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Alfred takes too long to start


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Hello,

 

I am using Alfred v2.4 (279) on OS X (10.9.4) with Powerpack enabled. On start up Alfred takes too long to start. I get the following messages on console.

 

22/08/14 9:20:31.459 am Alfred 2[470]: [TIMER] 71.418899 seconds to initialise Alfred
22/08/14 9:13:01.928 pm Alfred 2[471]: [TIMER] 55.193468 seconds to initialise Alfred
 
Any suggestion on how can I make Alfred start faster?
Thanks.
 

 

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Hello,

 

I am using Alfred v2.4 (279) on OS X (10.9.4) with Powerpack enabled. On start up Alfred takes too long to start. I get the following messages on console.

 

22/08/14 9:20:31.459 am Alfred 2[470]: [TIMER] 71.418899 seconds to initialise Alfred
22/08/14 9:13:01.928 pm Alfred 2[471]: [TIMER] 55.193468 seconds to initialise Alfred
 
Any suggestion on how can I make Alfred start faster?
Thanks.

 

 

Alfred should start in a fraction of a second. First thing to try is see if it's profile related... temporarily create a new user account on your Mac, switch to that user and start Alfred. If this is instant, we will work out what's going on with your Main profile :)

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I did some tests.

  1. Alfred behaving same on new account i.e. taking around 45 seconds to initialise.
  2. Alfred starts slow only when set to auto start during boot up.
  3. If auto start is disabled and Alfred is started manually after login then it starts faster i.e. in 3 seconds.
  4. Number 3 holds even if I do purge (to delete inactive memory) after quitting Alfred and before starting it again.
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I did some tests.

  1. Alfred behaving same on new account i.e. taking around 45 seconds to initialise.
  2. Alfred starts slow only when set to auto start during boot up.
  3. If auto start is disabled and Alfred is started manually after login then it starts faster i.e. in 3 seconds.
  4. Number 3 holds even if I do purge (to delete inactive memory) after quitting Alfred and before starting it again.

 

How many items are in your Login Items list? Are there other login items that could be causing a delay on startup?

 

Do you have an unusual setup, e.g. are your Applications on the main HD of your Mac or on a network drive, external drive, etc? If there's anything non-standard, please let us know as it might help us troubleshoot the issue :)

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How many items are in your Login Items list? Are there other login items that could be causing a delay on startup?

 

Do you have an unusual setup, e.g. are your Applications on the main HD of your Mac or on a network drive, external drive, etc? If there's anything non-standard, please let us know as it might help us troubleshoot the issue :)

 

 

I have just two Login Items: iTunesHelper and Alfred2. Earlier there was Google Drive also but I disabled it for testing Alfred slow speed. It is still disabled. 

 

I am using vanilla setup of both Mac OS X and Alfred. All my apps are in main disk. No network or external drive mounted at login.

However, I have made three simple workflows of my own:

  1. keyword to ssh connection to my desktop
  2. daily news workflow - opening two websites in default browser
  3. network tester - showing Yes/No in large font based on ping to 8.8.8.8

along with enabling example workflow by Andrew Pepperrell "Should I Watch This Movie".  :)

Is there any way to dump configuration of Alfred for situations such as this? 
Here is what is mounted:

~ $ mount

/dev/disk0s2 on / (hfs, local, journaled)

devfs on /dev (devfs, local, nobrowse)

map -hosts on /net (autofs, nosuid, automounted, nobrowse)

map auto_home on /home (autofs, automounted, nobrowse)

 

Two more things I forgot to mention earlier under my 'tests done' post:

  1. I have also tried clearing Application Data and Rebuilt OS X Metadata both under Alfred Preferences -> Advanced tab -- Twice.
  2. I have also tried by clearing knowledge and making Alfred relearn in the same tab.
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I have just two Login Items: iTunesHelper and Alfred2. Earlier there was Google Drive also but I disabled it for testing Alfred slow speed. It is still disabled. 

 

 

While waiting for Alfred to start, could you open Activity Monitor.app, select Alfred and then the "Sample Process" button in the tool bar (from the cog if you are using 10.9+), this will hopefully let me know which particular area is holding Alfred up from starting on your Mac.

