How To Fix a MacBook Pro Overheating

If you use your laptop for several hours in a row, it’s normal for its temperature to rise. How high the temperature goes also depends on the number of applications you have running simultaneously. Still, computer users may find it hard to determine when they should worry about their MacBook Pro being too hot. In this article, you’ll find all the information about your MacBook Pro temperature and what to do when it overheats.

How To Fix a MacBook Pro Overheating

What to Do When a MacBook Pro Overheats

While Apple has designed its latest MacBook models with a ventilation system that prevents overheating, it can still happen occasionally. You can try a few things when you notice your computer’s temperature is too high to be considered normal.

Check CPU Temperature

The first step to fix any problem with your MacBook Pro is to check the CPU’s temperature. If it gets too high, it can permanently damage internal components. Follow these steps to check your computer’s CPU temperature:

  1. Go to CleanMyMac and download the free app.
  2. Follow the installation process by reading the instructions.
  3. Launch the app by clicking the iMac icon on the menu bar.
  4. Click on the CPU tab from the menu on the right. You’ll find all the information about your CPU, including the temperature.

Check CPU Usage

On occasion, a computer will overheat because you have many applications open or working in the background. Most of the time, these aren’t applications that you open on purpose. Instead, they are apps that the computer launches automatically every time you turn your computer on. Follow these steps to check your MacBook’s CPU usage:

  1. Click on “Finder” and then “Applications.”
  2. From the menu, select “Utilities.”
  3. Click on “Activity Monitor.”
  4. When the app launches, click on the CPU tab. You’ll be able to find every application being used in real-time and the state of your CPU.

Check Login Items

Login items are all the applications your MacBook opens automatically whenever you turn on your computer. When you’re busy getting started with your daily tasks, you may overlook the numerous activities your computer does in the background. Here’s how to check login items:

  1. Click “Apple menu” and then “System Settings.”
  2. From the right menu, click “General.”
  3. Click on the “Login items” tab. You’ll find a list of all the apps that open when you turn your computer on and all the apps that have permission to operate in the background.

If you see apps on the list you don’t want to operate in the background, you can click on the blue switch next to it to remove its permission.

Launch Agents

Like Login Items, launch agents are all the apps or programs that perform daily tasks in the background without your knowledge. A good example of these activities is programmed antivirus scans. You may have set it to run automatically once a day, but you only notice it’s working in the background when it affects your computer’s performance. Follow these steps to find out how many apps you have running.

  1. Open “Finder” and then select “Go” from the menu at the top.
  2. Click “Go” and then “Go to folder.”
  3. Type /Library/LaunchAgents.

Many apps or software you use, such as Google Chrome, run several apps in the background to guarantee the quality of the service they provide. Unless you have specific knowledge of each app, it’s not recommended to delete anything. It’s better to use third-party apps like CleanMyMac to get it done safely.

Force Quit Unused Apps

Even when you’re not using an app, having it open will consume part of your computer’s energy. If your MacBook Pro has overheated, follow these steps to close apps you’re not using:

  1. Press the “Option,” “Command,” and the “Escape” keys simultaneously.
  2. On the pop-up window, you’ll find all the apps running at that moment.
  3. Select the one you want to close and click “Force Quit.”

Something similar happens with how many internet sites you’re browsing simultaneously. Make sure to close the tabs that you’re not using anymore and leave only the ones you need.

Reset the System Management Controller

The System Management Controller, or SMC, is Apple’s feature that controls your Mac ventilation system. When your computer overheats, you can reset the system as an alternative to fix the problem. Be aware not every Apple Mac model comes with an integrated SMC. Follow these steps:

  1. Turn your computer off.
  2. Press the “Shift,” “Control,” and “Alt” keys simultaneously. While holding them, press the “Power” key.
  3. Hold the four keys down for 10 seconds.
  4. After you release them, let your computer power on as usual.

Update Your MacBook Pro

Whenever Apple releases a new OS update, it fixes issues your computer may be experiencing. If you don’t know if you already have the latest software version available, follow these steps to find out:

  1. Click “Apple menu.”
  2. Go to “System Settings” and then “General.”
  3. Select “Software Update.” If there’s a new update available, click on the “Update Now” button.

What MacBook Pro Temperature Is Normal?

When your MacBook Pro is on but you’re not using it, the temperature will stay between 109- and 122 degrees Fahrenheit. When you open multiple apps and multitask, the temperature will rise to between 133- and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you monitor your computer’s temperature, you should be aware that anything above 140 degrees Fahrenheit is a reason for concern. Two main performance issues may indicate your MacBook has overheated. First, you’ll notice the apps take longer to upload, and second, the fan is spinning faster than usual.

How to Prevent a MacBook Pro from Overheating

It’s normal for a computer’s temperature to rise when you’re using multiple apps simultaneously or have many applications working in the background. However, the situation can worsen, and the temperature can reach dangerous levels unless you avoid certain scenarios when using your computer. Here is a list of things you should avoid:

  • Don’t place your MacBook Pro on irregular surfaces. Using your computer on your bed or your lap may seem comfortable, but you’re covering the ventilation ports placed on the underside of your computer. Covering the fan or any other ventilation your computer has will cause it to overheat.
  • Don’t use your MacBook in direct sunlight. Working outdoors might seem like a relaxing change of scenery. However, direct sunlight will increase your computer’s temperature in addition to the temperature produced by regular use.
  • Don’t cover the keyboard or ventilations. Every opening your computer has, including the small ones between the keyboard’s keys, is a good source of ventilation. Covering them will leave your MacBook Pro with less ventilation, compromising its functioning.
  • Don’t use unauthorized adapters. Apple has created adapters that give your computer the power they need. Using generic chargers can cause your MacBook to overheat.

Stay Away from the Heat

The latest MacBook Pro computer has been specially designed with a ventilation system that prevents it from overheating. This doesn’t mean, however, that it can’t happen from time to time. At the first sign of high temperature, you should take all necessary measures to avoid permanent damage.

Closing unused apps, login items, and updating your computer to the latest software version are just some of the many things you can do to solve your computer’s heat problem. Has your MacBook Pro ever overheated? Let us know in the comment section which methods helped you take your Mac’s temperature back down to normal.

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