You may notice that your Apple MacBook or iMac computer is running slow, the fans are spinning very fast, and the Activity Monitor (found inside of Applications > Utilities) indicates very high CPU usage for the accountsd process. If you have a multi-core processor the percentage of CPU usage may exceed 100% because more than one full CPU is dedicated to serving that task.
The accountsd process seems to have something to do with the System Preferences > Internet Accounts functions including the real-time continuous notification system. This is why it may seem that some runaway task has monopolized your computer’s CPU and is causing it to slow down.
According to some Apple Discussion threads about this issue, Google accounts may be causing problems. However, our tests show that the CPU usage remained high even after deleting all Google accounts. Other accounts that could cause high CPU usage would be Facebook or Twitter since they are always monitoring for recent updates to notify you about.
Removing unnecessary accounts can help get the CPU usage down to about 30-40% which will result in the fans not running so fast.
If you’ve recently upgraded to Windows 10, at the login screen, under the listing of user account usernames, you may see some key symbol icons with the word Password to the right of them as shown below.
Presumably this is for those who would like to use a USB key that contains a password keychain. Like a key to your car, a USB drive that contains a long password key can give you access to a computer that’s configured to work with such devices.
However, if you’ve recently created a new user account, but not yet logged in using that new user account, clicking on one of those key icons will results in an error message stating “HRESULT 0x8007ffff.”
Fixing the Problem
You must use the normal login first by clicking on the username and entering the password. Windows will perform the initial account setup. Then logout, and then you should be able to click on the key symbol icon and use that login method.
What’s a bit confusing about this situation is that there’s no way to tell the different key icons apart. They are each associated with a user account, but you won’t know which one until you click on them.
Below are screen shots of this phenomenon.
Windows 10 Login Screen
The top user account name is obscured for privacy. Click the image for a larger view.
HRESULT 0x8007ffff Error Message
Click the image for a larger view.