7 Proven Ways to cool down your MacBook Pro

MacBook Overheat
MacBook Pro overheat with temperature over 100c

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Intro cool down your MacBook Pro

This is crucial to maintain optimal performance, extending hardware component longevity and preventing potential hardware issues caused by excessive heat so that is why it is important to cool down your MacBook Pro.

Why does Pro overheat more often than Air?

The Pro models come with more powerful processors, dedicated graphics cards and higher performance capabilities and are likely to generate more heat during intensive tasks such as video editing, 3D rendering or running resource-intensive software.

First, let’s have a look at the macOS system side:

macOS version

If you are running the latest macOS version on a Mac that is more than 5 years old it could negatively impact performance and generate excessive heat to support the latest resource-intensive new features.

You have the option to manually or automatically update your macOS version through the App Store or disable automatic updates. If you are satisfied with your current usage, you can skip most updates except for Security Updates by Apple.

Here is how to disable auto update:

System Preferences of a Mac computer, Software Update tab.
System Preferences of a Mac computer, Software Update, Advanced tab.

Reverting to a Previous macOS Version: Is It Possible?

Yes, it is possible with a clean installation and this process involves erasing (formatting) your Mac’s current system and then installing the previous macOS version from scratch.

Anti-Virus Software

With real-time scanning, antivirus software often performs scanning of files and processes to detect and prevent malware and this continuous scanning can use a lot of CPU and RAM resources which generate heat.

Mac has a lower risk of encountering malware compared to other platforms and macOS includes built-in security features like Gatekeeper, XProtect and the AppStore has a stringent review process so using anti-virus software is not compulsory in a Mac.

Second, let’s check Activity Monitor.

Where is Activity Monitor in macOS

Select the CPU tab to see which apps are using a high percentage of the CPU’s available resources. If you notice something monopolizing the CPU % and you don’t use it, close that program because when the processor usage percentage is higher, it generates more heat.

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Third, close some of your browser tabs.

Opening too many tabs puts a strain on the CPU and system memory, each tab you open in your web browser is consuming some amount of your system’s memory so the more tabs you open, the more RAM your browser will consume and that results in overheating.

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Fourthly, limit the number of multitasking apps.

If you are running CPU and RAM-intensive apps like DaVinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro and Premiere Pro, it is highly recommended to let your Mac focus on these tasks and avoid multitasking with other resource-intensive apps.

By doing so, you allow the CPU and memory to concentrate on completing the ongoing task rather than risking overheating and potential system hang-ups. If your Mac hangs and requires a force restart, you may lose all your work in progress files.

Fifthly, check if your MacBook Pro requires servicing to help cool down your MacBook Pro

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If your Mac becomes excessively hot during regular use or produces unusual fan noise, it might be a sign that it requires servicing and cleaning. Dust accumulation in the fan can significantly hamper its performance.

Sometimes it may be necessary to change the thermal paste between the CPU or GPU and the heatsink because the thermal paste can dry out or degrade, compromising its effectiveness in dissipating heat and resulting in overheating.

Sixthly, avoid obstructing the cooling process of your MacBook Pro.

Using Keyboard Protector

Keyboard Protector can prevent MacBook Pro from cool down

The keyboard is designed to allow airflow for cooling purposes so placing a keyboard protector on top of the keys can obstruct this airflow, leading to increased heat buildup within and excessive heat can negatively impact the performance and lifespan of internal hardware.

Putting your MacBook Pro directly on a bed or soft surface

MacBook Pro on a bed can prevent cool down process

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Soft surfaces like beds restrict airflow around the Mac and they cover the ventilation ports on the bottom which are essential for dissipating heat and preventing proper ventilation, this can cause the MacBook Pro to overheat as the internal fans struggle to expel hot air.

Seventhly, check your MacBook Pro battery health.

A spoiled battery may not provide stable power output or fail to communicate effectively with the MacBook Pro power management system and in some cases increased power is drawn from the charging system as it attempts to compensate for the battery’s reduced inefficiency and generate additional heat.

To view your battery’s condition, go to the Apple menu > System Settings then click Battery in the sidebar.

Since we are at seven, let’s do eight!

Eighthly, use a fan controller app to help cool down your MacBook Pro

Macs Fan Control app to help cool down your MacBook Pro

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Macs Fan Control allow you to manually adjust the fan speed of your MacBook Pro cooling system and by increasing the fan speed, you can enhance the airflow and cooling efficiency, helping to keep temperature within optimal limits.

Pro Tip

If you are using MacBook Pro models from 2016 to 2019, we highly recommend using the app Turbo Boost Switcher Pro. This app allows you to disable the overclocking function of the processor (Turbo Boost). Disabling Turbo Boost helps prevent excessive heat generated by the processor, which often damages the display screen and the display connector cable.

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