You can access Activity Monitor to find what is running currently on your Mac computer. You can discover that kernel_task is always running and sometimes it even takes a lot of CPU. What is kernel_task? What should you do when your Mac runs slowly due to kernel_task takes much CPU? You can find these answers from this MiniTool post.

You can open the Windows Task Manager to view which programs are currently running on your computer. If you are using a Mac computer, you can use Activity Monitor to do the same job.

After opening it, you can find numerous programs. Some are programs you know, while some are programs you don’t know. For example, kernel_task is the one you always see in Activity Monitor, but you may don’t know what it is and you may even suspect it is malware. First, we will tell you the answer: kernel_task is not malware. It is the operating system you are running.

To help you better understand it, we will show you what kernel_task Mac is in this post.

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What Is kernel_task?

Simply speaking, a kernel is at the core of your operating system, locating among the CPU, memory, and other hardware & software that are running on the computer.

The kernel is the first element that starts when you open your Mac computer. Then, everything you do on your Mac comes with the kernel at some point. In Activity Monitor, all the varied activities are put under kernel_task.

What If kernel_task Takes Much CPU on Mac?

Now, let’s talk about the kernel task memory issue. Sometimes, you find that kernel_task is using a lot of CPU.

  • In most cases, it is a normal situation. If it doesn’t slow down your Mac, you need to do nothing. A kernel is just working to make everything run normally and it uses some CPU.
  • If your Mac is running slowly due to this, you need to restart your Mac and this action can also solve some other temporary issues on your Mac.

However, if your Mac still runs slowly after restarting, you should pay attention to other things:

  • If you are converting video formats. Of course, this will occupy a lot of CPU power. But this should not take up the full. The kernel shows you like that to avoid CPU overheating.
  • Flash is another utility that can take much CPU. When you see flash and kernel_task are taking up a lot of CPU together, you should consider disabling Flash to solve the issue.
  • A newly installed software can also lead to high CPU usage. To rule out this possibility, you can enter Safe Mode to see whether the CPU usage decreases. If yes, you can uninstall the newly added software to fix the high CPU problem.
  • If the issue persists after trying the above solutions, there are also some other methods you can use. For example, you can reset NVRAM on your Mac, use anti-virus software to scan for viruses and malware on the device, remove the unnecessary startup items, clear disk space on Mac, etc.
  • If the kernel_task high CPU issue prevents you from using your Mac normally, you can consider reinstalling your macOS. Then, you can use the device as a new one.

Reading here, you should know what is kernel_task and why it is running on your Mac. When you see it takes up a lot of CPU, you can just try the measures mentioned here to solve the issue.

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