropped from 100-110%

    Like

    Reply
  4. Pingback: Catalina 10.15.7 Update = accountsd using 400% CPU if using iCloud

  5. Nana

    Thank you SO MUCH! I was starting to get worried as my computer is getting “old” (according to obsolescence standards…). Look at how silent my baby is 😀

    Like

    Reply
  6. Enrique Ibarra

    Thanks a lot for this post. I had to repeat the process you describe twice, but it successfully fixed the problem after the second attempt. CPU is back to normal level. Thanks!

    Like

    Reply
    1. Jan Olšák

      the fix worked for me but I had to repeat it the second time after a few days when the problem reappeared – I hope it won’t keep on coming back

      Like

      Reply
  7. Pingback: Mac OS X Catalina загрузка CPU 100% accountsd - lexone ru

  8. Ethan LIAO

    the 5 files I have in Keychains are apsd.keychain, crls, pinningrules.sqlite3, suppementalsassets, system.keychain

    which one should i consider here

    Like

    Reply
  9. Joyce

    Hi, i have the same issue, my CPU is now 498%. But there are no GUIDstyle name folders in the Keychains folder. Only a crls and SupplementalsAssets folder. Which should I remove?

    Like

    Reply
    1. waal70 Post author

      Are you in the ~/Library/Keychains folder. I believe there is also one in /Library/Keychains
      If you are in the correct location; the issue may be a different one and not related to what is described here.

      Like

      Reply
  10. João Parente

    Can you help me? I am new to mac and what’s basic and obvious for you idon’t get it. I have the same problem with my macbook pro but i don’t understand how to get to:
    “So, I finally went into the terminal app and navigated to:

    ˜/Library/Keychains”

    Can you help me?

    Thank you so much.

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s