Oftentimes, after I wake my Mac from sleep, powerd (which is the power management daemon? Which in particular deals with sleeping the Mac and waking it?) uses high CPU, usually around 25% to 50% on my i7 CPU.

Anyone know how I can find out what's causing it, and what I can do to fix it? It seems to be a problem with waking from sleep but I don't know what.

This problem started happening after I updated my Mac Mini to 10.10.2, a few weeks ago.

  • 1
    I would look in the Console to see what is it doing! – Ruskes Mar 4 '15 at 18:11
  • I don't see anything relevant in the Console. There have been no relevant items in the past 30 minutes, and filtering for powerd shows one line: 15/03/04 12:27:27.000 am kernel[0]: PM response took 3152 ms (26, powerd) which seems to be when I put the Mac to sleep. – Gary Mar 4 '15 at 18:41
  • How much Memory is it using ? I have it at 0 CPU and 1 MB memory – Ruskes Mar 4 '15 at 18:47
  • powerd is at 25% CPU and 30 MB memory. – Gary Mar 4 '15 at 18:54
  • hmm, type "power" in the console filter (not powerd) to see what is switching on/off, it should be Airport and HDMI ect.. – Ruskes Mar 4 '15 at 19:32
sudo kill -HUP $(pgrep powerd)

(I don't have an answer for 'why')

  • 20
    More succintly, sudo pkill -HUP powerd – danorton Jun 5 '15 at 12:54
  • 1
    seems that it restarts on HUP, so just an ordinary TERM might do the same job. If only they'd documented anything about the daemon in the man pages. – jrg Oct 19 '15 at 8:59
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    This will kill it, but doesn't explain why it happened in the first place. – Greg Glockner Feb 22 '16 at 14:28
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    Right, Greg. Note the parenthetical expression in my answer. – Tyler A. Feb 23 '16 at 16:14
  • If @AndyDent is correct (below), then this is a non-problem, only active when you run ActivityMonitor to see if it's active. – Joshua Goldberg May 23 '16 at 21:16

Have you tried to stop powerd by Activity Monitor? This solved the CPU consumption for me.

But after stopping powerd I got strange effect in Activity Monitor - it was like Update Frequency was changed from Often (2 sec) to Nonstop (0 sec), i.e. continuous without any delay. So I had to quit Activity Monitor too.

After these operations and restart of Activity Monitor all works fine.

  • From how you describe it, it doesn't sound like a good solution then. I agree that restarting the Mac is often the best way to fix these runaway processes. – Gary Mar 7 '15 at 20:20
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    Not sure if full restart of Mac on every failure of some utility is rather good option. If that utility does not affect stability of the system. – std.denis Mar 7 '15 at 21:10
  • Okay I'll kill it to see how that goes, next time. But I'm looking for a more permanent, long-term solution. – Gary Mar 8 '15 at 3:04
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    I did the same thing, and saw what you were talking about in the Activity Monitor -- but if you look closely, you'll see that what's actually happening is that the Activity Monitor itself was backed up, and it is executing updates in rapid succession to try to catch up. Mine was backlogged for a couple days (on a little-used machine) it looks like and is taking awhile to catch up. – Kem Mason Jul 10 '15 at 23:36

On my computer, it was Activity Monitor which caused the powerd process to use a lot of cpu (20-30%, sometimes 50%, resetting the SMC didn't help). Quitting Activity Monitor "solved" the problem. Checked in the Terminal by running top.

  • 7
    Doing a process sample of powerd suggest that Activity Monitor might keep fetching the energy impact info from it. – jturcotte Dec 5 '15 at 17:34
  • Yep, worked for me. – rahmu Dec 12 '16 at 17:45
  • Who'd have thunk it? I would never have thought that Activity Monitor would be responsible but certainly seems to be the culprit on my machine. Thanks for the suggestion. – user1718097 Jul 18 '17 at 10:33

I use iStatMenus to monitor a range of things and it confirms that powerd is only using a lot of CPU whilst Activity Monitor is running. At other times, it does not appear on the high CPU users list.

  • 1
    I find this claim more than a little doubtful. It certainly does not match a logical evaluation of my experiences. 1) System is running slowly for some inexplicable reason. 2) Open Activity Monitor to investigate. 3) powerd appears to be the culprit. (Yes this doesn't contradict your claim, but...) 4) Kill powerd 5) Suddenly performance improves. (This strongly suggests powerd is the culprit, and perhaps iStatMenus is does not live up to you faith in it. ;)) – Disillusioned Mar 5 '18 at 11:41

You need to reset your SMC. Just like another answer i don't have the why but i have the solution.

