“Fixing” kernel_task CPU Problems in MacOS X Mavericks

I have updated my mac from 10.8 (Mountain Lion) to 10.9 (Mavericks) and after the successful update my mac just extremely slowed down. In the Activity Monitor I saw the “kernal_task” is using over 600% of CPU!

I google and found something helpful in rdoxenham.com. Now I am writing a summary of it for you if you are having the same type of problem just use it.

I take absolutely no responsibility for any damage or loss caused to you or your property, you do this of your own free will 🙂

Step 1:
Open terminal and type:
system_profiler -detailLevel mini | grep "Model Identifier:"

You can see the model identifier for you mac. Like:
Model Identifier: MacBookPro8,2
In this case, your model identifier is: MacBookPro8_2

Step 2:
Right click in finder and select “Go to folder” and go to

You can see some .plist files. Find one with your model identifire like: MacBookPro8_2.plist
Rename it like MacBookPro8_2_old.plist
And you are done.

NB: This solution also works fine for 10.8 and 10.7

Enjoy the speed!

9 Replies to ““Fixing” kernel_task CPU Problems in MacOS X Mavericks”

    1. As I know every mac has this file. What is your “Model Identifier”? Have You tried “Go to folder” and past that directory described in “step 2”?

  1. For Jhonatan Rodrigues and Alex,
    Apple is not using .plist after “MacBookPro8_3” to control such things. But don’t worry. Let me find a solution for you. Please give me a screenshot of your activity monitor when the CPU use shit happens. And do you have any problem with any hardware such as battery or fan.


    1. Hi,
      Even mine is a MacBookPro9,2
      Same issue. I couldn’t find the .plist file.
      Is there a work around?

      Windows works amazingly via bootcamp. Only Mac doesn’t.

      Any help will be appreciated.

  2. How about my-Model Identifier: iMac13,2…

    No such file as iMac13_2.plist… kernel_task is eating my memory so that e.g. iMovie does not have enough to share my new movies 🙁 Any suggestions?

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