What is ksfetch and how do you stop it?

I like to keep an eye on what is happening on my Mac and a utility that I have used for a long time is MenuMeters. This is a menu bar utility that shows processor usage, disk usage, upload and download speed, and free and used memory. This utility makes it easy to spot problems that might otherwise be missed and it highlighted an issue with ksfetch. So what is it and how do you stop it?

When starting the Mac I noticed that something downloads a lot of data and it can be seen in the download speed in the MenuMeters display in the menu bar. Downloads run at maximum speed for a minute on boot up.

Without MenuMeters or a similar utility, this behaviour would go unnoticed, which is why it is so useful. When your Mac is slow for some reason, MenuMeters can tell you why - high processor, disk, internet or memory usage.

Opening Activity Monitor in the Applications/Utilities folder lets you look at what is happening underneath the pretty OS X interface. MenuMeters showed the internet bandwidth being used was very high, but it didn’t show what was using it.

Selecting the Network tab in Activity Monitor shows all the apps and services that are running in the background and clicking the Rcvd Bytes heading sorts them into order with the highest at the top (click again if the lowest is at the top).

ksfetch in OS X on the Apple Mac

Here you can see that ksfetch is responsible for downloading 35.9 MB. This screen shot was taken about a minute after starting up and ksfetch them disappears from Activity Monitor because it quits and only running apps and services are displayed.

After some research it was discovered that ksfetch is Google’s software updater. It runs automatically and checks for updates, then downloads them and installs them if there are any available. If you have or have had Google Chrome or Google Drive or something else from Google on your Mac then you will have ksfetch, but you won’t see it unless you run Activity Monitor at the right time, just as it is running.

There are several potential problems with ksfetch and one is that it can cause issues with third party firewalls. Some people complain that it triggers and alert several times an hour.

Another problem is that if you are on a slow internet connection, your Mac could be slow for five minutes after starting up, or whenever ksfetch runs.

An issue that I have is the bandwidth used. When I am out with my MacBook I always use a free Wi-Fi hotspot to get on the internet. Occasionally, they don’t work (sometimes they just need to reboot the router, so it’s worth asking someone if they can do this). When the Wi-Fi doesn’t work I turn my phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot and connect to it. The phone then accesses the internet through 3G.

Data usage is limited on a mobile phone though and typically you get 0.5 or 1GB a month, which isn’t much, especially if the Mac is downloading 35+ MB before you have even started to do any work.

Stop ksfetch

It is possible to stop ksfetch from running, but you need to enter some commands from the Terminal. Go to Applications/Utilities and run Terminal. At the command prompt, enter the following to uninstall ksfetch for the current user:

Resources/GoogleSoftwareUpdateAgent.app/Contents/Resources/install.py --uninstall

(Enter all on one line.) To remove ksfetch for all users, enter:


Resources/GoogleSoftwareUpdateAgent.app/Contents/Resources/install.py --uninstall

That is a big command (all on one line again), so don’t type it in. Click and drag over it with the mouse and press Command+C to copy it. Click in the Terminal window and press Command+V to paste it.

The downside of removing ksfetch is that Google software like Chrome, will not automatically update. You will need to manually check for updates, download them and install them. It’s not exactly hard though, is it?





Would love to use your method, unfortunately I am getting the following error: -bash: /Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/ Resources/GoogleSoftwareUpdateAgent.app/Contents/Resources/install.py: No such file or directory any advice? Thanks!

<p>One thing you could try is reinstalling Chrome. That command should work according to Google. Maybe it is partially uninstalled or partially installed.</p>

Copy the first line: -bash: /Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/ and paste it in. Then copy the second one: Resources/GoogleSoftwareUpdateAgent.app/Contents/Resources/install.py and paste it in, THEN press enter

For me I had to cd to that directory and I saw that it's now called ksinstall (there is no install.py). I ran the following: ./ksinstall --uninstall and now I'm not seeing the popups in little snitch. I'll just update Chrome often enough.

/Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Resources/GoogleSoftwareUpdateAgent.app/Contents/Resources/ksinstall --uninstall

Files have moved since I originally wrote the article.

sudo /Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/ Resources/GoogleSoftwareUpdateAgent.app/Contents/Resources/ksinstall --uninstall

In Mavericks there is no such folder on the library folder and i have the Google earth and Sketchup installed in my computer. So what to do to get this peace of software not to work as it wants to.

install.py has been changed to ksinstall, so the following solution works for OS X 10.10.1 and Chrome 39.0.2171.95, I have not tried other versions: ~/Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Resources /GoogleSoftwareUpdateAgent.app/Contents/Resources/ksinstall --uninstall More: It seems to still run ksfetch when I launch Chrome and choose Chrome/Preferences…/About. I tried another solution at the following link which did not work, because Google would overwrite the ~/Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate directory with a new one each time: https://discussions.apple.com/message/18787507#18787507 Google’s documentation is out of date at: https://support.google.com/installer/answer/100386?hl=en

Same here, we are running OS X 10.10.1 and we are using Profile Manager to limit the apps. I gave permission for Google Chrome, but I keep getting the ksfetch, ksadmin, ksinstall messages when I try to run Chrome.

This is the new command to uninstall kfetch and related: /Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Resources/ksinstall --uninstall No "sudo" necessary.

"ksfetch is Google’s software updater." see: http://www.rawinfopages.com/mac/content/what-ksfetch-and-how-do-you-stop-it I don't have a problem with this, so I (as an Administrator) allow "ksfetch" to always run under my "kids" very restricted login privileges. Remember, the application states: You don't have permission to use the application "ksfetch." For more information, contact the person who set up your account. [Always Allow...] [Allow Once...] [OK] So, if you click [OK], then the "ksfetch" application/request (above) will repeat waaaaay too often! ANSWER: The easy road is to simply select [Always Allow...] ... and then type in your user name and Administrator password!

"ksfetch is Google’s software updater." I don't have a problem with this, so I (as an Administrator) [Always Allow...] "ksfetch" to run under my "kids" very restricted login privileges. Remember, the "ksfetch" application states (for those below "Administrator" level): You don't have permission to use the application "ksfetch." For more information, contact the person who set up your account. [Always Allow...] [Allow Once...] [OK] If you click [OK], or [Allow Once], then the "ksfetch" message (above) repeats within 15-minutes! ANSWER: The easy road is for an Administrator to select [Always Allow...] ... and then enter their user name and Administrator password! The "ksfetch" message no longer repeats for the user, and the Google software updates with the newest features/protection.

Hi tried all of the above and it comes back with"no such file or directory found...." for the last 2 days it is using 80-90% of my cpu... ???? fans are going constantly??

I think files, locations and other things have changed since the article was written. There are some comments with slightly different commands and these may work. Check the comments above. I would remove all Google software using AppCleaner to find and delete all files. Reboot the Mac and then reinstall Chrome.

I use Little Snitch, an app which monitors all internet access and asks you which apps have permission to exchange network data in the background and which do not. You set the filter the first time an app tries to gain access and then forget about it. So I have now told it to deny ksfetch access. If I want to allow google apps to update in the future I will just turn off the Little Snitch ksfetch filter for a day or two. It sounds like ksfetch is just annoying but Little Snitch also catches more damaging malware trying to communicate with the mothership. It is one of the first apps I install on any new Mac. It costs around £$€ 30 but often pops up in software bundles. Even at full price it saves me stress, bandwidth and in the long run time and money. I have no affiliation to the developers - just a fan.

Any of you that uses a program that monitors CPU usage or tracks any programs that are calling home without your exclusive permission like Little Snitch will find KSfetch will continually pop up whether you block it or give it permission 'always' leading to a constant need to either block or give permission several times per hour. This is because this process keeps reinventing itself somehow so that the allow or block always command is not effective. I have tried using terminal to kill this process without success. I did find one article deeply buried in the internet that provided a simple method that worked at the time. The key was to locate the offending Google update folder or the Ksfetch file in the 'username'/library/preference folder. (not the exact path) select get info for the parent folder and change the permissions to -no read or write. This silenced the app from being able to launch. I did this successfully on my 2009 MacBook Pro. I have a new 2016 MacBP and have yet to make this change to see if it works again. I'm hoping it does and I hope it works for you.

MBP late 2011, SSD, OS 10.12.6 I tried this solution: library/google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate (both: on the SSD and in the user folder). In the information window I switched "everyone: read" to "everyone: no rights". The annoying Little Snitch window stopped harassing me, but the MBP becomes hot. After a few minutes the fans go to max. So this way does not work for me. Then I did the Terminal thing: defaults write com.google.Keystone.Agent checkInterval 604800 A week has 604800 seconds. So ksfetch checkes only once a week.

Just a quick note, the command you reference is split in half with what amounts to a newline – making it impossible to copy and paste. /Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Resources/GoogleSoftwareUpdateAgent.app/Contents/Resources/install.py --uninstall

sudo /Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Resources/ksinstall --uninstall

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