Improve Mac OS X performance under load by disabling spindump.

I push my Mac real hard at times. When the disk is thrashing hard, I’ve noticed a program called spindump that’s running. Here’s what the man page says:

spindump is a tool used by various system components to create hang reports and notify the user of application hangs. … For normal application crashes spindump will display a dialog to alert the console user to the crash and offer the choice to view more details about the crash and/or report the crash to Apple.

On Yan Pritzker’s blog I found some great tips. Patrick suggested the following. (Please ensure it’s all on one line.)

sudo launchctl unload -w  /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.spindump.plist

After running this, I don’t see spindump, and the disk isn’t thrashing as hard. Yeah, I’m running two heavy virtual machines that are hammering their virtual disks, but it appears that I’ve gained something.

Thanks, guys!


2009-03-27 Update: Fixed typo. A huge thanks to Rob for catching that.

2011-02-23 Update: It was suggested that I also mention how to reverse this. Use load instead of unload.

sudo launchctl load -w  /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.spindump.plist
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52 Responses to Improve Mac OS X performance under load by disabling spindump.

  1. farmideas says:

    I have just had 10.9.5 (Mavaricks??) installed on a 2GHz MacBook and it is very slow. Spindump comes up in Activity Monitor and my instinct is to highlight and click ‘quit’, but this hasn’t been mentioned. Is this not a solution?

  2. You can do exactly what you suggest. However, this is a temporary fix.

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