How to prevent Macbook from overheating

Everyone knows the feeling of touching their laptop after a long work session, just because it feels more like an active volcano than a sophisticated tool. MacBooks can be especially susceptible to this problem, but the good news is that there are ways to prevent this problem before it starts.

Overheating MacBooks can affect performance, make your machine run slower, and can even damage the battery and reduce its overall capacity. Don’t wait until your computer is too hot to touch — take proactive steps to prevent your MacBook from overheating.

How to prevent MacBook from overheating

If your MacBook tends to overheat, make sure you’re not making these common mistakes.

Allow proper ventilation

Everyone has seen press images of someone lying in bed with their MacBook. While it’s certainly relaxing to lie in bed and browse social media, it’s not always the smartest move — especially if fans are blocked.

The underside of the MacBook is exposed

The MacBook line of laptops tends to have only a single cooling fan without as much ventilation as an equivalent Windows laptop. This results in higher temperatures, but without proper ventilation, your laptop can get even hotter. Make sure it is on a flat surface and nothing is obstructing the vents.

Make sure your fans are also active. If it sounds like the fan isn’t spinning or you can’t feel the airflow, the fan may be blocked or the controller may be damaged.

Clean your Mac

Similar to enabling proper ventilation, you want to keep your Mac as clean as possible. When dust and dirt build up on your laptop, it can sometimes block the airflow inside your MacBook and prevent it from cooling properly.

By using the electronic wipes at least once per week, you can remove anything that might interfere with the flow through the machine.

Software updates

macOS updates are annual changes that bring an up-to-date look and feel. Your macOS update is one of the most important modifications you’ll make to your PC and brings with it new features, security patches, and performance optimizations.

Software update screen

An outdated MacBook can be prone to overheating. If Apple technicians discover a glitch in the code that could be causing the problem, an update will be released to fix it. If you don’t make these updates, you leave your system exposed to threats and security holes.

To update your macOS software, open Setting > Software updates. It will automatically check for any available updates and prompt you if there are any.

Check your Mac’s performance

Activity Monitor allows you to see all the programs that are currently active on your machine, as well as those that are using the most resources. If your CPU is overworked, closing the most intensive programs can free up resources.

Mac Activity Monitor

Type Request + Space to open Spotlight, then type Activity Monitor and press Enter. This will open the Activity Monitor and show any programs running in both the foreground and background. Click % CPU at the top to sort by the programs that use the most CPU power.

If there are any programs you don’t recognize, do a little research on them to make sure it’s not a rootkit or malware or some other less interesting app. If it’s not the required app or the one you’re currently using, end the process. The less load you put on the CPU, the less likely your machine will overheat.

Turn off browser tabs

Every browser tab you have open requires a certain amount of your system resources—especially Chrome, a notorious violator for using an absurd amount of power. If possible, avoid Chrome and use more resource-friendly browsers like Safari or Firefox.

Multiple browser tabs

While it might be a meme where people open 20 different browser tabs and leave them open, you shouldn’t. If you have open browser tabs that you no longer need, disable them. Not only will your machine run faster, but it will also help keep your MacBook from overheating.

Use official charger

If you lose your MacBook charger, you may be tempted to invest in a cheaper charger; After all, the official charger costs more than $80. Resist this temptation. Unofficial chargers on the market are not as reliable as official chargers. In addition, they can damage your battery.

MacBook charger

Damage to a laptop battery can cause more than a reduction in battery life. Overheated batteries can sometimes explode and cause serious injury to the user. Use only a trusted charger to make sure you don’t cause damage to your MacBook or yourself.

Replace your battery

If your MacBook battery is too old, it may start to heat up while in use or while charging. If that’s the case, the only real fix is ​​to replace the battery with a newer version. You can find batteries through eBay or on the official Apple website.

Low battery icon

You can use old batteries for a long time; In fact, MacBooks have a built-in battery analyzer. Although you can replace the battery yourself at home, we do not recommend doing so. You’re better off going to an authorized repair shop to handle the fix, especially if your MacBook is under warranty. You can see Apple’s Mac battery replacement prices on their website.

Check for malware

Although uncommon, Mac computers can sometimes become infected with viruses and malware. One of the biggest signs that your system has unwanted hitchhikers is overheating. If your MacBook frequently heats up, look for anti-virus software for your MacBook.

Malware detected on MacBook

Usually, the simplest fix is ​​to remove the offending software to restore your system to a fully working state. Avoid clicking on shady links or visiting potentially dangerous websites so that no malware can get into your computer. Find an antivirus you trust for your Mac and do regular scans.

There are many reasons why your MacBook might overheat. The good news is that most of them are not dangerous. Just be aware that your laptop gets the proper ventilation it needs and may require a little less of your CPU.

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