Is your Macbook Pro overheating to the point where you can’t even hold it in your lap? The issues go beyond your discomfort—computers operating at higher temperatures won’t last very long, as the components tend to wear out faster than a computer operating at normal temperatures. Keeping your computer at a reasonable temperature is good for both your comfort and your pocketbook.
Thankfully it’s easy to fix issues with an overheating Macbook Pro.
We also recommend that you read this very popular post of ours on how to speed up Macs. Some of these tips can help reduce the load on your system, thus helping you keep your computer’s temperature in check.
A simple setting change in your system preferences
Try out this system tweak to lower your computer’s temperatures:
System Preferences > Energy Saver > Uncheck “Automatic Graphics Switching”
Believe it or not, that is one of the simplest and most effective ways keep your computer’s temperature in check.
This simple settings tweak changes how your computer delegates graphics processing. Your computer will only use its graphics hardware to process your on-screen graphics. This will make sure your computer’s components will only do the work they’re optimized to do, instead of switching between multiple components for higher graphics performance.
This tweak isn’t available on all models of the MacBook Pro, only ones with a discreet graphics card. Try this tweak instead if you can’t turn off automatic graphics switching:
System Preferences > Energy Saver > Graphics > Choose “Better Battery Life”
This setting will lower the your computer’s performance slightly, thus increasing your battery life and decreasing how hot your computer will become. If this still isn’t enough, there are some other things to try outside of software tweaks:
Using laptop cooling fans to reduce your MacBook Pro’s heat
Your MacBook Pro has built-in fans that work to keep your computer at stable temperatures. The fans do their best, but the computer will start to suffer if temperatures reach higher than 75 C, something that can happen when using taxing graphic processing software like Final Cut Pro, Adobe Photoshop, or Blender 3D modeling. This is especially true in the case of the MacBook Pro with retina display as the high-resolution display is very taxing on the computer’s hardware.
This is where external fans can be a godsend, keeping your CPU and other critical components at a stable operating temperature.
Understand that most of these fans work off of USB power from your MacBook Pro. In other words, using these fans will drain your computer’s battery more quickly. The good news however is that the power draw is not very significant. In other words, if you can get your MacBook Pro to last you around 4 hours on a full battery, the laptop cooling pad might bring take you down to 3 hours and 40 minutes. This trade-off is worthwhile due to the fact that you’re helping keep your computer at stable temperatures.
Laptop cooling pads come in many shapes, sizes, and even color options.
This product is the simplest option for solving your MacBook Pro overheating problems. It will protect your lap/table from the heat of your computer and it will use its patented filling, which it calls “Heatshift technology” to cool your device. This type of pad requires no batteries or cords and you don’t need to cool it down in the refrigerator. This is one of the better rated brands and the 16 inch pad costs about $35. You can get similar pads for around $15, but their reviews are less stellar.
The Tree New Bee pushes air toward a laptop to more actively cool down the overheating MacBook. This particularly product has four fans and a heat-drawing metal base. You can adjust the fan speeds. The stand requires power via a USB cord, but it provides extra USB ports to offset the loss. You can nab the Tree New Bee for about $18 (and it’s one of the best rated and best selling on Amazon) and other brands offer similar pricing.
If you don’t want a stand or pad underneath your laptop, consider adding a small side fan to push air your way. The Opolar mounts in two ways to the side of your computer and allows you to manage its 13 (!!) speeds and specific air temperature from a LED display. The Opolar doesn’t require charging or cords and advertises a 5,000 lifespan.
Other ways to prevent your MacBook Pro from overheating
Avoid using your MacBook Pro on soft surfaces like a bed or a couch. These surfaces have a tendency to trap heat under the computer’s body and make it very easy for the computer to overheat. Try to use your computer on a flat surface like a table or a bench or the surface of a cooling pad. This allows your computer to direct heat away from the body as it was designed to do.
Try to also use your MacBook Pro in rooms that are not abnormally hot as room temperature can affect how quickly your MacBook Pro overheats.
You can also try using a metal surface or object as a heat sink. Any metal surface will help draw away and dissipate heat away from the computer.
Try resting your computer on a cool pan or metal table. The conductive properties of the metal will help draw heat away from your Macbook’s aluminum body. The computer should take much longer to reach dangerous temperatures.
How to monitor your MacBook Pro’s CPU temperature?
There are many free apps that help you monitor your MacBook Pro’s core temperatures.
We like these apps for monitoring your MacBook Pro’s temperatures:
These apps will give you individual temperature readings for your CPU, processor, graphics card, memory, battery, and even your hard disk.
There is also software available for your MacBook Pro that will allow you to control your MacBook Pro’s fan speed. You can program your MBP’s fans to work harder when it is doing CPU intensive tasks. One of the most popular programs for regulating and controlling fan speed is smcFanControl for Mac. We however would recommend it only for advanced MacBook Pro users who know what they are doing when adjusting fan speeds. Adjusting the speeds to be too low can have negative effects on your computer.
Tell us if we were able to help you with your MacBook Pro retina overheating problems. Are there any other fixes that worked for you? Share your comments and thoughts and we will be eager to publish them for all our readers to see.
Not sure where to start?
As we mentioned before, the very first thing to do when you’re you find your MacBook Pro overheating is to clean up your house (so to speak). We recommend Clean My Mac 3 for effortless computer organization. Check out our reviews of the product:
- When Your Mac is Running Slow Download CleanMyMac 3
- Mac Running Slow? More Benefits from CleanMyMac 3
Or if you have a PC …
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