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An overheating MacBook is not only uncomfortable to use, but it can also cause damage to your device. While it’s normal for Mac to be slightly warm, there is a difference between warm and hot. So, if you think your MacBook Pro is running hot, you must figure out the underlying causes.
In this article, I’ll discuss the common reasons and 4 quick fixes to reduce the temperature of your MacBook and prevent it from overheating mac.
Why Is My MacBook Air or Pro Running Hot?
There are several reasons why your MacBook Air could be running hot. Let’s look at a few of these reasons that could be the source of overheating.
Bonus Tip: Note the age of your Mac. The older a Mac gets, the harder its fans work to keep everything cool. If age is the reason for mac is overheating, you may have to get a new machine in the near future.
1. Resource-Intensive Programs And Apps
Running multiple apps or programs simultaneously or performing resource-intensive tasks like video editing, gaming, or virtual machines can cause your MacBook Pro to overheat.
Similarly, if you’ve had your Mac for a while, chances are you have many unnecessary apps installed on it. Usually, this is not a problem, but if those apps are very demanding of CPU or a third-party app is stuck in a loop, it can cause your computer to heat up quickly.
2. Soft Surfaces
Soft surfaces, such as your lap, fabrics, cushions, or carpets, can contribute to overheating if you keep your laptop on top of them. Using a MacBook on a soft surface can block the ventilation slots on the bottom of the laptop, preventing proper airflow and cooling.
As a result, the laptop’s internal components, including the CPU and GPU, can generate more heat, leading to overheating and potentially causing damage to the laptop.
3. Dust, Dirt, And Debris
Your MacBook Pro has vents, covers, and other openings. Over time, dust and dirt can accumulate inside your MacBook Pro’s fans and vents. When these openings get clogged, they prevent proper airflow, causing your laptop to run hot.
It’s normal for your Mac to collect dust and dirt over time, but most people don’t know how to clean it. The built-in vents are crucial to keeping your computer cool, and if they get dirty and clogged up, your MacBook will start to heat up very easily.
4. Outdated Operating System
If your MacBook Pro’s operating system is outdated, it can cause your laptop to run hot. When the operating system is outdated, it may not be able to manage system resources effectively, leading to increased CPU and memory usage, causing the laptop to generate more heat.
Additionally, outdated operating systems may have compatibility issues with newer software and applications, leading to more CPU usage and heating. Keeping your operating system updated with the latest software updates can help prevent these mac overheating issues.
5. Background Processes
Some apps and processes can continue to run in the background even when you’re not actively using them, causing your MacBook Pro to run hot.
Background processes on your MacBook Pro refer to applications or programs running in the background even when you are not actively using them. These processes can consume system resources such as CPU, memory, and disk usage, increasing heat production and causing your MacBook Pro to run hot.
6. Faulty Hardware
If your MacBook Pro is running hot even when you are not running any heavy programs or processes, it could be a sign of a faulty hardware component. The most common hardware issues that can cause overheating on MacBook Pro include failing fans, malfunctioning sensors, or a clogged cooling system.
If you suspect your Mac is experiencing hardware issues, you should take it to an Apple Authorized Service Provider or an Apple Store for diagnosis and repair.
Why Is A Hot MacBook Pro Bad?
A warm computer runs normally, but a hot computer can lead to short-term and long-term problems. Some main reasons you don’t want your Mac to overheat are as follows:
- Hardware damage: Overheating can cause hardware damage, such as damage to the battery, hard drive, or other internal components. This can lead to costly repairs or even replacing the entire computer.
- Reduced performance: When a MacBook Pro overheats, its performance can slow down as the CPU throttles itself to reduce heat. This can make the computer feel slow and sluggish, and it can also impact battery life. If critical pieces of hardware become damaged, this can lead to poor performance. Excessive overheating of your MacBook Pro can cause it to run really slowly, freeze up all of the time, and generally not operate as it should. It can also shut down unexpectedly, leading to potential data loss.
- Health risks: A hot MacBook Pro can also pose health risks. The heat can cause discomfort, and prolonged use on the lap can cause skin burns or other injuries.
How To Prevent MacBook Pro From Overheating
Overheating can cause various problems in your Mac, such as decreased performance, system crashes, and even hardware damage. Therefore, taking measures to prevent MacBook Pro from overheating is essential.
Here are a few quick fixes to cool your Mac down and prevent overheating:
1. Close Demanding And Runaway Apps
Closing unnecessary applications and processes is an effective way to prevent your MacBook Pro from overheating. When you run multiple applications and processes simultaneously, your MacBook Pro’s CPU tab and memory usage can increase, leading to high temperatures and reduced performance.
The easiest way to deal with resource-intensive apps is to check your Activity Monitor. Here’s how to do it:
- To find your Activity Monitor, open Finder, click Applications and select Utilities.
- Open Activity Monitor in Utilities.
- You will see a list of programs running on your Mac. Close any apps taking too much CPU power.
