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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

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


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TattooedMac

 
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We have been getting a lot of people coming into the forum asking about or more worrying that there MacBook or MacBook Pro running to hot.
Before I get into it the 1st thing is, if your portable gets to the stage of shutting down, because of the inbuilt failsafe Apple has implemented, you need to take it into the geniuses and get it looked at. This is paramount.


There are certain factors that can contribute to your Mac heating up and unless this shuts it down, this isn’t abnormal. You might be running Applications that are CPU intensive, which in turn will have your Mac running hard, and if you are doing this for a prolonged period of time, this will have it running hot, and to you it may feel OVER HOT, but to the computer this is within its operating temperatures.
Another circumstance is if you are watching movies, YouTube or you have gone to a flash site. It still is perfectly normal for it to have the temperature rise.

Apples specs say for the INTERNAL operating temperature is 30° to 90° C (about 86° to 194°F), but don’t take this as gospel, as every machine will be slightly different.
If you have your Mac sitting on cloth, wood, magazines or your lap this will also help in having a rise in temperature. You need to sit it where it has good ventilation and on a surface that will dissipate the heat generated by your use. Slate is a good example.
If your Mac is getting on a bit, over time this could have dust and particles get into the internals and may be part of the problem. You can overcome this by getting a compressed can of air and giving it a good blow job, by blowing out all that has built up over the years. On this though you need to be diligent and with care, being extra careful not to give it a full on blast and having the chance of damaging other parts inside the computer. Just remember this isn’t a HAVE TO DO IT, it is just a option, and I have heard of members doing this.

If you are one for doing a lot of intensive computing and want to have it as cool as you want, there is a Application out there called smcFanControl that some use to over ride the default fan settings. You can use this knowing the high temperatures are caused buy you and the things you are doing. There are other Applications out there but this seems to be the one that people prefer.
smcFanControl

Another good Application that a lot of members use to monitor everything from CPU Usage and temperatures for Airport Card, Battery, CPU, The Enclosure, Heatsink A and B, Memory Bank, Hard Drive and the Northbridge and that is iStat Menus. This Application can be configured to show you what you want and it sits in the menu bar. Very useful Application but as anything don’t solely rely on this as the be all and end all of your temperature monitoring.
iStat Menus

At the end of the day, if your Mac doesnt shut down due to the heat generated, you should be a happy camper. This thread is to inform people of that, and also for those that dont like there Mac to get to high and thoughts on things you can do to get the temperature down to a level you are happy with.

This is written as a guide to help those that think it is running hot. If any other member has anything to add to this, please feel free to add your problem/experience and also the cure you found.

IF IT DOESNT SHUT DOWN YOU ARE FINE

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bargsbeer

 
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Great Post! Hopefully one of the mods can make this a sticky.
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TattooedMac

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bargsbeer View Post
Great Post! Hopefully one of the mods can make this a sticky.
Thanks bargs ... Is what i was hoping as confiding in other members, there is too many of these threads started by people worried that they are going to ruin there Mac BC they believe the temps are too high. At least other members can link people in the future to this thread, instead of repeating themselves 5 times a day ...
+1 for a sticky
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technologist

 
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I don't agree with recommending smcFanControl as a matter of course. If your Mac is really overheating, using smcFanControl is like putting more oil in a car that's burning oil--it's a stopgap that does not really fix the problem, and may do more damage over the long run.

If your Mac is overheating, it will crash or shut down. If that happens, then it should be repaired by Apple. If it is under warranty (including AppleCare) this will be covered.

If your Mac is not crashing or shutting down, it is not overheating and you should not mess with the default settings. Make sure it has adequate ventilation and that it is only used within the temperature rang specified in the manual.

Using smcFanControl may mitigate a deeper underlying problem, but it will put additional wear on your fans. And it may void your warranty if Apple discovers that you have overridden the defaults, even if you try to make it "safer." You use it at your own risk.
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6string

 
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Nice one TattooedMac!
+1 for the sticky.

