WindowServer CPU 120%+ M1 chip


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Gents,

I've been having trouble with my new Macbook Pro 2021 16in 2021, which I bought only two months ago. WindowServer CPU consumption randomly spikes 100% (even 120%). Usually, that happens after a few hours of use or sometimes after unplugging. Tbh machine doesn't slow down noticeably, however, I can feel the corpus heating up. Forgot to mention... a reboot fixes the problem for the next few hours.

Any ideas what may be causing this? Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks,
 
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Gents,

I've been having trouble with my new Macbook Pro 2021 16in 2021, which I bought only two months ago. WindowServer CPU consumption randomly spikes 100% (even 120%). Usually, that happens after a few hours of use or sometimes after unplugging. Tbh machine doesn't slow down noticeably, however, I can feel the corpus heating up. Forgot to mention... a reboot fixes the problem for the next few hours.

Any ideas what may be causing this? Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks,
 

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I'm having a similar issue! M1 Pro, 10cpu 16gpu 32gb ram.

I just noticed it for the first time a couple days ago. I noticed the battery draining faster than I expected and the chassis felt warm. WindowServer was using 100% - 120% CPU usage. Logging out and logging back in fixed the issue.

I've not run too many experiments to learn what triggers it. Seems to have started in the past week. I've had the laptop since mid December.
 
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I'm having a similar issue! M1 Pro, 10cpu 16gpu 32gb ram.

I just noticed it for the first time a couple days ago. I noticed the battery draining faster than I expected and the chassis felt warm. WindowServer was using 100% - 120% CPU usage. Logging out and logging back in fixed the issue.

I've not run too many experiments to learn what triggers it. Seems to have started in the past week. I've had the laptop since mid December.


Clean install did the work for me. Unfortunately, had to give up on my time machine backups. Other than that, It's been running smoothly for over a week now.
 

Cory Cooper

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Hello and welcome.

I haven't seen that issue on my M1 mini. A few troubleshooting questions/ideas:
  • Does the MBP slow down or are there any other issues when this happens other than what it shows in Activity Monitor?
  • Do you have and external display(s) or other peripherals connected?
  • What applications are normally running?
  • When you performed the clean install, did you notice the issue when it was freshly imaged, or only after you started installing software?
  • Did the issue reappear when you installed a certain application...i.e. Adobe Creative Cloud, Dropbox, Spotify, etc? Have you tried pausing Dropbox sync?
Here is an article that has some known causes for this issue: What is WindowServer process on Mac? How to fix high CPU usage

C
 
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Hi Cory,

Thanks for looking into this.

Comments in red
  • Does the MBP slow down or are there any other issues when this happens other than what it shows in Activity Monitor? Aside from the corpus heating up, no slowing down.
  • Do you have and external display(s) or other peripherals connected? No peripherals except my Bluetooth mouse.
  • What applications are normally running? I would say normally that would be: Chrome, Creative cloud, Excel, and Reminders for the most part. Usually, I open Activity Monitor a couple of times a day to keep an eye on what's running.
  • When you performed the clean install, did you notice the issue when it was freshly imaged, or only after you started installing software? That's the thing... I pretty much installed all of my apps shortly after the clean install. Then for a week, I haven't installed anything and then the issue just happened today. I will probably start deleting apps one by one in intervals to try and isolate a potentially problematic one.
  • Did the issue reappear when you installed a certain application...i.e. Adobe Creative Cloud, Dropbox, Spotify, etc? Have you tried pausing Dropbox sync? Haven't installed Dropbox yet. Will try pausing ACC and Spotify.
 
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I pretty much killed any visible third parties with no success.
 

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