sysmond on Mac Using High CPU? Here’s the Likely Reason & How to Fix It

Jun 1, 2024 - 1 Comment

Understanding why sysmond using high CPU

sysmond, which as you may have surmised from the process name, is short for System Monitor Daemon, is part of Activity Monitor. Thus, if you use Activity Monitor to keep a watch on your Mac system resources, processes, CPU usage, Energy use, Disk, Network, and critical to our discussion here – Memory usage, you may find that sysmond is using a lot of system resources in and of itself.

Let’s dig into sysmond a bit to learn more about what it is, and why it sometimes uses a very large amount of CPU, and how you can correct that.

What is sysmond?

As the name implies, sysmond is a system daemon that runs in the background of MacOS to monitor system activity. sysmond will keep track of all system resources and processes and that information is presented to the user typically through Activity Monitor.

If you see sysmond running, it’s likely because you have Activity Monitor open on your Mac. This can be whether it’s actively open, or even if you just use it for the Dock monitor feature.

Why is sysmond Using High CPU?

There are two likely reasons why sysmond is using high CPU on your Mac.

First; if you’re using the “Memory” tab in Activity Monitor in particular, you may notice that sysmond can use a lot of CPU. Presumably this is because sampling memory is a CPU intensive activity.

In modern MacOS versions you can typically reproduce this easily by opening Activity Monitor, then switching to the Memory tab, waiting a few seconds, and then switching quickly to CPU, in which case you may immediately see sysmond at a high CPU utilization, upwards of 100% – but it should quickly drop back to a reasonable level if you stay in the CPU tab, or the other system activity tabs, except for “Memory”.

Additionally, if you have Activity Monitor update frequency set low, which makes it much more useful for reporting and troubleshooting, this also causes sysmond to be more active because the daemon must sample processes more often and faster to report them.

Conceivably, there are other reasons why sysmond may be using a lot of CPU as well, like if you’re using a third party system monitor.

What’s the easiest way to get sysmond to use less CPU?

If you continuously find sysmond is using tons of CPU, first try switching away from the “Memory” tab in Activity Monitor.

You can also try reducing the sample speed and update frequency, but that’s not always desirable.

Another option is to simply quit out of Activity Monitor, or any other system monitoring apps or processes you are using.

If you continue to find sysmond is aggressively using CPU, you might try restarting the Mac as well.

I personally use Activity Monitor often enough myself that I setup a keyboard shortcut to open it, and while I see sysmond often when viewing the Memory tab, it’s rarely using large amounts of CPU outside of that.

Have you seen sysmond running and using a lot of system resources on your Mac before? Was it because of Activity Monitor’s Memory tab or something else? Share your experiences and observations in the comments.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS, Troubleshooting

One Comment

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  1. John says:

    I have not experienced that on my M2 MacBook Air or Mac mini M2. My biggest memory user is Safari and boy does it eat up RAM. But that does seem typical for browsers these days where using RAM when possible seems to relate to getting the best performance. I don’t mind as long as my Mac does not use a lot of swap memory.

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