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Is Illustrator mining bitcoin? (High CPU usage when computer is idle.)

Participant ,
Mar 15, 2022 Mar 15, 2022

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For all Windows computers in our studio where Illustrator has been left open (whether or not an AI file is open), and when a computer enters an idle state (usually after a few minutes of inactivity), the CPU jumps from a normal ~2% to ~25%. After some sluething, we discovered Illustrator is the offender!

 

This has been going on for a few years, including the latest version 26.1, so I have to assume that Illustrator is mining bitcoin on our workstations!

 

Have others noticed this? (You can leave Task Manager on top, sorted by CPU, and wait for idle to see it happening, assuming your PC or monitor don't sleep too soon.)

 

(I don't know if it occurs on Macs.)

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Participant ,
Mar 15, 2022 Mar 15, 2022

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I forgot to mention that Illustrator also doesn't allow the computer to sleep, but doesn't register a no-sleep request (i.e., powercfg -requests) until the PC enters the idle state (very sneaky!)

 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 15, 2022 Mar 15, 2022

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Shall I assume that your statement "so I have to assume that Illustrator is mining bitcoin" is hyperbole or exaggeration for dramatic effect? Or do you genuinely believe that Illy has been mining bitcoin on your workstations for years? I've certainly noticed that I don't want to leave Illustrator running on my machine for days on end, but I always attributed that to bugs or memory leaks in an app that I've been using on and off since the late 1980s. 

 

I can find a few posts describing symptoms similar to yours, but zero incidences of people reporting that Illustrator was mining cryptocurrency. I'd encourage you to do some more troubleshooting before jumping to this conclusion. 

 

Have you attempted to do any performance-related troubleshooting? Something here, perhaps? https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/kb/gpu-performance-errors-troubleshooting-workarounds.html

 

Have you tried a full uninstall and reinstall of Illustrator? In your shoes I'd completely remove everything Adobe-related from one of my workstations, going so far as to use the Creative Cloud Cleaning Tool for uninstallation. 

 

 

 

 

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Participant ,
Mar 16, 2022 Mar 16, 2022

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Indeed, I was suggesting crypto mining in jest.


While Illustrator's behavior is similar to crypto-mining websites that use visitors' CPUs and electricity to harvest cryptocurrency, it would be quite incredible for Adobe to allow this into their apps. I would have added more lighthearted emojis/smilies to my original post, but this forum does not allow editing/deleting of posts.

 

This issue occurs on all PCs in our studio of various ages and installation times, so I assume it’s not just us. We only notice it on our laptop workstations when the CPU fans are running for hours for no apparent reason. I suspect most people won’t notice the problem on desktop workstations because their CPU fans aren’t as noisy. It's a nuisance issue, but not worth the additional speculative re-install/debug time—for now, we shut down Illustrator if/when someone leaves it running.

 

I was hoping to survey whether it’s a widespread issue, and if so, to raise awareness for Adobe since it's been an issue for a few years now.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 16, 2022 Mar 16, 2022

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If you want to raise awareness at Adobe, you might want to post it there: http://illustrator.uservoice.com

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Community Expert ,
Mar 16, 2022 Mar 16, 2022

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quote

Indeed, I was suggesting crypto mining in jest.

 

Phew!  You did an amazing job of posting in such a way that I simply couldn't tell if you were serious or not. Just the absolutely perfect amount of unhinged. 

 

I agree with Monika that uservoice is the place to start. I'd go further and suggest that you could try not only posting this as a bug, but seeing how many of the already existing performance-related bug reports you could vote for. A quick review of those bug reports makes me want to ask you if you notice that AiRobin.exe was one of the things consuming your CPU cycles. 

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New Here ,
Jan 17, 2023 Jan 17, 2023

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I experience very similar symptoms that made me think they were using the CPU/GPU in the background. If I leave Illustrator open and leave my computer to idle. The screen will sleep and then the CPU fan will kick into high gear and sound like the system is overworking. Once you start using the computer again the fan goes back to normal speed. Why would it need to do anything while I am not using it.

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Participant ,
Jan 17, 2023 Jan 17, 2023

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Yes, the unnecessary cooling is what tipped us off in the first place--a laptop or notebook will audibly spin the cooling fan when the CPU is being used. A PC running Illustrator will never sleep and burn CPU indefinitely--we can always tell when Illustrator hasn't been manually closed when walking in to the office and hearing a laptop's fan spinning.

 

Desktop PCs have better/quieter cooling, so one must specifically look for Illustrator burning lots of CPU after the computer has been idle for a some minutes. Most PCs are set to lock or sleep the monitor when idle, so most people (using desktop PCs) won't notice this problem.

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