What is apsd and why is this process running on my Mac?

Do you want to look into it? Activity indicator know what the apsd background process listed there is all about? Then you have come to the right place. In this article I will explain to you why macOS on the Apple Mac needs this process and how you can make settings for it manually. The good news to get you started is: it is not um malicious software, but a normal part of the operating system of your Apple computer that has been used for many years.

The apsd process on the Mac: managing notifications

If your Mac shows you a notification in the top right, i.e. a so-called push notification, then the apsd process is to blame, among other things. Because this is what it is Apple Push notification Service Daemon. This is part of the ApplePushService framework and can be addressed by apps and system services to provide information about certain events. So you get notifications when iMessage messages, FaceTime calls or emails come in, updates are available, something about AirDrop is shared, a subscribed website offers a new article, and so on.

Apps, websites and system tools can use Apple Push Notification Services (APNs) to use push notifications. These are distribution mechanisms provided by Apple. These not only ensure that notifications reach the respective devices. You can also save the information sent for up to 30 days - in case it cannot be delivered immediately and a new attempt is necessary later. The apsd then manages the end devices (in addition to the Mac, iPhone, iPad, etc.). Daemon the incoming information.

Manage notifications on your Mac: System and app settings

If you want to activate, deactivate or otherwise manage certain notifications on macOS, you have various options. For example, in the system settings (Apple symbol -> System settings ... -> Messages) determine which apps and services can send you push notifications. You can also set there whether the contents of the notifications can be displayed on the lock screen or only when unlocked. Notifications can still be turned off on shared screens.

By the way, Safari has its own notification settings. You can access this using the menu bar safari -> Settings ... in the “Websites” tab and under the “Notifications” item to be selected on the left. There you can not only specify whether certain websites that are already displayed in the list are allowed to send you messages. You can also use the box below the list field to determine whether websites are allowed to ask for permission to send notifications. By the way, certain virus reports can be based on scams from websites and their messages. More about it here: Popup Notice: Virus Alert on Mac - what is it?

Completely deactivate the apsd process on the Mac: Here's how!

Right at the beginning the note: It will not recommended to disable the apsd process or otherwise edit it manually. So only use the following procedure if it is absolutely necessary for troubleshooting. To generally deactivate certain notifications, it is better to use the settings mentioned above or the settings of the individual apps, which you can access via the menu bar while you are using them.

But if you are sure that you need to deactivate apsd on the Apple Mac, you can do this with a command in Port. Copy this from the following text field and confirm it with the Enter key after pasting it into the terminal (you will then probably be asked for your password, which you will then also enter and confirm):

sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.apsd.plist

To explain: With “sudo” you execute a “super user” command, i.e. you act as an administrator. Therefore, your password will be requested after confirming the command. Then “launchctl” follows as a command for interacting with that launchd Daemon, the first and most important background process for running macOS. You tell this with “unload” that the following is mentioned Plist file should no longer have any influence on macOS usage. Therefore, the apsd process is deactivated with this. The “load” command then activates it again:

sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.apsd.plist

Conclusion on the apsd process on the Apple Mac

The background process apsd, which is automatically executed by the system, ensures that all possible notifications can be displayed on the Apple Mac in the unified form of macOS. Depending on the settings, these come from the system itself, but also from the App Store, iMessage, FaceTime, AirDrop, websites, third-party apps and the like. There are certain settings for macOS in general and for individual apps in particular that control the use and display of push notifications. Completely deactivating apsd is not recommended, but is possible for professional troubleshooting via the terminal.

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In the Sir Apfelot Blog you will find advice, instructions and reviews on Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini and Mac Studio.