MacBook Pro 2015 Kernel Task Issue

Hoping someone can help me. I passed down my old MacBook Pro 2015 to my son about 2 years ago. Since yesterday, he has been having a problem with everything be super sluggish. He looked at the Activity Monitor and noticed “Kernel_Task” is utilizing an extremely high amount of CPU.

We searched possible causes and possible fixes but nothing seems to be working. He upgraded to Monterey. We booted up in Safe Mode - experienced the same issue. We tried resetting System Management Controller (SMC) and Non-Volatile Random Access Memory (NVRAM) - no help.

I read that it’s possibly a hardware issue as well, but don’t know how to troubleshoot a potential hardware issue. Was thinking of backing up with Time Machine and resetting the machine, but figured after restoring from a backup it will probably re-introduce the issue.

Machine doesn’t have Apple Care anymore so I’m worried Apple will charge a fortune to look at it and repair.

Any suggestions?


Kernal_Task is usually heat related - either something else is heavily loading the Mac, or the cooling is not right.

Have you had the bottom off and given it a (careful) hoover out? Fans and vents can get clogged with dust. While you’re in there check the battery isn’t swollen. This can generate heat too.

I haven’t taken the bottom off. Would be a little worried to do that myself, but will take a look at it to see if it’s easy enough.

Appreciate the idea. Will update the thread if it works or not.

Thank you.

I have the same 2015 MBP. These are my current stats. It used to run much hotter, as my battery was failing and swollen. Now runs great with a new one.

Will definitely give his a try when he gets home from school. That would be great if it’s a simple fix will this app.

Thank you again.

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You’ll need a P5 screwdriver, loads on Amazon. Also, note not all the screws are the same length…

At that age, it probably could use a new battery. Also, it’s not too difficult to replace the spinning HDD with an SSD and it will feel like new.

If an early or mid-2015, they were all SSD by then I think.

I think you may be right. I have memories of doing the ssd install four times, but it’s been so long I forgot I had a 2012/2013 at one point.

Machine has a 1TB SSD Hard Drive.

I stopped at the Apple Store yesterday for an issue with my other son’s AirPod Pros. While there, I asked about the MacBook Pro. Was advised to bring it in and the will run diagnostics and clean it out for free even without having Apple Care on the machine anymore. If there is a hardware issue, they will advise me of that and the cost if I want to go ahead and have them do the repair.

At the very least, gonna bring it in to them for the diagnostics and cleaning. Hopefully they will be able to tell me if it’s a hardware issue then will decide from there what to do.

Will post any updates when I find out something.