Now for my 2cents
.....A couple of notes to add other than typos

The climate (room temperature, humidity, airflow, etc) will effect the operating temp as well.

When I lived down south, and woke my Mac out of sleep in the mornings, it used to sit on 30-35˚C, and since I moved up north to a warmer climate, it now wakes out of sleep on 44-55˚C (and yes, all the operating temps are accordingly higher).
Also, the built in Fail Safe that will shut down your machine when it reaches a certain temp, is dependent on the machine and it's specs, so although the figure may be around 204ºF (95c), it is just an approximate figure.
PPC, intel CD, intel C2D, Logic board components, etc, are all factors that will determine what the Fail Safe temps are set to for the individual machine.
In my Santa Rosa (late 07) 2.2GHz C2D MB, the shut down temp is higher, but I am yet to see how much higher, as I have only had it go up to 208.4˚F (98˚C) without shutting down.
In saying this, it is also dependent on how long it sits on a high temp before it will cause damage, and therefor how long before it shuts down.

End of the day, if your Mac is not shutting down, then there is no need for concern!

I think that the worst thing that we can do is to install SMC or any similar app if we are constantly going to be looking at the temp and fan speed and getting nervous every time the temp increases or the fan starts spinning fast.

I have it installed to see how hot things are getting when I am on Skype video calls (CPU SUCKER), so I know to increase the fan speed once things get hot unless I intend to end the Skype call shortly.
Otherwise, I run it with the fan at the minimum 1700rpm (default), allowing the MB to function as it normally would.
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Quote:
If your Mac is overheating, it will crash or shut down. If that happens, then it should be repaired by Apple. If it is under warranty (including AppleCare) this will be covered.
I kinda agree, but you have guys like me, who use this computer for 10 hours straight, using very demanding software like AI, PS, FW, DW, FL and SB all at the same time, and this little app is nice to PREVENT a meltdown before it happens. It also helps to be able to put it back on default so the computer can control itself. But overriding for a short time is very helpful. =)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by technologist View Post
I don't agree with recommending smcFanControl as a matter of course. If your Mac is really overheating, using smcFanControl is like putting more oil in a car that's burning oil--it's a stopgap that does not really fix the problem, and may do more damage over the long run.
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.

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chas_m

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TattooedMac View Post
There are many factors that can contribute to overheating in your portable Mac.
I'm sorry, but I have to stop you there.

Overheating ≠ getting hot. It is perfectly normal for a Mac -- particularly a Mac laptop -- to get hot during periods of intense CPU or disc activity. As I've said numerous times in this forum, this is *not abnormal* and *does not require any user intervention.* Believe it or not, Apple engineers are aware that you may sometimes be doing CPU-intensive things for a prolonged period, and designed a cooling system to deal with it.

When a Mac is running hot, the fans kick in. It will still feel very warm to you, the user -- because you are a human being with considerably greater sensitivity to heat than a machine has. But that does not mean the machine is not running *perfectly normally.*

It's easy to tell when a Mac *actually* overheats, because it shuts itself off if that happens. If your Mac hasn't shut itself off, then it hasn't overheated. Simple as that, really.

Quote:
According to Apple the best operating Temperature for your portable is Operating temperature: 50° to 95° F (10° to 35° C) .
Now this part is deliberately (IMO) confusing to readers. You are quoting Apple's recommendations for the EXTERNAL temperature of the ENVIRONMENT you operate your Mac in, NOT the internal temperature of the machine (which is ALWAYS far hotter). This misinformation has the potential to *panic* uninformed readers, and really should be clarified.

Normal INTERNAL cpu temperature for a Mac laptop should run 30° to 90° C (about 86° to 194°F) depending on various factors, and as you say every machine is slightly different.

Quote:
The other problem that might be causing it is the age of you Mac. Your fans going full on say for 3 years will over time suck dust and particles into the body of your Mac. This in turn will cause clogging and you need to clean it out.
Get a can of compressed air and give it a good blow job
I'm not even going to touch this one.

