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How to fix fileproviderd CPU drain on Mac

A macOS daemon called fileproviderd is intended to make syncing to the cloud seamless, but lots of users report it consuming too much CPU.

What is fileproviderd on Mac?

It’s common knowledge that a computer’s storage space is no longer the one-stop repository for the user’s data. This shift is easy to notice when looking at SSD specifications of new laptop models out there, including those marketed as high-end. 512Gb or even 256Gb is the norm today, and old-school users know this definitely suffices to host the operating system and applications, but probably not enough to store all the videos, photos, databases, and other files that potentially take up a good deal of space. How so? Cloud is the short answer. People have become accustomed to keeping their data in the cloud. It’s affordable and convenient, with apps that provide single-click access to such resources. Around 2023, Apple engineers came up with a service called fileproviderd that’s supposed to handle cloud syncing and user interaction in a frictionless way. However, its commendable mission isn’t always implemented as smoothly as you would expect.

fileproviderd using over 100% CPU on Mac

The “d” part in the end denotes that it’s a daemon, that is to say, a background worker. Its task is to ensure smooth integration with a Mac’s Finder for both Apple-made cloud services and third-party ones. A few examples are iCloud, iCloud Drive, iCloud Photos, Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox. The offbeat thing is that the tech giant has combined the synchronization jobs for these heterogeneous services under the same umbrella rather than keeping the solutions from each external provider like it used to be. Frankly, it was clear to many from the get-go that this move wasn’t likely to turn out hassle-free. Mac users, indeed, experience a serious issue with fileproviderd, namely a disproportionate amount of CPU it gobbles up. Sometimes the Activity Monitor shows more than 100% usage by this daemon, an encounter that hampers normal computer performance.

Upon closer look, it becomes evident that these spikes occur when one or several cloud solutions that run on the machine are performing sync tasks, which is what they are designed to do in near real time. To do this, the macOS worker in question has to stay on top of the newly added or deleted data and reflect it in Finder. Whereas the traversal of different iCloud repositories leaves no significant resource footprint, scanning locations hosted on the servers of third-party providers is what typically swamps the processor’s capacity. Most Mac users who ran into CPU over-utilization by fileproviderd associate this condition with Microsoft’s OneDrive, Google Drive, or Dropbox. There appears to be an inconsistency in the system’s capability to keep a record of these environments, which causes the resource usage to exceed its normal threshold.

In these periods of hectic activity, the Mac becomes too slow to cope with routine tasks that otherwise complete in the blink of an eye. Sluggish performance is accompanied by CPU overheating and the fans running at high speeds to try and cool it down. It might help to force quit the fileproviderd process, as well as whatever non-Apple cloud solution is abnormally siphoning off the central processing unit’s power, according to the Activity Monitor stats. However, this is a half-baked tactic because the adverse situation reoccurs shortly afterwards. Disabling automatic syncing with the potential “culprit” cloud service, or even uninstalling the application altogether and switching to a dedicated web interface for file access, will yield consistent results.

The most likely reason for fileproviderd to end up in a data scanning loop is a cloud service misconfiguration or a coding bug. However, in some scenarios the obnoxious condition can overlap with a security issue. When info-stealing malware crops up inside a Mac, it will often try to gain access to the victim’s cloud-based vaults. This activity will probably add a spanner in the works of the synchronization procedure, forcing the daemon to rescan everything continuously. Therefore, if nothing else helps, checking the Mac for trojans and other forms of malicious code is worthwhile. The following sections highlight the ways to do it. This theory may or may not be the case, but it’s never redundant to err on the side of caution when it comes to personal data.

Fileproviderd high CPU virus manual removal from Mac

The steps listed below will walk you through the removal of this malicious application. Be sure to follow the instructions in the specified order.

