macbook pro – kernel_task eating 1000% of my CPU regardless of the CPU being at 56-58 degrees

I’m currently struggling with kernel task on my 1 year old Macbook Pro 16″ 2019.
Basically I’m currently using an external monitor which is connected to my macbook via a usbc to displayport cable which is connected to the right side of my macbook along side with the DC cable. On the left side I only have a dongle which I use to connect my mouse to my macbook.

Here are a couple of pictures showing my temperatures. I’d like to highlight the fact that I’m not running ANY task on my macbook. I just connected the external monitor.

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What I did so far in order to try to mitigate the issue:

  • Resetting the SMC
  • According to some people, kernel_task is triggered by “thunderbolt left proximity” temperature, but it doesnt seem to be my case. I tried completely disconnecting the dongle, the temperature reaches ~38 degrees, yet the issue persists
  • Completely wiped my mac to make sure the issue wasnt one of the softwares I had installed, but the issue persists even with almost no programs running in the background
  • Tried different monitors and cables. I tried using HDMI cables and my old BENQ monitor and my television, the issue still persists.
  • I tried using my macbook in clamshell mode and I bought a vertical laptop stand because according to some people it helps dissipating heat, but of course it wont work.

I know kernel_task is supposed to make the CPU less available to those processes which are causing the macbook to overheat, but why is it taking so much CPU when there’s literally no user processes using the CPU and the macbook is not even hot?

hard drive – Kernel_task running 100%+ which is throttling the MacBook Air

Thanks in advance for any and all help. My MacBook Air has come to a crawl because the kernel_task is running at 100%+. I have researched this issue extensively and have decided on following the guide listed here ( and accept the risks. The only issue is I can’t get past step 3. In particular this step:

Next make it writable which will require you to enter your password – the /Volumes/Macintosh HD 1 could be different.

sudo mount -uw /Volumes/Macintosh HD 1

When I enter that command I get the following error. “unknown special file or file system”

FYI when Diskutil list shows this in case I picking the wrong disk in previous step

diskutil mount disk1s5
/dev/disk0 (internal, physical):
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *500.3 GB   disk0
   1:                        EFI ⁨EFI⁩                     209.7 MB   disk0s1
   2:                 Apple_APFS ⁨Container disk1⁩         500.1 GB   disk0s2

/dev/disk1 (synthesized):
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      APFS Container Scheme -                      +500.1 GB   disk1
                                 Physical Store disk0s2
   1:                APFS Volume ⁨HD - Data⁩               152.9 GB   disk1s1
   2:                APFS Volume ⁨Preboot⁩                 282.2 MB   disk1s2
   3:                APFS Volume ⁨Recovery⁩                622.1 MB   disk1s3
   4:                APFS Volume ⁨VM⁩                      1.1 GB     disk1s4
   5:                APFS Volume ⁨HD⁩                      15.3 GB    disk1s5
   6:              APFS Snapshot ⁨⁩ 15.3 GB    disk1s5s1

macos – Kernel_task uses 15% of CPU, but stops as soon as the computer is used? (10.15.7, Mid 2012 15″ Retina MBP)

I have a 15″ Mid 2012 Retina MacBook Pro (2.7ghz i7, 16gb of RAM) that I use as a headless server in my house. It’s currently running 10.15.7, which is the last supported MacOS release it can run.

When I leave the machine running, screen open but brightness all the way down, the fan CONSTANTLY runs. As soon as I turn the brightness up and start using the computer, or remote in with a VNC client (I’m using the one that’s an extension for chrome) the fan stops running. Looking at Activity monitor, there’s a kernel_task that using around 15% of the CPU that immediately stops when I remote in or start using the computer. You can see the task and drop in CPU usage in the attached screenshot (screenshot taken after the %CPU has dropped, but you can see kernel_task, and the associated load on the graph at the bottom).

I’ve done a clean install of 10.15.7, and the only programs I have installed are: Chrome, Docker, pi-hole running in Docker, and Homebridge (for homekit).

I thought it might just be spotlight re-indexing the computer, but it’s been about a week and the problem hasn’t gone away. I have tried a SMC and PRAM reset, and neither have helped. It’s pretty much running a clean install, other than the programs I have listed.

Does anyone have any tips for figuring out what is causing kernel_task to use the CPU so often? Why does it go away when I start using the computer?

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snow leopard – How do I debug an out-of-control “kernel_task” process?

Just recently I noticed my battery life having a pretty significant drop and the “kernel_task” process using quite a bit of CPU (a constant 1-6% on my 2.8ghz dual-core i7, 2010 MBP). Obviously I think the kernel_task’s CPU usage is contributing to the battery drop and I need to find out why.

Searching Google, it seems kernel_task is OS X’s version of Windows’s “svchost.exe” – the notorious do-everything process that you can’t ever truly debug, you have to just manually flip switches until one of them works.

