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Since updating my iMac to MacOS Sierra, I have suffered constant freezes and crashes - which have gotten worse and worse, to the point where I have had to restart my Mac several times a day.
I have been nearly tearing my hair out - something that I can't afford to do!
I had tried everything I could think of to diagnose the problem. The hard drive is fine, there is no hardware issue, no sneaky malware hijacking my computer, and I have been monitoring ingoing and outgoing network traffic using a handy app called Little Snitch.
Nothing I tried seem to help resolve my problem.
I was on the verge of wiping my Mac and re-installing Sierra when I decided to try one last thing.
Diagnostic and Usage Data log provides a hint
I had noticed in my Mac's 'Diagnostic and Usage Data' log file (which is accessed via the Console utility) that a process associated with the Photos app and iCloud Photo Library was generating an error on a regular basis, and often just before my Mac crashed.
(I don't necessarily recommend iCloud Photo Library for clients due to the limitations of this service at the moment and problems that I have encountered on a regular basis.)
So, I figured it might be worth disabling the iCloud Photo Library sync'ing process for 24 hours - to see if this made a difference.
Pausing iCloud Photo Library's Update process fixed my problem
I opened my Photos app, went to Photos -> Preferences -> iCloud and, under the iCloud Photo Library Option, chose 'Pause for one day'.
Just like magic, my spinning beachballs, pauses and crashes suddenly stopped!
I then worked for quite a while on many different things - things that had previously been causing issues - and had no problems.
The minute I 'resumed' the iCloud Photo Library sync'ing, my problems started all over again.
So, for now, I am making sure that I disable iCloud Photo Library each day before I start work (or as soon as I log in/reboot) and hope that a forthcoming Sierra update will resolve this issue.
I will raise a support request with Apple to try to work out what might be causing this problem, and report back on any findings.
Update 5/12/16: Before going down the path of raising a support request, I decided to wipe my Photos library and recreate it from iCloud Photo Library. This took many days (as it had to download nearly 140GB of photos and videos), but seems to have resolved the problem - for now!
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