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How to Check Your Mac’s Temperature: 3 Best Ways

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Last updated: September 6, 2023

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Ever noticed your Mac heating up when you’re knee-deep into editing a video, playing a graphics-heavy game, or running several applications at once? This heat can cause your Mac to slow down and damage its internal components.

So, it’s pretty important to keep tabs on your Mac’s temperature to ensure it’s chilling even when it’s working hard. In this guide, I’ll share top three super-effective ways to check your Mac’s temperature to prevent it from overheating. Let’s dive right in!

Before We Begin

If your MacBook gets too hot, it can cause damage to the internal components and reduce your device’s lifespan. Regularly monitoring the temperature and closing resource-intensive apps can improve your Mac’s performance. Download MacKeeper to optimize your MacBook’s memory with the help of its Memory Cleaner feature. 

What is the MacBook’s Ideal temperature?

The ideal temperature for a MacBook depends on various factors, including the specific model and the tasks being performed. However, as a general guideline, most MacBook models operate within a safe temperature range of 50 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 35 degrees Celsius).

A MacBook’s temperature refers to the heat generated by its internal components, such as the CPU, graphics card, and battery, during use. It’s important to monitor your Mac CPU, GPU, and RAM usage because they can cause overheating and damage the components.

How to Check Your Mac’s Temperature

Monitoring Mac temperature can identify if your system is running within a safe range and take necessary steps to prevent any damage.

Below, I’ve shared 3 methods to easily check the temperature of your Mac and make informed decisions regarding cooling measures or resource-intensive tasks.

1. Using Activity Monitor

While the Activity Monitor on a Mac doesn’t directly provide information about the temperature of your computer’s components, it allows you to view the different processes and their impact on your system resources (like CPU and memory usage).

You can use it to identify processes consuming excessive system resources, causing your MacBook to overheat.

Here are the step-by-step instructions for checking your MacBook’s temperature using the Activity Monitor:

  1. Open Finder and navigate to the Applications folder.
open finder and select applications in the left sidebar
  1. Open the Utilities folder.
click applications in finder and open utilities
  1. Launch the Activity Monitor app.
launch activity monitor from utilities
  1. In the Activity Monitor window, click the CPU tab and look for the processes taking space and causing overheating.
click the cpu tab to view each application s percentage of cpu usage

Activity Monitor doesn’t tell actual temperatures, but you can get a general idea of the reason for overheating.

2. Using A Terminal Command

If you have an Intel-based Mac and want to dig deeper into your MacBook’s temperature, you can use Terminal to get a more comprehensive view.

The Terminal is a built-in app that allows you to execute commands and access system settings. You can access detailed temperature readings for the CPU, GPU, battery, and other system components using the Terminal.

 Here’s how to check your Mac’s temperature using Terminal:

  1. Open Finder from your Dock.
click finder in your dock
  1. Navigate to the Applications folder and open the Utilities folder.
click applications in finder and open utilities
  1. Launch Terminal.
choose utilities from the menu bar and then click on terminal
  1. Type the following command and press Enter:
sudo powermetricssamplers smc |grep -iCPU die temperature

This command is not compatible with Macs using the M1 chip.

  1. You may be prompted to enter your password. Enter the password and press Enter.
  2. The Terminal will display a list of metrics, including the current temperature of your MacBook’s CPU.
  3. Look for the CPU die temperature field, which displays the current temperature of your MacBook’s CPU in degrees Celsius.
  4. Terminal will keep refreshing the temperature reading until you exit the application.

3. Using A Third-Party App

For Macs with Apple Silicon, such as the M1 chip, you’ll need a different approach to monitor the system temperature because some commands and applications used for Intel-based Macs might not work.

One popular third-party app for monitoring Mac temperature is Hot developed by iMazing. Here’s how you can use it:

  1. Visit the iMazing website to download the Hot app. You may have to scroll down to find the app on their free apps page.
  2. Click the Download for Mac button to download the Hot app to your Mac for free.
hot app on imazing website
  1. Open the Downloads folder on your Mac and find the Hot application icon. Double-click the icon to launch the app.
double click hot application icon in downloads
  1. As soon as the app launches, you’ll see the icon of the Hot app in the menu bar at the top of your screen. It resembles a flame. Next to it, you will see the average CPU temperature.
hot app icon in the menu bar
  1. By opening the Hot app’s menu, you can access additional options, such as the choice between displaying temperature in Fahrenheit or Celsius.
hot app preferences

How Do I Know if My Mac Is Overheating?