 

Cheers,

Andrew

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While waiting for Alfred to start, could you open Activity Monitor.app, select Alfred and then the "Sample Process" button in the tool bar (from the cog if you are using 10.9+), this will hopefully let me know which particular area is holding Alfred up from starting on your Mac.

 

Cheers,

Andrew

 

I tried taking sample of Alfred twice (Sample 1 and Sample 2) but at both times the sample taking didn't complete well after Alfred was already loaded and the hat icon showed up in the menu bar. It was always stuck at "Please wait while sample is taken" and only completed after Alfred was loaded.

 

Then I decided to stop Alfred in its track using SIGSTOP signal (pkill -STOP Alfred\ 2). So I took the third sample when Alfred was stopped (Sample 3). 

I am including all these samples with this post. Hope it helps.

 

Sample 1

Sample 2

Sample 3

 

By the way, how can I add attachments in post?

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I tried taking sample of Alfred twice (Sample 1 and Sample 2) but at both times the sample taking didn't complete well after Alfred was already loaded and the hat icon showed up in the menu bar. It was always stuck at "Please wait while sample is taken" and only completed after Alfred was loaded.

 

Then I decided to stop Alfred in its track using SIGSTOP signal (pkill -STOP Alfred\ 2). So I took the third sample when Alfred was stopped (Sample 3). 

I am including all these samples with this post. Hope it helps.

 

Sample 1

Sample 2

Sample 3

 

By the way, how can I add attachments in post?

 

 

Looking at that sample, if Alfred is pausing while trying to write to the file cache db, there may very well be some corruption in this. It could also be something wrong with your metadata index as Alfred asks for metadata about some default files (apps / preferences) before adding them to his cache. As you've already tried a new user, the first thing I'd try is doing a full reindex of your Metadata using the shortcut button in Alfred's Advanced preferences... 'Rebuild OS X Metadata'. Be sure to select the option to delete the /.Spotlight-V100 folder too.

 

Let me know how you get on with that, and if that doesn't speed things up, we will work out why Alfred is pausing when simply trying to write to an SQLite db.

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Looking at that sample, if Alfred is pausing while trying to write to the file cache db, there may very well be some corruption in this. It could also be something wrong with your metadata index as Alfred asks for metadata about some default files (apps / preferences) before adding them to his cache. As you've already tried a new user, the first thing I'd try is doing a full reindex of your Metadata using the shortcut button in Alfred's Advanced preferences... 'Rebuild OS X Metadata'. Be sure to select the option to delete the /.Spotlight-V100 folder too.

 

I did the same but it didn't helped. Now thats the third time I rebuilt by index in as many days. Strange thing is why Alfred is slow only when set to start during boot. It works fine if I start Alfred manually after system is already booted up. What is it waiting for?

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I did the same but it didn't helped. Now thats the third time I rebuilt by index in as many days. Strange thing is why Alfred is slow only when set to start during boot. It works fine if I start Alfred manually after system is already booted up. What is it waiting for?

 

It really could be anything... some corruption somewhere in OS X, or another app, or a hanging network resource. Alfred doesn't actually do that much stuff at startup, but he does ask for metadata from OS X's metadata server, and I suspect this is what could be holding Alfred up. I'm not sure what to suggest to fix this though as I suspect it's outside of Alfred's control.

 

When Yosemite is released, it may be worth doing a fresh install and migrating your data across rather than an upgrade.

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It really could be anything... some corruption somewhere in OS X, or another app, or a hanging network resource. Alfred doesn't actually do that much stuff at startup, but he does ask for metadata from OS X's metadata server, and I suspect this is what could be holding Alfred up. I'm not sure what to suggest to fix this though as I suspect it's outside of Alfred's control.

 

When Yosemite is released, it may be worth doing a fresh install and migrating your data across rather than an upgrade.

 

Yeah may be meta data server takes time to start up and Alfred is just waiting for it. Still IMHO you should put an option to start Alfred in debug mode or throw in a verbose switch in there. It will be helpful in many situations.

 

The problem is just a bit of annoyance as it doesn't trouble me at all once Alfred is started. So I guess I can live with it.

