Why MacBook Pro Overheating? Fix It Quickly

You are using your MacBook or any other laptop and slowly realize the rising of temperature or slow performance. So, why does that happen? And how can we avoid these situations?

There can be numerous reasons why your MacBook or MacBook Pro is overheating. Not only MacBook, but iMac or Mac users can also experience overheating; let’s look at what causes overheating.  

  • All the air vents on your MacBook is covered either by dust or something else.
  • You have opened numerous browser (Google Chrome) tabs at once.
  • Different applications are running in the background that you don’t know.
  • SMC (System Management Controller) needs a quick reset.
  • It is unlikely yet possible that your MacBooks parts are damaged.
  • Maybe your macOS is outdated.

Like these you will find numbers of other reasons with their solution here. Stick with me till the end to fix your overheating system without paying a single penny. Nor you will need to install premium third-party applications, all the methods are free.

Overheating can cause?

If your MacBook or MacBook Pro is overheating for a long time then you might experience these issues in near future:

  • While working, you will experience an unpleasant system. The system will be slow and un responsive.
  • Physically the system can’t be touched due to high temperature.
  • Battery lifespan of your system will drop drastically.
  • Soon or later, you will find your MacBook parts damaged. Hardware as RAM, Storage or fans are the possible parts. In rare cases, the entire motherboard will be burned.

Quick solution for overheating

Check for any application running in the background, close them all. If not then change the position of your MacBook. Even now if you are system is overheating then you will shutdown it for a while. Then start your system and check again. If you are still having the issue then you are recommended to apply the methods given below.  

How To Prevent MacBook or MacBook Pro From Overheating?

macbook pro overheating
macbook pro overheating

While some will find the problem fixed (using the tips above), majority will experience the issue persistent. So, here we will use these simple methods to fix them all.

1- Check for covered Vents

MacBook Pro air vents

Maybe you have placed your MacBook on a surface like couch or similar; now all the fans at the bottom are blocked. This will cause the fans to work harder with low air to ventilation.

Instead of couch, you should place your MacBook on a table. Make sure that table is clean with smooth and consistent surface.

If any type of cloth is covering the vents then remove the cloth.

2- Service your MacBook or MacBook Pro

If your vents are not blocked by cloth, check for dust. Users who are using their system for a long time, their system will slow get dust and other particles inside.

clean macbook
clean macbook

You will need to clean it entirely. Here I don’t mean to clean the screen or using brush on keyboards.

Open up your MacBook and remove all the dirt. Check the vents and then put it back together.

NOTE: if you have not done this before, then you are recommended to use help from professionals. This way, you will avoid any kind of physical damage.

3- Check for damaged parts

There is an unlikely but possibly situation where your system is damaged. Like me, if you are clumsy then dropping it is quite often. Little problems, like your charger not working unless it’s in just the right spot, dead pixels on the display, stuck keys, and crackling speakers aren’t necessarily signs that your system needs attention.

Maybe you have dropped it and damaged the internals, or something similar… Even though the system start, still there can be minor damage.

These damaged parts cants be noticed at single sight; you will need to check it carefully. And if found then you will replace it.

It might be difficult, as your system works for now but you will experience different issues in the future. So, you are recommended to check it now instead of future.

4- macOS is outdated

Apple is releasing new macOS each year. And it is getting harder and harder for old system to keep up. If you are using an old system then you will likely experience poor performance, applications lagging and even overheating.

software update - upgrade now
software update – upgrade now

Check if your system is compatible with new version of macOS. To check, go to System Preferences, and click Software Updates. If an update is available, click Update Now and your MacBook will take care of the rest.

If there is the possibility then you will upgrade it else, you will only update. If there is no update then you will need to reinstall your macOS.

Reinstalling will remove all your applications and personalized settings. However; this is a temporary solution, and in long run, you will need to buy a new MacBook or MacBook Pro.

5- Close Applications running in the background

Maybe your systems applications are outdated. Make sure, all of your applications are updated. However; it is rare to experience overheating due to outdated applications. Instead, you should check for application running in the background.

There is the possibility of running many applications in the background. By disabling/stopping them, you can not only improve the performance but will also fix the overheating. For this you will use Activity Monitor.

  • Open Finder on your Mac, then click Applications in the sidebar.
  • Select Utilities folder and then double click on Activity Monitor.
  • Click on the application consuming CPU, RAM, GPU or application that don’t needs to be used right now.
  • Double click on the application and click on Quit in popup. Confirm your selection and the application is now stopped.

Here you might find your browser using too much resources. That can be due to opening numerous tabs at once. Close them and you will find much improved performance.

You are also recommended to check graphics too. Two graphics cards (GPUs) are present in MacBook Pro models, with one being more potent and resource-demanding than the other.

Although the separate GPU is better for video rendering and gaming, it consumes more energy, depletes your battery more quickly, and could cause overheating. Instead of using the overpower GPU for basic tasks, we will use the integrated one.

This way we will save a lot of energy and avoid overheating too. So, go to System Preferences > Battery. Now click on Power Adapter or Battery then select the Automatic graphics switching.

Here this option will automatically change the GPU whenever it needs.

6- Check for malware or virus

There is a great possibility that you have malware or virus on your system, if your system is overheating, is slow and applications are not responsive.

Download third party applications and scan for malware. If found, clear your system and restart.  

Also try to delete unnecessary applications or files. Clean all the cache files and restart your system, if you are hibernating it time by time.

7- Reset your SMC

SMC or System Management Controller is used to control chips and other hardware components. By resetting it, you will experience relief; if your SMC is the issue. Here is how you are going to do it:

  • Shut down your Mac device.
  • Press and hold Shift+Option+Control+Power for 10 seconds at least.
  • Power your Mac back up.

And that is it. You have successfully reset your SMC.

8- Change Environment


If you none of the methods above have fixed your issue then it might be your surroundings. Maybe you are placing your MacBook on a hot place. Change the position or even move it to other room.

Placing your system under direct sunlight or near heater can easily cause overheating. Instead, you can use laptop fans.

Related: How to Screen Record on macOS (All Versions)?

How to check fans on MacBook running?

There are different scenarios where you can experience issues with your fans on MacBook. Here are some of them:

  • Noisy or loud fans
  • Not running at all
  • Always running even on shutdown

If your system is running with noisy fans then you will need to clean it up. It is normally due to dust or other particles. However; you ignore the possibility of being damaged.

Loud fan means you are covering the vents. Check for the vents and it is solved.

If your fans are not working at all, then you will experience overheating on MacBook Pro or MacBook within minutes. Check if it is damaged physically or not.

Fans on any system will shutdown after the system is OFF. If your fans are running even after your have shut it down then you will need to check for malware or virus first. Maybe the malware is showing you’re the system is down and it not at all.

Or your fans have connection issue. And with every possible power connection, it starts without any reasons.

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