My Mac mini, kernel_task, and dusty hardware: Bring back my mini’s zing

“Over the past few weeks, my Mac mini has been getting less and less responsive,” Erica Sadun blogs eponymously. “The kernel_task has been spinning up taking up ridiculous amounts of CPU time and dragging my system to its knees.”

“I did what anyone would: I ran hardware diagnostics (passed). I ran SMART diagnostics (passed) and then I web searched the hell out of the interwebs, and there I found an unusual suggestion,” Sadun writes. “Several sites suggested that I may have built up dust accumulation in my mini and that the fan control was trying to mitigate this.”

“Fortunately, I’m one of the lucky ones (for very low values of ‘lucky’) with a self-serviceable 2012 Mac mini instead of the upgrade a few years later that removed the service hatch,” Sadun writes. “I opened it up and sure enough it was pretty dirty in there. I vacuumed and then I used compressed air to finish… Plugged it back in and for nearly a week so far I have not had the same issues reoccur. It seems a tiny bit black magic but it also seems to be working (fingers crossed). I thought I’d write up a quick post to share my experience and see if anyone else has been through this and has advice or suggestions. For me, it’s like having my Mac back again.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: See that, vacuumming can be good for you (and your Mac)!

Now, do the floor while you’re at it. 😉


  1. 2009 mini, 256 SSD, maxed the ram via crucial specs with 8gb versus Apple’s max suggestion of 4. Running a FireWire 800 2tb for media. Still going strong. Clean out the dust every year though. Finally feeling slow when I run affinity photo or other weighty apps.

    1. It’s amazing the life I’ve gotten out of my Dual Quad Core @ 3Ghz & 24 GB 667 MHz DDR2 11 year old Mac Pro which serves as secondary machine thanks to upgrading the GPU to an ATI 5770 & hard drive to SSD many years ago plus using a hack that lets me take it up to El Capitan. It’s still pretty darn fast! Useful for so many things.

      I think lots of people would like a powerful secondary Mac Mini too for many tasks. GET OFF THE DIME APPLE AND GIVE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT AND HEY MAKE LOTS OF MONEY WHILE YOU’RE AT IT!!

      Just a crazy thought.

  2. Running mid-2010 dual 2.4GHz core with 8GB RAM and 250GB SSD. Rock solid and will only be replaced IF AND WHEN new Mini specs are an improvement. Until then, Mini powers on daily – Pixelmator, Adobe CS6, QGIS etc et c – all processor-intensive apps. Gotta love yr Mac!

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