Determine what is causing overheating?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Iphone4sinwhite, May 26, 2015.

  1. Iphone4sinwhite macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2011
    I have a late 2011 MBP. Occasionally the computer will start running very hot and fans will start spinning at full speed and volume. This happens when the computer has been out of sleep for only 5 minutes and only a few light apps are running (safari, spotify, etc. nothing major like windows or OCR software). Is there anyway to tell what app or process is causing the computer to run so hot?


    I forgot to add; it's a 15" running the most up to date OS.
  2. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Applications > Utilities > Activity Montitor

    View by % CPU usage and you can quit the process that is running hard.
  3. ZXMustang macrumors member

    May 16, 2015
    Did you take off the bottom and see if its loaded with dust. This is the top factor for MacBooks running hot/over heating. Take the bottom off and blow it clean with some compressed air.
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    As already stated, use Activity Monitor to determine what apps or processes are consuming system resources, resulting in increased heat and fan speed.

    If you’re not already doing so, use iStat Pro (free) or iStat Menus ($16) to get accurate readings of your temps, fan speeds, etc., rather than relying on your sense of touch or sound. A forum member has posted a copy of iStat Pro that has been "tweaked" to enhance compatibility with recent OS X versions. You can download it here.
    The Intel processors used in Macs are designed to automatically shut down to prevent damage if they truly overheat. CPU Tjmax = 105C (221F), GPU Tjmax = 100C (212F) on i3, i5, i7 processors. (GPU Tjmax may vary with specific models.)(Source: Intel)
    Unless there is a rare defect in a Mac, most temps are well within the normal operating range, considering the workload being put on it. Websites with Flash content, games and other multimedia apps will put higher demand on the CPU/GPU, generating more heat. This is normal. If you’re constantly putting high demands on your system, such as gaming or other multimedia tasks, expect temps to rise and fans to spin up accordingly. It’s just your Mac doing its job to maintain temps within the normal range.
    It is also quite normal for your Mac to become extremely hot to the touch during intensive operations. The aluminum body transfers heat more effectively than other materials used in computer casings, so you will feel the heat more. This doesn’t indicate that it’s overheating and will not harm the computer to be hot to the touch.
    The fans in Macs will spin faster as needed to keep temps at a safe level. If your fans are spinning up without increased heat, try resetting the SMC. (PRAM/NVRAM has nothing to do with these issues, so resetting it will not help.)
    The intake and exhaust vents are in the back of the computer near the hinge on all Mac notebooks (except the new MBP with retina display, which has intake vents along the sides at the bottom). The iMac vent is on the back of the computer. Make sure the vents remain unblocked to allow your computer to perform at its best. For Flash-related issues:
  5. Iphone4sinwhite thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2011
    Thank you all very much for being so helpful!

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4 May 26, 2015