Right now, if I go on the People section of photos.app, a message says it has analysed x photos, while the remaining y photos will be analysed when I'm not using the app and my Mac is connected to a power source.

What exatcly is meant by "not using the app"? Should it be open, but not the foreground application? Hidden? Closed? Can it run while the Mac is in sleeping? (I saw in the logs photoanalysisd asking to run at priority Maintenance).

I'm asking because it's not making the progress I would expect andI'm having trouble understanding exactly how should I leave it.

4 Answers 4


According to this blog post Photos.app should be closed, as photoanalysisd is suspended while the application is open. The explanation given in the Photos application is definitely too vague. Still, I have the same issue of not experiencing the progress that I would have expected (4.900 / 12.000 in seven days).


I came across this issue too. However, having followed the instructions for quitting the Photos app and staying logged in I only saw small progress. HOWEVER, I soon discovered that I also had Photos set up as my screensaver, therefore as far as I can figure this violates the rule used by the OS to process the photos when not logged into to Photos. I have changed my screensaver to use the National Geographic images and now it is processing the photos a lot quicker.


I found that by setting photos as hidden log in items and then restart the mac triggered photoanalysisd into action.

My setup:

  • Mac Mini 2014 MacOS 10.15.2
  • Photo library is on an external fusion drive (SSD+HHD)
  • 40000 photos and videos (~300GB)
  • put hard drive to sleep when possible off

After that I find the PID in activity monitor and renice photoanalysisd and photolibraryd. I don't click on photos app after restart. Now photoanalysisd is ~130% cpu usage.

  • I tried to renice photolibraryd and photoanalisysd but didn't make any difference :(
    – Roberto
    Commented Sep 9, 2021 at 5:59

Technically speaking, "Photos" uses PhotoAnalysis.framework, and this framework runs in the background if CoreDuet scheduler allows it.

CoreDuet allows photoanalysisd to run if:

  1. Laptop is connected to Power source
  2. Have more than 30% battery power
  3. Photos app is not running
  4. No one is working with the computer

So if you want photoanalysisd to run, you should prevent your laptop from sleep, connect it to power source, close photos app and do not touch your computer and let it process your photos when it is idle.

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