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[Solved] Kernel_Task Issue


Topic starter

My 2013 MBPro 15" is having a kernel_task issue. I have tried SMC & PRam reset, OS Restore, and now Nuke&Pave. With iStats I can confirm there is no temperature issues and can use MacFan Control to set the fans to run based off temp so the fans slow down. But with the CPU being sucked up by kernal_task my Mac is useless for what I need to do. Before I junk this laptop (I really don't want to since this machine still meets my needs) is there any good advice to be had?

I've thought of maybe doing this...

But I am not 100% that will solve the issue.


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Topic starter

Yes, down to 800 MHz. Code was no luck. And command line code was no luck. Ran it to the Apple Store in Dresden (free trouble shooting, and why not) really quick, they said it was the battery and iSight camera. So I dropped it off today to have iSight camera replaced/ now time will tell.

And heard this on MGG after the turkey stuffing weekend I had as well, really appreciate all you all do. The moderators, Dave and John, pilot Pete too when he is available! Living here in Germany does make me miss America sometimes, but being able to get American shows like this over here really make it feel like I'm not even living in Germany! Well and the fact that I work on the military bases here help too...but still podcasts like MGG are great to have available!

Topic starter
Installed the Intel tool, couple shut downs and PRAM resets and still no luck. Been trying the command line code as per the original link but no luck yet....more updates Thursday!
Guess I could start taking donations for a new MBPro?!?!?

On Thursday, in the States, everyone will be in a "Turkey Coma" 😀 

Is your CPU throttling down to 800MHz?


The kernel_task "Is" macOS.  It is performing service on behave of the programs you have installed and running, including 3rd party background tasks, such as anti-virus, Mac cleaners, etc...

The ONLY situation where the kernel_task "Fakes" high CPU is when the battery is dying (or as you have mentioned high temps) and macOS is basically slowing down scheduling of other tasks to reduce the load on the CPU, Storage, the other electronics and the fans.

CocnutBattery can help tell you if your battery is in trouble < >

You could use EtreCheck to find out what 3rd party software is installed on your system < >

But the kernel_task is just a symptom, not the problem.

I've even had the problem in safe mode and test user account. After doing the Nuke&Pave the problem persisted before re-installation of my CarbonCopy clone. So I am 99% sure that it is not an issue with any third party software. 

Now the battery could be an issue, it reports an error when running diagnostics. It has 88% life remaining, and has had that error for years I couldn't see that problem magically causing the kernal_task to suck up the processor after years of being just fine.

And I'm not looking to replace the battery of this laptop, it's just not worth the time & effort. I just want to try to get another year or two out of this $3500 machine.

So does anyone think running that script would be OK for meeting my goal of getting another year (or two) from this machine before I toss it to the recycling bin?


Backup first. Please, Please backup.  2 backups, using 2 different backup utilities, going to 2 different backup devices is the safest way to keep "Murphy's Law" from losing your data.  Carbon Copy Cloner is a great choice for one of the backup utilities.  SuperDuper (free for a full clone) is a good 2nd choice, and of course Time Machine.  If you want another backup option, Disk Utility -> Restore with the external disk as the destination.

I think you can try renaming the MacBookPro8_2.plist file as specified in the web page you specified.

Your system should still boot.  If it does not, at worse you would be looking at restoring from a backup.

And it might work or at least give you a different data point in diagnosing the problem.

Please let us know how it works out.  And maybe we will learn something ourselves.

This post was modified 4 years ago by datafornothinandbitsforfree

I noticed this happening on my 2011 MacBook Air, and I turned on CPU Frequency in the menubar. 


Any time I was experiencing this issue my CPU would show 800MHz (instead of usually showing 1.7-2.3GHz). Seems when there are battery or power concerns, macOS throttles the CPU down to 800MHz, most likely to keep the power consumption predictable as it gets close to needing to power off the machine, etc.

Maybe turn that on and see if it helps shed any light on this?

I'll try the CPU tool for today and give that a day and some PRAM resets to get settled in. If that fails I will try running that code before Wednesday, but I'm not going to be holding my breath while hoping for a positive result...

Thank you all for the advice! I'll let you all know the results by Thursday!


Were you talking about the "intel Power Gadget" at this web site for monitoring the CPU, or another app?

iStat Menus is what I use, but it does require the power gadget to be installed for some deeper looks at the CPU.