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The "com.apple.security.pboxd" process is taking 10-20% CPU, and has been for a while now.

From searching around, it seems that this is responsible for showing the "open file" dialog boxes on behalf of sandboxed apps.

It seems odd that it needs 40+ MB of RAM and 20% of my CPU to do this, especially since there don't seem to be any such dialog boxes visible right now.

Is it safe to kill this process?

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If it lets you kill it without being root, odds are that yes.

The "safe" alternative would be to restart, I guess...

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As @houbysoft mentioned above, it is safe to kill this app. How do I know? I just did it. My MB Pro fan spun up this morning with a bunch of apps going over 100% CPU usage in Activity Monitor. I killed all of them, but it looks like pboxd was the source as it was still over 100%.

I had to Force Quit it in Activity Monitor to get it to go away and once I did it was completely gone, not running. I opened Textedit and did a cmd-O to open a file and pboxd came back at a much more reasonable 2-3% CPU usage while it was open.

So yes, there is a higher process (securityd?) that governs the state of pboxd and it will get restarted if it is not running (or you Force Quit it).

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Probably not a good idea. It has a very important job, displaying open and close dialog boxes in sandboxed apps (Most app store apps and some built-ins). Sandboxed apps cannot acess the filesystem directly and rely on this daemond to do it for them. Even if it relaunches, force killing parts of the OS can lead to instability and is generally a bad idea.

Source: http://arstechnica.com/apple/2011/07/mac-os-x-10-7/9/ (search page for "pboxd")

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    Usually these daemons restart automatically when killed -- for example mdworker is the same thing. I highly doubt killing it would have any adverse effects on the system -- it'll simply restart itself. – houbysoft Jun 20 '12 at 3:55

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