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5 Ways to keep your Mac laptop from overheating

Posted: January 13, 2016
Written by: Saints At Play
Category: Apple

Mac laptops are generally quite reliable but, like any equipment, they can develop faults and, if not properly maintained, are likely to become prone to frequent problems later on.

One of those problems may involve overheating.

Here are 5 steps you can take to minimise and reduce overheating on your Mac laptop...

1. Cleaning the air vents and fans

It's amazing how much dust and debris can accumulate inside and around the air vents on your Mac laptop without you being aware of this. One way to determine if this might be the case is to listen to how often the fans on the machine are being activated and how much noise they generate.

On a regular basis, say every 3 months or so, use a small can of compressed air to remove any built-up dust from the fans and vents thus allowing air to circulate more freely keeping the machine temperature at a cooler level.

2. Maintaining a healthy hardware environment

Run regular diagnostic checks to determine whether there are any problems with hardware components inside your Mac laptop. The best way to accomplish this is through using Apple Diagnostic if your Mac was purchased after June 2013 or, if purchased before this date, the Apple Hardware Test instead.

Additionally you can also look into resetting the System Management Controller as this might help with reducing excessive heat output.

3. Managing system processes

Open the Activity Monitor (located in Applications/Utilities) to determine whether there may be resource intensive processes causing your laptop to generate excessive amounts of heat. One scenario where this may occur (and, from personal experience, we can confirm this was a definite - not to mention, expensive, reality for ourselves) is with the Spotlight application consuming massive amounts of cpu cycles.

See our previous blog entry for how we resolved this.

4. Using a cooling plate or similar measure

You may have exhaused all of the above options and still find your laptop generating absurd amounts of heat. If so, you might want to consider investing in a desktop and/or portable cooling solution such as the Targus cooling plate or a portable cooling pad.

5. Installing temperature management software

Our personal favourite, combined with all of the above, is to use Temperature Gauge Pro - a fantastic application that allows you to adjust the speed of the fans on your Mac laptop - helping to keep the machine cool and reduce heat levels from rising any higher than they truly need to.

Unfortunately as machines get older, and software more resource hungry, it does get harder to ensure that your laptop runs smoothly and efficiently without developing issues along the way. Hopefully the above points will help you keep your Mac running at a cool temperature and allow you to eke out more years of performance and productivity.

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