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

Among many other processes you will find in the list of MacActivity indicator often also “searchpartyd”. But what is behind the searchpartyd process and is it really a virus? Do you have to have anti-MalwareSoftware to deal with this process on Apple Mac? I will answer these and other questions for you in this guide. But first of all, an all-clear: You don't have to fear for your safety, on the contrary...

You can find the searchpartyd process by looking at the macOS activity display on the Mac. But is this a virus or adware? No, it's an important part of Find My.
You can find the searchpartyd process by looking at the macOS activity display on the Mac. But is this a virus or adware? No, it's an important part of Find My.

The searchpartyd process on the Mac: Finding Apple devices via “Find My?”

Anyone who uses different Apple devices with the same Apple ID can connect them to each other via “Where is?Find them again if they get lost or stolen. This option for finding Apple devices even works when they are turned off.

Mac computers, iPhones, iPads and the like send out certain signals via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Other Apple devices can receive these and pass them on to Apple. This way you can find the location using the Where is? Access the app or the iCloud website.

The searchpartyd process is a core element of this because it works together with the locationd process for location determination. Whether offline or actively online, a MacBook can be found using macOS's searchpartyd background process and its Find My feature.

This is clear from the name of the process alone: Search Party Daemon. “Search Party” can be included Search party or Search party translate. A Daemon is a process automatically carried out by the Mac that independently performs certain tasks to simplify human-machine communication.

Why do some sites claim searchpartyd is a virus or adware?

While researching the topic, I stumbled across several, mostly English-language websites that were searchpartyd as Virus or Adware describe. Or to put it another way: they all talk about a “virus”, but when it comes to the alleged damage that the process is supposed to cause, they are clearly describing adware.

The trick behind the nonsensical articles is already apparent here. Because they use the frightening term “virus”, which has been in use since the 90s, to create fear. They then describe an unnecessary procedure for removing searchpartyd and end up promoting anti-malware software.

The goal is to use false information to convince a non-technical target group to download certain software or buy other products. In a strikingly nonsensical example, which I won't link here, searchpartyd is described as an adware that Web browser attacks, redirects search queries to the (non-existent) Searchpartyd search engine and sets itself as an extension for the system and browser.

None of this is true, the screenshots show the Yahoo search engine, disjointed macOS profiles and Safari extensions, etc. A huge, elaborate blog post full of nonsense. Please don't fall for something like that! Ask us before you download software against macOS daemons anywhere. Or simply remember that most processes with “d” at the end are background processes that are important for macOS.

Articles like this are complete nonsense.
Articles like this are complete nonsense.

Summary: searchpartyd is a normal and important macOS process

No matter what some misguided websites and blogs claim, searchpartyd is a macOS daemon that is intentional and helpful. It does not need to be removed manually or with anti-malware software. The latter won't recognize it as malware anyway, because it isn't. Rather, searchpartyd ensures that lost Apple devices can be found via Find My and the iCloud website. The process is started by launchd daemon; he stands with that, among other things locationd daemon and the bluetoothd daemon in context. Not more but also not less.

A schema that shows how searchpartyd is housed in the system for locating lost or stolen Apple devices. Source: "Who Can Find My Devices? Security and Privacy of Apple's Crowd-Sourced Bluetooth Location Tracking System"
A schema that shows how searchpartyd is housed in the system for locating lost or stolen Apple devices. Source: “Who Can Find My Devices? Security and Privacy of Apple’s Crowd-Sourced Bluetooth Location Tracking System”

Who Can Find My Devices? Security and Privacy of Apple's Crowd-Sourced Bluetooth Location Tracking System: Here as PDF

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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.