What is the kernal_task and why is it slowing down my computer?

Apr 15, 2015
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My 2012 MacBook Pro, with most recent software, and an SSD started running really slow last week. All I have been using is Slack and Chrome. It becomes painfully slow then I restart and the problem happens again quicker each time. I'm seeing that something called kernal_task is taking 30% CPU and at times 60%. I understand that this is something to do with tasks my Mac is doing and have come across articles on how to delete or move a file that fixes this issue BUT I want to know what exactly that does and why it worksand potential issues OR if someone has another solution.

Thanks a lot for any responses. I wish I knew more about this kind of stuff.
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Oct 16, 2010
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Brentwood Bay, BC, Canada
Your Mac's Specs
2011 27" iMac, 1TB(partitioned) SSD, 20GB, OS X 10.11.6 El Capitan
What OS X version are you running, as if that really matters?? ;)

Kernel_task is the main process of Mac OS X so it's pretty critical, but my iMac running 10.9.5 is running well under 2% and often under 1%.

I'd try a Google search with your specs added, like:

And you get some good advice hits like this:
How to solve kernel_task high CPU usage? - MacRumors Forums

I'd suggest you have some stuff making the kernal_task work so much. All you have to do is figure out what and why. ;) The google search will help answer those I'm sure. :D

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