Tame High WindowServer CPU Use on Mac

Read the tutorial on Using Tame High WindowServer CPU on a Mac

After many inquiries from our users, here is a guide on how to use Tame High WindowServer CPUs on a Mac.

The Mac has seen a number of changes with OS X Yosemite, as well as a remarkable visual redesign. However, some of these changes, and various transparent effects, can adversely affect the Mac performance of some users with incorrect WindowServer behavior. This is usually demonstrated by the fact that the WindowServer process increases with increasing CPU usage for no apparent reason. This often leads to excessive memory usage, resulting in very slow and choppy behavior on some computers with frequent use of Mac OS X and macOS.

In the worst case, opening Quick Look, opening some new Finder windows, or scrolling through the contents of a busy Finder folder will increase the use of the WindowServer processor high enough to run. Crash a computer or even the look of the highly malicious beach ball cursor.

Oh no, not the beach ball

If, in some situations on macOS and Mac OS X, WindowServer continues to use high CPU usage frequently for no valid reason, this article is for you. We will try to tame the WindowServer process by reducing elements and features that can enable WindowServer’s behavior (or malfunction). This is a challenging task as it requires WindowServer to draw almost anything that can be seen in Mac OS X. However, this behavior continues into the future on the latest versions of Mac OS (Mac OS X 10.10.3 and later), even on the latest Mac hardware. Fortunately, there are a few fixes that will help. Let’s look at these.

Turn off transparent effects in Mac OS X.

By turning off transparency effects with one hand on any Mac, I come across Mac OS X Yosemite or later, regardless of whether the hardware is new or old. Even if the computer doesn’t feel particularly slow, it will almost certainly feel faster with the transparency effects turned off.

  1. Go to the  Apple menu and choose System Preferences. Then go to “Accessibility”.
  2. Select “Display” from the left menu
  3. Toggle the toggle next to Reduce Transparency to ON (or turn on Increase Contrast if you want the user interface to be a little easier to distinguish, which will also disable the translucent elements in OS X).

Turn off transparency rates for OS X.

The increase in speed is immediately noticeable in most actions, and you can even measure the before and after results with the FPS frame rate monitor in Quartz Debug. Depending on the hardware, this can mean an increase in the refresh rate for screen animations by 10 FPS or more.

This is still the case with Mac OS X 10.10.3 (assuming it’s a beta version). As a result, there may be a persistent bug or a small performance tweak for OS X Yosemite.

Personally, I like the transparent effects, so I’m more likely to stick with the latest Mac hardware, but even my 2020 Retina MacBook Pro with 16GB of RAM is enhanced by turning off transparency. Meanwhile, few older hardware like a 2012 MacBook Air with transparent effects is frustratingly slow, and I’ve heard similar complaints from users of the Retina iMac 27 “, which is clearly quite new and powerful hardware. That new hardware comes with Having sufficient resources is still having trouble rendering transparent effects in OS X, suggests that a possible software fix is ​​likely.

Close unused app and search windows

In OS X Yosemite, if many windows with Apps or Finder are open, WindowServer is consuming excessive resources. While this can happen in all versions of OS X (or any other operating system), there is something unique about Yosemite that makes this a particularly stressful event.

The solution focuses more on user behavior than anything else. Make a habit of closing unused windows or apps so they don’t need additional resources.

Remember the keystroke Closing all windows can be helpful in managing this.

Stop rearranging the Mission Control Areas

If you’re using Spaces, which is basically the virtual desktop environment on the Mac, it seems to make a small difference in WindowServer’s behavior that the spaces rearrange depending on how they are used.

  1. Open the system settings in the  Apple menu and go to “Mission Control”.
  2. Turn off the setting for “Automatically reorder spaces based on last use”.

Many users do not notice this feature anyway. Even if the improvement is close to zero, it is usually not overlooked.

Multiple monitors? Deactivate spaces in each case

If you have a setup with multiple displays, you can also disable spaces for each individual display.

  1. Open System Preferences and go to Mission Control.
  2. Set the setting for “Ads with Separated Spaces” to OFF
  3. Sign out or, better still, restart your Mac

Prevent ads from having separate spaces

Of course, unless you’re someone who uses multiple screens with your Mac, this change will have no effect. So you need to focus on other areas.


If you’re one of those Mac users who never shut down or restart their Mac, but are having high CPU issues with Windows Server, you might want to tweak and restart your Mac a little more often. A simple restart of the Mac provides a temporary solution to the WindowServer process malfunction. I know this sounds like the slimmest of advice, but several commenters have reported temporary success with it, and I’ve noticed improvement myself. Certainly not ideal, but until the root cause is fixed, this can help.

WindowServer, why are you eating so much CPU? I bought you a new Mac, what more do you want? Please WindowServer, be nice.

If you’ve gone through all of the above and keep finding that WindowServer is behaving badly or your Mac is running extremely slow, you should check out tips to speed up OS X Yosemite or even general tips to understand why a Mac running slowly can help.

Did you have Windows server problems? Do you have any tips for reducing WindowServer resource usage in OS X Yosemite? Make sure to share your experiences and tricks in our comments.

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Tame High WindowServer CPU usage on a Mac: FAQ

Tutorial Summary: Tame High WindowServer CPU Usage on a Mac

In this manual we have informed you about the CPU usage of Tame High WindowServer on a Mac. Please read all of the steps to understand how to use Tame High WindowServer CPU on Mac. If you need any help from us, please contact us.

How does this tutorial help you?

This guide explains how to use Tame High WindowServer CPUs on a Mac which will undoubtedly help you.

In what actual time is this method completed?

The time to complete Tame High WindowServer CPU deployment on a Mac tutorial is more than 10 minutes.

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