Have you ever experienced a Mac so hot to the touch that you could probably fry an egg (iEgg?) on it? Or how about a Mac that has fans that are so noisy that it feels like you’re about to take flight? Well, the good news is that you’re not alone. Both issues are caused by overheating, which is a common concern among Mac users.
It’s not just the obvious physical examples that are the problem, a seriously overheated Mac will crash and shut down on its own and that is something you really don’t want to ignore. Even without reaching that extreme, overheating can slow down Mac performance and, over time, damage internal components such as the battery.
It’s important to note that it is normal for a Mac to heat up when working on heavy processes. Shutting down due to heat is most definitely not normal, and consistent overheating during regular use is also a sign that there might be a problem.
We’re going to show you how to monitor your Mac temperature and what you can do to help.
Check Your Mac’s Temperature
When you were young you might have experienced your mother using a thermometer to check whether your temperature meant you were sick. Personally, I was normally just faking, so the thermometer was a very helpful tool in my family.
In similar respects, your Mac family would benefit from an app like CleanMyMac 3, which has a number of user-friendly tools for keeping your Mac performing at its best. For the problem of Mac overheating, CleanMyMac 3 allows you to check on the temperature of your hard drive and even lets you set up a smart health alert for high temperature to automatically monitor your Mac’s temperature and notify you when there is cause for concern.
If you’re particularly worried about your hard disk temperature you can download CleanMyMac for free and make sure you never miss a dangerous case of overheating.
How To Stop Your Mac From Overheating
Take Practical Measures
Let’s get the obvious tips out of the way first. Remember, sometimes the best solutions are also the most simple.
Use Macbooks on flat surfaces – Your Macbook is able to most effectively dissipate heat when placed on a flat surface.
Make sure vents aren’t covered – If you absolutely have to use your Macbook in bed or on your lap, try to minimize the blockage of the vents. Your Macbook could be overheating because your blanket is suffocating it.
Don’t use your Macbook in the sun – As tempting as it is to want to tan and do work at the same time, direct sunlight is only going to increase the chances of overheating.
Clear away the dust – Open up your Mac and use compressed air and a vacuum to carefully remove the buildup of dust that makes it harder for your Mac to keep cool.
Monitor Spotlight Indexing
If you aren’t using your Mac to perform a serious task but it is clearly heating up, take a look at the search magnifying glass icon in the top right of your desktop. If there is a pulsating dot inside the magnifying glass it means that Spotlight is indexing your data.
This automatic process can take several hours and use up a lot of your Mac’s resources. The best thing you can do is plug it in, place it somewhere cool and on a flat surface, and then go do something else while it finishes the important task of indexing.
Check Your Mac’s Fans
If your fans are making a strange noise there could be a physical problem with the fans themselves, which in turn would make your Mac more likely to overheat. To run a diagnostic on your Mac’s fans, follow these steps:
- Connect the power cable and shut down your Mac.
- Press the power button and hold down the D key before the startup screen.
- Follow the instructions. If using an older Mac, choose the “basic test”.
The diagnostics will pick up any problems with your fans.
Close Runaway Apps
If your Mac feels like it’s getting ready for a summer barbeque, get into the habit of using Activity Monitor (Applications -> Utilities) to find out what is to blame for the increase in your Mac’s temperature. Simply click the “CPU” column to sort by the most active processes. If an app, that isn’t currently working on an important task, is using close to 90% of the CPU, it is probably an unresponsive app that is now hogging your system resources.
You can use CleanMyMac 3 to quickly and easily close these applications and, if they are a continued headache and you’re sure they’re not needed, you can also use the Uninstaller to reset the application or completely remove it from your system.
Don’t Use Fan Control Apps
A lot of guides will suggest using third party fan control applications to increase the speed of your Mac’s fans. While this can lower the temperature of your Mac in the short term, it is also failing to address the cause of the overheating whilst putting more wear and tear onto your fans.
What’s more concerning is that by using a 3rd party app to alter physical properties of your Mac, you may actually be voiding your warranty. So when you finally discover that there is a hardware fault and you’re no longer under warranty, it’s probably going to hit you where it hurts the most – your wallet.
Fix An Overheating Mac: Chilled Mac > Overheating Mac
There can be no denying that keeping your Mac from regularly overheating is going to have a number of positive benefits, some of which include:
- Your Mac components will last longer.
- Your Mac will be more responsive and speedy.
- You won’t have the “Designed by Apple” burnt into the flesh of your thigh.
- You’re able to hear the movie you’re watching over the roar of your Mac’s fans.
Sounds good, right? So monitor your Mac’s temperature with CleanMyMac 3 and follow the steps in this guide to stop your Mac from overheating. Your thighs will thank you for it.