I'm using Microsoft's Visual Studio Code (VSCode) to develop TypeScript. All versions are their most up-to-date (and this was happening with 10.15.6, so it's not a 10.15.7 issue).

Randomly a Finder window will pop up at /private/var/tmp with a new sysdiagnose dump.

The file is called sysdiagnose_[date stamp]_[MacBook Pro machine details].tar.gz. When unpacked, it contains an entire folder structure full of dumps.

As such it's massively unhelpful! Which one do I need to care about?

I've checked Console.app but it also isn't very helpful unless you know what you're looking for. I do see a pile of events generated by spindump but they all just say Already saw task <private> [10437] in this stackshot, ignoring second instance. I don't see anything obvious immediately before these events.

What might be causing this, and how do I go about using these tools to figure out what it is?

  • Does this answer your question? Keyboard shortcut flashes my display
    – anki
    Commented Sep 27, 2020 at 7:28
  • @anki I've noticed my screen flashing, but there's no way I'm accidentally triggering that key combination. I am using Karabiner, and Vim mode in VSCode, and have noticed the flash when I press Caps Lock, which I have mapped to Esc. I'll see if I can spot a pattern there.
    – John Noble
    Commented Sep 27, 2020 at 9:59
  • It's the next morning, and I can see a sysdiagnose folder sitting there from 20:00 last night – when I was eating dinner. So it's definitely not me hitting the key combo. I did just press that key combo to test it, and there's no way I'm doing it accidentally.
    – John Noble
    Commented Sep 27, 2020 at 22:04
  • You may be lucky at their bug tracker: github.com/microsoft/vscode/issues?q=
    – anki
    Commented Sep 27, 2020 at 23:39

1 Answer 1


Most likelely you hit Control-Option-Command-Shift-. now and then which triggers system diagnostics (see How do you get system diagnostic files from macOS?) for details.

  • Thanks for the suggestion, but see my comments on my original question. This isn't it.
    – John Noble
    Commented Sep 27, 2020 at 22:05
  • How can I disable this functionality? Commented Apr 3 at 1:03

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .