What is Coreaudiod on Mac

What is "coreaudiod" and why is it running on my Mac?

So you saw something called "coreaudiod" while browsing the activity monitor. What does this do and could it cause problems?

CONNECTED:What is this process and why is it running on my Mac?

This article is part of our ongoing series explaining various processes found in Activity Monitor such as kernel_task, hidd, mdsworker, installd, WindowServer, blued, launchd, dbfseventsd, and many others. Don't you know what these services are? Better start reading right away!

This particular process, coreaudiod, is the daemon that supports Core Audio, the low-level API for sound on macOS. A daemon is a process that runs in the background of your Mac. You can identify them by the "d" at the end of their name.

But what is Core Audio? According to Apple's developer portal, it basically covers everything related to sound on your Mac.

On the Mac, Core Audio includes recording, editing, playback, compression and decompression, MIDI, signal processing, file stream analysis, and audio synthesis.

Basically, if sound comes out of your speaker, or is picked up by a microphone, Coreaudiod has a part in it. For this reason, coreaudiod uses some CPU power whenever you hear audio through your speakers or record something with your microphone.

If your sound ever stops working - and you are, knowing that you haven't muted all audio or changed the audio output device, if you otherwise had to restart your computer, the problem should be resolved.

Should coreaudiod use the network?

Occasionally, when using a Mac firewall like Little Snitch, Coreaudiod will attempt to access devices on the local network. What's happening?

Well, coreaudiod powers the audio part of AirPlay which allows you to mirror your display and audio to AppleTV and some other supported audio receivers. Occasionally coreaudiod will scan your local network to see if there are any supported devices. This means that it is normal for this daemon to try to connect to local devices at times.

When coreaudiod uses your CPU power

Users have reported that in some cases the / Library / Preferences / Audio folder is lost, causing coreaudiod to massively increase CPU usage even when no audio is playing. If you notice this CPU spike, go to / Library / Preferences / in the Finder and make sure the Audio folder is missing.

According to blogger LucaTNT, you can recreate the folder yourself to fix the problem by opening the Terminal and running the following two commands:

The first command creates the directory to be replaced. The second option sets the correct permissions for the folder.

Photo credit: Steinar Engeland