  1. Expand the Go menu in your Mac’s Finder bar and select Utilities as shown below.

    Go to Utilities

  2. Locate the Activity Monitor icon on the Utilities screen and double-click on it.

    Select the Activity Monitor

  3. In the Activity Monitor app, look for fileproviderd, OneDrive File Provider, or another process that appears suspicious. To narrow down your search, focus on unfamiliar resource-intensive entries on the list. Keep in mind that its name isn’t necessarily related to the way the threat is manifesting itself, so you’ll need to trust your own judgement. If you pinpoint the culprit, select it and click on the Stop icon in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.

    Quit malicious process

  4. When a follow-up dialog pops up asking if you are sure you want to quit the troublemaking process, select the Force Quit option.

    Select the Force Quit option

  5. Click on the Go menu icon in the Finder again and select Go to Folder. You can as well use the Command-Shift-G keyboard shortcut.

    Use the Go to Folder feature

  6. Type /Library/LaunchAgents in the folder search dialog and click on the Go button.

    Open /Library/LaunchAgents folder

  7. Examine the contents of the LaunchAgents folder for dubious-looking items. Be advised that the names of files spawned by malware may give no clear clues that they are malicious, so you should look for recently added entities that appear to deviate from the norm.

    As an illustration, here are several examples of LaunchAgents related to mainstream Mac infections: com.updater.mcy.plist, com.avickUpd.plist, and com.msp.agent.plist. If you spot files that don’t belong on the list, go ahead and drag them to the Trash.

    Root-level LaunchAgents folder contents

  8. Use the Go to Folder lookup feature again to navigate to the folder named ~/Library/Application Support (note the tilde symbol prepended to the path).

    Open ~/Library/Application Support folder

  9. When the Application Support directory is opened, identify recently generated suspicious folders in it and send them to the Trash. A quick tip is to look for items whose names have nothing to do with Apple products or apps you knowingly installed. A few examples of known-malicious folder names are ProgressSite and IdeaShared.

    Application Support folder contents

  10. Enter ~/Library/LaunchAgents string (don’t forget to include the tilde character) in the Go to Folder search area.

    Open ~/Library/LaunchAgents directory

  11. The system will display LaunchAgents residing in the current user’s Home directory. Look for dodgy items related to rogue fileproviderd process (see logic highlighted in subsections above) and drag the suspects to the Trash.

    Contents of LaunchAgents folder in user’s home directory

  12. Type /Library/LaunchDaemons in the Go to Folder search field.

    Go to /Library/LaunchDaemons

  13. In the LaunchDaemons path, try to pinpoint the files the malware is using for persistence. Several examples of such items cropped by Mac infections are, com.startup.plist, and com.ExpertModuleSearchDaemon.plist. Delete the sketchy files immediately.

    LaunchDaemons folder contents

  14. Click on the Go menu icon in your Mac’s Finder and select Applications on the list.

    Go to Applications screen on Mac

  15. Find the entry for an app that clearly doesn’t belong there and move it to the Trash. If this action requires your admin password for confirmation, go ahead and enter it.

    Drag malicious app to the Trash

  16. Expand the Apple menu and select System Preferences.

    Select System Preferences

    Open System Preferences

  17. Proceed to Users & Groups and click on the Login Items tab.

    Proceed to Users & Groups

    The system will display the list of items launched when the computer is starting up. Locate the potentially unwanted app there and click on the “-” (minus) button.

    Delete unwanted login item

  18. Now select Profiles under System Preferences. Look for a malicious item in the left-hand sidebar. Several examples of configuration profiles created by Mac adware include TechSignalSearch, MainSearchPlatform, AdminPrefs, and Safari Settings. Select the offending entity and click on the minus sign at the bottom to eliminate it.

    Select Profiles under System Preferences

    Remove malicious configuration profile from Mac

    If your Mac has been infiltrated by adware, the infection will most likely continue to hold sway over your default web browser even after you remove the underlying application along with its components sprinkled around the system. Use the browser cleanup instructions below to address the remaining consequences of this attack.

