Mac OSX Troubleshooting

Troubleshoot: Kernel Task Goes to Maximum CPU Usage in MacBook Pro / Apple Notebooks

kernel task takes hundred percent cpu
Written by Wamiq Ali

Macbook’s are one of the amazing piece of gadgets. They offer high speed along with an amazing aesthetic sense. I am an Apple user. However, after using Macbook Pro for some time I started to face a weird problem. The problem was of an acute nature which often started to restrain me from using my laptop properly.

The issue was with kernel_task taking up all the processor and making the rest of laptop clogged with slowest possible efficiency. Now, this issue happened to me when the laptop was being charged, upon removing the laptop from the charging the kernel_task used to come back to normal, which made the laptop stroll away from being 100% processor to normal.

The same issue can be with others as well, though there can be some variations. To some people it may happen not during the charging time of laptop but instead at every moment of their laptop usage. To some users the same issue can happen at random over their macbook pro. Now, what so ever is the issue , if you are facing same issue of kernel_task going to 100% with laptop when it comes to your use then you are at the right place.

After facing such an issue, the first thing I did was to google the solution. Already a lot of people were facing similar issue. The solutions were also of varied nature, but here I’ll be only quoting my personal experience which helped me solve the issue.

Solution: Kernel Task taking up all the CPU – Makes the Macbook freeze up!

1- Reset NVRAM: There is a non-volatile random access memory where some temporary things related to things like speaker volumes is stored. Kernel Panic information is also stored in the same location, so that the system may access the information at the very earliest. Now you need to reset it so that it comes clean and your kernel issue is resolved.

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command (⌘), Option, P, and R.
  3. Turn on your Mac.
  4. Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys immediately after you hear the startup sound.
  5. Hold these keys until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for a second time.
  6. Release the keys.

2 – Reset SMC: SMC stands for system management controller. It is present in the laptops having intel cpu, so before resetting it you must be sure that your model has an intel inside cpu. You can go to your system stats or system info by clicking the Apple icon present in the top left corner of the screen in your macbook. There you can find your macbook’s model using that you may be able to search whether your model has an intel inside cpu or not.

  1. Shut down the Mac.
  2. Plug in the MagSafe or USB-C power adapter to a power source and to your Mac.
  3. Using the built-in keyboard, press Shift-Control-Option on the left side of the keyboard, then press the power button at the same time.
  4. Release all keys, then press the power button again to turn on your Mac (Source: Apple’s Support)
  5. Please note, that during the procedure, the charging light will shift from orange to green. This shows that the SMC has been reset.

If you are using some other Apple’s computer then try to discover using google on how to reset the SMC and NVRAM, I’m pretty sure that resetting SMC is going to solve a lot of problems. You may read on apple support what else it does to control your mac.

3- Find the cause which is causing MacBook to held up! – Now, if you are not sure and your macbook is again slowing down then all you can do is to find the activity monitor in your macbook. See what else is taking your cpu and ram. You can press spacebar+command to launch the quick search and there write Activity Monitor and hit enter. You can find your system stats there, if you see that some sort of application is slowing down your mac then all you need to do is to disable it from running. You can also scan your startup applications, there may be some culprit there which is causing your system to slow down when it comes into play. I’ll compile another post where I’ll discuss various factors which may slow down your Mac.

kernel task takes hundred percent cpu

About the author

Wamiq Ali

Programmer, Blogger and an Entrepreneur trying to make this web a better place by making others learn for free.

Leave a Comment