Okay, yes I will: when using compressed air on a computer, one should ALWAYS repeat ALWAYS be very sparing with the air. One or two QUICK blasts at the vents should be MORE than enough. Don't go nuts, it won't help and could actually do some damage in some situations. Moving that blockage of cat hair from the vent cover to the CPU may help temporarily, but won't actually make things better.

Quote:
The BOTTOM LINE is Apple have a built in Fail Safe that will shut down your machine when it reaches a certain temp. And that I believe is 204ºF (95c).
There are options you have to counter this temperature rise. You can dl a App that will give you control over your fans, where you can up them to bring down the temp or leave them at the full 6000 rpm and let them do what they need to do.
With respect, this is (broadly speaking) very bad advice.

If their Mac is overheating (ie reaching the shutoff stage) and the aforementioned compressed-air didn't help, using SMCFanControl (et al) will only make things WORSE, since the real problem isn't being addressed, and that problem is that either the fans are malfunctioning or are blocked.

Users experiencing heat-related shutoff should IMMEDIATELY take the machine in for servicing. It's irresponsible to suggest that such a severe problem can be "solved" by blowing more wind around.

SMCFanControl (et al) have their place for users who wish to tax the CPU for exceptionally long periods, but in the case of genuine overheating can't be considered anything more than a very bad "band-aid" for a serious problem that, if left unfixed, will destroy the computer.

Sorry if I seem harsh, but this is people's multi-thousand $ investment we are talking about. It's important to make the facts *accurate* and *clear* because not doing so can result in disaster.
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6string

 
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With all due respect chas_m, I think you chopped it up alot, and quoted and responded very broadly, without taking the whole as a whole.
Firstly I will add the end of that post which was "If any other member has anything to add to this, please feel free to add your problem/experience and also the cure you found" and then follow it up with the unedited version of the post!
You certainly have many valid points, but also editing the information the way you have has taken things out of context.


Quote:
So I will just summarise and give you a over view and some suggestions on this topic.
There are many factors that can contribute to overheating in your portable Mac. One could be CPU usage. If you have a lot of CPU intensive Apps running this will increase the core temp of your Mac. If you are watching Flash, YouTube or the such this will also contribute to the operating temp to rise that you think might be worrying.
Another problem and this seems to be one thing that people overlook. Having the right surface to rest your portable on whilst you are working. If you have it on ANY natural product that isn’t a good conductor of heat. ie : cloth of any sort (even table cloths), wood, sitting it on your lap or having you portable surrounded by stuff, will all help those little fans to go and go and you will see the temp rising.
You need to give it the best chance to dissipate the heat where ever you can.
Quote:
According to Apple the best operating Temperature for your portable is Operating temperature: 50° to 95° F (10° to 35° C) .
Now don’t take this as gospel as every machine is different. They give this as a guide only. As it is my MB while writing this is at 59c and that doesn’t worry me.
The other problem that might be causing it is the age of you Mac. Your fans going full on say for 3 years will over time suck dust and particles into the body of your Mac. This in turn will cause clogging and you need to clean it out.
Get a can of compressed air and give it a good blow job and clean all the gunk out of it. You will be surprised at how much you will blow out of it and how much cooler your portable will run.
The BOTTOM LINE is Apple have a built in Fail Safe that will shut down your machine when it reaches a certain temp. And that I believe is 204ºF (95c).
Quote:
There are options you have to counter this temperature rise. You can dl a App that will give you control over your fans, where you can up them to bring down the temp or leave them at the full 6000 rpm and let them do what they need to do.
The one that is favored by most is smcFanControl
smcFanControl
You could also get a handy App that sits in your menu bar where you can keep a eye on ALL the hardware that makes up your portable. It is customisable, which means you can watch what ever temps you wish too.
iStatMenus. This one is for Leopar and Snow Leopard only.
This is written as a guide to help you weed out any problems as to why you have a portable running so hot. If any other member has anything to add to this, please feel free to add your problem/experience and also the cure you found.
Looks different now, doesn't it?
If you really like you can follow it up with my post.
Quote:
The climate (room temperature, humidity, airflow, etc) will effect the operating temp as well.