There are several signs that can indicate if your Mac is overheating. Here are some common indicators to look out for:

  1. 🌀 Fan noise: When your Mac gets hot, the internal fans will try to cool it down by spinning faster. If you notice unusually loud fan noise, it could be a sign of overheating.
  2. 🌡️ High temperature: You can use software tools like iStat Menus or Macs Fan Control to monitor the temperature of various components in your Mac. If you notice consistently high temperatures, especially above the recommended operating range, it may indicate overheating.
  3. 🐢 Performance issues: Overheating can cause your Mac to slow down and experience performance issues. If you notice frequent freezes, lag, or unresponsiveness, it could be due to excessive heat.
  4. 🚨 Unexpected shutdowns: When a Mac overheats, it may shut down abruptly to protect itself from damage. If your Mac shuts down unexpectedly, particularly during resource-intensive tasks, it could result from overheating.
  5. ⚠️ Error messages: In some cases, your Mac may display error messages or warnings related to temperature or overheating. Take these messages seriously and take appropriate action.
  6. 🔥 Hot surfaces: If you physically touch your Mac and it feels excessively hot, especially near the vents or underneath the chassis, it suggests that the internal components are generating too much heat.

If you observe any of these signs, it’s essential to address the overheating issue. Excessive heat can damage the internal components of your Mac and affect its performance and longevity.

Prevent Your MacBook from Overheating With MacKeeper

With MacKeeper’s Memory Cleaner, you can free up memory by closing resource-intensive apps which may be responsible for your Mac overheating.

Follow these steps to get a faster, smoother Mac experience by closing heavy apps:

  1. Download MacKeeper and install it on your Mac.
  2. Open Mackeeper and click Memory Cleaner in the left sidebar.
select memory cleaner under performance 6
  1. Click Open to start the Memory Cleaner.
click open in the memory cleaner 6
  1. You can see the occupied and available memory on your Mac. Tap the Clean Memory button to free up available memory.
click clean memory 6
  1. Once the memory cleaning cycle is complete, it will free up available memory and you’ll see how many GBs it cleaned in the last cleanup.
memory cleaned after a cycle 4

What Else Can MacKeeper Do?

Besides freeing up your Mac’s RAM, MacKeeper can perform plenty of other Mac optimization tasks, like deleting duplicates, removing login items, and running a virus scan. Read my detailed MacKeeper review to learn more about these features.

Final Words

Now that you know how to check your Mac’s temperature, you may want to learn more about Mac maintenance. Following these tips, you can help keep your MacBook’s temperature at a moderate level and prevent damage to its internal components:

  • Closing apps you’re not using can minimize the load on your MacBook’s processor, which can help reduce its temperature.
  • Regularly monitoring your Mac’s CPU, GPU, and RAM usage can help identify power-intensive culprits overheating your system.
  • Dust and debris can accumulate in the air vents, which can block airflow and cause your MacBook to overheat. Regularly cleaning your MacBook can help prevent this.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the common reasons for MacBook overheating?

    Common reasons for MacBook overheating include dust and debris buildup, high CPU usage, running too many applications simultaneously, and using the MacBook on a soft surface.

  2. How can I prevent my MacBook from overheating?

    To prevent your MacBook from overheating, ensure proper airflow, avoid high CPU usage, use cooling pads, keep your MacBook clean, and regularly update the macOS.

  3. Can overheating cause my Mac to slow down?

    Yes, overheating can cause your Mac to slow down. If a Mac overheats, it may throttle CPU performance to cool down, which can result in a noticeable slowdown in your tasks.

  4. What are some signs that my Mac might be overheating?

    Some signs that your Mac might be overheating include frequent high fan speeds, unexpected shutdowns, or general sluggishness. In extreme cases, the Mac might become hot to the touch.

Hashir Ibrahim

Author

I'm Hashir, a tech journalist with a decade of experience. My work has been featured in some of the top tech publications like MakeUseOf and MakeTechEasier. I have a bachelor's degree in IT, a master's in cybersecurity, and extensive knowledge of Apple hardware, specifically MacBooks. As the senior writer at MacBook Journal, I write in depth guides that help you solve any issues you have with your mac and unbiased reviews that help you make the right buying decisions.

Ojash

Reviewer

Hi there! I'm Ojash, a tech journalist with over a decade of experience in the industry. I've had the privilege of contributing to some of the world's largest tech publications, making my mark as a respected Mac expert. My passion lies in exploring, using, and writing about MacBooks, and I enjoy sharing my expertise to help others make informed decisions and get the most out of their MacBook experience. Join me as we delve into the fascinating world of MacBooks together!

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