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-   -   The Official "My MacBook/Air/Pro is overheating, what do I do?" Guide. (

Slydude 04-03-2010 12:29 PM

+1 for this being a sticky. One question occurred to me as I was skimming the thread. If it has been answered already bear with me I am barely awake.

Question: When running under Boot Camp do the sensors still exhibit the same behavior as they do under OS X? In other words will they still shut the system off if it reaches the point of overheating?

Last summer my wife was playing WoW and became concerned because the fans ramped up a bit more than she expected and things became a bit warmer. I think the extra warmth was nothing more than heat dissipating through the aluminum unibody but I don't have a temperature program on the Windows side. She notices these things during games because that is probably what sent her Sony laptop to an early grave.

DHart 04-03-2010 04:34 PM


Originally Posted by XJ-linux (Post 1028926)
White MacBooks discolor. It's part of the deal. You can leave it turned off for a year, come back, and it will have discolored.

Also, part of the glossy finish where the discoloration occurred has chipped off... it seems this would be due to heat, no?

altec-lansing 04-04-2010 03:06 AM


Originally Posted by DarkestRitual (Post 1019063)
Maybe I'm a 13 year old at heart, but this made me crack up.

Yup, me too ;D

I use SMC fan control on my MacBook Air, which are notoriously hot even on the most basic applicaitons. I find it interesting that i can be on the same wikipedia page for 15 minutes with absolutely nothing else open and watch the little gauge go from 45 up to 60 then back down to 50 degrees celsius. I also find that if my computer is sitting on 60 C, whether the fan is set to 6200 RPM (max on my model) or 3000 (what i usually leave it at) makes no difference to the temperature. Granted, I do raise the speed when using Adobe programs or watching youtube videos, but i think its more of a phycological thing :Smirk:

It does save battery life though when I turn it right down. Sometimes it might only save a couple of minutes, but in a couple of 'watching movie' tests, i've seen differences of up to 15 minutes on a 3-hour-life battery. That extra 15 minutes will let me see that last little fight in Kill Bill :D

Chris H. 04-20-2010 12:56 AM

Let me say beforehand, that on a quiet evening in central New Mexico, the interior temperature of my living room is around 73 F, while my bedroom is around 68-72 at times. Continue reading...

After letting my late 2009 MacBook (2.26 GHz, 4 GB RAM) sit for 10 minutes: 5 minutes plugged in and 5 minutes unplugged, with no programs running (except for GeekTool, Alarm Clock 2, Norton and iStat and the Finder- all running in the menubar), it cooled down from around 133 F to 119-123 F. Then I plugged in a USB laptop cooling pad from Belkin, and had that run for an additional 10 minutes, plugged in and unplugged with no programs running. The temps there were around the same without the fan. And the bottom of the late 2009 MB's are rubberized. I don't run smcFanControl.

As I'm typing this in Safari, the computer is around 118 to 120 with the laptop cooling pad.

Before this test, I had iTunes, Mail, Safari, iPhoto, iCal, Stickies, Preview and Screen Sharing. Safari was on facebook with nothing running within facebook. On my lap, with no fan underneath the computer, temps were around 133-137 F.

Last night I had YouTube running in Safari on one tab, facebook in another, Mac Forums on the third. iTunes was paused (not doing anything), Mail, iCal, Stickies, GarageBand, Text Edit and a solitaire game were also open and running openly. Without the cooling pad, the temps were hitting around 143 to 147 F. I later decided to plug in the fan, and set it down on a cardboard box. Temps dropped some to around 140 F. I had the computer plugged in full time last night.

After reading this entire sticky, I figured I might as well post my experiment here.

And as I'm about to post this, the temp of the CPU is dropping to around 115 F periodically. The internal fan is running close to 2000 RPM. Last night the fan was around 4k RPM much of the time.

As for my Mac mini- I hardly tax the CPU anymore because I have little RAM running (1 GB still). If I do tax it, the numbers are nearly similar for the fan and CPU on it to the MacBook. I leave the mini running 24/7, and if I get on it in the morning and log in, temps are around 100 to 115, with Mail, iTunes, and iCal running alongside GeekTool, and the menubar applications. If I close out all programs there, and leave the computer running overnight in a 68-72 degree bedroom on a wooden desk from 1965, temperatures are in the mid 90s with fan hitting just over 1500 RPM.

I think I can honestly say that  has you covered in most situations with their cooling system implemented in their cheapest computers.

My PowerMac G4...well that's an experiment for another day...considering the only sensor is a S.M.A.R.T. on a 70 GB Western Digital hDD.

