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How to Fix High CPU Usage on macOS 10.15

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2020-09-10 17:48:54 • Filed to: macOS 10.15 • Proven solutions

If you are reading this article, most probably, your macOS 10.15 has been slowed down, and you often face spinning pinwheel of death while doing your routine work on your Mac. If you are facing such an issue and looking to solve high CPU usage on macOS 10.15, this article has everything to facilitate you. In this article, we'll discuss the reasons for high CPU usage and the tips to fix CPU usage even without apps running.

Why is My CPU Usage so High on macOS 10.15

There are several reasons that are responsible for high CPU usage. Some of them are:

1: Security Updates:

Sometimes, when the macOS 10.15 receives updates, especially the security updates, it may result in high CPU usage. This update not only slows down your Mac but also produces a lot of heat, and it looks like there is an oven within your laptop.

2: 3rd-party extensions:

If you have installed some third party software and extensions, most probably they are the culprit and using extra resources from your system.

3: Launching extra apps:

Well, if you have several heavy apps in your system such as Photoshop, Adobe Premiere, and other graphic designing apps, and you have opened all of them simultaneously, it may result in high CPU usage.

4: Background and startup apps:

When we install an app, most probably a third-party app, it is added as a startup app, and whenever you turn on your system, this app loads along with the OS. So, this app keeps running without your knowledge and increase CPU usage.

5: Symptoms of slow Mac and high CPU usage:

If your system is running slow and producing a lot of heat, that is more like due to high CPU usage. Also, its fan produces sound like it is going to take off soon.

Tips: How to Diagnose a Slow Mac on Catalina

You need to open the Activity Monitor to find out the reasons. If you already have worked on Windows-based systems, the Activity Monitor is equivalent to the Task Manager.

To open Activity Monitor, click Applications > Utilities. (Quick Tip: Pin it to your dock, so it is easily accessible anytime)

Now, in the Activity Monitor, you'll see several columns. For now, ignore other columns and click on CPU to rearrange all the processes based on their CPU usage in descending order, that means the process which is using more resources, will be on top and so on. Here, you'll be able to find the apps which are consuming most of your resources.

Once you are done with it, it is the time to fix high CPU usage on macOS 10.15. So, let's find how you can do it.


How to Solve High CPU Usage on macOS 10.15

Scenario 1:

You are not running any app, but your system is extremely slow, or when you turn on your system, it remains slow for a long time without any reason.

Solution:

Open the Activity Monitor and click on CPU. Once all the apps are arranged in the descending order, check for the apps which you haven't launched but are still running. If found one or more than one, terminate them by clicking on its process and then click "X" in the top left corner. Once you kill all the unnecessary apps, your system must be working fine.

Note: If you witness the "Kernel_task," which usually consumes lots of resources, leave it as it is. You can't terminate this process because it is the Operating System itself.

Scenario 2:

You have installed several 3rd party apps or extensions which are consuming most of your CPU.

Solution:

First, make sure that the 3rd party extensions you have installed are necessary for you. If not, you should uninstall them from your system. If the extensions are necessary, still try to find some other extensions that are compatible with your system in order to get rid of the vulnerable extension.

Scenario 3:

Your system's fan is producing lots of noises and heat, as well as; your system is slow.

Solution:

It may be either a 3rd party extension or you may be running multiple apps at the same time. Also, there may be several apps running in the background without your consent. In such a case, open Activity Monitor and eliminate all the unnecessary apps which are running in the background but are not needed. Remember, the "Kernel task" is a system process, and you cannot stop it.

Pro Tip: If your fan keeps generating noises and heat after killing all the apps, there may either be a problem with the hardware or your fan may have stuck in dust. In this case, you may need to get your system checked by a hardware specialist.

Scenario 4:

You have just received an OS update, and after the update, your system became slow.

Solution:

One thing to remember here is that the computers usually slow down after the updates because it may install some security and other extensions that are necessary for your system. So, you can adjust that using the tricks below.

  • Reset PRAM/NVRAM – Restart your Mac. After it is turned on, as soon as you hear the startup chime, press Option, Command, P, and R keys together and hold them until the Mac restarts again.
  • Reset SMC – Shut down your Mac and disconnect the power cord for up to 20 seconds. Now, reattach the power cord, hold Shift, Option, Control, and Power keys for up to 10 seconds. After 10 seconds, release all the keys and turn on your computer normally.
  • Reduce Transparency and Reduce Motion – Graphics effects usually consume lots of resources, but you can disable them to make other necessary functions work. To do that, open System Preferences > Accessibility. From the list on the left side, choose Display, and locate the options, Reduce transparency and Reduce motion. Enable them by clicking on the checkboxes next to them and close it.

So, friends, these were the case scenarios of your system's high CPU usage, their diagnosis, and handy solutions. We are sure that now you can solve high CPU usage on macOS 10.15 by yourself, and you don't need to waste your time in finding other tutorials on the internet.

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