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How To Check Macbook’s Temperature? How To Maintain It | #macos | #macsecurity | #hacking | #aihp

A high CPU temperature on your Macbook is never a good news. The system performance plummets down, and the fan sounds like it’s going to take off. So, it’s always a smart idea to monitor your mac temperature from time to time. 

Keeping your computer cool and below the thermal threshold is an important part of managing its health. It’s a known fact that MacBooks with a well-managed thermal output tend to work with full efficiency for a longer time. However, sometimes, even if we try to do so, the core CPU temperature rises either due to an application(s) using a high CPU and mainly during intense gaming sessions. 

So, this guide is prepared for users such as yourself to learn about a couple of ways through which we can monitor a MacBook’s temperature. We shall also go through the steps you can take to monitor your application’s activity and try to keep the temperature cooler than before. So, let’s get this started! 

How Does the CPU Temperature Rise?

Your MacBook’s CPU temperature can abruptly rise due to various unforeseen reasons. As mentioned above, high CPU usage is the most common cause of your temperature going up.

However, other hardware and software-related factors can also lead your mac’s temperature to ascend at a greater rate. So, here are all the factors causing the high temperature on a MacBook:

  • High CPU load 
  • CPU clock and core speed
  • Low quality or dried-out thermal paste
  • Malfunctioning cooling system
  • A defective fan
  • Dirt build-up
  • High ambient temperature

What is a Normal Mac Temperature?

Before you begin to understand how you can check your computer’s temperature, it’s better to know what the normal temperature is for a MacBook. 

Considering most newer generation MacBooks have no built-in fans, it’s common to assume that your MacBook’s temperature could skyrocket. However, the aluminum frame of the MacBook itself acts like a heat sink, conducting the heat out of the chassis. So, at an idle state, temperatures anywhere between 40-50°C can be considered ‘normal.’ And during operation, this temperature could rise up to 60-70°C.

However, unless the temperature reaches a rate of about 80-85°C, you don’t have to worry too much. Most sites rate the maximum temperature of a MacBook as 100°C; however, in most cases, your computer will shut down automatically to try and cool off once the temperature reaches around 90-100°C. 

How to Monitor Macbook’s Temperature

There are a couple of ways through which you can monitor your MacBook’s temperature. For Apple silicon MacBooks, you’ll have to install third-party applications for this purpose. However, for Intel-based MacBooks, most work can be done directly through the terminal. For a clearer understanding, you can look at the headings below. 

Using the Terminal

If you use an Intel-based MacBook, fortunately for you, you don’t need to download any third-party apps. This is because the CPU temperature can be monitored directly through the Terminal. So, with an appropriate command, you can request your MacBook to show you the dynamic CPU temperature. Hence, for this, 

  1. Press Command + Space to access the Spotlight.  
  2. Type Terminal and hit enter. 
  3. Type and enter the following command:
    sudo powermetrics – samplers smc |grep -i "CPU die temperature"
  4. Enter your password to continue. 
  5. Once you’re done, press the Control + C keys to stop the monitoring process.

And, if you want to monitor your GPU temperature, just copy and paste this command:
sudo powermetrics – samplers smc |grep -i "GPU die temperature"

Using Third-party Applications

For users that use the Apple Silicon MacBooks, for e.g., the new M1 mac, you have to resort to third-party applications to monitor the temperature. This is because the aforementioned commands will not work for Apple silicon macs. You can enter the command sudo powermetrics on the terminal, but it’ll only display the CPU usage and memory usage, among others, but not the current temperature. 

So, in this case, there are plenty of third-party applications available all around the internet that you can use. Most of them perform as you expect them to, that is, in an easy and efficient manner. The process of checking the CPU temperature is very straightforward as most of these applications have a separate section to do so. 

How to Maintain My Macbook’s Temperature?

Knowing how to maintain your MacBook’s temperature to allow it always stay below the threshold is equally as important as knowing how to monitor the temperature. Macbooks are usually a lot thinner than their counterpart, Windows laptops. Additionally, most MacBooks rely on hot air flowing through the small vents. So, it’s no surprise that sometimes your Macbook is prone to overheating as well. 

When this happens, you have to take some very simple and very straightforward procedures to keep your MacBook’s temperature well below the threshold. So, the most effective ways to maintain the temperature of your MacBook are:

Restart Your Computer

When your system starts to overheat, you can simply restart it to revert the temperature back to normal. This is because restarting a computer closes all the running applications and takes back the allocated resources from them. Restarting a computer is only a short-term solution to fix your overheating issues. 

Install All Available Mac Updates

Although the macOS update files are large in size, they are incorporated with effective compatibility updates and security patches. So, if an update is available to your system, we recommend you install it as soon as possible. This can very well fix your overall CPU/memory usage, untimely maintaining your CPU’s temperature. Hence, for this:

  1. Click on the Apple icon from the desktop screen. 
  2. Go to About This Mac.
  3. Select Software Update.
  4. Your computer will start to scan for any new updates and if it is available, click Update Now to update the macOS. 