When I lived down south, and woke my Mac out of sleep in the mornings, it used to sit on 30-35˚C, and since I moved up north to a warmer climate, it now wakes out of sleep on 44-55˚C (and yes, all the operating temps are accordingly higher).
Also, the built in Fail Safe that will shut down your machine when it reaches a certain temp, is dependent on the machine and it's specs, so although the figure may be around 204ºF (95c), it is just an approximate figure.
PPC, intel CD, intel C2D, Logic board components, etc, are all factors that will determine what the Fail Safe temps are set to for the individual machine.
In my Santa Rosa (late 07) 2.2GHz 2CD MB, the shut down temp is higher, but I am yet to see how much higher, as I have only had it go up to 208.4˚F (98˚C) without shutting down.
In saying this, it is also dependent on how long it sits on a high temp before it will cause damage, and therefor how long before it shuts down.

End of the day, if your Mac is not shutting down, then there is no need for concern!

I think that the worst thing that we can do is to install SMC or any similar app if we are constantly going to be looking at the temp and fan speed and getting nervous every time the temp increases or the fan starts spinning fast.

I have it installed to see how hot things are getting when I am on Skype video calls (CPU SUCKER), so I know to increase the fan speed once things get hot unless I intend to end the Skype call shortly.
Otherwise, I run it with the fan at the minimum 1700rpm (default), allowing the MB to function as it normally would.
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Everything i had posted above at some time i have given the same advice to a point to people looking for answers. I dont in any way say DO THIS THIS IS THE WAY TO DO IT. I have just written what i have seen others over time say. ... and the people they have given the advice to have come back and sid "Why thank you "

This is what i was hoping for, is others to give there input. This is a place for those SCARED there Mac is over heating .....
To see what others have to say.
Thanks for your input and i hope people take everyones opinions on board. I just got sick of repeating my self so i took it by the horns to write something about it, and with your input it seems to be working ..
And i agree if it shuts off due to temp take it to the geniuses, thats a no brainer.

What i have covered in my 1st post has helped 99.9% of people experiencing heating problems, just because they where sure of what temp it should run at.
I have now inputted the correct Operating Temps ... Thanks for that ...

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I again apologise for coming off too harsh.

I was contributing the information I did as the basis of a "rewrite" of what you put in, because (IMO) the way you put things in your first draft was confusing and in some cases inaccurate.

Its a great idea to want to collect the information to form a sticky, but the sticky can't be a rambling and confusing essay, it needs to be a polished and concise summary of the facts so that people looking for help can quickly and easily understand what is and isn't normal, what is and isn't a good thing to do, and what to do if they actually have a serious problem.
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6string

 
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That's better guys..... now we're back on track!
Feel free to collaborate and get that concise sticky together
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
I again apologise for coming off too harsh.

I was contributing the information I did as the basis of a "rewrite" of what you put in, because (IMO) the way you put things in your first draft was confusing and in some cases inaccurate.

Its a great idea to want to collect the information to form a sticky, but the sticky can't be a rambling and confusing essay, it needs to be a polished and concise summary of the facts so that people looking for help can quickly and easily understand what is and isn't normal, what is and isn't a good thing to do, and what to do if they actually have a serious problem.
Yea i understand and take it all on board. Im just a truckie and not a academic but did well at school in all things, but always found it hard to do the essay side of things. Beginning, middle and end doesnt mean a great deal to me lol
Im not dumb or stupid but when it comes to grammar im in the high end of the lowest.
We will get there in the end .....

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Quote:
Get a can of compressed air and give it a good blow job and clean all the gunk out of it.
Maybe I'm a 13 year old at heart, but this made me crack up.
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Much improved, TM!
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