MacBook Overheating Issue: 10 Easy Fixing Steps
Overheating issues are an all-too-common occurrence in MacBook computers, and they can cause any number of problems that range from minor to disastrous. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to fix MacBook overheating issues on your own if you know where to look, so here’s a simple guide that will show you how to fix overheating issues in 10 easy steps!
Step 1: Call Apple
Apple offers two different methods for dealing with MacBook overheating issues: you can either take your computer into an Apple store and pay a $50 service fee, or you can call Apple directly. There are some MacBook models that require custom parts to be made before any work can be done, so if your model isn’t one of those, it might be worth just going through Apple directly. If it is, you’ll need to make sure it is definitely a heating issue by running Hardware Diagnostics on your Mac.
Step 2: Buy an Air Flow Case
A MacBook overheats when it’s too close to something that gets hot, such as a coffee mug or a comforter. To fix MacBook overheating issues, start by buying an airflow case. Airflow cases are meant to be worn on your lap while using your laptop, which keeps your computer cool by preventing objects from touching it.
If you don’t want something that shows off as much skin, buy an insulating sleeve instead; they look like socks and will keep things cool enough. It might seem trivial at first but if you run into overheating issues with your laptop again after making these adjustments, consider asking someone for help before continuing on your own. You could easily hurt yourself if you try taking apart any part of a computer yourself.
Step 3: Do a Clean Install
To fix MacBook overheating issues, you also need to make sure that there isn’t a problem with the hardware. The easiest way to do that is to do a clean install of your operating system. Your computer might have already come with an operating system, but you might want to update it or switch it up—these tips can help.
Sometimes, your operating system becomes corrupt, slowing down your machine and causing it unnecessary stress—it could be a good idea to reinstall the OS and see if you notice any difference. You can download a copy of macOS or Windows online for free (don’t use pirated software!) and easily transfer files from your old computer using an external hard drive or by using Apple Migration Assistant on iTunes.
Step 4: Update macOS
Apple regularly releases new software updates for its operating systems, such as macOS and iOS. Keeping your devices updated means that they’re equipped with more recent security patches. Unfortunately, not everyone is conscientious about updating their software—and Apple itself has been caught dragging its feet on critical security updates. Whether you’re running macOS High Sierra or macOS Mojave, it’s important to update your software regularly so you can have a smooth computing experience free of bugs and glitches. To check which version of macOS you’re running, open System Preferences > About This Mac. To update your computer, click on App Store from within Finder and then choose Update macOS from there.
Step 5: Check for Dust or Debris
When dealing with an overheating computer, it’s important to know what is causing it. One major cause of MacBook overheating is dust and debris caught inside your fans and vents. If you’ve recently replaced a fan, clogged vent fans are common. Blow air through them periodically—you don’t need special equipment—and gently use a brush or can of compressed air (gently!) on all moving parts if things get really dirty. If you notice that your computer has gotten particularly dusty, open up your laptop and blow it out yourself with a can of compressed air. Be gentle as you do not want to accidentally damage any components with too much force!
Step 6: Reset SMC
If your laptop is running too hot, it could be a sign that your fans aren’t working properly. The first step to eliminating overheating is resetting your SMC (system management controller). If you don’t know how, Google search reset SMC and your device name. A few taps of a keyboard later and most users report that their laptops are cooler than ever. For best results, make sure all of your fans are running before you turn on your machine again. And keep an eye on it—you may want to try an external fan as well if you notice temperatures going up again after a day or two.
Step 7: Check for Software Troubleshooting
Many Macs issues stem from software problems, so it’s important that you first make sure there are no apps or processes causing an issue. To fix a MacBook overheating problem, check to see if the software is causing your computer to overheat by going into Activity Monitor on your computer. If you see an app consistently using a lot of CPU resources or high memory use, you might have found a culprit. You can also search Apple’s support page for answers about overheating: click on Support and then enter overheating as a search term. There may be specific steps Apple recommends taking with your model of MacBook, too.
Step 8: Upgrade RAM
An easy way to fix MacBook overheating issues is by upgrading your RAM. If you need more storage space, it’s a good idea to remove unnecessary files and applications from your computer. Don’t leave any unneeded applications running on your device when you’re not using them. This can help reduce overheating issues and make your device run faster. To find out how much RAM you have, click on the Apple logo at the top left of your screen, followed by About This Mac. In About This Mac > More Info > Memory (tab), select Memory Upgrade to see which options are available for increasing your RAM size and speed.
Step 9: Run Disk Utility and Optimize Disk Space
One other simple way to fix overheating issues is usually cleaning up your hard drive. That said, you might have a hardware issue if you’re trying all of these solutions and they aren’t helping. If your computer is more than five years old, it might be time for an upgrade anyway. If your laptop uses a spinning disk (rather than a solid-state drive), it might benefit from optimization, which improves performance by optimizing files stored on your disk. Additionally, there are numerous third-party apps that can optimize storage and remove unnecessary temporary files.
Step 10: Contact Apple Support Again
When your MacBook overheats and there’s nothing you can do about it, it’s time to contact Apple Support. If they tell you that it’s normal or there’s nothing they can do, remember that computers have a standard operating temperature and if your machine is operating above that then you have a problem. Ask them if they can replace your MacBook because of overheating issues. Sometimes, that works!
Keeping your computer cool is incredibly important. Not only does overheating ruin a computer’s performance, but it also shortens its lifespan. Luckily, there are a few ways you can fix an overheated Mac. So, keep your computer cool and happy with these easy fixes!
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About The Author
Williams Alfred Onen
Williams Alfred Onen is a degree-holding computer science software engineer with a passion for technology and extensive knowledge in the tech field. With a history of providing innovative solutions to complex tech problems, Williams stays ahead of the curve by continuously seeking new knowledge and skills. He shares his insights on technology through his blog and is dedicated to helping others bring their tech visions to life.