The crazy thing I did to fix Yosemite performance

Jeff Singleton gvibe06 at
Sun Nov 2 20:26:13 PST 2014

Yeah, I've been a Mac user for a long time. I don't just leave stuff in 
my Library folder forever, nor should anyone. Free apps like CleanApp 
help remove everything when you remove apps. Otherwise, you can still go 
into your Library folder and delete settings and preferences as needed.

You can unhide the ~/Library folder with:

	chflags nohidden ~/Library

The idea behind backing up and restoring my user folder is so I don't 
have to re-configure everything after wiping and reinstalling OS X.

This is actually something Apple does very well. When I restored 
everything, and rebooted, every single one of my most used apps (Adium, 
Thunderbird, Chrome, Tweetdeck) launched perfectly just like they were 
before...without having to go through and re-setup all my accounts.

The "most users" you mention should not just blindly attempt what I did, 
not without researching and planning it out beforehand. I consider 
myself to be rather experienced, and know how OS X works on the 
frontend, and backend in BSD (Darwin).


On 11/2/14 7:53 PM, Michael Crawford wrote:
> Your user folder from your original installation will include a lot of
> settings, preferences and the like from applications that were part of
> your older OS install.  Potentially that might not be what you want, I
> don't really know.
> Recent versions of OS X hide your ~/Library folder in the Finder, but
> you can get into it with:
>     $ cd ; open Library
> There is a lot of stuff in there, put there by Apple or by third-party
> App developers.  I don't think it's such a good idea that the Library
> folder is completely hidden, as most users won't know it's there,
> won't know to back it up and so on.  But of course Apple figures
> everyone just uses Spotlight.  :-/
> I don't use Spotlight, I have grey hair, my face is getting wrinkled
> so I drop .tar.gzs onto USB sticks.
> Mike
> Michael David Crawford
> mdcrawford at
>     Available for Software Development in the Portland, Oregon Metropolitan
> Area.
> On Sun, Nov 2, 2014 at 4:54 PM, Jeff Singleton <gvibe06 at> wrote:
>> On 11/2/14 12:57 PM, René J.V. Bertin wrote:
>>> On Sunday November 02 2014 12:06:35 Jeff Singleton wrote:
>>>> Back story: In an attempt to figure out why the services mds and
>>>> mdworker were running away with my CPU. Nothing I did resolved this,
>>>> including putting every single folder except /Applications in the
>>>> exception list for Spotlight. This is where I started editing
>>> Did that include switching off indexing for the whole (boot) disk (mdutil
>>> -i off) followed by a reboot? That ought to have wiped your spotlight
>>> folder, presuming that the most likely performance culprit would be updating
>>> an existing (huge) database file ...
>>> R.
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>>> macports-users mailing list
>>> macports-users at
>> Trust me.  I tried everything. Resetting the SMC, PRAM, permissions,
>> manually deleting the .Spotlight folder from /. Anything I could find on any
>> Apple related blog/forum, I tried it.
>> Even going so far as to exclude lots of folders from my home Library folder,
>> the same for System Library folder, my external drive, Bootcamp
>> partition...none of it mattered.
>> The only thing that had any affect was to stop the mdworker services and the
>> syslogd service. That is the only time the CPU usage dropped and the fans
>> started slowing. Of course, right after I rebooted, they started back up
>> again.
>> Somewhere in the middle of all that I probably forgot to revert an edit on
>> one of the plist files and thats when it stopped booting to the GUI.
>> Single-user mode was the only way, which required manually mounting my
>> external drives and copying my user folder to it.
>> Booted to my Mavericks USB installer, completely wiped the main drive,
>> installed Mavericks, and upgraded to Yosemite. Then booted to single-user
>> again, and restored my user home folder.
>>  From that point, mdworker did its initial indexing, and then dropped down to
>> normal usage. Now the fans only spin up when I am actually doing something
>> like compiling something under MacPorts.
>> Jeff
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