Keep Cool: How To Avoid A Hot Mac

Although outside it is still cold and winter is just about to kick in most regions, inside we are heating up not only ourselves but also our machines and devices. Humans can still deal with 30 degrees (86 degrees Fahrenheit), but if a Mac or iPad reaches this temperature, it is getting dangerous. In this article, we share some tips on how to avoid a hot Mac, and explain what the reasons are that your Mac might be overheating.

The processor, graphic chips, SSD, and hard drive need a lot of energy, and the used energy is transformed into heat. The higher the temperature of these electronic parts is, the harder it is for the fan too cool them down. This is likewise the case for the iPad and iPhone. All devices from Apple are designed to run in an environment of 35 degrees.


A lot of power, a lot of heat – Avoid A Hot Mac

Indicators for the thermal sensitivity of the different Mac models are product reviews. You can most likely find your MacBook on Notebookcheck and check there what the reviews say about its thermal sensitivity. Notebookcheck will have tested your Mac and given objective feedback about your model.

The latest 15-inch MacBook Pro with a retina display and separated Nvidia graphic processor has a relatively noisy fan because of the power of each component. Comparing this high-end MacBook with a basis model, we see that its fan can better cope with created heat. MacBook Air has similar problems with heat, but its components are not very powerful. The reason for a hot MacBook Air is that the components are so close together. Thus, cold air cannot circulate between the components.


How to monitor the temperature of your Mac – Avoid A Hot Mac

If you want to monitor the temperature of your Mac, you can use a number of different applications. You can install a small utility programme that can monitor the speed of the fan, the temperature of the processor and other system components. If you want to get insights and detailed temperature reports, we recommend the app iStat Menus by Bjango. The software costs about 12€ and shows you in the upper menu the temperature of each component. A little bit cheaper, only 4.5€, is the system monitor app by Marcel Bresink. This app provides less information, particularly on the temperature of each component. But you can also get freeware to monitor the temperature and fan speed of your MacBook. The two most commonly used applications are smcFanControl and Macs Fan Control. You can also control fan speed with both of these applications; this speed is usually automatically controlled by the system. If you set the fan speed to low, you run into the risk of overheating your MacBook. Thus, we would recommend not to change these settings.


Top tips to cool down and avoid a hot Mac

Deactivate GPS in direct sunlight – Avoid A Hot Mac

 You should not leave your iPad, iPhone, or MacBook in a car that is parked in the sun on a hot summer day. Additionally, some software tends to heat up your device more due to a higher energy need. If you are using the iPhone or iPad, you should deactivate its GPS feature. If you have a MacBook in the car, make sure the MacBook is shut down. The least thing you can do is to activate the flight mode. In general, it is always better not to keep your device in a hot car.


No games on hot days – Avoid A Hot Mac

Do you want to play your favourite high-resolution game, such as Call of Duty, on a hot day outside? We would recommend not to do that since your MacBook will heat up and if the outdoor temperature is too high, it can get dangerous.


Do not put your laptop on a blanket – Avoid A Hot Mac

Do you like watching movies in bed? Don’t lay your MacBook on your bed or on a blanket because it will heat up. If you block the air slots at the bottom of your Mac, no hot air can go out and no cold, fresh air will can go in. Additionally, you might damage your fan, which could then cause overheating in the future. One solution is to use a MacBook bed stand, which starts at about £20 on Amazon.


Can I use a MacBook keyboard cover? – Avoid A Hot Mac

Many people ask themselves if a MacBook keyboard cover will increase heat. It is a valid question and has been vigorously argued about in Apple forums and blog posts. It seems that the general consensus is that a MacBook keyboard cover does NOT increase the heat of your device, although we have noticed that a keyboard cover can heat up and once it is removed, the temperature drops. Still, MacBooks do not vent or take in air via the keyboard. No model ever has, and it is very doubtful that Apple will make one that will.

how to avoid that your mac overheads


Do you still face issues with the temperature of your Mac? – Avoid A Hot Mac

What is a normal temperature for my MacBook, and what is too hot? You might still be asking that question. The short answer is, it really depends. You can find a good benchmark in the mentioned product reviews on Notebookcheck. But if you want to speak to a certified MacBook expert, we can help you. Our Helpster will answer all your questions and run a thorough remote analysis of your device. Additionally, we will asses if you should hand in your MacBook device at a MacBook store for a check-up. Our Helpster can be with you in less than 30 minutes, so you can show us your heating problem right then instead of taking your already cool laptop to a store and explaining that it normally heats up.


Get personal help – Avoid A Hot Mac

 Is your MacBook heating up? Are you working with a hot MacBook? Do you think your fan is not working properly?

Get our Helpster to connect in less than 30 minutes (while your device is still hot), and we will analyse your MacBook. We can support the MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and even MacBook Mini and tell you personally the reasons and tips to avoid a hot Mac.

Our Helpster will

  • Run a thorough analysis with the latest utility apps to find out how hot your MacBook is
  • Provide a detailed report on the temperature of your Mac
  • Analyse the cause of the overheating
  • Set up a reporting tool so that you can keep an eye on the temperature on your own, and answer all your questions
  • Assess whether you should hand in your MacBook at a certified repair store


To conclude, no matter which action to take, avoid a hot Mac and your friend will last for very long.

Don’t forget to backup your settings as sometimes it can be crucial in this situation. If you have already solved this, you can have fun with exploring design changes, for example how to get Guy Kawasaki’s Mac. If you want all your devices to be like Mac, see how you can transform Windows.



Written by Susanne Webster