Can I delete useless.kext files?

Dynomight Dude

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 17, 2017
5
0
I was recently having some problems with Kernel_Task eating up huge chunks of my CPU cycles, and stopped off here looking for a solution. A very recommended solution I found was to delete some .plist files with my Mac's identifying number on them. As I wove my way through the file system, something caught my eye as I flew through the numbers of .kext files. I noticed that there were many .kext files for hardware I didn't have, e.g: I am currently using a 13" Mac Book Pro (2015) Thus, it has an intel i5, a Samsung SSD(256 GB) and intel iris graphics 6100, but I was seeing .kext files for AMD Radeon Graphics Cards or NVidia Graphics cards. I thought that maybe the kernel loading these .kext files may be slowing it down So this is a two-part question:

1: how do I stop my kernel from eating all my processing cycles (it makes studying for finals impossible when your computer is a stuttering mess)

2: Is it safe to delete the .kext files for the hardware I don't have (AMD Radeon, Nvidia graphics)? If yes, will it help my kernel performance?

And for those trolls out there: I have an idea of what I'm doing, so don't try to trick me into deleting all the kernel files. I'm not a complete idiot. e.g. I know that deleting System32 on a windows machine speeds up your computer astronomically ;)
 

KALLT

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2008
5,136
3,183
Kernel extensions are loaded/unloaded as needed, most of them don’t run on a particular system. You can verify that in System Information → Extensions.

I’d advise you to stay clear of this unless you really know what you are doing.
 

Dynomight Dude

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 17, 2017
5
0
Kernel extensions are loaded/unloaded as needed, most of them don’t run on a particular system. You can verify that in System Information → Extensions.

I’d advise you to stay clear of this unless you really know what you are doing.
awesome! just looked through the extension list and saw a few for a couple of apps I deleted a while ago. How do I disable these extensions?

And...Uh, completely deviating from the original topic, I have been having issues over the past couple months with Mac Os X Sierra not recognizing an external hard drive that contains lots of backups. Could this have anything to do with an unloaded .kext file?
 
Last edited:

KALLT

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2008
5,136
3,183
If they are located in [/System]/Library/Extensions then unload them using either command:
Code:
sudo kextunload /path/to/kext
sudo kextunload -b kext-bundle-identifier
Then you can delete the kext bundle safely.

You should look for un-installers for programs that you installed with an installer. Usually they remove kexts for you.

Etrecheck is helpful for spotting remnant kexts.
 

Dynomight Dude

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 17, 2017
5
0
If they are located in [/System]/Library/Extensions then unload them using either command:
Code:
sudo kextunload /path/to/kext
sudo kextunload -b kext-bundle-identifier
Then you can delete the kext bundle safely.

You should look for un-installers for programs that you installed with an installer. Usually they remove kexts for you.

Etrecheck is helpful for spotting remnant kexts.
Neato! do you have any recommendations for stopping kernel task from turning my computer into a stuttering mess at the most inconvenient times?
 

MC6800

macrumors 6502
Jun 29, 2016
368
126
I was recently having some problems with Kernel_Task eating up huge chunks of my CPU cycles, and stopped off here looking for a solution. A very recommended solution I found was to delete some .plist files with my Mac's identifying number on them. As I wove my way through the file system, something caught my eye as I flew through the numbers of .kext files. I noticed that there were many .kext files for hardware I didn't have, e.g: I am currently using a 13" Mac Book Pro (2015) Thus, it has an intel i5, a Samsung SSD(256 GB) and intel iris graphics 6100, but I was seeing .kext files for AMD Radeon Graphics Cards or NVidia Graphics cards. I thought that maybe the kernel loading these .kext files may be slowing it down So this is a two-part question:

1: how do I stop my kernel from eating all my processing cycles (it makes studying for finals impossible when your computer is a stuttering mess)

2: Is it safe to delete the .kext files for the hardware I don't have (AMD Radeon, Nvidia graphics)? If yes, will it help my kernel performance?

And for those trolls out there: I have an idea of what I'm doing, so don't try to trick me into deleting all the kernel files. I'm not a complete idiot. e.g. I know that deleting System32 on a windows machine speeds up your computer astronomically ;)
I've also seen this processor throttling, apparently used by the kernel to slow the system when overheating, but it appears to overreact. My 2011 MBP running El Capitan 10.11.6 just had this problem again after the latest software update, and the fix was to again remove the appropriate kext using these instructions.

Leave the kext files for other hardware-- they don't get loaded.
 

Dynomight Dude

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 17, 2017
5
0
I've also seen this processor throttling, apparently used by the kernel to slow the system when overheating, but it appears to overreact. My 2011 MBP running El Capitan 10.11.6 just had this problem again after the latest software update, and the fix was to again remove the appropriate kext using these instructions.

Leave the kext files for other hardware-- they don't get loaded.
I've already ruled out overheating. I carefully monitor my processor temp in the menubar via an app calls Macs Fan Control. When the kernel strikes, I'm normally around 60C, for reference, I've made it to 80C and the kernel hasn't done anything. This is a fairly recent problem. If I was stupid, I'd swear it was triggered by the start of Finals Week, and that my kernel and my teachers are working in cahoots to guarantee an F.
 

MC6800

macrumors 6502
Jun 29, 2016
368
126
I had ruled out overheating too-- the kernel was disabling 2 of the 4 processors even when cold. After removing that kext, no problems. In my case the fix had been working for years, but reappeared last week when I installed the latest update. I haven't investigated yet what all that did.
 

Dynomight Dude

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 17, 2017
5
0
I had ruled out overheating too-- the kernel was disabling 2 of the 4 processors even when cold. After removing that kext, no problems. In my case the fix had been working for years, but reappeared last week when I installed the latest update. I haven't investigated yet what all that did.
OK. I'll try it. I'm running sierra currently, but ill see what I can do. BTW: it probabaly reappeared because apple decided to run checks to make sure all the kext files were there.
 

nicmart

macrumors newbie
Nov 29, 2012
26
4
Norton has spent more than an hour trying to delete a Norton Security kext file from my Mac with tech support taking control of my Mac. No luck so far. I should never have installed the software.
 
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