How to Keep a Mac From Overheating

By Rob Harris

Mac laptops, such as the MacBook Pro, are often prone to overheating. Apple offers downloadable, free firmware that can help with the problem, but there are several steps you can take to keep your Mac from overheating. Not only will overheating cause your battery to fail, but it can damage the sensitive electronic elements inside the laptop, such as the motherboard.

Step 1

Download Apple's firmware fix to adjust your Mac's fan. Navigate to Apple's Firmware Update 1.3 Web page. Click on "Download" on the right side of the page. Open your "Downloads" file, and click on "SMC Update.pkg." Click "Continue," then "Agree." Click "Install." Restart your MacBook Pro.

Step 2

Place your laptop on solid surfaces. If you use your laptop while it's sitting on soft surface, such as a pillow or blanket, the vents on the back of the MacBook may be blocked. This will cause the Mac to overheat.

Step 3

Store your laptop in a cool, climate-controlled environment. Never leave your Mac in a hot car or in direct sunlight. When the electronic components get too hot, they won't perform correctly when you turn on your computer. This can cause the fan to malfunction.

Step 4

Purchase a laptop cooler. If you spend hours at a time on your computer, a laptop cooler can help keep your Mac from overheating. Most laptop coolers are metal platforms that elevate your laptop off your work surface. They have incorporated fans that provide extra airflow to keep your laptop cool. Some require an electrical outlet to power the fans, while others plug into a USB port on your laptop.