Get rid of fileproviderd problem in web browser on Mac

To begin with, the web browser settings taken over by the fileproviderd copycat malware should be restored to their default values. Although this will clear most of your customizations, web surfing history, and all temporary data stored by websites, the malicious interference should be terminated likewise. The overview of the steps for completing this procedure is as follows:

  1. Remove fileproviderd virus on Safari
    • Open the browser and go to Safari menu. Select Preferences in the drop-down list.

      Go to Preferences in Safari

    • Once the Preferences screen appears, click on the Advanced tab and enable the option saying “Show Develop menu in menu bar”.

      Advanced tab under Safari Preferences

    • Now that the Develop entry has been added to the Safari menu, expand it and click on Empty Caches.

      Empty Caches in Safari

    • Now select History in the Safari menu and click on Clear History in the drop-down list.

      Clear history in Safari

    • Safari will display a dialog asking you to specify the period of time this action will apply to. Select all history to ensure a maximum effect. Click on the Clear History button to confirm and exit.

      Select all history to clear

    • Go back to the Safari Preferences and hit the Privacy tab at the top. Find the option that says Manage Website Data and click on it.

      Manage Website Data option under Privacy tab

    • The browser will display a follow-up screen listing the websites that have stored data about your Internet activities. This dialog additionally includes a brief description of what the removal does: you may be logged out of some services and encounter other changes of website behavior after the procedure. If you’re okay with that, go ahead and click on the Remove All button.

      Confirmation dialog

    • Restart Safari
  2. Remove fileproviderd virus on Google Chrome
    • Open Chrome, click the Customize and control Google Chrome (⁝) icon in the top right-hand part of the window, and select Settings in the drop-down

      Chrome Settings

    • When on the Settings pane, select Advanced
    • Scroll down to the Reset settings section.

      Reset settings in Chrome on Mac

    • Confirm the Chrome reset on a dialog that will pop up. When the procedure is completed, relaunch the browser and check it for malware activity.

      Here’s how to reset settings in Chrome on Mac

  3. Fix fileproviderd problem on Mozilla Firefox
    • Open Firefox and go to Help – Troubleshooting Information (or type about:support in the URL bar and press Enter).

      Open Firefox and go to Help

      Select Troubleshooting Information

    • When on the Troubleshooting Information screen, click on the Refresh Firefox button.

      Refresh Firefox on Mac

    • Confirm the intended changes and restart Firefox.

Fix fileproviderd Mac issues using Combo Cleaner removal tool

The Mac maintenance and security app called Combo Cleaner is a one-stop tool to detect and remove fileproviderd virus. This technique has substantial benefits over manual cleanup, because the utility gets hourly virus definition updates and can accurately spot even the newest Mac infections.

Furthermore, the automatic solution will find the core files of the malware deep down the system structure, which might otherwise be a challenge to locate. Here’s a walkthrough to sort out the fileproviderd issue using Combo Cleaner:

  1. Download Combo Cleaner installer. When done, double-click the combocleaner.dmg file and follow the prompts to install the tool onto your Mac.

    Download Combo Cleaner

    By downloading any applications recommended on this website you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. The free scanner checks whether your Mac is infected. To get rid of malware, you need to purchase the Premium version of Combo Cleaner.

  2. Open the app from your Launchpad and let it run an update of the malware signature database to make sure it can identify the latest threats.
  3. Click the Start Combo Scan button to check your Mac for malicious activity as well as performance issues.

    Combo Cleaner Mac scan progress

  4. Examine the scan results. If the report says “No Threats”, then you are on the right track with the manual cleaning and can safely proceed to tidy up the web browser that may continue to act up due to the after-effects of the malware attack (see instructions above).

    Combo Cleaner scan report – no threats found

  5. In case Combo Cleaner has detected malicious code, click the Remove Selected Items button and have the utility remove fileproviderd threat along with any other viruses, PUPs (potentially unwanted programs), or junk files that don’t belong on your Mac.

    Combo Cleaner – threats found

  6. Once you have made doubly sure that the malicious app is uninstalled, the browser-level troubleshooting might still be on your to-do list. If your preferred browser is affected, resort to the previous section of this tutorial to revert to hassle-free web surfing.

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