Top 7 Causes of Mac Overheating

It’s natural for laptops’ temperature to increase when they are actively used. But the difference between heating and overheating is huge; once your Mac gets too hot permanently, such a problem can cause severe CPU damage and even cause its total, irreversible collapse. Thus, if you’re worried that your Macbook overheats too often, let’s cover the top causes for this issue. With this guide, you will be able to diagnose the problem quickly, introducing all needed changes and saving your device from permanent damage. 

#1 Your Mac Is Infected 

The most common cause of Mac overheating is some sort of spyware running on the device. It’s common that viruses and malicious programs invading your system cause a CPU overload, negatively affecting your gadget’s performance. Thus, to ensure that viruses are not the problem with your Mac’s increasing temperature, you need to run an antivirus scan to see whether everything’s OK. 

#2 Demanding Apps 

You’ll be surprised to see how many activities eat your Mac’s CPU while you’re not using them actively. Such demanding background processes can be identified by taking a glance at the Activity Monitor. This section ranks all processes running on your device and calculating the percentage of CPU they consume. Once you notice that some process takes too much CPU %, it’s better to force quit it. You’ll notice an improvement in Mac’s speed and performance at once. 

#3 Blockage of Airways 

At times, the reason for your Mac’s overheating lies on the surface in the literal sense, i.e., the surface on which you keep the device when operating it. Shutterstock is full of appealing photos of drinking coffee and watching a movie on a Mac in bed, but there is a harsh reality behind those shots – a Mac can’t be placed on soft, obstructive surfaces like sofas, blankets, or pillows. If you keep your Mac running in such a position long enough, it will overheat very quickly, shutting down and requiring cooling before a new work session. Besides, exposing your Mac to such overheating regularly can cause permanent damage to its hard drive, which can result in irreparable damages. 

A good solution is to use some hard surface or stand for your Mac. Many laptop stands are designed specifically for this aim, so you should not compromise your comfort and coziness of watching a movie in bed. The only thing you need is to arrange the hard surface that would keep your Mac’s airways unobstructed during its use.

#4 Dirty Vents and Airways 

The ventilation principle is to absorb the cool air from the environment and run it through the internal Mac system to cool the processor down. Thus, by attracting cool air from the outside, your Mac’s vents also bring the dust and particles circulating in the air around it. As time goes by, the device’s internal ventilation system gets dirty and cannot perform its functions correctly anymore. 

A solution to this problem is to clean the Mac’s ventilation system physically. Pushing the dirt inside the airway is unwise since all those obstructions will remain in the system. It’s much better to open the Mac’s case with a screwdriver and perform a comprehensive case cleanup inside. Once it’s done, you can seal the case back, enjoying a much more effective cooling system further.

#5 Multitude of Flash Ads 

Though the link between the content we consume online and the temperature of our devices is not that evident, you can run a simple experiment. When you visit a website with numerous flash ads and pop-up advertisements that start automatically, you can hear that your Mac starts working much more intensely. As a result of a more significant CPU load, the Mac’s temperature naturally rises about the average level, and your fan starts working excessively to bring it back to the norm. So, by blocking the pop-up ads and setting some Safari preferences, you can avoid such system overloads and keep your Mac’s temperature regular. 

#6 Low-Quality Peripherals 

An overheating problem may also result from your use of low-quality peripherals, such as a charger produced not by the official Apple provider but by some dubious third parties. In this case, the peripheral may not work correctly, causing the network load issues and resulting in the temperature fluctuations. To avoid this problem, you should use only licensed peripherals perfectly compatible with your Mac and won’t cause heating problems.

#7 Mac Specifications 

Finally, it’s vital to keep an eye open for the Mac’s specifications and the workload you’re trying to make it complete. The issue is especially topical for old-generation Macs with less impressive specifications. Today’s graphics and video/audio editing software are too demanding in terms of capacity for an old device to handle it hassle-free. Thus, when giving your Mac a complex task or installing advanced software on it, think twice about whether your gadget is ready for such a load. 

Overheating Is a Problem

Having a hot Mac is alarming as the device can suffer a permanent collapse; besides, it signals some underlying issue you can manage in a couple of simple steps. Don’t neglect the overheating issue, as it can cause you much trouble if the problem remains unattended. So, by monitoring your device’s temperature, you have all chances to ensure the Mac’s health, longevity, and flawless performance for years. 

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