BigDave 06-03-2010 03:52 PM

Hot Running MacBook
My MacBook had the Lexmark print driver and wifi network support driver installed with a few qued print jobs pending - ugh! I had already discarded the printer for reasons not applicable to this thread.

I beagan snooping around by looking into the Activity Monitor. It displayed 50% CPU usage rate. The fan was running. I identified the two items related earlier to the Lexmark printer software installation.

Lexmark support site directed to run the uninstall app (Applications/Utilities/Printers/Lexmark). Activity monitor is at 2% or less and the fan is quiet. Yes!

My MacBook is now running coool!!!

GLADIATOR154 07-01-2010 08:31 PM

Hello dear friends
First flash plugins problems that use more of CPU still exist.

After experimenting the same problem following many links , softwares and after going trough opening my macbook to clean fans.

Now I repaired all my problems , and I have decided to make a tutorial about how you really can get your macbook cooler.

Before you go to my video link on youtube, I would like to mention two things, my macbook pro 13" used to 115C , after cleaning the fan and installing smcfancontrol , the temperature become between 55C and 70C depend of my use , and my macbook pro is only 1 years old , and this is 37C outside, at the same time I am using heavy applications and also from my experience can advise you , switch off your any flash players or videos on youtube in case you using heavy applications at the time becous the image quality will be really low, u better not kill your macbook, and also think about more watching your stream videos on divx it works way more better then on youtube trust me, visit stagevu for example.

To watch the tutorial click over here.

To download smcfancontrol click over here.

To download coolbook in case u dont like smcfancontrol click over here.

Also dont dont forget to clean your fan , it is really simple and easy. good luck hommies and thanx for comments of those who the had to face same problems , nice forum aswell bye bye.

agent_one 07-13-2010 09:55 PM

thank you everyone for the useful infos!

i'm about to share a bit of my experiences with my mbp.

lately it went really hot (90+ C) also with no program running.
at first i thought FINDER was indexing the whole content.
so i left it running on the desk and after few hours i shut it down.
the next day i turned it on and still the fans were running wild.
it happened a few days 'til i realized that there was a problem with a faulty HP scanner driver/software (HP SCANJET G4050) which maxes out the whole system for a single HP SHORTCUT MANAGER (CPU usage 90%)??? :\

(more infos here: HP drivers max out CPU -- 3rd party drivers?? - Mac Forums)

i followed the instruction and deleted the HP SHORTCUT MANAGER and everything was back to normal. that was my weirdest experience with my mac.

normally i'm working with both windows 7 + mac os 64-bit on my MBP (since i need AutoCAD + 3DS MAX) - on parallels desktop. even with these programs, my mbp never got as wild as when the faulty software was running.

so guys, beware of the faulty hp driver... ;D

Queeg500 01-29-2011 10:03 PM

In the last week i have become the proud owner of a 15" MacBook Pro.
This evening, i was casually using it on my lap for a number of hours in a room of high temperature. It didn't occur to me for a second that my machine might be overheating and so i continued browsing websites and using TweetDeck as normal.
Whilst on a website, the images on the page became corrupt and my other safari windows would not refresh. Moments later a small, square grey box popped up advising me to hold down the power button and then press it again to restart. I must admit it panicked me having only owned the machine for, well, as little as 4 or 5 days. I did as i was instructed and held down the power button until it shut down. I took it into another room that had a chill and left it for nearly 2 hours to cool completely, to the point of being very cold to touch.
I have since rebooted and have had no troubles but its playing on my mind and i would be interested to hear whether anyone thinks i should give Apple a call and explain what's happened? Should i get it seen to?

Any help appreciated.

TattooedMac 02-08-2011 02:04 PM

@ Queeg500 . . . Just keep using it as normal and if it keeps persisting at overheating then yes take it for a car ride to the  store and get the geniuses to have a look at it . . .

Good luck and i know its over a week since you posted but let us know how it went :)


Bigwillee 03-21-2011 05:23 PM

Hey guys. Just wanted to throw in my two cents. I'm not actually a mac user, but my wifes macbook unibody was running pretty hot. While watching hulu, the cpu was running over 105 degrees C. Its a few years old so here are some steps I took to cool it down. BTW, I wouldn't try some of these steps unless you know how to work on computers:

1. Took the back panel off and cleaned out the fan with rubbing alcohol. This brought the temperature down a few degrees.

