Your Mac can overheat if you have too many programs running.

To fix a hot MacBook, you can unblock its vents, clean its internals, or avoid working in direct sunlight.
You can also try closing browser tabs, minimize multitasking, or checking if the fans are working.
Use the Activity Monitor to see apps that are hogging system resources and close them.

Like any laptop, your MacBook is susceptible to overheating. A hot MacBook is not just uncomfortable to work with, but it can reduce your battery’s lifespan and possibly even damage other internal components.

Luckily, you can do a few things to cool it down and continue to enjoy using your MacBook.

Why does my Mac get so hot?

There are many things that could be causing your MacBook to overheat. One of the most common reasons is something could be blocking the vents, or that you’ve placed it near another device that generates heat. 

There could even be a lot of dust build-up causing internal components to heat – dust is a notorious heat trapper.

Quick tip: If you notice your MacBook is running slower than normal, it could also be because it’s overheating. There are a couple ways you can troubleshoot a slow Mac and get it running smoothly again.

Another common reason for an overheating MacBook is that the processor is doing too much work. For instance, it could be that you have too many windows, apps, or tabs open (for example, in Google Chrome), or that you’re multitasking a lot. 

If your macOS is also outdated, the old software can also put unnecessary strain on the processor, causing it to overheat. It could also be that the Mac’s internal cooling fan is malfunctioning.

How to prevent your MacBook from getting too hot

Whatever the reason your MacBook is running hot, there are eight ways that you can troubleshoot it and cool it down.

Don’t block the vents

Let’s start with the single biggest factor for controlling heat: Don’t block the vents. 

It’s really easy to accidentally block the vents if you set the MacBook directly in your lap or work in bed, with the laptop sitting on a soft, form-fitting surface. 

If you are blocking the vents, you’ve trapped hot air inside and stopped circulation, which is the MacBook’s primary tool for shedding heat. 

The remedy: Prop the MacBook up on a book, laptop stand, or some other flat surface that provides a clear path for air to pass through the vents.

Clean your MacBook’s internals

If there’s a downside to the fact that MacBooks tend to live a very long time, it’s that there’s plenty of time for yours to get caked with dust, which impedes airflow and makes it run hot. 

If your MacBook is more than a couple years old, open it up occasionally and clean out the dust. You’ll need a simple Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the bottom panel and gently blow out any built-up dust.

Don’t work in direct sunlight

Your MacBook has an ideal range of operating temperatures — Apple recommends a range between 50 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit

If you work in direct sunlight or in a space that’s very hot, it can cause your MacBook to overheat.

Don’t open too many browser tabs

This might be surprising — after all, how harmful could it be to have a bunch of tabs open in your web browser? 

It turns out that no matter which browser you use, opening a lot of tabs is a resource-intensive activity. No matter what kind of MacBook you have, try to limit yourself to fewer than a dozen tabs at any given time. 

And if your system is starting to run hot, close any non-essential tabs to take the load off the CPU.

Minimize your multitasking

Similar to managing tabs in your browser, avoid running too many programs at once — especially extremely resource-intensive programs. 

Many users find Adobe Photoshop and iTunes to be a particularly bad combination, for example. If you’re using Photoshop (or another graphically intensive app), perhaps use your phone for music.

Check the Activity Monitor for misbehaving apps

Some apps put a significant load on the CPU. Whether that happens ordinarily or the app is misbehaving, the fact remains that it can cause your CPU to run hot, and you can check this in the Activity Monitor. 

1. Open Finder on your Mac.

2. Click Applications.

Click “Applications” in the Finder window.

3. Click Utilities.

4. Click Activity Monitor.

5. Select the CPU tab to see which apps are using a high percentage of the CPU’s available resources.

Check the “CPU” tab for apps that are hogging the CPU’s resources.

6.  If you see something monopolizing the CPU, and you don’t need to use it, close that program.

Quick tip: To close an app from the Activity Monitor, select the app you want to close in the Process Name tab and then click the Stop button – it looks like an X inside an octagon – at the top.

Make sure your fans are working properly

It’s possible (however unlikely) that your MacBook’s fans have failed. You can find out by running Apple’s diagnostic tool built into your Mac.

How to start Apple diagnostics on a MacBook with an Apple silicon (M1) processor:

1. Turn off your MacBook and be sure it’s plugged into an outlet.

2. Press and hold the Power button — your MacBook will start up — and release it when you see the startup options screen.

Press and hold the Power button until the startup options screen appears.

3. Hold Command + D and follow the instructions to complete the test.

Perform tests using the diagnostic tools.

Quick tip: You can find a key to all the error codes on Apple’s support page.

4. The test results won’t be in plain English, but look for any error codes that begin with “PPF” – these refer to fan issues.

5. If you do see a PPF error code, you’ll need to get the MacBook serviced. 

How to start Apple diagnostics on a MacBook with an Intel processor:

1. Turn off your MacBook and be sure it’s plugged into an outlet.

2. Turn on the laptop and immediately press and hold the D key. Release the key when you see the diagnostic screen appear and follow the directions to complete the test.

2. The test results won’t be in plain English, but look for any error codes that begin with “PPF” – these refer to fan issues. You can find a key to all the error codes on Apple’s support page.  

4. If you do see a PPF error code, you’ll need to get the MacBook serviced.

Keep your MacBook up to date

Finally, this is good advice for any problems or concerns you have with your MacBook: make sure it is up to date with all software and firmware updates installed

You can make sure you are up to date by opening your MacBook’s System Preferences and then clicking “Software Update.”

Read the original article on Business Insider