What is powerd and why is this process running on my Mac?

If you look in the Activity indicator from macOS, then you will find numerous strangely named processes. These often cannot be assigned to any app, but still run all the time. Sometimes they also cause a slow Mac because they put a strain on the CPU or memory. Powerd also joins the large collection of Mac processes. But what does the powered process actually do on the Apple Mac? You can find out here.

The powerd process is the power consumption daemon of macOS

The Mac operating system macOS requires numerous processes to function properly. Background processes that are started independently by the system and react to certain situations are called daemons. That it is a process Daemon is indicated by the “d” at the end of his name. This is also the case with powerd, whose main name “power” already indicates that it is involved in the Mac's energy management - from sleep mode and waking up from it to peripheral and network use.

The Mac process powerd is not only used on the MacBook and its two power sources – the power connection and the built-in battery. You can also find the process on desktop models of the Apple Mac. It is always used when certain situations relating to power consumption arise or system commands are required. For example, this could be the Mac's sleep mode, which is activated to save power after a while of inactivity. GPU usage when connecting or disconnecting an external monitor also plays a role (especially on older Macs).

Mac problem: powerd with high CPU load

It is a rare case that the powerd process leads to high CPU load and slows down the Mac. However, it is not ruled out. In most cases, it helps to end the process in Activity Monitor. It will then automatically restart and should run normally again. If the problem persists after that, restart the Mac. If that doesn't help either, perform an SMC reset. Here are the necessary instructions for this: 

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In the Sir Apfelot Blog you will find advice, instructions and reviews on Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini and Mac Studio.