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Simple Changes to Prevent Your MacBook Pro Retina Overheating
Is your MacBook Pro retina 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. Keeping your computer at a reasonable temperature is good for both your comfort and your pocketbook.
Why Your MacBook Pro Overheating is an Issue
If you notice that your MacBook Pro feels hot to the touch and this happens quickly after you’ve switched it on, this is an indication that your laptop is overheating. Specifically, if you find that it’s reached an untouchable temperature, you shouldn’t ignore this and treat the device with our precautions. In some severe cases, you might even receive a warning stating ‘high disk temperature’. At this point, you’ll probably panic and maybe even power off your laptop in the hope that it’ll automatically cool down without you doing anything. But, this method doesn’t solve the issue in the long-run and is just a temporary fix. If you notice that your laptop is suddenly freezing or slowing down, these could be symptoms that it’s overheating. At this point, your device could suddenly shut down to protect your hardware but can result in data loss. Should this happen to you, we suggest downloading a data recovery tool to recover these files.
Strategies to Stop Your MacBook Pro Overheating
1. Use a Cleaning Software
The very first thing to do when you find your MacBook Pro overheating is to clean up your house (so to speak). CleanMyMac 3 is a simple Mac cleaning product that does just that: it rids your MacBook Air of useless junk files, thus giving you more storage space.
Though there are many software programs out there, CleanMyMac 3 is the most popular among Mac users. It won reader’s choice awards from CNET.com thanks to its ability to fix issues for hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world. Best of all, you can try it for free and see what you think.
2. Make a Simple Setting Change
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 to keep your computer’s temperature in check.
These 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 discrete 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 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:
3. Use Laptop Cooling Fans to Reduce Your MacBook Pro From Heating
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 graphics 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. Laptop cooling pads come in many shapes, sizes, and even color options.
This cooling pad is ideal if you like to use your MacBook when you’re on the bed, but don’t want to rest it on your knee or a pillow. TeckNet designed this product to prevent your laptop from heating up while it’s in use. Designed with curves and intake vents, this means you can comfortably use your laptop on hard and soft surfaces without stressing about the device’s supply of air.
Built with a quiet fan, this won’t bother you while you’re working, watching a movie or playing games. It’s also built on a specific angle so you can still use your laptop for typing, as the rubber edges hold your laptop in place to prevent any sliding.
This pad is built with an ergonomic feel so you can use it for hours without your hands and fingers hurting. It’s also powered via USB, so you don’t have to worry about carrying numerous cords around with you. As a result, it’s great for people on the go.
The Tree New Bee pushes air toward a laptop to more actively cool down the overheating MacBook. This particular 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.
4. Clean and Dust Your Laptop
Not super exciting we know, but dust and dirt built up in your laptop’s fans can make it warmer and result in overheating. MacBook Pro’s need to get rid of any build-up of heat via the vents, but if they’re already filled with dust and debris, the air circulation won’t be ideal.
These fans are located in the hinge area just above your keyboard. Some newer MacBook Pro’s have vents positioned on the underside. Begin by taking a small brush to remove any visible dust and dirt, using gentle strokes to not damage the area. If you’re confident enough or have the experience, you can also open the internal components to give your laptop a thorough clean.
5. Exit Any Demanding Software
If you find that your laptop’s fans have kicked in even when you’re not using the device, this generally means that the laptop is working hard because at least one software is running and exuding its energy. In which case, you should find out what software is currently running by visiting your Activity Monitor.
You can then order the column by descending order to rank which software is taking up the most memory. If you notice that there’s software ranking 90 percent or above, this could be the reason your laptop is crashing, and you should quit these.
Another popular demanding software can be Chrome. This isn’t always compatible with Apple devices, and Safari is a much more reliable Internet search. While you’re searching online, try to limit the number of tabs you have open at one time to prevent your laptop from going into overdrive.
6. Increase Your Fan’s Speed
Think about it, when we get hot, we increase a fan’s speed to cool down, and you can do the same with your MacBook, although you’ll need to download a program. If you’ve followed all the steps above but find that your laptop is still overheating all the time, you can try increasing the fan’s speed. SmcFanControl is a great program to help cool your laptop by altering the minimum fan speed.
When your laptop reaches around 105 degrees Celsius, the hardware will prepare to shut down before your device damages. Thankfully, SmcFanControl can show the speed that your fan is currently operating at, which can sometimes mean the device is much louder when you’re using it, but prevents any permanent damage to your hardware.
7. Only Perform One Task at a Time
We’re always busy which means that most of us are multitasking. But, if you are running numerous applications at the same time, your laptop is working on overdrive which makes it more prone to overheating.
However, if you only stick to one task at a time, you’re less likely to encounter any excessive amounts of heat or programs freezing. Avoid downloading software while using the Mac, but perform this task while you’re away from the laptop. You should always close applications and windows when you’re not using them, rather than minimizing them, as they’re still running in the background.
8. Avoid Placing Your Laptop on Soft Surfaces
It can be tempting to finish a project in bed and place your MacBook Pro on a pillow. But doing so means that your air circulation won’t work properly and the heat will remain inside your laptop’s internal components. Fabric is the worst material for storing your laptop because it absorbs heat which can make your device much hotter.
Change your habits by placing your MacBook Pro on a stable surface, such as a desk. The four tiny rubber feet at the bottom of your laptop provide ample room for the air to circulate so your laptop can operate properly. Alternatively, you can invest in a laptop stand if you’d like to continue working in bed or on the sofa.
This particular product is great if you tend to use your laptop for long periods of time in one go. Designed with a fan with speeds of 1500rpm, this can generate a cooling effect so your laptop won’t overheat as you work for hours. Simply plug the fan into your USB port to begin cooling and enhance the natural airflow within your laptop.
This stand keeps your laptop sturdy thanks to the bridge-frame design. The clip-on cooling fan only takes a few minutes to assemble, and you only need four screws to have a fully completed stand.
This product also improves your ergonomics by elevating your laptop the appropriate eye level and prevent any neck and shoulder pain. Plus, when this isn’t in use, you can keep your desk tidy by storing your keyboard and mouse under the laptop stand.
If you’re looking for a more portable laptop stand, this device is lightweight, foldable and easy to operate, with no installation required. We believe that prevention is better than cure, so this handy device helps to stop your laptop from overheating in the first place.
By elevating your MacBook Pro, it has a chance to breathe and a place for the air to transfer. You might need an external keyboard, but make sure you purchase from one Apple as this is compatible and won’t result in any overheating.
Built with anti-slip pads, this ensures that your laptop is stable to avoid any slipping. This pads always protect your desk from any wear and tear and scratching. Another great feature about this laptop stand is the cable management ring that enables you to organize your cables to keep your desk tidy and clear.
Keep Your MacBook Pro Happy
As well as your MacBook Pro overheating, there are some other common misfortunes your device might encounter. Therefore, we suggest keeping on top of maintenance to improve your laptop’s lifespan.
Most of us rarely shut down our MacBook at the end of the day, but instead, resort to sending it to sleep. However, this doesn’t give your device time to reboot ready for the next day.
Instead, get into the habit of completely shutting down your MacBook at least once a week – maybe in preparation for the weekend.
Do you have any other tips to prevent your MacBook Pro overheating, or perhaps some general maintenance advice? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.