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Why Your MacBook Pro Is Overheating and How To Fix It

Dec 23, 2017 8:23:00 PM / by BaseQi

Why Your MacBook Pro Is Overheating and How To Fix It

During use, your MacBook Pro experiences a slight rise in internal temperature which is perfectly normal. Sometimes, though, it can get warm enough that you can actually feel it in your fingertips as you type. If the temperature makes you feel uncomfortable as you work, then you MacBook Pro is probably overheating.

There are several reasons why this could happen, and this article will explain how to fix them.

  • Viruses and malware

MacBooks have ample security measures in place, but they are by no means flawless. Viruses and malware can still get through your system and slow it down, thereby causing overheating.

The good news is that with the right app, viruses and malware are easy to find and get rid of. There are a ton of high-quality antivirus programs available for your MacBook. Avast Security, Bitdefender Antivirus, and Norton AntiVirus are some examples.

  • Extensive gaming

Graphics-heavy video games use up a lot of system resources (% CPU), and playing them for an extended period of time can take a toll on your MacBook Pro. If while playing you feel your MacBook getting too hot, stop playing immediately and turn off the device. Place it near a fan or air conditioner to let it cool for one or two hours.

  • Background apps

Having unnecessary apps running in the background can drain your system resources and lead to overheating. To get a definitive idea of what apps your MacBook is currently running and their corresponding usage in terms of % CPU, follow these instructions.

  1. Go to Applications.

  2. Click on Utilities and then select Activity Monitor.

  3. Sort the apps by the percentage of CPU they’re using by clicking on % CPU.

Close any unnecessary resource-consuming apps by double clicking on them and selecting “Quit”. Once the temperature of your MacBook Pro stabilises, you can run apps you need for work.

  • Numerous open tabs

Your MacBook Pro is excellent at multitasking, but it can only take so much. When you open too many tabs or run too many programs, your machine struggles to allocate system resources to run them simultaneously. This adds to the MacBook Pro’s workload that triggers a significant increase in temperature.

You don’t have to keep multiple tabs open all at once. You just need to prioritize by order of importance. Finish one task, save it, close the tabs or apps related to it, then move on to the next. In doing so, you prevent overheating and become more efficient at the same time.

  • Issue with System Management Controller (SMC)

The SMC is a part of your MacBook that is responsible for a variety of functions such as thermal management and cooling. However, certain hardware issues can cause the SMC to go haywire and overheat your MacBook. These issues include:

In such cases, the SMC should be reset. Don’t worry—it only takes a minute or two. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Shut down your MacBook Pro.

  2. Put your MacBook Pro in charge mode by plugging in the power adapter.

  3. Press the power button and hold Shift + Control + Option on your keyboard at the same time.

  4. Release once your MacBook is turned on.

Once your SMC is rebooted, your overheating problem should be solved along with any other hardware issues.

  • Soft, uneven surfaces

Plenty of people like putting their MacBooks on top of a pillow so they can use it in the comfort of their beds. This is a bad idea. The vents of a MacBook Pro are located under the device, and pillows can sometimes block them, preventing cool air from getting into the MacBook. Not only does this cause overheating, it might burn your pillows as well.

The solution to this is simple. When using your MacBook, place it on a hard, stable surface like a wooden desk. If you want to use it while in bed, you can buy a laptop stand. You can choose from plenty of variants on Amazon and Apple’s online stores.

In addition, avoid setting the MacBook Pro on your lap while you use it. You don’t want to burn your skin in the event that your MacBook Pro has a sudden increase in temperature.


The next time your MacBook Pro overheats, try out any of the aforementioned tips. Your problem will be solved in no time.


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Written by BaseQi

Our company officially started in 2013. Since then, we have fans purchasing our products from all over the world. Our mission is to invent stylish accessories and gadgets for fans around the world.

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