Mac Overheating: Truths and Myths about Solving This Problem

Mac Overheating: Truths and Myths about Solving This Problem

If you use your Mac for many hours straight, it can become too hot. Overheating is not only uncomfortable for you as a user but also dangerous to your device. If you feel that your laptop is too hot and hear the irritating noise of the spinning fans, it’s time to do something about it. This article uncovers the truths and myths about addressing the Mac’s overheating problem and explains how to cool it down quickly.

What You Should Do to Cool Down Your Device: Causes and Responses 

Overheating may be caused by many factors. Identifying the cause and eliminating it is essential for protecting your device. Pay attention to the following issues:

  • The use of too many resource-demanding apps. If you open and actively use several apps that consume much energy and memory, your Mac can overheat quickly. Go to “finder” and check what apps are located at the top of the activity monitor list. Pay attention to the % CPU column, as it shows the apps that likely cause overheating. After you quit them, your device’s temperature will go back to normal.
  • Too many browser tabs opened simultaneously. It is practically impossible not to use many sources when you work or study. However, many users forget to close the tabs they no longer need, which drains the resources. Check the opened browser tabs from time to time and close those you no longer need. It is a useful habit that both increases your productivity and protects the device from overheating.
  • Applications not working correctly. If one of the opened apps becomes irresponsive, the computer spends too much energy identifying and addressing the problem. If you notice that the device gets too hot, check whether all apps are working properly.
  • A hardware issue. There may be a problem with the cooling system or System Management Controller (SMC). The latter is a chip controlling the internal fans that maintain the stable temperature. If you suspect a hardware issue, seek professional help in one of the Apple service centers.
  • Outdated software and viruses. If you haven’t updated your system for a long time, your Mac may overheat because it’s trying to address bugs and software inefficiencies. Similarly, viruses may take a lot of energy, which makes the computer run hot. Therefore, it is recommended to install updates regularly and use a trusted antivirus system.
  • Vents are blocked. If you use your Mac in bed or place it on your lap, the vents may become clocked, trapping the hot air in the device. Ensuring that the air can circulate freely is vital for maintaining a safe temperature.
  • Working in direct sunlight. According to Apple, acceptable operating temperatures vary from 10° to 35° C, so avoid places where the temperatures rise above the recommended maximum (e.g., on a beach, in the car, etc.).

Mac Overheating: Truths and Myths about Solving This Problem

Things to Avoid

As long as you are following the recommendations presented above, your computer will be safe. Moreover, it would be best to avoid certain common mistakes:

  • Don’t use ice to lower the temperature. It’s not a good idea because the condensation may drip into the device and damage it.
  • Don’t try to crack open your computer. Resist the urge to look inside if you don’t have enough knowledge about Mac computers. It’s better to ask for professional help if you suspect some hardware problem.
  • Don’t continue to use your device despite overheating. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is let the computer rest for a while to cool it down. Turn it off and take a break.
  • Don’t leave your computer in direct sunlight. This may aggravate the problem and make it harder for the device to cool down, even if you switched it off.

If the temperature problem keeps bugging you, you may need to use Apple support. Let experienced professionals identify and address the problem to protect your device from damage.