Sometime ago, I wrote the blog post How to fix kernel_task CPU usage on Yosemite. This post still receives a great amount of traction, so I wanted to post an update that reflects the covers how to do this on El Capitan.

The process is largely the same, but requires a bit more work due to the changes to the additional security that El Capitan introduced to the file system with System Integration Protection (SIP).

The tl;dr is as follows:

  • Boot up the system in Recovery Mode (Cmd+R on boot). Start a Terminal window and run csrutil disable.
  • Reboot the system as normal and follow the same steps as in the original guide.
  • Reboot the system again into Recover Mode and enable SIP by running csrutil enable.
  • Reboot the system.

Step 1: Disable System Integration Protection (SIP)

First, shut down your computer. Then power the computer on and boot it into Recovery Mode by holding down Command + R.

Once the computer is done booting, bring up a Terminal window (Utility -> Terminal). With that done, simply run the following command:

$ csrutil disable

That will disable SIP. In order for this to work, you now need to reboot your computer into regular mode (i.e. not anoter Recover Mode boot).

Step 2: Fix the issue

Once your computer is booted, stara Terminal session and run the following commands (for more information, see the original post:

# Find the model
$ system_profiler -detailLevel mini | grep "Model Identifier:"
Model Identifier: MacBookPro8,2

# Move and backup the file
$ cd /System/Library/Extensions/IOPlatformPluginFamily.kext/Contents/PlugIns/ACPI_SMC_PlatformPlugin.kext/Contents/Resources
$ sudo mv MacBookPro8_2.plist MacBookPro8_2.bak

With that done, it’s time to go back into Recover Mode again, so shut down your computer.

Step 3: Re-enable SIP

Boot the computer in Recover Mode again by pressing Command + R on boot. Again, open a Terminal window, but this time, run the following command:

$ csrutil enable

Now reboot your computer and you should be all set.

Update: If you’re having issues with mac OS Sierra, please How to fix kernel_task CPU usage on macOS Sierra