High CPU usage problems on Mac? Try these 3 simple methods

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • If you have a very high CPU usage on your Mac, even the smallest tasks will take a long time to complete.
  • To fix this issue, you should open your laptop in Safe Mode, and also try changing the iCloud Drive settings.
  • If you want not to worry about not being able to fix Mac problems, check out our Mac Fix Hub.
  • For more comprehensive Mac information on a variety of subjects, don't hesitate to bookmark our Mac page.
High CPU usage problems Mac

Keeping your Mac running smoothly is important, but many users reported high CPU usage on their Mac. This can be a problem and cause reduced performance and system overheating, so today we’re going to show you how to fix this issue.

How to fix high CPU usage on Mac?

1. Access the Safe Mode

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If you’re having problems with high CPU usage on your MacBook, the issue might be caused by third-party applications. To test that, it’s advised that you enter Safe Mode by doing the following:

  1. Restart your MacBook.
  2. Hold the Shift key while the device boots.
  3. When the login screen appears, release the Shift key and enter your login credentials to access the Safe Mode.

Once you access Safe Mode, check if the problem is still there. If the issue doesn’t appear, it’s possible that one of your installed applications is causing this problem, so you might have to disable or remove the problematic third-party applications and check if that solves the problem.


2. Change iCloud Drive settings

According to users, high CPU usage is caused by iCloud synchronization going on in the background. To fix this problem, it’s advised that you change your iCloud Drive settings by doing the following:

  1. To go System Preferences > Apple ID > iCloud Drive > Options.
  2. Uncheck Desktop and Documents folder and Mail.
    mac high cpu usage icloud options

After doing that, save changes and check if the problem is still there.


3. Remove your Gmail/Exchange account

According to users, this issue appears while using Gmail or Exchange account. To fix that, users are suggesting to remove your Gmail or Exchange account from the Mail app. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. In the Mail app, go to Mail > Preferences.
  2. Navigate to Accounts, select the account you want to remove, and click the minus icon.

After doing that, check if the problem is resolved. Some users are also suggesting to remove Gmail or Exchange account from the Internet Accounts section. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Internet Accounts.
  2. Select the account you want to remove and click the minus icon.
    internet accounts mac high cpu usage

After doing that, check if the problem is still there.


The simple solutions that we described in this guide should help you fix high CPU usage problems on your Mac.

FAQ: Learn more about CPU usage problems on Mac

  • How do I reduce CPU usage on Mac?

To reduce CPU usage, the first step is to restart your laptop, then clean your app startup list, de-clutter your desktop, delete any unused apps, close any apps you don’t use, and free up space on your hard-drive by uploading files to iCloud.

  • Why is Kernel_task so CPU usage so high?

The Kernel_task uses a lot of your CPU’s power if you’re using your laptop with a large number of peripherals connected while also charging the battery.

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  • Does Mac Have Disk Cleanup?

Mac doesn’t have a pre-installed Disk Cleanup software, but you can use the Disk Drill app from Clever Files.

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