MacBooks are known to deliver sterling performance thanks to the perfect hardware and software integration. No fear of viruses, malware and spyware and durability among other things are just a few other reasons for the growing popularity of the Apple product.
However, this does not mean that your MacBook is unsusceptible to common issues that computer users experience. In this guide, we will explore various ways to identify and fix overheating problems in Mac computers.
How to Identify MacBook Overheating Issue
Table Of Contents
- 1 How to Identify MacBook Overheating Issue
- 2 Solution 1: Managing Possible Causes of Overheating in Mac
- 3 Solution 2: Restart Your MacBook
- 4 Solution 3: Fixing MacBook Charger Issues
- 5 Solution 4: Managing Mac’s Activities with Activity Monitor
- 6 Solution 5: Check and Modify the Battery Preferences
- 7 Solution 6: Update Your MacOS
- 8 Solution 7: User Practices to Prevent or Stop Overheating in Mac
- 9 Summary
Naturally, like most electronic devices, your Mac will become warm when in normal use especially if it has been running for several hours.
This is normal and should not raise any alarm but if you realize the MacBook has become too hot, something could be wrong. Overheating in a MacBook could result in other issues including data loss or permanent damage to the machine so it is important to troubleshoot and resolve the problem before it is too late.
Other symptoms of overheating in Mac include:
- Fan making too much noise and running faster than normal
- Automatic and random shutdown
- Computer runs slow
- Screen freezing and apps hanging
Fortunately, there are several practical solutions to resolve Mac overheating problems irrespective of the cause or related symptoms.
Solution 1: Managing Possible Causes of Overheating in Mac
In some situations, the overheating problem may not be related to the hardware or software malfunctioning but just the way you use the device.
Ensure that the Mac ventilations, located at the back of the screen hinges in most models, is free from any blockages, dust or debris.
Avoid using your Mac on soft surfaces such as a bed or any other cushy surface where the ventilation could be blocked.
Solution 2: Restart Your MacBook
Like with any other gadget, when anything is not working correctly, restarting your Mac can fix many issues including overheating.
Click the Apple logo to expand the menu and towards the bottom of the options, select “Restart”. The device will shut down and then power on automatically.
Another option is to select “Shutdown” and once the machine turns off, press the power button to turn it on.
In case of a frozen or unresponsive screen, press and hold the ‘Control-Command-Power’ button on the keyboard to force the Mac to restart.
Solution 3: Fixing MacBook Charger Issues
When your MacBook overheats, the problem could be the charger and not the machine itself.
If the device is connected to the charger, disconnect and shut down the machine.
Give it a few minutes to cool down before restarting and try running it when not charging. If the overheating stops then the charger could be faulty.
First ensure that you are using an original charger and cable to charge your machine, preferably the one you bought with the MacBook.
Examine the charger for physical damage and if need be, replace the charger with the recommended options for your specific model.
Solution 4: Managing Mac’s Activities with Activity Monitor
Activity Monitor is A macOS utility that shows all the processes running on the machine and their impact on performance. From here you can find the demanding apps that could be the cause of overheating on your Mac.
Go to “Finder” by clicking the blue and grey face icon.
On the left-sidebar navigation menu, select “Applications” and on the middle pane, click “Utilities”.
Click the “Activity Monitor” at the top of the resulting menu options to open the utility.
Alternatively, click the Activity monitor on the desktop to launch the utility.
Navigate to “View > All Processes” and click the “CPU” tab. This will sort the active apps and processes and you can easily find the app demanding most of the CPU resources.
Double click the app and on the resulting prompt, click the blue “Quit” button. If the app or process does not respond, use the “Force Quit” button.
Another way to close an app or a process is to select the app then go to "View" and click "Force Quit"
You can close as many runaway apps that you suspect to be causing the MacBook to overheat.
Solution 5: Check and Modify the Battery Preferences
Your Mac could be overheating due to some features draining the battery power and modifying the Energy Saver settings can prevent the overheating problem on your Mac.
Navigate to “Apple Menu > System Preferences” and select “Battery Saver”, the light bulb icon.
Go to the battery tab and click to uncheck the box for “Automatic graphics switching” to save power when running on battery.
You can also modify other options to optimize energy saving. For instance, you may slide the display off time slide to turn off the screen after a few minutes when idle.
Solution 6: Update Your MacOS
The overheating problem could result from OS related issues and these can be corrected by updating the Mac software.
Go to the “Apple Menu” and click “About this Mac” to check whether the software is up to date.
If there are any available updates, you find them listed on the Software update window. Click the “Update Now” button to start updating the system.
It may take a few to several minutes to completely update the software. You can check the green bar to see the progress.
It is also advisable to check the box at the bottom of the update window to allow the system to update automatically whenever updates are available.
Once the system is up to date, you will find the message “Your Mac is up to date” displayed on the software update window.
Solution 7: User Practices to Prevent or Stop Overheating in Mac
Some practices can increase the load for the CPU thus resulting in overheating problems. Below are a few practices that can help to prevent or stop the problem:
- Avoid opening too many apps at once as this will overwhelm the CPU as well as drain your battery faster than normal causing your device to overheat.
- If you are browsing, try to maintain the minimum number of tabs as possible. Once you are done with a web page, it is advisable to close it or open the next link on the same tab.
- Avoid running graphic intensive apps such as video games that could overwork your machine and cause overheating.
- It may also help to disable the flash plugin in browser settings.
Overheating is a common issue among Mac users and could result from several reasons. The best way to fix the issue is to identify the root cause and resolve the problem from the source to avoid recurrence.
We hope the above solutions will help you fix your overheating MacBook. If the problem persists, it would be a good idea to take the device to an Apple store for repair and servicing.