Close CPU-intensive Applications

If you’re familiar with the Windows OS, you might know a thing or two about the Task Manager. So, similarly, in a mac OS, you’re provided with the Activity Monitor, whose job is the same as that of the Task Manager. That is, through the Activity Monitor, you can keep track of your system resources and their CPU and memory usage, among others. 

So, suppose you find any application that is using a high percentage of CPU. In that case, you should close this application to allow your computer to drop to the normal temperature range gradually. So, here are the steps to access the Activity Monitor:

  1. Press Command + Space to access the Spotlight
  2. Type and go to Activity Monitor
  3. Here, you’ll see five different sections to track your resources; CPU, Memory, Energy, Disk, and Network
  4. So through each of these tabs, you can find out which applications are using how much of resources.
    For e.g., through the CPU tab, you can find out how much CPU percentage your photo editor app is using and so on. 

Reset the System Management Controller

The System Management Controller on your Macbook is responsible for low-level but important functions on your computer. It might sound underwhelming, but the System Management Controller is a pretty important part of your computer’s stability. So, resetting the SMC can fix your overheating issues. To do this, 

For Macbooks With T2 Chip

  1. Shut down your computer. 
  2. Unplug the power cable.
  3. Hold the left Control button + left Option button + right Shift key for 7 seconds. 
  4. Then, without releasing this key combination, hold down the power button for 10 seconds.
  5. Turn on your computer. 

For Macbooks With an M1 Chip

  1. Shut down your computer. 
  2. Close the lid for 30-40 seconds.
  3. Turn on your computer.

For Macbooks Without T2 or M1 Chip

  1. Shut down your computer. 
  2. Unplug the power cable.
  3. Hold the left Control button + left Option button + left Shift key + power button for 10 seconds.
  4. Turn on your computer. 

For Macbooks With Removable Battery

  1. Shut down your computer. 
  2. Unplug the power cable.
  3. Remove the battery.
  4. Hold down the power key for 5 seconds. 
  5. Reinsert the battery.
  6. Turn on your computer. 

Switch to an Environment With Good Ventilation

A favorable surrounding is very important when it comes to maintaining your MacBook’s temperature. Using your computer in a congested place with minimal airflow is sure to bring some issues to your system in the long run. So, we recommend you to use your computer and switch to an environment/room where there is optimal airflow with good ventilation. 

Use a Stable Surface to Work on Your Computer


Similar to a bad surrounding, an unstable and unfavorable work surface is equally important when talking about your system temperature. An unstable surface, such as your pillow or a bed, doesn’t allow proper airflow from the system to the surrounding. It is also recommended that you don’t cover up your MacBook with any foreign objects to prevent them from blocking the minute vents within your MacBook. 

Check the Integrity of Your System Fans

By now, you might know that a malfunctioning system fan will significantly increase your system’s temperature. So, you must perform a timely check-up and verify if your fan is working at the desired rpm.

However, you cannot do so with any in-built system tools and must rely on some third-party applications to get the job done. We don’t talk much about third-party applications, and we don’t recommend them as well. But, from research, we have found out that the app MacFans is a reliable tool to monitor the system fans in regard to the thermal sensors.  

Replace the Thermal Paste


The main function of thermal paste is to direct the heat away from the processor. It works by filling the small air pockets where the heat could have previously accumulated. Doing so removes this insulating factor and hence, the heat cannot gather in and around the chip, decreasing the core temperature.  

Replacing the thermal paste can be a pretty daunting task at first. However, the concept is pretty straightforward once you get the hang of it. So, if you decide on doing so, we strongly advise you to go through our dedicated article on the best way to apply a thermal paste.

Use External Coolers

An external cooler is pretty much a fan that you put under your MacBook when you’re operating on it. The coolers are meant to supply additional airflow to cool off your computer. If you’re a first-timer in this scenario, it sure can be pretty confusing to choose the best external cooling pads. However, they are easily available in most electric stores and are reliable as well.

Clean your MacBook

A dirty MacBook, or any electronic device for that matter, never works properly. The dirt accumulated inside the case blocks the airways, trapping the heat inside the computer. Not only that, a dirty computer is more prone to serious overheating issues and decreases the stability of your system as well. Dust and lint around the fan disallow it from operating at full potential, and the heat is retained within the computer. So, it’s always a good idea to clean your mac in a timely manner. 

Don’t Use Counterfeit Power Adapters

Apple openly discourages you from using counterfeit power adapters. This is because most duplicate chargers are often bad in quality as compared to the original product. The components used in these types of chargers are inferior to the original as well. Also, some counterfeit charges are unreliable in the power and voltage management fields as well. So, to maintain your safety standards, we also recommend you use the authentic power adapter for your device.

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