Why Is My MacBook Overheating and How to Fix It (Complete Guide)

Why Is My MacBook Overheating

Is your MacBook frequently overheating? An overheated Mac may drain your battery and harm the hardware. An overworked fan is a telltale symptom of an overheated MacBook, but the issues go far beyond the noise. Spinning fans will quickly deplete your Mac’s battery, and prolonged overheating may permanently harm internal components. Maintaining a cold machine is essential for battery health and overall performance.

Why is the MacBook overheating?

Your MacBook’s overheating can be caused by various reasons, including software that stresses the CPU, too many active browser tabs, and proximity to external heat sources. 

Consider what you run and where you put your Mac to minimize the MacBook’s overheating. Loud fan noises from your Mac computer are not always a symptom of overheating. It’s natural for your computer’s fan to make noise as you use it to cool it down. However, a quiet Mac that’s too hot to touch isn’t normal. This indicates a problem with your computer’s fan that you must fix to avoid hardware damage.

Macs might overheat due to software or hardware faults. For example, even the newest MacBook models may get heated when memory-intensive operations overload the processor, or internal fans fail.

If your Mac is overheating, or you want to avoid it from happening, learn about the causes of MacBook overheating. Here are some typical causes of MacBook Pro or MacBook Air overheating:

Google Chrome

The most prevalent browser might strain your Mac’s resources and cause overheating. Instead, use the Mac’s Safari or Firefox, which is faster, more secure, and private browsing mode. See our list of the top 10 safest browsers for Mac.

Too many open tabs

Too many browser tabs open might cause overheating. Keep tabs under 11 and bookmark sites you need to return to later.


Inefficient multitasking can increase productivity but also raise your Mac’s core temperature. Instead, try only running the programs you need for the job. Or use some apps on a smartphone.

Sources of heat.

While a MacBook’s mobility is useful, you should not work everywhere. Apple suggests a temperature range of 50–95°F. Placing your Mac near direct sunlight or in a hot environment might cause internal overheating. 

Issues with Macbook fans

Your MacBook fan controls the device’s temperature, so it must function correctly. Overheating can be caused by fan difficulties, such as excessive noise like an airplane and louder during difficult work. If your device seems hot, check your fan’s performance.

Blocked vents or A/C clogged.

When your Mac’s vents are blocked, your computer’s fan struggles to keep up. Always use caution when using a Mac in bed or on your lap. It works best on a flat surface with good ventilation. To keep your Mac’s interior dust-free, clean all ports and other easily accessible areas after each use. Simple tools may also open MacBooks and other electronics. But first, learn how to disassemble and clean it.

Out-of-date software and operating systems

Your device’s processor may overheat if you’re running out-of-date software. You can fix software issues and sluggish performance by regularly upgrading apps and operating systems.

How to fix Macbook overheating

Your MacBook may be overheating due to several different faults or a combination of difficulties. Below is how to fix a Macbook’s overheating problem:

Check the CPU’s performance.

The CPU is the engine running your Mac, and the harder it works, the more heat it produces. So when the CPU is overworked for an extended time, it is almost inevitable that your MacBook will overheat. If you’re having trouble with temperature management on your MacBook, you should first examine your CPU’s performance.

  • Please navigate to the Utility folder in the Applications area of Finder and choose the Activity Monitor tool from its list of available options.
  • Locating the Applications Utility folder in the Finder on a Mac to look for sources of overheating on the processor.
  • The CPU tab in Activity Monitor will show you which programs use the most processing resources, as shown by the percent CPU column.
  • To prevent a MacBook from overheating, it is necessary to identify and shut down CPU and heavy memory processes in Activity Monitor.
  • Use the X button to terminate resource-intensive activities and alleviate the strain on your computer’s processor.
  • In Activity Monitor, you should check the Memory tab to see whether your RAM use is causing any performance issues.

Consider removing unneeded Mac apps to reduce the stress on your CPU; this will prevent high-impact background activities from swamping your system and increasing the workload on your CPU.

Close any browser tabs that are no longer needed.

Multiple active browser tabs might cause your MacBook to get overworked, especially if you’re using other resource-intensive apps simultaneously. Close any tabs that aren’t being actively used to limit the amount of work your Mac has to do and to keep your Mac from becoming overheated. In conjunction with deleting your cache, tab management can aid in the speeding up of your browser.

Maintain control over your graphical settings.

To cool your MacBook, you may need to change the graphics settings. This is because the graphics cards in certain MacBook models consume more power and resources than others. A faster graphics card is great for gaming and video rendering, but it uses more energy, drains your battery faster, and may cause your PC to overheat. The other card (integrated GPU) uses less energy, extending the battery life.

