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Troubleshooting High CPU Usage On Mac

Mac computers are usually well-optimized and a multitasker’s best friend. They do not cripple down under high pressure and continue to perform optimally. But they are machines. They are not faultless and may run into problems now and then.

That said, the CPU is at the heart of running a plethora of processes and apps on your Mac. Your computer can operate under high CPU usage. Still, suppose you continue using your computer this way for an extended period. In that case, it will lead to frequent app crashes, overheating, loud fan noises, decreased battery life, and reduced system performance.

To ensure your Mac isn’t under a lot of stress, the first step is to know how do I check CPU usage on Mac. Go to the Activity Monitor to view CPU activity. You will see the list of the apps and processes in the CPU tab, and next to their names, the %CPU usage will be mentioned. Hence, you will know which processes are contributing to the high CPU usage on your Mac.

Now that you have found the CPU usage is too high for your liking, follow these steps to troubleshoot the problem.

Update and Restart

Restarting your Mac is the simplest solution to solve high CPU usage. You can reboot your system after saving all the tasks and work progress so they are not lost. If a simple restart doesn’t solve the issue, you can check for available software updates.

Sometimes, updating the software can fix glitches and problems. You can also enable automatic updates if you don’t have data restrictions. Then, you will be sure that your system is always running the latest software.

You can find and update the software by going to system preferences > software update and installing the available updates. Then you can reboot your system to let the changes take place.

Moreover, you can check whether there are any available app updates in the App Store. Sometimes, outdated apps cause high CPU usage issues, and updating them resolves the problem.

Close Apps Using too Much CPU

Some apps might consume a lot of CPU power. This might be because of the functionality they offer or because they haven’t been optimized or updated to run on a newer macOS version. No matter the case, it is essential to identify and quit those apps.

Head to the Activity Monitor and click the CPU tab. If you see apps consuming too much CPU power, force quit them. Relaunch the apps and see if the problem is solved.

Remove Temporary Files and Cache

One of the most effective ways of reducing the usage of the CPU is clearing temporary files and caches from your Mac. You can automate this process by installing a cleaner application, or you can do it manually. You can clear browser caches, flush the DNS cache and delete all the temporary files that might be contributing to the issue.

But doing this manually is time-consuming. It is best to use a cleaner app developed for Mac. Most cleaner apps do more than reduce high CPU usage. They are of great assistance when it comes to deleting adware, viruses, and malware. They can also identify and delete redundant files, large downloads, and other unwanted data. They even monitor Mac statuses, such as hard drive usage, CPU, and memory.

Remove Login items

Login items are applications that launch the moment you start your system. They are helpful if you use those apps regularly. But when the login items list starts to become bloated, and you don’t need most of the apps on the list, it can become detrimental to the performance of your computer. It will make your Mac slow as the apps will consume too many resources and result in high CPU usage.

You can trim this list by clicking the Apple menu > System Preferences > Users & Groups > selecting your username and clicking on the Login Items option. Then, click the minus button to remove the apps you no longer need.

Leverage Process-Management Applications

There are several process-management applications and utilities that are helpful in managing the use of CPU and other elements on the Mac computer. You can use such apps to easily monitor and track the processes that are running on your computer. These apps will show you real-time graphs to take action without delay.

iStat Menus is an example of a process-management application that you can use to quickly glance over the performance of your Mac and make changes if required.

The Bottom Line

Letting your Mac constantly work under pressure and stress can be detrimental to its health. It will ruin your Mac’s performance and reduce its battery life. Also, workflow disruptions will become commonplace as apps will start to crash, and your computer will take a long time to start. Implement the tips mentioned above to enhance your experience.

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