5 Ways to Fix macOS Kernel_Task High CPU Usage (2023 Edition)

It’s super annoying to deal with a slow Mac, but it’s even worse when you can’t figure out why it’s responding sluggishly. Even if you’ve shut down all the programs and processes, if it feels like everything is moving through molasses, chances are your Mac is targeted with a “Kernel_Task High CPU Usage.”

Despite the cooling mechanism in the CPU, any minor defect in the cooling system can cause overheating issues and make it run super slow. But don’t worry; we’re here to discuss everything about Kernel Task and how we can reduce CPU consumption. Kernel_Task in macOS is one of the core processes responsible for carrying out various operations on your Mac & it regulates the cooling system of the CPU. But if Kernel tasks get dysfunctional, it makes your computer run super slow.

Additional Information: Kernel_Task consumes a considerable part of space in your CPU. Whenever it turns high, it makes other applications slow and impacts the overall speed and performance of the machine.  So, what to do if your kernel task on Mac makes the machine slow? Let’s talk about different methods to fix the Kernel_Task high CPU issue.

Must-Read: How to Fix the BSOD Kernel Data Inpage Error in Windows 11?

How Do I Fix Mac Kernel-Task High CPU Usage Problem? (2023 Fixes)

Before we get started with the advanced workarounds to fix the macOS Kernel_Task High CPU issue, we recommend you apply the old-school methods first.

1. Basic Tips To Prevent Mac Kernel-Task High CPU Usage Problem

  • Among several reasons that cause the Kernel_Task Mac issue, one of the significant culprits could be the use of additional peripherals or an external monitor. Since it consumes a lot of memory and takes a significant space, disconnect it immediately and restart your machine!
  • Use your machine in a cool area. Yes, the surroundings and room temperature matter to the cooling system of your CPU.
  • Use a proper charger and accessories. Using old chargers or chargers with improper voltage can also harm Mac’s health.
  • Keep your system updated. Running outdated or faulty software may lead to plenty of errors if not updated correctly; it can add too much load on the hardware.

2. Launch Your Mac In Safe Mode

Among the few solutions to get the Kernel_Task mac issue sorted, one of the most effective ones is to restart your machine in Safe Mode. To start your Mac in Safe Mode, you have to do nothing but:

  • Press the Start button and instantly press and hold the SHIFT key.
  • Keep holding the shift key until the Apple logo appears on display.

Safe Mode

Release the key, and you will be entered into Safe Mode. For further guidance, follow our previous post on Boot Mac In Safe Mode: When, How, And Why?

3. Resolve Kernel_Task High CPU Catalina Issue By Freeing Up Memory

As far as the macOS Catalina version is concerned, you can use the same solutions mentioned above. You can restart your machine, reinstall a poorly functioning app or reinstall the software that consumes maximum space.

For instance, in the new era of Work from Home, many employees have shifted to video communication platforms like Skype, Zoom, etc. These applications seem to be a common software that causes Mac Kernel_Task High CPU usage as the frame setting and other features add too much load to your CPU.

Kernel_Task High CPU

  • Many default settings in Zoom, like the HD look and touch-up my appearance, The Speaker view, more than 25 participants to display in the gallery view, might put an extra burden on CPU usage.
  • FPS matters a lot so try with 10 Frames per Second in the screen sharing option. Also, try not to have a customized background to avoid extra heating of the computer.

Besides all these troubleshooting methods, you can use specialized software to keep your computer working efficiently.

4. Use A Mac Cleaner & Optimizer

Using a reliable Mac Cleaning & Optimization Software can easily resolve Kernel task high CPU problems in a couple of clicks. These programs comprehensively diagnose your machine, locate the problematic areas and suggest the best possible solutions to free up space, optimize memory and enhance overall speed and performance. Software like CleanMyMac X works like a charm and makes your machine run effectively without lags or hiccups.

CleanMyMac X

CleanmyMac X is a powerful software that helps you to keep your Mac optimized. It comprehensively runs a scan to find system junk, caches, cookies, useless mail attachments, trash items, and other redundant data that causes your computer to run super-slow at times. It even prevents users from getting targeted by potential viruses and phishing websites and protects privacy and device security. Besides this, the software is user-friendly and is operational for any age group user.


CleanMyMac X optimizes your Mac and keeps the computer up and running. The most wonderful feature is a one-click optimization which allows users to enjoy peak performance in one go and get all-around protection of their Mac. CleanMyMac X offers free and paid versions with some restricted features in the first.

5. Reset SMC On Mac

If the aforementioned workarounds didn’t help, consider resetting the SMC on your Mac. To do so, simply press the Shift + Control + Option key simultaneously while holding the Power button for at least 10 seconds. Release the power button and plug back the power cable to your Mac and boot it up as usual.

Reset SMC On Mac

You might want to read: 10 Common MacBook Problems and How to Fix Them


So, these were five different ways to fix the Kernel_Task High CPU usage on Mac. Instead of fixing it every month or regularly monitoring the CPU health, you should get software like CleanMyMac X to tackle the job. It’s a highly recommended solution to keep your computer away from issues like Kernel_Task High CPU. It regulates your PC health and saves external spyware and malware, giving maximum security to your Mac. Download the program via the official website, which is available for free as well and the paid edition that starts at $34.95. Follow us on social media – FacebookInstagram and YouTube.

FAQs | More About Resolving macOS Kernel_Task High CPU Usage Issue (2023)

1. Can I stop the Kernel_Task Mac Issue?

Yes, you can! Follow the workarounds listed below:

  • Launch Mac in Safe Mode
  • Uninstall high CPU consuming apps & processes
  • Use a Mac Cleaner & Optimizer
  • Reset SMC on Mac

 2. Why is my Mac system CPU usage so high?

CPU usage so high means the computer is occupied with processes running at the same time. It is advised not to use multiple software at the same time or close the unnecessary apps working in the background. It is recommended to disable all the unwanted startup items to avoid them being launched at the boot time.

3. What is macOS Kernel_Task?

macOS Kernel_Task is a function that regulates the heating of the CPU and avoids malfunctioning. It is like an intelligent part of the brain which is used to regulate the actions of our body.


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