 Mac mini, iMac, Mac Pro

Shut down your Mac, unplug the power chord, wait for 30 seconds, plug the power cord, wait for 5 seconds, start your Mac.


Shut down your Mac, press Shift+Ctrl+Alt first and then press the power button. It should not start. Take a look at the LED from your power cord and it should just change for few seconds. Then, release the Shift+Ctrl+Alt and start your Mac.

  • 11
    and the rationale? – hbogert Aug 31 '15 at 13:11
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    Could you improve your answer so as to look less like prayer movements :).<br>How is diagnosed the "You need"? – dan Oct 20 '15 at 7:18
  • 3
    Reseting the SMC doesn't help, it's restarting the computer that helps. The longest my uptime, the more powerd will take (only when Activity Monitor is running). I haven't restarted for 10 days now and it's taking 50% of one core. This goes away if I restart. – jturcotte Feb 5 '16 at 15:34

On the Apple web page: Resetting the System Management Controller (SMC) on your Mac it is discusses when and why you should reset your SMC (System Management Controller). It doesn't mention this problem, but at least it lets you know a bit more about what resetting the SMC means!

I have this powerd problem too at the moment.

To reset the SMC on Intel-based Mac Pro, iMac, and Mac mini computers, you need to:

  1. Shut down the computer.
  2. Unplug the power cord.
  3. Wait fifteen seconds.
  4. Attach the power cord.
  5. Wait five seconds, then press the power button to turn on the computer.
  • 1
    Today I still had the powerd problem (25-45% use of a cpu). I shut down apps one at a time in case it was one app causing the problem, but powerd continued to hog a cpu. I then restarted, and that fixed the problem. As has been commented above, the activity monitor seemed to be playing catchup for a few seconds after the restart, showing data that was collected (I assume) before the restart. During this time the monitor updates came fast, and showed powerd still using 40% cpu. After a few seconds the monitor settled down, and powerd had disappeared from the monitor list of cpu users. – Nigel Martin Oct 8 '15 at 16:00

I have the same issue with powerd using up more than one core of CPU on my 2019 16" MacBook Pro on macOS Catalina 10.15.7, and also making my system super slow (despite it "only" consuming a little over one core out of eight). [Edit: The issue is still present on macOS Big Sur 11.1.]

Solutions that did not work:

  1. sudo pkill -HUP powerd (it would immediately restart and resume hogging my CPU)
  2. closing Activity Monitor
  3. closing Intel Power Gadget
  4. unplugging all of my Thunderbolt 3 devices and power adapters
  5. rebooting
  6. resetting my SMC


So I opened up Console.app and noticed the following repeatedly:

Process powerd.154 TimedOut UserIsActive "com.apple.powermanagement.wakeschedule" age:00:00:01 id:38654738880 [System: DeclUser kDisp] macOS Console App repeatedly showing: Process powerd.154 TimedOut UserIsActive "com.apple.powermanagement.wakeschedule"


This tipped me off to this Reddit post. In it, u/iTim314 notes that he needed to go to System Preferences > Energy Saver > Schedule, and to specify something. I chose the least annoying values possible: enter image description here

After clicking OK, this immediately fixed my powerd problems. No more powerd warnings in Console.app, powerd was no longer hogging my CPU, and my system immediately became more responsive. If I uncheck both of these values and save again, the problem immediately reappears. And so on. (The Joker: "Ta-dah! It's GONE!")


Unfortunately, this is a workaround, not a true solution, but I'm hopeful this helps others figure out a proper solution or bugfix.


After writing this post, it hit me: This problem seemingly started occurring after I went into the "Energy Saver schedule" dialog two days ago. I took a look, checked (one or) both options, maybe saved my changes (I don't remember), then unchecked the options, and then maybe saved again (if I saved the first time). I've had this MacBook Pro for over a year now (and other MacBook Pros for over a decade) without experiencing this issue, so this probably isn't a coincidence. I'm left wondering if a corrupt .plist is being written for these settings...

  • Thanks, this should be the accepted answer ;) Works on 11.3 – Mahatma_Fatal_Error May 10 at 6:58

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