How to Check the CPU Temperature on a Mac

Checking the temperature of your Mac CPU will help you determine if the unit is working at top performance. When a computer is on, but you have no applications running, the temperature must be between 113 and 122 degrees Fahrenheit. When you start using your computer, the temperature will automatically rise.

How to Check the CPU Temperature on a Mac

When the heat reaches its peak, the computer’s performance will be compromised, causing slowdowns. In the worst cases, it will shut down with no notice.

This article will review the steps to check your Mac CPU temperature.

Use Terminal to Check Mac CPU Temperature

You can use various alternatives, including installing third-party apps to check Mac CPU temperature. However, checking it using Terminal won’t require the installation of external platforms. Follow these steps to check the temperature of your Mac’s computer using this built-in feature:

  1. Open Terminal by pressing “Command + Space” on your keyboard. You can also gain access by pressing the F4 key.
  2. Type “Terminal” and click on it when you see it in the Spotlight search list.
  3. Once “Terminal” is open, type this command: sudo powermetrics –samplers smc |grep -i “CPU die temperature.”
  4. Enter your administrator password.
  5. Hit “Return” and wait.

You’ll find on the screen your CPUs temperature updating in real time.

Use Mac Temperature Monitors

Most temperature monitors are designed to check various computer performance elements, with the CPU temperature as one feature of a more extensive toolkit. When choosing a third-party platform, consider your needs and choose the most suitable alternative. Here you’ll find some of the best applications to check Mac CPU temperature.

iStat Menus

If you’re looking for a detailed real-time analysis of the CPUs temperature, iStat is the right way to go. Follow these steps to install iStat on your computer:

  1. Go to the Mac App Store.
  2. Use the search bar to look for “iStat Menus.”
  3. Click on “Install” and follow the instructions.
  4. Launch the app.
  5. Click “Sensors.”

You’ll find all the information there is to know about your CPUs performance.


Other apps, such as CoconutBattery, weren’t developed to monitor the CPU’s temperature. Its main function is to monitor the computer’s battery status. As an overheated CPU will indirectly affect the battery’s performance, CoconutBattery has included a feature that tracks the CPU performance.

This application is also free, making it an excellent alternative if you are looking for an app to use only when you notice the computer’s performance has decreased. To install this app, you need to follow the steps below:

  1. Visit the CoconutBattery website to download the app.
  2. After you click “Download,” a window with instructions to complete the installation will pop up.
  3. Open the app.

You’ll find all the relevant about your computer’s performance on display.


While some computer users prefer to have their applications displayed in the menu bar at the top of the screen, others prefer to have them in the Notification Center. If you like the latter, then Monity is the best app for you.

Monity provides real-time follow-up on your computer’s performance, including network activity and CPU monitoring. On the downside, this app is a paid widget and doesn’t offer a free trial. Before installing it, make sure it tracks all the metrics you need.

To give it a try, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the browser and use the search bar to look for the Monity app.
  2. Click on “Download” and follow the instructions. You’ll have to include your payment information.

Once the app is installed on your computer, you can add it to the Notifications Center panel. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Click the icon that looks like a list on your computer screen’s upper right corner.
  2. On the “Notification Center,” click “Today.”
  3. Click the green “+” sign at the bottom of the screen.
  4. From the list of widgets, select “Monity.”

Now you’ll have Monity widgets on display. By default, you’ll have three different panels: Memory, System, Network, and Battery. You must manually add power, temperature, fan speed, and more metrics.


Fanny is another application you can use as a menu bar or add as a widget in the Notification Center. If you use it as a menu bar, you can change the app’s icon for the CPU temperature. This way, you’ll always have it on display without opening the app. Fanny has a single purpose which is to monitor CPU sensors.

Follow these steps to install Fanny on your Mac.

  1. Go to the Fanny Widget website and click the “Download” button.
  2. Follow the instructions to complete the installation and launch the app.

By default, the app will appear in the menu bar at the top of the screen. If you want to add the app as a widget, click on the three lines icon in the upper right corner.

  1. Click on the list icon at the upper right corner of the screen to open the Notifications Center.
  2. Select “Today.”
  3. Go to the bottom and click on the green “+” sign.
  4. Choose “Fanny” to add the CPU temperature widget.

This app is the perfect choice for users only interested in monitoring the CPU’s temperature, as it doesn’t include any other monitoring feature.


What is the highest safe temperature for a Mac CPU?

When you have multiple apps running on your computer at the same time, it’s normal for its temperature to rise. However, high temperatures should always stay within normal levels. If your computer’s temperature reaches 192 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll notice its performance starting to decline. Another sign of risky temperatures is the computer’s fan getting louder.

What to do when a Mac computer overheats

You can do various things when a Mac computer overheats, either to determine if there’s a physical problem with the unit or if it’s due to extended use. Start by checking if the fans work to rule out any broken parts. Next, check which applications are working in the background and stop multitasking activities.

How to prevent a Mac computer from overheating

Monitoring the computer’s CPU temperature will give you the status of your Mac but won’t provide solutions to make the temperature go down. If you notice your computer’s temperature rises to worrisome levels, you must ensure your computer is updated with the latest firmware version.

You also should avoid using your computer in hot places or irregular surfaces that can cover the fans. Lastly, make sure you use power adapters approved by the manufacturer.

Temperature Going High

The primary cause of a computer working slower than usual is a rise in the CPU’s temperature. While rebooting the computer and closing applications are the common steps to follow, first, you should verify the CPU’s temperature. You can choose from a wide range of third-party apps to visualize your computer’s metrics or simply check the CPU temperature from the Terminal.

However, the Terminal option isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as some third parties apps. Additionally, you’ll have to access the Terminal every time you want to check the status of your CPU. Installing an external application provides easy access to all the information you may need.

Among the many apps available, which one would you choose to monitor your computer’s CPU temperature? Let us know in the comments section below.

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