Can you count the number of times when the fans of your MacBook Pro have set off? Do they buzz even when your machine sits idle? Do you start getting concerned as it continues heating and makes you worried about the health of your MacBook? Well, you should.
Like any other laptop in the market, a MacBook Pro can start getting overheated, and there’s not just one diagnostic solution to your Macbook Pro getting hot. If we are just talking about the MacBook Pros, it depends on what model you have; it also depends on what kind of tasks trigger the heating up, or it might just be you charging the device.
Before jumping into the tips on tackling the overheating issue of your MacBook Pro, a question needs answering.
Why Should You Care About Overheating?
Overheating is a sign that something is wrong with your laptop. The issue may range from a software bug that’s putting a load on your CPU to a hardware issue where the cooling system and the systems surrounding it are at fault. In an attempt to solve the overheating, you can potentially solve the root cause, which has manifested itself as just simple overheating today but could lead to more costly damages tomorrow.
You should also care about your laptop overheating because your laptop operating in greater than optimal temperature ranges has its own adverse effects, anywhere from damage to the processors to the reduction of the battery life, or worse, it leads to fire accidents.
Now that we know the why, let’s look at the how. Let’s go through the immediate things you can do to make your overheating MacBook Pro cool down.
Tip 1: Keep all Mac Softwares Up-to-Date
This includes updating to the latest available MacOS version. With all the third-party apps and software that filmmakers, software developers, or even casual users use, they get updated frequently and tend to utilize Mac’s ecosystem more efficiently. Keeping the MacOS and all the Mac software updated becomes an essential exercise for all of these third-party applications to work without straining the processor, which could potentially cause overheating.
With our busy lives and busy laptops, it becomes difficult at times to install the OS updates as they come, as it locks you out for hours, sometimes even for the most part of the day. Still, the hours invested in upgrading to the latest OS today will save you a lot of time and money in the future, as these updates are crucial for the continued functioning and longevity of your MacBook Pro.
Tip 2: Allow your MacBook to Breathe
Keep an eye on the surface you place your MacBook on while working. With more and more people working from the comfort of their homes, some don’t have any dedicated working space for them and end up working on their beds, pillows, and under the sheets.
This comfort for you puts strain on your machine as it struggles to ventilate the heat itself. Using your Mac on a flat, stable work surface allows good ventilation and keeps the internal temperature within the optimal range. Check out this helpful resource about Macbook pro getting hot on Macbookproslow.
Tip 3: Clean the Dust
The most common reason laptops' cooling systems fail is the accumulation of dust and dirt. The fans and the vents will gradually accumulate the smallest dust particles in the air, eventually growing to cover up the fans and the vents.
This leads to the machine not cooling down at all, and the processors, in turn, increase the fans' power and voltages to make them spin faster. This has an inverse effect on the processor, and the machine heats up even more.
This is why it is highly advised to get your MacBook's internals professionally cleaned once every six months.
Tip 4: Don’t use your MacBook as a Tabletop
When using it as a tabletop, you run the risk of covering the vents, which are primarily tasked with cooling your machine down. The weight of the objects kept on your MacBook also tends to press down and trap the dust even more, adding to the already overheating Pro.
Working on a Pro with good practices, as professionally as possible, allows it to cool down the best it can under the circumstances.
Tip 5: Cool and Dry Workstation
Using your MacBook in direct sunlight or a heated car in a summer afternoon can raise the external temperature of your laptop and, as a result, cause the internals to heat up. Macbooks can withstand operating in an ambient temperature that ranges from 50 degrees to 95 degrees F (10 – 30 degrees C). The optimal relative humidity should also be within 0 to 95% (non-condensing).
Working in a cool and dry workstation prevents these external effects from factoring into the overheating issue of your MacBook.
Tip 6: Check the Activity Monitor for Idle Overheating
If your MacBook Pro sits idle and still overheats, it is very likely due to a background process (or processes) that has increased the CPU load by a significant amount. This means your MacBook is still working in the background, with a sweaty poker face on the front.
Diving deep into which processes have been spawned by which applications will help you diagnose and rectify the high CPU usage. The solutions can be to either update apps to their latest version that performs with optimal CPU usage, or uninstall the unwanted applications, or simply switch to better alternatives.
The biggest example is the web browser Google Chrome. Many users have reported high CPU and RAM usage when using Google Chrome, hence overheating their machines. This can easily be solved by switching to Safari, which has proven memory- and processor-friendly.
Tip 7: Use only Apple Chargers/Power Adapters
Using cheap alternatives to the official Apple power adapters can prove harmful to your MacBooks. Using these to charge your laptops can cause them to overheat because they operate on different voltage and power ratings. But overheating is the least of your concerns when using unofficial power adapters.
It is tempting to fall back to non-Apple alternative products as the official ones can be expensive. But the price you must pay in the long run doesn’t make switching to a different charger a wise decision.
If the overheating issue persists, here are some more model-specific solutions you can look into.
Reset SMC on Intel-based MacBook Pros
System Management Control or SMC is a chip on intel-based Mac laptops. This chip is responsible for managing power on your Macs. Resetting SMC can solve a number of issues, including the battery not charging, the laptop not turning on, the cooling fans constantly running at max speed, and overheating of the laptop.
Use the Right-Hand-Side Charging Ports on the Latest MacBook Pros
People have reported that their MacBook starts to heat up as they plug the charger in. This kicks the fans in full throttle, and the performance also begins to slow down as a result. This especially happens when an accessory is plugged in along with the power adapter.
The quick solution to this problem is to use the charging ports on the right-hand side when using other accessories attached to your laptop.