My mac recently has gone wild with kernel_task. It slows down the computer, the fans blow wildly for around ten minutes after startup (shut down, restart or sleep). I did an EtreCheck scan and got these results and don't know what to think of them. Any help?

 Hardware Information:
MacBook Pro - model: MacBookPro9,2
1 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5 CPU: 2 cores

 Video Information:
Intel HD Graphics 4000 - VRAM: 1024 MB

Audio Plug-ins:
BluetoothAudioPlugIn: Version: 1.0
AirPlay: Version: 1.9
AppleAVBAudio: Version: 2.0.0
iSightAudio: Version: 7.7.3

 Startup Items:
FanControlDaemon - Path: /Library/StartupItems/FanControlDaemon

 System Software:
OS X 10.9 (13A603) - Uptime: 4 days 15:12:46

Disk Information:
APPLE HDD HTS547550A9E384 disk0 : (500.11 GB)
    EFI (disk0s1) <not mounted>: 209.7 MB 
    Macintosh HD (disk0s2) /: 499.25 GB (398.85 GB free)
    Recovery HD (disk0s3) <not mounted>: 650 MB 


   USB Information:

Apple Inc. BRCM20702 Hub 
    Apple Inc. Bluetooth USB Host Controller 

Apple Computer, Inc. IR Receiver 

Apple Inc. Apple Internal Keyboard / Trackpad 

  FireWire Information:

  Thunderbolt Information:
Apple Inc. thunderbolt_bus

 Kernel Extensions:

 Problem System Launch Daemons:

 Problem System Launch Agents:

 Launch Daemons:
[loaded]    com.adobe.fpsaud.plist
[loaded]    com.adobe.SwitchBoard.plist

 Launch Agents:
[not loaded]    com.adobe.AAM.Updater-1.0.plist
[loaded]    com.amazon.sendtokindle.launcher.plist

 User Launch Agents:
[loaded]    com.google.keystone.agent.plist

 User Login Items:
Google Drive
CrossOver CD Helper
Plex Media Server

 3rd Party Preference Panes:
Fan Control
Flash Player

 Internet Plug-ins:
Default Browser.plugin
Flash Player.plugin
QuickTime Plugin.plugin

 User Internet Plug-ins:

 Bad Fonts:

 Time Machine:
Time Machine not configured!

  Top Processes by CPU:
     2% hidd
     2% Safari
     2% WindowServer
     2% com.apple.WebKit.WebContent
     1% EtreCheck
     1% fontd
     1% Activity Monitor
     0% sysmond
     0% ps
     0% com.apple.WebKit.Networking

   Top Processes by Memory:
152 MB      com.apple.WebKit.WebContent
143 MB      Safari
106 MB      com.apple.IconServicesAgent
66 MB       WindowServer
61 MB       CalendarAgent
57 MB       SystemUIServer
57 MB       com.apple.internetaccounts
57 MB       Dock
53 MB       mds_stores
49 MB       com.apple.dock.extra

  Virtual Memory Statistics:
1.03 GB     Free RAM
2.01 GB     Active RAM
409 MB      Inactive RAM
576 MB      Wired RAM
327 MB      Page-ins
0 B         Page-outs
  • Nothing there looks amiss. I would run sysdiagnose once right after reboot when the blowers are active and then again 20 minutes later when things have calmed down. You can diff the top output and look for other differences. kernel_task is just a worker, so you'll need to find out what is asking it to do work to find the source of the behavior. – bmike Jan 21 '14 at 18:43

If you can I would recommend setting up Time Machine on your system. If/once you have a backup of your files then my suggestion would be to use Onyx http://www.titanium.free.fr/ for your OS to clear out some caches, logs, and day to day junk that piles up.

Getting rid of logs, caches, and Spotlight indexes can help your system repair itself.

Once Onyx has run its course and the system has rebooted wait for spotlight to rebuild and see if kernel task still is eating up your CPU. If it does then I would recommend reinstalling the OS. (That's why I like making sure you have a backup of your files before hand)

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Fixing Excessive FONTD CPU usage in Mavericks

  1. Open application “Font Book” in /application/utilities.

  2. Under File Menu choose “Restore Standard Fonts…” this will remove all not apple fonts. Reboot

  3. Open Apple’s “App Store”

  4. Search for “Mavericks”

  5. Select Download and reinstall.

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