Is there any way I can more easily get to the bottom of the out-of-control kernel_task activity? I haven’t tried a reboot because if that does “fix” it, it doesn’t really fix the underlying problem.

Activity Monitor shows the CPU usage. When I hit Inspect, it shows 77 threads, 2 ports, hours and hours of CPU time, Context Switches going up about 400 per second, and Mach Messages In and Out both going up at about 6,000 per second.

How can I somehow inspect or monitor this kernel_task process and figure out what’s actually using all this power?

(note: my current suspects are the recent 10.6.7 update, Firefox update from 4 beta 10 to RC, or ScreenResX – these are all things I’ve done recently that I can think of)

macbook pro – High kernel_task CPU usage

I have a 2019 15″ MBP which has had a string of issues, but is passing all hardware tests when serviced at the Genius Bar:

November 2019–March 2020

Mac freezes daily, usually towards the end of the work day (4–5pm), mouse and keyboard are unresponsive, reboot resolves the issue.

March 2020–September 2020

Mac becomes unusable multiple times during the day due to really high kernel_task CPU usage (sometimes more than 4000% when no apps are open). Reboot does not resolve issue, but turning the MacBook upside down in clamshell mode seemed to help (connected to external display). Some tasks such as a Skype call with video are essentially impossible. Resolved by reinstalling the OS without restoring from back up.


Battery depleting at extreme rate, Mac is extremely hot even upon start up and fans almost always running at full speed. Now the icon in the upper right says “service battery”, even though the battery has less than 400 battery cycles.

This just seems to me like there is some fundamental core hardware issue at play that Apple is failing to diagnose.

Has anyone experienced similar, or any insight into what is happening here?

temperature – 2017 MBP has started to degrade in performance – dreaded kernel_task

All –
My normally stable mbp 2017 has started slowing down with kernel_thread dominating the CPU in recent weeks. This condition persists across reboots. My primary concern is that the machine is overheating (please see troubleshooting to date).

Any ideas? The wildest idea I have at the moment is that Firefox had some sort of deep JS hack; Zoom has rolled out crappier code in 5.X series (nothing to do with heat); and the thermal throttling is normal.

Are there any alternative troubleshooting steps I can take short of returning my mac for service? I don’t have a backup and really can’t be without a computer for 5+ days for work. I’ve also thought about buying a new machine but Apple pricing is just spectacular.

Things I’ve tried:

  • Restarting the machine
  • Restarting / running diags (nothing found)
  • Re-installing key apps
  • Air-blowing out the exhaust ports


  • Until I re-installed Firefox (user profiles preserved) – connecting MBP to the internet would result in immediate spike in kernel_threads
  • Zoom meetings also trigger the

Data I’ve been using:

  • iStats Menu for detailed graphs
  • pmset -g thermal


  • No observable memory pressure
  • Temperatures on thunderbolt port, cpu etc seem nominal but pmset is showing thermal throttling

This has triggered a conversation about refreshing to a MBP 2016 or macmini, but its an awfully expensive “fix” if there are other ways to root cause the behaviour.

kernel – kernel_task high CPU and fans going crazy, no heat from mac itself

i’ve tried to debug this for a couple days straight now and can’t find out what’s causing the kernel_task to go so unruly. i’ve removed nearly all my third party kexts, done so many etrepro’s, and i’ve been trying to use the console to see repeating errors but it’s difficult to follow. i’ve done all the usual PVRAM and SMC resets etc, booting in safe mode and on a new user. i’m on the latest catalina update. could this be helped by investigating kernel_task deeper, how can i navigate this/keep track of the code to debug what’s going on here. thanks in advance for any help. i can upload my current etre pro report/ any else information if needed. My mac is a 2017 Macbook Air, so swapping the power adaptor side doesn’t apply. If I do a mac hardware test will it identify if the fans are malfunctioning, from dust etc/thermal paste?

macos – kernel_task on Macbook, which loads the CPU even after operating system upgrades / downgrades; possible flash malware?

On a Macbook Air (13 inch, early 2015) my girlfriend got one of these "upgrade flash" popups and pressed (Next / Okay / etc?). This may or may not have anything to do with the current problem, but since then the kernel_task has put the CPU under load to the point where the computer is so slow that it becomes unusable. In Activity Monitor, the% CPU of kernel_task is a constant of 220-450. The CPU utilization is constantly 75% -90%, although the computer does not get hot.

I've done the following so far. I have reset SMC and NVRAM / PRAM several times. I upgraded to the latest operating system, Catalina. I downgraded to the original operating system for this laptop, El Capitan. I've upgraded and downgraded more than once, and each time the problem persists. The installation of the operating systems also took forever. I've been working on this problem for 4 or 5 days now. Oh, and booting in safe mode doesn't help either. Anyway, two questions:

1) Can flash malware install / configure something in the kernel that remains after reinstalling the operating system?

2) Any ideas on how to fix this?