To control graphical settings:

  • To discover more about your graphics card, select the Apple menu in the upper left corner of your screen.
  • You can find out what graphics processing card you have by looking at About this Mac.
  • See information on your graphics processor by selecting Graphics/Displays from the left navigation panel of the About This Mac window and clicking System Report at the bottom of the window.
  • Using the System Report feature in About This Mac, you may learn more about your graphics card.
  • Open up System Preferences and select “Battery” from the drop-down menu to enable automatic graphics switching.
  • To reduce the temperature by activating automatic graphics switching, you must first locate the battery options inside the macOS System Preferences application.
  • In the Battery window, select Power Adapter or Battery to customize the parameters for each power mode on the left-hand side. 
  • If your Macbook has two graphics systems, choose the “Automatic graphics switching” check box, and your Macbook will dynamically switch between graphics modes to balance performance and resource management as needed.
  • If you don’t have the option to switch between graphics systems automatically, your MacBook Pro is equipped with a single graphics system.

Reset the SMC (System Management Controller)

A faulty SMC will harm the physical components of your MacBook, such as the cooling fans. Resetting the SMC is a safe and simple remedy for chip problems that cause your MacBook Air or Pro to overheat. To reset the SMC, do the following:

Shut down your MacBook: Hold Shift, Option, Control, and Power for 10 seconds. Restart your Mac normally.

Update your MacBook

Updating your MacBook’s operating system improves performance, security, and reduces overheating. In addition, each macOS update addresses bugs and inefficiencies, helping your Mac operate faster, smoother, and use less energy. 

Open System Preferences and choose “Software Updates.” Once you’ve clicked Update Now, your MacBook will do the rest. Aside from routinely upgrading your software, defragging your Macbook is another easy way to keep it young.

Only use Mac chargers.

With an unbranded, counterfeit, or otherwise damaged charger, your MacBook gets heated when charging. In the long term, this may not only harm your Mac but also pose a health and safety risk. So instead, check out the Apple-approved chargers.

Check the fans on your MacBook

If your MacBook is overheating, excessive fan noise might signal that its fans are not operating at their full capacity. If your MacBook cooling fan won’t stop, it’s likely faulty.

To check your Mac for hardware issues, use the Apple Diagnostics program.

  • All other devices should be disconnected when you plug in your MacBook.
  • Press and hold the D key while your computer restarts to begin a hardware scan. 
  • The findings will be presented on your screen when the scan is complete.
  • Any time you get a PFF error number, you should take your MacBook to an Apple-authorized service provider so they can diagnose and resolve the problem for you.

Keep the air vents clear.

MacBooks, like other laptops, require ventilation to avoid overheating due to the proximity of internal components. Therefore, the MacBook vents should be kept free of debris. In addition, blocking the air vents prevents the built-in fans from cooling your MacBook. 

The vents in the back screen hinge can be blocked by soft surfaces like a bed or your lap. Instead, use hard, flat surfaces to promote airflow.

Avoid multitasking.

Computer power is limited, even in modern MacBook Pros. As a result, using many high-intensity apps simultaneously for long periods may overheat your machine. Even low-impact applications might cause issues if piled too high. Minimizing active processes helps regulate your MacBook’s temperature. It’s also best to fully exit apps rather than keep them running in the background.

Clean your Mac.

Dust and other debris collect within your MacBook over time, obstructing critical hardware components. A little spring cleaning might help your MacBook perform more smoothly.

Remove the bottom panel to safely access the nuts and bolts to clean your computer. Clear any debris from the ventilation ducts or the fan using compressed air. Wipe away any remaining filth with a soft cloth. Remember, it’s not just about the physical. Keeping your MacBook in tip-top shape requires professional cleaning software.

Strong security software for your MacBook

Beyond compromising your MacBook’s privacy and security, malicious software may create performance difficulties ranging from damaged software and limited RAM to sluggish processing and overheating.

This might explain why your Mac is getting heated for no apparent reason. If you fear malware has taken over your Mac, take fast action to eradicate infections and decrypt ransomware. Then, install strong security software to protect your MacBook and your data by using the best antivirus for Mac.

Here is our top Macbook security software:

Its easy toolbox helps you decrease your load by deleting unnecessary files and apps. Moreover, it automatically balances your background CPU and memory usage to keep things running smoothly.


Overheating on your MacBook can be caused by software that strains the CPU, too many open browser tabs, or closeness to external heat sources. Think about what you run and where you store your Mac to avoid overheating. Loud Mac fan noises are not usually a sign of overheating. 

It’s normal for your computer’s fan to generate noise when cooling it. But a silent Mac that’s too hot to touch? This indicates a fan issue that you must address to avoid hardware damage.

Using a specific cleanup application that improves your MacBook’s speed and clears away anything you don’t need is the best method to control overheating and related performance concerns.


Eddie Mcfarren

Eddie Is no stranger to technical writing after spending years in Networking, IT Infrastructure management, and online content marketing. He is an avid researcher, Software and apps dev tester who spends hours solving problems behind the scenes. Get in touch with him via social media and you can email him via contact@gawkygeek.com

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