MacBook Air Overheating

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by emma.nelson, Jun 28, 2013.

  1. emma.nelson macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2013
    Santa Cruz, California
    Okay, so, my computer is being extremely annoying and overheating like crazy. I'll shut it down, heck, go for hours including days without it, and then the second I open it I can only get 10 minutes on before it makes the annoying buzzing fan-noise while still burning my legs off. I don't want to get a new Mac or anything, but I will pay to get it cleaned or something, but what should I do to stop it from overheating?

    The sound is coming from the black bar that rests in front of the keyboard/underneath the MacBook Air sign, and sometimes from underneath.
  2. filmbuff macrumors 6502a


    Jan 5, 2011
    How old is this computer? My guess is that you have some program like Wunderlist using 100% of the processor and causing it to heat up.
  3. mac82 macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2011
    Have you tried looking in Activity Monitor to see if you've got any runaway processes? If not, here's what you do:

    - Open your Applications Folder
    - Open the Utilities/Other folder (depending on which version of OS X you're running.
    - Launch Activity Monitor
    - Near the top of the window, change 'My Processes' to 'All Processes'
    - Click on the CPU tab at the top of the process listing to change it to descending order

    If you have a process that's using a lot of the CPU, it'll now be listed at the top. That would be the culprit.

    If CPU activity is normal (mostly idle) and your computer is still overheating, then it's probably a hardware defect.
  4. Appledreamer macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2011
    Sounds very strange, i have a macbook air and i have not heard the fan on it yet, ive had it two weeks. is yours still under warranty?
  5. luisito macrumors regular


    Nov 15, 2012
    The fans are kicking in to their top speeds.. my first guess.. the air flow is either blocked, restricted or minimized on some way.

    I would definitely check if this is problem before sorting something else out. Check your fans, they might have tons of hair or dust build-up, as well as the grid at the back of the notebook, underneath the black thing, that is where the air comes out and its also prone to hair and dust build-up given the circumstances.

    If air can't move properly inside the computer, the fans will try to speed-up as much as possible to try to overcome the heat cause by a blockage or to compensate for so much filth within the fan itself.

    This is a common thing that I've encountered with many customers, specially the ones that own pets. You will get surprised how much hair/dust builds up under the hood of a laptop that cause problems quite similar to what you talk about.
  6. Appledreamer macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2011
    Great advice :) i would certainly try this i also do work on apple laptops and i second this. it has happened to a lot of people and also the first play station 3's had this problem.

    let use know how you get on, What macbook air is it you have? what year


    can i ask how old is the macbook air and let us know if this fixes the problem.
  7. emma.nelson thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2013
    Santa Cruz, California
    My computer is a 2012, Version 10.8.4, so not that old.

    I don't know if it's under Warranty, I can check, but it's not that old of a computer, it wouldn't be worth selling/buying a new one.

    To the Rest of the Repliers
    Thanks, I will see if I can check these different options out to see if they work :)
  8. Appledreamer macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2011
    yeah sounds like its quite new. the new macbooks only came out in june so you have the one before it, they are a very good machine. hopefully you just need it cleaned out or reset. make sure you back everything important incase it goes on you. p.s sounds like a beautiful place you live, what a dream and very lucky girl living in that part of the world!!
  9. emma.nelson thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2013
    Santa Cruz, California
    Thanks Appledreamer! I'm getting a new iPhone this summer so when I'm purchasing the phone I'll probably bring my computer in to get it checked over and cleaned.

    Yeah, Santa Cruz is a lovely place, thank you. Belfast by the pictures look very nice, I'm a fan of Ireland.
  10. PraisiX-windows macrumors regular

    May 19, 2011
    Did you follow the guy's advice, who told you to go into the activity monitor?
    - what were your findings?
  11. emma.nelson thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2013
    Santa Cruz, California
    Yes, I did, and what I found was that XType.FontHelper was at the top, but I'm confused of what I should do next.
  12. coldjeanzzz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2012
    Take a screenshot of your activity monitor and post it here
  13. Appledreamer macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2011
    your welcome emma. it sounds like it has something to do with flash or something maybe a script stuck or running on its own with out you knowing and it would run up the fan and heat, maybe try to end the process in activity monitor and then maybe download CLICK TO FLASH maybe this will allow you to control it more via what websites and other things you use.

    as you say, if you want when you are in doing your phone upgrade then get a person to check it out for you.

    p.s thanks belfast is not bad but i have always wanted to visit California sounds like a dream come true place to live i love the sun and we get zero here.
  14. Zac10 macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2012
    i have the new macbook air 13 inch 256gb and when using photoshop cs6 i can feel the top row of keys pretty warm.
    is this normal?
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Yes, quite normal. 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 Mountain Lion. 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. (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.
    Your fans are always on when your Mac is on, spinning at a minimum of 2000 rpm (for MBPs) or 1800 rpm (for MBAs, MBs and minis). iMacs have 3 fans with minimum speeds in the 800-1200 range. They 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 a slot on the back near the top of the computer. Make sure the vents remain unblocked to allow your computer to perform at its best. For Flash-related issues:
  16. Swampus macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2013
    Emma, you should look up exactly when your year is up just in case you do have a serious problem. It would be terrible to finally bring your computer in only to find that your warranty expired the previous week.
  17. gevans macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2013
    This worked a treat. My Mac is only 6 months old and has been overheating recently, even after being off for 24 hours, within 5 minutes the fan would be going crazy, burning my legs! I was going to take it back to Apple as it is still under warranty (nearest Apple store is 200 miles away!). This saved the hassle and worked a treat, there was a game running in the background and I shut that down and within minutes the fan started slowing down and the heat starting disappearing! Thanks!
  18. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Playing with itself? :D

    Honestly the next thing Apple should do is to provide the non-technie amongst us with a Rx Rover. Whatever problem you have ask the Rx Rover, in human natural language, then Rx Rover does NOT attempt to go explaining how things works and tell the human "OK now you do the work" but rather just go analyse itself, for days if necessary, collecting data, then come back and give human the solution(s): Process xxx is causing your problem, this can be solved by... proceed?

    I hate it when technology tells the human, "you have to understand me!" rather than just solve the problem like we paid it to do! :D

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