Thanks for trying to help and definitely thanks for giving us Alfred. He's adorable :)

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  • 1 month later...

Hi,

I am afraid I have the same problem, see the lines from Console:

28/09/14 11:00:21,678 Alfred 2[275]: [TIMER] 89.472811 seconds to initialise Alfred
28/09/14 18:16:19,893 Alfred 2[272]: [TIMER] 71.299102 seconds to initialise Alfred
28/09/14 18:23:22,850 Alfred 2[265]: [TIMER] 64.554266 seconds to initialise Alfred

The 2 last lines coming from 2 boots in a row.

Is there any update with regards to the thread above?

 

My Login Items list is currently made of iTunesHelper, CleanMyDrive and Alfred2, in this sequence

 

 

Thank you

Gaetano

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Hi,

I am afraid I have the same problem, see the lines from Console:

28/09/14 11:00:21,678 Alfred 2[275]: [TIMER] 89.472811 seconds to initialise Alfred
28/09/14 18:16:19,893 Alfred 2[272]: [TIMER] 71.299102 seconds to initialise Alfred
28/09/14 18:23:22,850 Alfred 2[265]: [TIMER] 64.554266 seconds to initialise Alfred

The 2 last lines coming from 2 boots in a row.

Is there any update with regards to the thread above?

 

My Login Items list is currently made of iTunesHelper, CleanMyDrive and Alfred2, in this sequence

 

 

Thank you

Gaetano

 

I still cannot find the solution to this. See the latest Alfred start up messages:

29/09/14 4:41:24.822 pm Alfred 2[452]: [TIMER] 56.206486 seconds to initialise Alfred
29/09/14 5:33:25.858 pm Alfred 2[459]: [TIMER] 45.859592 seconds to initialise Alfred

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I still cannot find the solution to this. See the latest Alfred start up messages:

29/09/14 4:41:24.822 pm Alfred 2[452]: [TIMER] 56.206486 seconds to initialise Alfred
29/09/14 5:33:25.858 pm Alfred 2[459]: [TIMER] 45.859592 seconds to initialise Alfred

 

Do you have Spotlight set to index any external drives or other areas aside from the primary boot drive?

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No, its at default settings. In fact, spotlight app itself used to start without any delay though I have disabled it now as I am using Alfred.

 

You may not want to disable Spotlight's indexing, as Alfred relies on this metadata index to present you with results from your Mac. You can continue to use the non-search features in Alfred like web searches, but if you use it to search your Mac, you'll want to keep the OS X metadata managed by Spotlight enabled. :)
 
I've had a look again at the issues you're encountering and, if you say that Alfred launches fine and fast when you manually launch it, but that even on a totally new user account, you get the delay on launch, it's unfortunately likely to be something deeper rooted in OS X that is taking a long time starting and causing Alfred's launch to be slower than it should be.
 
As Andrew suggested, your best bet will be to reinstall your Mac from fresh when Yosemite is officially released.
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You may not want to disable Spotlight's indexing, as Alfred relies on this metadata index to present you with results from your Mac. You can continue to use the non-search features in Alfred like web searches, but if you use it to search your Mac, you'll want to keep the OS X metadata managed by Spotlight enabled. :)
 
I've had a look again at the issues you're encountering and, if you say that Alfred launches fine and fast when you manually launch it, but that even on a totally new user account, you get the delay on launch, it's unfortunately likely to be something deeper rooted in OS X that is taking a long time starting and causing Alfred's launch to be slower than it should be.
 
As Andrew suggested, your best bet will be to reinstall your Mac from fresh when Yosemite is officially released.

 

 

Oh Sorry I didn't made my self clear. I just hide spotlight icon not disabled the service as described in this tip:

http://osxdaily.com/2011/12/12/hide-spotlight-menu-icon-mac-os-x/

 

Waiting for Yosemite's official release. :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have the same problem, taking even longer, on MBP 2012, 10.8.5. Starts up fine when I load it manually too.

27/10/14 8:26:17.748 AM Alfred 2[339]: [TIMER] 147.048934 seconds to initialise Alfred
27/10/14 10:05:40.089 AM Alfred 2[338]: [TIMER] 163.214553 seconds to initialise Alfred
Edited by johnjoonso
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