I'm having seriously annoying issues with my new MBP. Processes crashing extremely frequently, so that I now have to close about 7 or 8 crash reports before I shut down at night. Issue here: "normalizerd quit unexpectedly" constantly happening(!!)

I've spoke with Apple support countless times but had no resolution.

The fact this is a new device and it also happened with my previous device, I am linking this to files on my device that were brought across via Migration Assistant when I was transferring data to this new laptop.

I've created a new, test account to see if the same crashing appears - it doesn't. So I am going to do a clean MacOS install.

However, I am wondering - what is the best method of reintroducing files that I need to have on my device after the formatting is complete? I will be putting minimal files back onto the laptop, but there are some I simply have to bring across.

Is Migration Assistant the best? Or backup to Dropbox / Drive etc and download after formatting?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • are these text files, PDF's, spreadsheets, or various application files.
    – Natsfan
    Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 22:17
  • @jmh Thanks for the reply. Much appreciated. Nah, no applications. I don't mind (even though it's a pain) having to reinstall all my apps and preferences etc. It's my working files / documents I use day-to-day i.e. Files for various Adobe CC projects, Office, PDFs etc. Commented Jun 9, 2020 at 22:12

2 Answers 2


"I've created a new, test account to see if the same crashing appears - it doesn't. So I am going to do a clean MacOS install."

If a new user account works fine, then there is nothing wrong with the system installation, and a clean OS install is unnecessary.

The problem is something in your original user account.

Either migrate to the new user account, or go back to the old account and find the problem in your user Library. It may be a Login Item or Launch Agent that is loading an unstable or incompatible process; corrupt caches or incorrect settings in preference files.

Test by removing files from your user Library, (restart/relogin if necessary), then check whether the problem remains. If it is fixed, put back half the files you removed, and test again. If not, remove the remaining half.

For your specific problem, you may want to remove things relating to CUPS, the printing process, Adobe CC or Preview. Anything in <user>/Library/Application Support/Adobe can be entirely removed: the apps will just revert to their default settings. Anything named Adobe in <user>/Library/Preferences is also fair game, and the same for things with cups or print. The same for <user>/Library/Caches.

The thing about migrating to a new user account is that it fixes the problem but doesn't solve it, and if it happens again, you'll have to move to a third new account, and so on.

  • Thanks very much for your reply. I THINK(!) at some stage I may have deleted those files when speaking with Apple support but I will try that again and see if it solves it. Commented Jun 9, 2020 at 22:08
  • @KelvinFarrell You can be fairly ruthless about deleting stuff if you just move the library files out and then put back the ones that don't cause a problem. Also, you've got a backup, of course! Obvs, some things like Mail account settings, you'll want to keep, but: hack away!
    – benwiggy
    Commented Jun 10, 2020 at 8:08

What’s “best” is up for you to decide.

  • Migration assistant can allow you to be “selective” but will it be granular enough for you? Only you can answer that.

  • manually copying files over is very granular, but again, is it the right choice for you? Again, the answer is the same; you must decide if the time required is worth it and you also need to decide how you’re going to handle archival storage. Leaving it on an old macOS drive isn’t practical.

  • Backup to DropBox is no different than backing up to an External USB drive. You have to decide if this strategy is applicable to your needs, but asking about “DropBox” is like asking whether a socket, wrench, or a locking plier is best to remove a fastener; they’re all tools and will work best depends on your requirements.

Personally, I build a strategy around “data availability” so that i can be working with my data no matter the platform (Mac, Windows, and FreeBSD). for me, this involves utilizing the cloud as a key component in data storage

Also have a look at the following for more information:

  • Thanks for the response. At any time I have four copies of my files which are always syncing with my laptop. Two of those are in the cloud (Dropbox and Backblaze) while another is backing up to an external drive). I have a rough experience with data loss before and I'm very careful to have access to all my files, while having them backed up. At the minute, it's just the laptop that is frustrating due to this constant issue with the crashing processes. Commented Jun 9, 2020 at 22:10
  • I just was just reading reading your “crash” issue. There’s something in your login profile that’s killing the system. Start with looking in Login Items and disable everything. See if that fixes things. If not, check your LaunchAgents by using the command launchctl list and see what’s not “com.apple.something”. Let me know what you get
    – Allan
    Commented Jun 10, 2020 at 12:47
  • These are the ones which don't reference apple. 1792 0 com.microsoft.teams.5904 468 0 com.adobe.GC.AGM 1760 0 WhatsApp.5888 1323 0 com.atlassian.trello.5940 459 0 com.backblaze.bzbmenu 465 0 com.malwarebytes.mbam.frontend.agent 531 0 com.getdropbox.dropbox.7912 472 0 com.adobe.AdobeCreativeCloud - 0 com.openssh.ssh-agent 2053 0 com.adobe.Photoshop.5916 1883 0 it.bloop.airmail2.8172 461 0 com.logitech.manager.daemon Commented Jun 10, 2020 at 15:41
  • I should say that I've uninstalled Adobe CC completely (inc. clearing cache) and that hasn't solved it. Teams and Malware Bytes would have been added after the issue started. Commented Jun 10, 2020 at 15:43
  • You've got a bunch in there that I would suspect. Make a list of those, and unload them sudo launchctl unload com.foo.bar If the system becomes stable, load them back one by one until it breaks. You'll have your answer as to what the issue is. (My thought at first glance is WhatsApp - it's basically an information vacuum)
    – Allan
    Commented Jun 10, 2020 at 15:46

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