If your Apple Mac is overheating, you might be currently worried sick. It's one thing to have a Mac with a software error, but a Mac with loudly whirring fans that is hot to touch is a whole different level of concern.

Fortunately, it's not as bad as you think. This article will show you what to do if you think your Mac is overheating. Follow these steps to figure out what is going wrong.

See also: How to fix an overheating iMac | How to fix a hot iPhone

Fix an overheating MacBook: check the temperature

The first thing you should do if you suspect your Mac is overheating is to check the temperature. Macs have enables temperature that is monitored using internal sensors, and a series of fans is used to regulate the temperature.

If you think your Mac is overheating then you may want to check the temperature. The best way to do this is to install an app called Temperature Gauge Pro. It’s best to get the program direct from the developer’s website, and not the app store as it also feature fan control.

If you don’t want to pay for Temperature Gauge Pro then get a copy of iStat Pro. This is a free app that offers more basic temperature regulation and reporting.

Temperature Control Pro enables you to monitor the temperature inside your MacBook. While the numbers sounds particularly high, a temperature of the Mac’s CPU even at 90 degrees Celsius is nothing to worry about.

What you need to worry about is if the physical temperature of your MacBook is uncomfortably warm, and if the fans appear to spin up for no apparent reason. There could be a huge range of issues at fault here.

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Fix an overheating MacBook: steps to check the temperature

If you have installed a temperature gauge, and are concerned about the temperature that your MacBook is running at then follow these steps:

Update all your software. Open the App Store, click on Updates and Update All. You can also find the latest firmware for your Mac at Apple Downloads.

Place the MacBook on a level surface (such as a table). Don’t use it on your lap, and especially don’t use it on a blanket on in bed (because the blanket may cover the fan).

If the laptop is especially warm be sure not to use it on your lap. Get into the habit of sitting on a desk with it. Read this medical report on Erythema ab igne or “toasted skin syndrome” if you need convincing.

Check your room’s temperature. It should be between 10 to 35 degrees Celsius. Move to another room or stop using your Mac if the area you are in is hotter than 35 degrees.

You should also be using an Apple adaptor, and Apple recommends that you plug the MagSafe adaptor into the MacBook before plugging it into the mains.

This Apple Support document has more information on the operating temperature of a Mac.

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Fix an overheating MacBook: check for runaway apps

If you have checked all of these things and still have trouble with your Mac, then it’s a good idea to see if you have a runaway app. This is an app that is caught in a loop, which can use up battery power and CPU resources, placing undue strain on the system.

This Apple support documents shows how to deal with runaway apps.

  1. Open Activity Monitor.
  2. Choose All Processes.
  3. Click CPU.
  4. Click the %CPU column to sort the apps and processes by those that are using a lot of CPU power.

Look for any application that is using more than 70% of the CPU. If so highlight the application and press Quit Process.

Fix an overheating MacBook: reset the SMC

If you have done all of this and are still having trouble with your overheating Mac, then consider resetting the SMC (System Management Controller) .This is generally seen as a bit of a last resort for fixing most Mac problems before heading to the Apple Store.

This Apple Support document outlines the process for resetting the SMC on an Intel-based Mac.

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