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I am debugging this issue for several days now, but just realized that a certain pkd process is responsible for extremely slowing down my MacBook Pro. When I kill this process, everything works fine. While the process is running, I cannot work with the MacBook. I cannot startup Finder, I cannot typ anything, etc. I can barely manage to open the Activity Manager and kill siad pkd process.

Here is a picture of which files this process is using:

enter image description here

Does anyone know where this is coming from? Why does it block the laptop entirely? How can I solve this issue?

The laptop is a MacBook Pro Mid-2012 (serial number is C1MK9X6ZDTY3; it is a MacBook Pro 13-Inch "Core i5" 2.5 Mid-2012). The operating system was recently updated to Catalina 10.15.4. Thanks for your help.

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  • Have same problem with macbook pro 15' 2017. I'm on macos 10.15.4 (19E287)
    – IlyaEremin
    Jun 21, 2020 at 11:49
  • Issue persists on macos 10.15.5
    – IlyaEremin
    Jun 21, 2020 at 12:20
  • I just found a user running 10.15.7 with this symptom. Safari was running at >150% CPU usage, and pkd was at least 47%.
    – jasonology
    Dec 13, 2021 at 0:23

2 Answers 2

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One or more of the plugins you have installed is misbehaving. The pkd pluginkit daemon can be queried with the following command to list all the plugins.

Open Terminal and run this command:

pluginkit -mAvvv > ~/Desktop/PluginKitReport.txt

Look on your Desktop for "PluginKitReport.txt" open the file in a text editor of your choice. The output listing will be extensive. Look for anything weird that isn't obviously a part of macOS provided by Apple. You can also run EtreCheck which will query your system and build a report detailing what system / kernel extensions you have installed as well as non-Apple background launchd daemons running. It does not detail personal info. Update your question with the output from EtreCheck.

Suspect a rogue adware browser extension or other adware / malware or perhaps some 3rd party software misbehaving.

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According to the man page, pkd is a:

management and supervision daemon for plug-in services

You can stop it with:

launchctl stop com.apple.pluginkit.pkd

It will restart automatically when needed.

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