2. Stay Away From Soft Surfaces
The method is simple – don’t place your computer on soft surfaces while using it. Using your MacBook Pro on soft surfaces, such as cushions, beds, or carpets, can block the ventilation slots on the bottom of the laptop and prevent proper airflow, leading to overheating.
Instead of using your MacBook in bed or on the couch, use your MacBook Pro on a hard and flat surface, such as a desk or table, or set it up on a laptop stand. This will allow adequate airflow to surround the computer and keep everything cool and operational.
3. Clean Dust And Dirt
If your Mac is running hot due to dust and dirt, clean it up. Keeping your MacBook Pro’s ventilation slots free of dust and debris prevents ventilation slots from clogging, and don’t forget to ensure you clean under keyboard as well to maintain optimal performance and to keeps airflow normal.
Depending on your MacBook Pro model, the vents are either above the keyboard, below the hinge on the display, or on the computer’s underside.
You can use a small delicate brush to clean up these vents, or a can of compressed air can quickly blow the vents clean as well. Here are the steps to clean your MacBook Pro’s ventilation slots:
- Shut down your MacBook Pro and unplug it from the power source.
- Use a soft-bristled brush to gently sweep the ventilation slots and remove any visible dust and debris. Be careful not to apply too much pressure, which can damage the slots.
- If there is remaining dust or debris, use compressed air to blow it away. Hold the can of compressed air upright and at a distance of about six inches from your MacBook Pro’s ventilation slots.
- Spray short bursts of air into the slots, moving from left to right or vice versa. Avoid tilting the can, as this can cause moisture to accumulate in the can and damage your MacBook Pro.
- Use a soft, lint-free cloth to wipe down the exterior of your MacBook Pro and remove any fingerprints or smudges.
It is recommended to clean the ventilation slots at least once a month or more frequently if you use your MacBook Pro in dusty or dirty environments.
4. Update Your Operating System And Applications
Outdated operating systems and applications can cause compatibility issues and increased CPU and memory usage, leading to overheating. Therefore, keeping your operating system and applications updated with the latest software updates is essential.
To update your operating system on a MacBook Pro, follow these steps:
- Click the Apple menu in the top-left corner of the screen and select System Settings.
- Navigate to General > Software Update and follow the prompts to download and install any available updates.
- It is recommended to check for updates at least once a week to ensure your MacBook Pro has the latest security patches and performance improvements.
To update applications on a MacBook Pro, follow these steps:
- Click the Apple icon and select App Store.
- In the App Store, click the Updates tab to view a list of available updates for your installed applications.
- Click Update next to each application to download and install the updates.
- Alternatively, some applications may have their own built-in update feature, which you can access from the application’s menu bar or settings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my MacBook get hot even when I’m not doing anything?
There could be various reasons why your MacBook is getting hot even when you’re not doing anything. One possible reason could be the background processes that are running on your MacBook. These processes can consume significant system resources and cause your MacBook to heat up. You can check the Activity Monitor to see which processes are consuming the most resources.
Is it normal for a MacBook to get hot while charging?
Yes, it’s normal for a MacBook to get hot while charging. This is because the battery is being charged, and the charging process generates heat. However, if your MacBook is getting too hot to touch, it could be a sign of a more serious problem, and you should consider getting it checked by a professional.
Can using a MacBook on a soft surface cause it to overheat?
Yes, using a MacBook on a soft surface such as a bed, couch, or blanket can cause it to overheat. This is because the soft surface can block the vents on your MacBook, which are designed to allow hot air to escape. When the hot air is trapped inside the MacBook, it can cause it to overheat. It’s best to use your MacBook on a hard, flat surface.
Does running multiple apps at once cause my MacBook to overheat?
Running multiple apps at once can cause your MacBook to heat up, especially if the apps are resource-intensive. This is because the processor and other components in your MacBook have to work harder to keep up with the demands of the apps. If you notice your MacBook getting too hot, you may want to consider closing some of the apps or upgrading to a MacBook with a higher processing power.
Can cleaning the fans and vents help reduce the heat generated by my MacBook?
Yes, cleaning the fans and vents can help reduce the heat generated by your MacBook. Over time, dust and debris can accumulate in the fans and vents, which can block the airflow and cause your MacBook to overheat. By cleaning the fans and vents, you can improve the airflow and reduce the temperature of your MacBook.
How do I know if my MacBook is overheating?
There are several signs that your MacBook may be overheating, including:
: The fan running loudly and continuously
: The MacBook feeling hot to the touch
: The performance of your MacBook slowing down
: The screen freezing or displaying artifacts
If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to shut down your MacBook and let it cool down before using it again.
If your MacBook Pro runs excessively hot, it’s time to diagnose and fix the underlying issue. The most common cause is the high demand for processing power, which generates heat. Accumulation of dust and debris inside the computer and resource-intensive apps can also contribute to overheating.
Using the tips above, you can cool your computer down and limit any damage or data loss resulting from overheating. If your MacBook continues to run hot, take it to a professional for diagnosis and repair. And if that doesn’t work either, you may have to bite the bullet and buy a new one.
Has your MacBook Pro ever gotten very hot? How did you cool it down? Let us know in the comments.About Eric