Depending on how you use your MacBook, you may notice it heating up sometimes. With each process that it runs and every app that it operates, your MacBook’s temperature will rise. It’s totally normal – that’s why each MacBook is built with an internal fan to keep it from heating up too much.
However, your MacBook’s temperature should still be within the acceptable range, which is between 10°C and 35°C. Older MacBook models are built with fans that automatically turn on to cool down the internals of your device. For the new MacBooks using Apple silicon, thermal efficiency is utilized for active cooling.
If you don’t keep your MacBook’s temperature at the right range, overheating will damage the internals of your device. After some time, it’ll die and you’ll be left with a broken MacBook. Hence, it’s important to check your MacBook’s temperature every so often.
To know which apps or processes are affecting your MacBook’s temperature the most, you can check it by looking at the macOS Activity Monitor. This will provide more of an idea of how you use your laptop’s CPU, GPU, memory, energy, and network. However, it does not necessarily provide you the actual temperature of your MacBook.
Here’s what you need to do to find out your MacBook’s CPU temperature with Terminal:
- On your MacBook, open Spotlight. You can do this by pressing Command + Spacebar.
- Search for Terminal and press Enter.
- In the window, enter the following command:
sudo powermetrics –samplers smc |grep -i “CPU die temperature”
- Enter your MacBook password when prompted by the Mac Terminal.
- From here, you should see the CPU temperature of your MacBook in real-time. The terminal will continuously show you the actual CPU temperature by providing new lines until you terminate the task.
- If you also want to know the thermal level of your MacBook as well as its fan speed, you can enter this command:
Do note that this only works with the old MacBooks that are not built with the M1 chip yet.
On the other hand, you can also use third-party apps that monitor the temperature of your MacBook. One of these apps is Fanny. It’s incredibly easy to use and is considered one of the most popular temperature monitoring apps in the market today.
Follow these steps on how to use Fanny:
- Download Fanny from their website and install it on your MacBook.
- Once the installation is done, you will see a fan icon appearing on the menu bar on your screen. Click on this icon and you will see your MacBook’s CPU temperature, GPU temperature, and fan speed.
- Click on Preferences to update the refresh rate as well as the temperature unit you prefer (Celsius or Fahrenheit).
Another software you can use is the Intel Power Gadget. Simply download the Intel Power Gadget tool from the Intel website and install it on your MacBook. Since this is from a more legitimate and well-known source, you might feel more confident in using this software.
The Intel Power Gadget tool provides users with a complete analysis of the CPU performance of their MacBooks. In addition, it also allows users to know the actual temperature of their device as well as their power usage. You can even get a timeline graph of this data so you’re aware of how you utilize your MacBooks to the core.
On the other hand, these two apps won’t work for the newer MacBook models with the M1 chip, since they don’t have Intel processors anymore. Instead, you can opt to use the TG Pro app as an alternative. It provides the same purpose of showing you the actual temperature of your MacBook’s CPU and GPU. For the M1 MacBooks specifically, you’ll have to check the Efficiency Core and the Performance Core.
Aside from checking your MacBook’s temperature every so often, you can also practice certain tips to ensure that it maintains an optimal temperature. Here are some ways to do that:
- Keep your software and firmware up to date.
- Avoid storing your MacBook inside a parked car where the temperature is usually high.
- Place your MacBook on a level surface and store it in a room that has proper ventilation.
- Avoid placing items on top of your keyboard, as it may be an obstruction to ventilation.
- Keep ventilation openings clean and free from dirt, dust, and debris.
- Use only power adapters that are authorized by Apple.
Making sure that your MacBook is always within the acceptable temperature range can not only prevent damaging its internals. It can also help prolong the life of your device.