Ever been working away on your MacBook Pro when not only does the machine suddenly become unbearably slow, but the fans kick into gear so loudly that you've half a mind to evacuate the house? It's happened to the best of us – but it turns out there could be an unexpectedly simple explanation. And it's all to do with how you're charging your MacBook. It may be one of the best laptops for graphic design, but this little glitch isn't so hot (well, technically it is).
According to a user over on programming question-and-answer site Stack Exchange, their MacBook was often becoming unusably slow, and the task that seemed to be using the most resources was 'kernel_task', which manages the machine's processor temperature. After various experiments, an alarmingly simple solution emerged: "Move charging from the left to the right side".
It seems that while charging the MacBook Pro from either side will cause the ports to heat up slightly, it's the ports on the left that wake the dreaded kernel_task beast. They lead it to fire up the fans as well as throttle the machine's performance, leaving you with a hot, slow MacBook. Nice. The issue occurs on any USB-C-equipped MacBook Pro – particularly if multiple peripherals are plugged into the left side. Moving the charger to the right-hand port should help cool the machine down.
Yep - easily reproducible on my MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017). Basically, I can never charge on the left side without laptop becoming unusable. https://t.co/4CiwrzDZaiApril 24, 2020
If this is unintentional on Apple's part, we may well see a software fix to stop the left side activating kernel_task more quickly than the right side, but until then, it's best to share the load across both sides. Or you could always invest in a laptop cooling pad (insert joke about them being really cool).
And with that, 'better heat management' becomes one of the less exciting additions to the list of features we're hoping to see in the rumoured 2020 MacBook Pro. Until then, check out the best deals on the still extremely capable 2019 models below.