After my fans started blazing, I checked top and found that a process named routined was using 60-70% cpu. Surprisingly, I found no information about this process via Google, other than a mention of it in relation to a keychain issue which doesn't apply to me.

Anybody know what this process is doing?

The process was owned by my user, but after killing it, it came back running as root. After a minute or so, the cpu usage droped to 0.

macOS Catalina 10.15.2 on a MacBook Pro

  • reddit.com/r/MacOS/comments/7lcbyx/… might help?
    – user11520
    Jan 4, 2020 at 15:25
  • Thanks. It is signed by Apple, but I'm just curious about what it does, and why it suddenly decided to go crazy. Jan 4, 2020 at 15:37
  • Seems like it could be location tracking blog.elcomsoft.com/2018/06/… not sure why it should be chewing up CPU though
    – user11520
    Jan 4, 2020 at 15:56

4 Answers 4


Instead of disabling routined, try this:

In your home directory, go look inside ~/Library/Preferences. Is there a com.apple.routined.plist file there? Delete this plist file & restart your Mac.

One more thing:

If you are using a firewall like Little Snitch, be sure routined has outgoing network access.

  • As it’s currently written, your answer is unclear. Please edit to add additional details that will help others understand how this addresses the question asked. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Oct 11, 2021 at 4:31

I wondered the same thing! It does have a small but somewhat helpful man page, which you can get via man routined in Terminal.

     routined -- A daemon that learns the historical location patterns of a user.

     routined is a per-user daemon that learns historical location patterns of a user and predicts
     future visits to locations.

     There are no configurations to routined, and users should not run routined manually.

As to what it's doing? One way to find this out for (nearly) any process is to take a sample using Activity Monitor:

Activity Monitor Sample

That will then produce a fairly verbose report that you can send to Apple using Feedback Assistant: https://developer.apple.com/bug-reporting/

In my sample, it appears to be training a machine learning model:

 +               1440 __44-[RTLearnedLocationEngine trainWithHandler:]_block_invoke  (in libcoreroutine.dylib) + 475  [0x7fff6ff29e85]
    +                 1440 -[RTLearnedLocationEngine _trainWithHandler:]  (in libcoreroutine.dylib) + 1041  [0x7fff6ff29612]
    +                   1440 -[RTLearnedLocationEngine _trainWithFromDate:ToDate:forLastLearnedVisit:handler:]  (in libcoreroutine.dylib) + 765  [0x7fff6ff2996a]
    +                     1440 -[RTLearnedLocationEngine _trainLocationsOfInterestModelWithError:]  (in libcoreroutine.dylib) + 121  [0x7fff6ff2a1f7]
    +                       1440 -[RTLearnedLocationEngine _relabelWithError:]  (in libcoreroutine.dylib) + 303  [0x7fff6ff2e58e]
    +                         1440 -[RTLearnedLocationEngine _relabelWithRelabeler:relabelerPersister:error:]  (in libcoreroutine.dylib) + 1619  [0x7fff6ff2ec22]
    +                           1440 -[RTLearnedLocationStore enumerateStoredLocationsOfInterestWithOptions:enumerationBlock:]  (in libcoreroutine.dylib) 

I would expect such activity to eventually complete and stop chewing CPU, but you never know!

  • That explains what it does. Why does my mac try to predict my location? As far as I can tell, it's not offering me any useful functionality on that basis.
    – mgojohn
    Jan 30 at 20:09

So just to close this off, it seems like routined has something to do with location tracking. But I don't know why it suddenly started using a lot of CPU.

  • 1
    been blowing up my CPU too, 10.15.3 on an older mac mini.
    – Dan Pritts
    Feb 10, 2020 at 16:04

I had the same issue and installing the combo update https://support.apple.com/kb/DL2030 has solved it for me.


I have been too optimistic about the combo update because after a few days I noticed it didn't actually solved it for me and ended up completely disabling the service. Do the following:

sudo mount -rw /
sudo mv /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.routined.plist /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.routined.plist.disabled

Then reboot the system.

  • I am already at 10.15.3 as I am currently experiencing 100% cpu for routined. But the cpu usage went down a short while after waking up my MacBook. Feb 23, 2020 at 8:03

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