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I was browsing the internet this afternoon, when my cpu menu meters all maxed out, turning red. WTF?, I’m not doing much, only the Safari browser, apple mail, and calendar applications are running. No Photoshop, no Lightroom.

Here’s how to hunt down the cpu hog:

Run activity monitor, sort by % cpu.  This showed that a Safari plug-in was consuming 395% of the system’s cpu. How can this be more than 100%? My iMac has 4 cores, each of which is 100%.  Activity monitor showed the runaway plug-in is npgtpo3dautoplugin.plugin.

I killed this process. CPU use dropped to a few percent.

Now to prevent it from happening again, I looked in /Library/Internet Plug-Ins/  I found the offender and moved it to the trash. Since this is a system folder, I had to provide an admin password to do this.

To see the plug-ins in your Safari, on the Safari menu click Help and then Installed Plug-ins.

Now you know how to trouble shoot and fix this problem!