Excessive CPU - macOS 13.4.1

I’m trying to figure out what could be causing excessive CPU usage in Scrivener. Observations: When Scrivener has focus, it uses 100% of one CPU core. When it does not have focus, it uses around 60% CPU. This feels excessive for day-to-day use, and appears to be a recent issue. Has anyone else come across this?

macOS 13.4.1 / M1 Max 32gb / Scrivener 3.3.1

Have you tried without Grammarly running? I don’t know if it integrates with Scrivener on a Mac, but that’s something that might be a factor. It would be a good check to log in (just login not reboot) with the Shift key held down for the duration of login, and run Scrivener alone, as well. That stops any background utilities from launching and so it gives you a much clearer picture of what Scrivener does on its own.

Here is what you should be seeing when it is in the background:

That was before I opened a project. After I opened a project the only thing that changed was an additional 2.4 seconds of CPU time used. It went back down to 4 threads and 0%. In the foreground, while doing nothing, it will oscillate between 0 and 1%, and while typing, between around 0.5 and 7%. These numbers are a bit abstract and depend on the CPU itself (M2) here, but obviously something is very wrong if you’re seeing maxed out cores.


I updated to 13.4.1 on the day it was released and am running Scrivener 3.3.1 on my 2017 iMac (which is Intel, of course).

I’m not experiencing anything like that CPU usage… mine is negligible.

Hope that helps :slight_smile:

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What kind of research materials do you have in the project? This sort of out of control CPU load can sometimes be caused by web pages and the scripts thereon. Do you see the same issue in the Tutorial project (available from the Help menu)?

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Images in the dozens, not hundreds, and they’re all tiny (< 100kb each).

I generally don’t shut down my Mac overnight. Seeing this topic had been updated, I switched to the space containing Scrivener this morning before the day job, and it’s okay. It’s not even listed in the top 50 processes.

Perhaps it was some housekeeping process or a weird interoperability issue from Grammarly.


It could very well have been associated with Spotlight, perhaps.

Do you use Time Machine, integration between which and Spotlight can now sometimes run for hours - e.g. if Spotlight was indexing data in Scrivener.

Seems unlikely that a Scrivener process would result. But you never know :slight_smile: .


I don’t have Time Machine running, but I’m using iCloud, so all my local files are being managed into that behind the scenes. I’ll just put it down to some Mac weirdness I’ve never noticed. Scrivener is happily sitting in the background right now with 0.01% usage :smiley:

Just curious. With no TimeMachine running do you have anything else running to do a proper backup of your system? For lots of reasons discussed here and elsewhere (repeatedly) iCloud is not a backup. It is a sync service. Flaw on either local or on server is immediately synced to the other an “poof” copy gone.


Absolutely. iCloud syncs across a couple of Macs I have, and one of those Macs is running BackBlaze in the background: this archives everything continuously. On top of that, my writing projects live in DropBox, which in turn is backed up by BackBlaze. Scriveners backup ZIPs land in in one of the iCloud folders, so even the ZIPs are then archived to BackBlaze. So at any given point, most of my files exist in at least 4 places and 3 cloud services.

Once upon a time, a lifetime ago, a fledgeling writer lost a novel to a hard disk crash and learned an important lesson…


Well done. My kinda writer!