Under The Wire

Under The Wire

Monday, May 26, 2008

How to fix CPU-hog Quicksilver

There's one application I particularly love: it's Quicksilver (for Mac).
This week, unfortunately, it started to behave oddly: my PowerBook was continously hot and I quickly found (through Activity Monitor) out that it was Quicksilver's flaw, which was eating 20-90% of my CPU.
I tried to quit and reopen the application, delete the preferences file and to rescan manually my catalog: nothing seemed to work.
After wandering around my Mac's folder for a bit I found the folder containing the indexes used by Quicksilver:
/Library/Caches/Quicksilver/Indexes/
I quit Quickilsilver, moved the folder to the trash and reopened Quicksilver... it worked!
Everything is now back to normal.

A quick explanation Quicksilver builds indexes that make it really fast when searching: they are what makes Quicksilver a pleasure to use.
Considering that I've been using Quicksilver for years, those files might have become corrupted and that was making Quicksilver consuming 20-90% of my CPU.
Clearly the problem was not in the application itself (in fact downloading and reinstalling Quicksilver wouldn't have worked), but it was in some of the files it was using.

One of the most used file is the preferences file ( /Library/Preferences/com.blacktree.Quicksilver.plist ), but deleting it didn't help.
Other files used by Quicksilver stand in /Library/Application\ Support/Quicksilver; but there's another folder used by the application: /Library/Caches/Quicksilver.
You might be wondering "Why isn't the cache in the "Application Support" folder?". It's because cache is something that make the program faster and can exist or not; deleting it might make the application slower but it mustn't affect program settings.
The "Application Support" folder, on the other hand, is used to store customizations of the program, such as plugins, etc...: deleting it would definitely make lose what has been set.

17 Comments:

wisher

Didn't the Mac just work?
This post looks like system mainteniance, are we ready to crash another myth?

tcid

You forget that Quicksilver is a third-party application...

wisher

So the reality distortion field doesn't apply to third-party applications?
However OSX with its thaumaturgical power should have prevented QuickSilver error ;-)

Anonymous

@ wisher

Take a chill pill, dude.

Anonymous

More like a troll pill.

wisher

@Anonymous, thanks for the advice. I'd like to know what do you think about the author of Apple's ads:
http://www.apple.com/getamac/ads/
Is he a troll or just a person who talks about things doesn't know?

Anonymous

Vista.

wisher

@Anonymous:
What does Vista mean?

Anonymous

Thank so much, I forgot my powerbook could be so quite. L.

tciddaniw

It's great to help!

sony

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Roland Dobbins

Very helpful, thanks! However, it should be noted that the actual path is ~/Library/Caches/Quicksilver/Indexes, not /Library/Caches/Quicksilver/Indexes, as the files in question are underneath one's home directory.

;>

Matthias Gallé

Had the same problem, but fixed it by "Reset Preferences" in the Preference->Applications menu.

luke24

Upgrading to B56 solved it for me.

Elijah Lynn

My quicksilver kept crashing again and again and would sometimes hang on startup (the graphic). I finally found this page, I read through the comments first and resetting the preferences as one person suggested worked for me too. Although it was odd, everytime I hit reset preferences nothing happened and the cpu kept staying high. Finally after restarting Quicksilver a few times (hoping that fixed it) and repeatedly hitting the button it finally gave me a dialogue to reset preferences and a OK button.

Thanks for writing this blog entry! Made my life a bit easier!

Now I am off to install pathfinder!

Anonymous

Thanks.. really useful fix. My PPC Mac was inoperable until i realized quicksilver was hogging 90% of the cpu. My first move was to shut it down all together and write it off as quicksilver and ppc macs just aren't a match made in heaven. But now that I've applied this fix... guess what?

..they ARE a match made in heaven. They just ARE. A match made in heaven. N stuff. No really, thanks though.

BLAK

Change the depth of the subfolders to minimum and custom the searches to only those folders which u need

This Helped ....

Actually this will reindex the searches in the cache

so we dont have to delete any thing....

-LtBlak

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