Best Ways to Fix High CPU Usage on macOS

High central processing unit (CPU) utilization on your Mac might result in a variety of problems. Reduced system performance, overheating, and application crashes are examples.

The source of the problem may be clear in some cases, but you may need to delve deeper to locate it.

However, most macOS high CPU utilization issues may be resolved by following the correct troubleshooting approach. Let’s have a look at the most effective methods for identifying and resolving the problem.

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Restart your Mac and update your software

“Have you tried turning it off and on?” says the narrator. Because it’s true, the famous IT Crowd line is funny. The easiest option isn’t always the best.

You should check for available software updates before resetting your Mac. Frequently, the quickest fix is to update your system and applications.

Also, if you don’t have any data limits, make sure you have automatic updates turned on in macOS. You’ll always be running the most up-to-date software this way. Follow these procedures to update your software:

1. Select Software Update from the System Preferences menu.

2. When requested, accept any available updates.

3. If available, check the box to automatically keep my Mac up to date.

4. Select Advanced to see more detailed update options and make changes if necessary.

Follow these procedures to check for app updates:

1. Go to App Store > Applications.

2. From the side menu, choose Updates.

3. Make sure all of your apps are up to date.

4. Whether or whether you installed updates, make sure to restart your Mac.

Identify the source of high CPU usage with Activity Monitor.

How to instantly reduce CPU usage on Mac

If updating and rebooting doesn’t fix the problem, it’s time to look into it further. Fortunately, macOS’ Activity Monitor makes pinpointing the source of your issues a breeze. Follow these methods to determine the source of high CPU usage:

1. Open Activity Monitor by going to Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor.

2. Make sure the control bar is set to descending order and that the percent CPU is selected. The arrow should be pointing down in this case.

3. Look over the list. The process with the most CPU use will be placed first.

Learning Activity Monitor is valuable since it may assist identify a variety of issues that can emerge on macOS, such as limited battery life and excessive data usage.

You can resolve the issue now that you’ve identified the source of your high CPU utilization.

Reinstall, reconfigure, or update the problematic app

If the source of your excessive CPU utilization is a specific app, there are a few options for resolving the problem. If kernel task or another macOS process appears to be the source of the issue, move on to the next portion of the guide.

First, check for any application updates, as this is often the quickest method to address a problem. If your software is up to date, look for any configuration errors or rogue extensions, add-ons, or plugins in the problematic program. You can also contact the developer for assistance with troubleshooting the application.

If the issue persists, the app may need to be reinstalled. Before removing anything from the system, you should always back up vital data.

Most apps can be removed by dragging them to the Bin and pressing Empty. Some apps come with their own uninstallers, which you should use when they’re available. You can reinstall the program from the App Store, the developer’s website, or another source once it’s been deleted.

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Resolve Kernel Task’s High CPU Usage

How to fix kernel_task Mac CPU usage issue - MacSecurity

Kernel task intervenes when processes cause your CPU to overheat and cool it down. As a result, the kernel task is more of a scapegoat than the source of the problem.

You might be able to find the real culprit using Activity Monitor, but even if you can’t, most kernel task high CPU utilization issues can be resolved with the appropriate approach.

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Follow these procedures to troubleshoot kernel task’s high CPU usage:

1. Get rid of any extraneous items.

2. Reset both the SMC and the PRAM.

3. If Adobe Flash is installed, uninstall it.

4. Run the test in safe mode, and if necessary, disable third-party launch items, launch daemons, and kernel extensions.

5. Look for problems with the hardware.

6. If all else fails, make a backup and reinstall the operating system (OS).

You should try the simplest remedies first and avoid severe measures if at all possible. However, in certain cases, a complete system wipe and reinstall are required to cure persistent issues. However, you should first look for any obvious hardware concerns.

Look for hardware problems that could lead to high CPU usage.

Apple Diagnostics is a simple approach to uncover any evident hardware faults. Follow these instructions to do so on an Intel Mac:

1. Switch on your Mac.

2. Press and hold the D key on the keyboard immediately.

3. When a progress bar shows, release the key.

4. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Follow these instructions to run Apple Diagnostics on an Apple Silicon Mac:

1. Turn on your Mac and keep the Power button pressed.

2. When the startup options screen shows, release power.

3. Hold down the Cmd + D keys.

4. While Apple Diagnostics will detect obvious issues, more complex causes may necessitate further examination. Testing from the recovery partition, which is separate from the main operating system, is a useful way to establish a software or hardware issue.

Follow these instructions to boot to recovery on an Intel Mac:

1. Switch on your Mac.

2. Press and hold Cmd + R at the same time.

Follow these methods to get your Apple Silicon Mac into recovery mode:

1. Turn on your Mac and keep the Power button pressed.

2. When the startup options screen shows, release power.

3. Choose your options.

4. Click the Continue button.

If the problem remains in recovery mode, your Mac may have a hardware problem, and you should take it to an Apple Store or a service provider to be diagnosed. If the problem persists after booting to the recovery disk, it’s most likely a software issue that can be resolved with more investigation or a full system reinstall.

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Fixing High CPU Usage on macOS entails figuring out what’s causing it.

Accountsd high CPU usage virus process on macOS Catalina - MacSecurity

When you have an issue with macOS, the first thing you should do is update your software and restart your computer. You’ll have saved yourself a lot of time and work if these easy actions solve the problem. If a reboot doesn’t fix the problem, you might start looking for other options.

Activity Monitor can help you figure out what’s causing your excessive CPU utilization, but in more serious circumstances, you might need to use Apple Diagnostics to look for hardware concerns.

Many of the high CPU usage troubleshooting procedures, you may have observed, involve isolation. Isolating a problem should always be your first priority.

You’ll save time by skipping superfluous troubleshooting procedures, and you’ll avoid doing anything dramatic unless absolutely required.

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