Devonthink causing fseventsd process hog / CPU overload?


I do not know if forum the right place to share this or through technical support is better ? Please advise thank you.

It took me some time to confirm DT is the app causing a recurrent processor overload on my Mac with process fseventsd driving processor way beyond full capacity (and during >15 sec and intermittently, and launching fan full speed etc…), dozens of times per hour and even when not at my computer.
My processor is recent and oversized (i7 quad core with hyperthread) and no app that I use ever get to driving processor load and fan most of the day like that.
What I do when this happen is that I shut down devonthink.

But there must be an explanation and something to do to mitigate that.

I have a dozen databases in DT and have tested and tried to close databases which were largely indexing finder folders as I thought this could be a cause for fseventsd process going wild.
But this does not work, and as I close databases the issue is still appearing, a bit less frequently only but still there.
Only when I keep a small number of database open (eg. inbox only) is the issue stopping.

Also I have noticed that when I have fseventsd overload if I close all DT databases then reopen those, it fives me a break for minutes if not hours.
But later on, on its own, processor overload reappears by itself and for no apparent reason.

Thank you very much for your help


DEVONthink uses filesystem events to monitor e.g. indexed files/folders. How many items do you databases contain any how many of them are indexed? Where are the indexed items located in the filesystem? And which version of macOS do you use?

Do you use synchronization?

115 000 items 100 000 of which are indexed 99% of which in 1 dbase
But when I close the big database where most indexed files are I have the same problem appearing at some point (maybe less quickly and will less acuity ?)

In many different places all in /Documents/Dropbox folder and sometimes with up to 8 levels below

Catalina 10.15.7

Does quitting the make a difference?

yes I do sync some databases with ipad/iphone (icloud sync)

I tested this after your suggestion but still have same fseventsd process hog / CPU overload.

And disabling the iCloud sync? Does this improve things?

Yes disabling iCloud sync did improve things.
I do not know if dropbox sync would actually have been a better alternative because I could sync with dropbox instead of icloud.
My settings for iCloud syncing were set to “sync automatic” which for some reason was syncing every database every 60 seconds and I could verify that while doing this Devonthink was driving that fseventsd process / CPU overload.
I have changed that sync setting to manual “every 15 minutes” and every 15 minutes I barely have a CPU spike and no fan no overload.
Things are much smoother now thank you.