2. Installed an undervolting software called coolbook. Someone mentioned this earlier in the thread but called it underclocking. It in fact is not underclocking. Underclocking makes your computer slower by forcing your computer to operate at lower clock speeds. Undervolting is simply supplying your CPU with the lowest amount of voltage that it needs to operate. To explain it quickly, different CPU dies come off the intel line with different levels of quality. The lower the quality the more voltage it needs. Intel simply sets all dies to a default voltage equal to what the worst quality die needs. Chances are you don't have the worst quality CPU. So undervolting will benefit you in a few ways, cooling your computer down, saving battery life (up to 15 minutes), and extending the life of your computer/battery overall. This dropped the temperatures another 10 degrees celsius for me.

3. Reapplying thermal paste. I took apart my wifes computer and the thermal paste on the CPU and the GPU were a mess. Thermal paste is supposed to be applied lightly in a thin layer. This is in order to fill any tiny holes on the die and transfer the heat from the CPU and GPU to the heat sink. If it is too thick, which it is, it severely hinders the ability to transfer heat. So I just reapplied a bit of thermal paste on there and it dropped my temperature another 15 degrees celsius.

So after doing all this, my wifes macbook will get up to 80 degrees celsius while watching hulu, then the fan kicks on and gets it down to about 70 degrees. The computer is significantly quieter, and I haven't tested it, but i'm confident that the battery life is a little bit better.

parsifal56 04-24-2011 06:10 PM

Macbook Air 11.6 overheating: An issue after 5 months
Hi, I bought the MBA in november 2010, but it is only the last week that the heat has been excessive. The usage of the machine have been the same all along, so why all of a sudden does the overheating happen? And do you guys trust the smcFanControl? And the Mackeeper? What should I do, try to turn it on to get a new one? What is the reason for the overheating (all of a sudden)? Thanks!

MacBook Air 11.6 - 2GB/128GB
iPhone 3GS

TattooedMac 04-24-2011 06:50 PM


Originally Posted by parsifal56 (Post 1224338)
Hi, I bought the MBA in november 2010, but it is only the last week that the heat has been excessive. The usage of the machine have been the same all along, so why all of a sudden does the overheating happen? And do you guys trust the smcFanControl? And the Mackeeper? What should I do, try to turn it on to get a new one? What is the reason for the overheating (all of a sudden)? Thanks!

MacBook Air 11.6 - 2GB/128GB
iPhone 3GS

Hi and welcome to the forums.

All of a sudden ?? Have you done a update lately ?? Have you tried to Calibrating your Battery ~ LINK?
Have you zapped PRAM and VRAM ~ LINK??
Need a little more info than just "It has Just Happened".

On smcFanControl if you read my posts on the 1st page i talk about it, but in particular post#7

Originally Posted by TattooedMac (Post 1018713)
I agree to the point that if people are maxing out there machine and the temp does rise up and they know it s from the intensive use, i put smcFanControl there for such people.
Yes if they have no idea why there machine is recording such high temps, then NO it not advisable to use until you can identify the underlying problem.



parsifal56 04-24-2011 07:15 PM

Hi! Thanks for reply. Yes; As stated initially in my post; all of a sudden - the last week/few days. And yes; I have participated in the last IOS-update the last week, so maybe that is the reason! Good point... But why would an update cause increase in heating; I would think that an update creates improvements, not the opposite.... Hmmm... So maybe the only thing I can do is wait for next IOS-update and assume that that one will bring temperature at normal usage back to normal?

TattooedMac 04-24-2011 07:28 PM

Now im confused, why would you do a IOS update for the MBA ?? If anything the update should be the latest SL Update being SnowLeopard 10.6.7 Combo Update.
If this is what you mean i would dl the combo update from the link i provided and install it again. Restart the MBA and see if it still overheats.
If its not what you meant, please explain further bc im confused as to why you would have the IOS update on your MBA


EDIT : Updates do go wrong. I had to do a complete reinstall of my OS bc when i **STUPIDLY** updated while helping work on a project in Motion4, the 10.6.7 update had a Font problem and it caused untold problems for me and certain Word users. I backed up reinstalled using my install DVD and then updated to 10.6.6. Ill wait and see if 10.6.8 has fixed the problem before i update again.

parsifal56 04-25-2011 05:13 AM

Hi again! I live in Norway so there is a time difference, it is now 11 a.m. here. Sorry, I am fairly new at this, of course I have NOT done an IOS-update on the Mac, I mistook with with the recent updates last week for both the iPhone AND iTunes. Not the MBA. So - what do you suggest I do? The heating issue is as I mentioned only one week old, with no change in how I use the Mac in the meantime. Thanks.

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