How To Cool Down an Overheating Mac

Sometimes your computer just gets upset and starts to heat up on you and I mean really heat up. When you run multiple programs your using a lot of cpu, big programs like After Effect and Flash can really heat things up quickly. Maybe your game has hardcore graphics and your video card is running to the max or it could just be that the environment around you is just to warm for your MacBook.

Overheating can cause lagging, hanging and slow your computer down but don’t worry about your Mac exploding because when it hits a certain temperature it will shut down thanks to THERMTRIP built into the Intel chip. Nonetheless overheating is bad and needs to be reduced by any means necessary so here are some tips to cool down your Mac.

Programs: SMC Fan Control, iStat Pro


The MacBook Pro has a great design through and through looking sleek and professional but this is not entirely a good thing. There are really no vents for the access heat to exit from within the MacBook Pro like with many other PC based laptops. Grab a laptop stand to add more ventilation so your MacBook can breathe, preferably one with an arch.


Almost everyone will suggest that you simply get a computer fan to cool everything down. This can work in some cases but for the extreme it just won’t cut it. A great alternative to the fan, and in my own experience works better, is a piece of ceramic tile to stick beneath your computer instead of a fan. The ceramic tile will absorb any heat that your Mac will produce opposed to the fan.

Monitor Heat 

Keep an eye on the temperature that is being produced with a useful widget by iSlayer called the iStat Pro. This will help you determine exactly how bad your MacBook is overheating.

Fan Control

The default settings for your cooling system is effective, however sometimes things just need to be regulated by the user. Hendrik Holtmann has decided that its time to take more control of your Macs systems by creating smcFanControl. This program will allow you to set the speed of your internal fans. So when your using a program you know will work out your graphics card or your going to do some serious multitasking you can set your fan speed up high to keep things cool before they start getting hot.

There are many other ways to keep your MacBook nice and cool but these are some methods that you may want to try when all else fails. The smcFanControl is not ideal for me because I am hesitant about messing with the default settings of such important components but I have tried it and the program works very well.

Before you go

After spending over 20 years working with Macs, both old and new, theres a tool I think would be useful to every Mac owner who is experiencing performance issues.

CleanMyMac is highest rated all-round cleaning app for the Mac, it can quickly diagnose and solve a whole plethora of common (but sometimes tedious to fix) issues at the click of a button. It also just happens to resolve many of the issues covered in the speed up section of this site, so Download CleanMyMac to get your Mac back up to speed today.


About the author


I've been a passionate evangelist for Apple and the Macintosh throughout my working life, my first love was a Quadra 605 working with a small creative agency in the south of Norfolk UK in the mid 1990's, I later progressed to other roles in other Macintosh dominated industries, first as a Senior graphic designer at a small printing company and then a production manager at Guardian Media Group. As the publishing and printing sector wained I moved into Internet Marketing and in 2006 co-founded blurtit.com which grew to become one the top 200 visited sites in the US (according to Quantcast), at its peak receiving over 15 million visits per month. For the last ten years I have worked as an Affiliate and Consultant to many different business and start ups, my key skill set being online marketing, on page monetisation, landing page optimisation and traffic generation, if you would like to hire me or discuss your current project please reach out to me here.

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