Why is my Mac fan so loud? : How to Fix an Overheating Mac
If your Mac starts to sound like it has a jet engine in it, it’s not only annoying, it could also be a sign that something is wrong. There may be a problem that is causing your Mac to overheat, or you may have a faulty fan. Here’s what to do when those fans keep buzzing, even when nothing seems to be happening.
Why is my Mac’s fan suddenly so loud?
If the fans are running at full blast, it’s not a sign that there’s anything wrong with your Mac, as the reason they’re installed in the first place is to cool the inside of your computer by restricting the airflow around the components. enlarge.
If you’re running compute-intensive applications, such as HD video editors or high-end games, your Mac will work really hard, which in turn creates heat. The fan sensor senses that the temperature is rising and immediately turns the fans on to prevent the system from forgetting itself. So if you find that the noise level suddenly increases when you’re compressing a 4K movie about your recent vacation or playing a particularly frenetic game of League of Legends, that’s actually a good thing.
Of course, if you don’t do any of these things, there are a few other factors to consider before calling Apple support.
How to Prevent a Mac from Overheating
Check CPU usage
The fans in Macs usually kick in as a precaution when the CPU is under heavy load, such as in the tasks mentioned above. But if you’re not sure what triggers the fans, it’s best to open the Activity Monitor and see the apps that are taking up all your CPU resources.
To do this, hold the CMD key and press the spacebar to open Spotlight. Now search for Activity Monitor and select it from the list that appears.
Make sure the CPU tab is selected, then see which apps are at the top of the %CPU column.
If it’s not essential, you can try closing it to see if that stops the fans. Click on the process and then click the X above to stop it.
Check your room temperature
It is important to consider environmental factors when diagnosing a problem with fans. If it’s a hot day and there’s no air conditioning in your home, or if you’ve blown the heating in your room, the ambient temperature can adversely affect your Mac’s performance.
Ideally, the room temperature should be between 50 and 95 Fahrenheit (10 to 35 degrees Celsius). Move to another room or stop using your Mac if the area you’re in is hotter than that.
This can be even more challenging when using software intensive, as it is much more difficult for the fans to cool down the computer when the room temperature itself is high.
If you can open a window, turn down the thermostat, or use a room fan to move air, then your iMac, Mac mini, or other Mac should be able to handle it a little better.
To alleviate the problem, you can try using a vented container, such as the TeckNet cooling pad (£21.99/$23.99) under a MacBook. To check your room temperature, you can use the SwitchBot Thermometer ($24.99).
Make sure the air can circulate
Your MacBook is probably standing directly on a surface, so air can’t circulate around it. We recommend using a special MacBook stand, which at least allows air to circulate under it. If using a stand, lift the Mac off the flat surface of a desk or lap and increase the airflow around the chassis. One of our favorites is the Twelve South Curve ($59.99/£49.99).
Check that your vents are clear of any blockages
Another reason your fans might go like billy-o is if the vents themselves are blocked, as this makes it difficult for warm air to exit the interior of the unit. On a MacBook Pro, you’ll find vents along the rear edge (where the display hinges are located) and the side edges just outside the USB-C ports, while MacBook Air vents are all along the top edge of the chassis, near the hinges.
Mac mini owners should check the bottom of the unit, as this is where cooler air is drawn into the chassis, and you should make sure the vents on the back are unobstructed to allow the heated air to escape safely.
On iMacs and iMac Pros, the vents are on the back and bottom, while the Mac Pro has vents on the front and back.
Make sure these areas are not blocked by objects on your desk or a pillow if you are working on the couch. You can try using a vacuum cleaner to remove any accumulated lint or dust, but make sure to keep the nozzle a short distance from the body of the device to avoid damage.
Make sure to use an official adapter
You should also use an Apple adapter, and Apple recommends that you plug your adapter into the MacBook before plugging it in.
Reset the SMC
If you’ve done all this and are still having problems with your overheating Mac, consider resetting the SMC (System Management Controller). This is generally seen as a last resort to fix most Mac problems before heading to the Apple Store. Here’s how to reset the SMC.
How to clean a Mac’s fans
Over time, your Mac’s fans can become clogged with dust and other bits and pieces, which can add to the noise they make when running. If you’re handy with a screwdriver (you’ll need a pentalobe) and have a can of compressed air handy, you can take the bottom of a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or Mac mini and give a few quick blasts of air to remove all the grime that has settled in the housing and fans.
Be careful not to pinch any wires or touch the circuitry, as you don’t want a static charge to blow up any of the processors or other important components. Beware that opening your Mac may void your warranty.
How to stop the fans of a Mac?
If your fans are confused, we recommend downloading the free Macs Fan Control (free) software, which allows you to manually control and monitor the cooling system.
This software allows you to change the RPM value and fan speed in relation to the temperature sensor so that the fans won’t come on until your Mac is REALLY hot – but keep in mind that this could damage your Mac.
Checking my Mac’s temperature
If you think your Mac is overheating, you can check the temperature. One way to do this is to install an app called Temperature Gauge Pro (aka TGPro) from TunabellySoftware, $20/£19.20 (currently marked down to $10/£9.50).
With Temperature Gauge Pro you can keep an eye on the temperature in your MacBook. While the numbers sound extremely high, a Mac CPU temperature even at 90 degrees Celsius is nothing to worry about.
What you should be concerned about is whether the physical temperature of your MacBook is uncomfortably warm and whether the fans seem to be spinning for no apparent reason. There can be a huge range of problems here.
We’ll also discuss How to Monitor Your Mac’s Internal Temperature and Keep it Cool in a separate article.
Does my Mac have an overheating problem?
If you’ve followed all of the steps above and still can’t suppress the spinning sound, your Mac may have a hardware issue.
Your Mac also comes with built-in monitoring software that can check your hardware for any errors. For instructions on how to use this, check out the official guide to the Apple Diagnostics tools.
Should you discover a problem, please contact Apple Support and make an appointment at the Genius bar.
While you’re there, you might be tempted to trade in your old model for a new one, so be sure to read our Mac buying guide to get the model that works best for you.
We have a separate article where we discuss everything you need to know about repairing Apple products.