The older your MacBook gets, the more susceptible it is to overheating. Beyond the keyboard and underneath getting really hot to touch, the fans will be working overtime and making a lot of noise. This can be damaging to your battery and other components over time and shorten their lifespan.
Here are some of the best ways to cool down your MacBook:
Improve the ventilation
It’s possible that your MacBook is overheating due to poor ventilation. A common cause of this is using a MacBook in bed instead of a hard surface. A hard surface will make use of the MacBook’s feet, raising it slightly in the air, and subsequently creating a space for the air to circulate underneath.
You can go a step further by using a laptop stand which will suspend the MacBook high into the air, along with making the screen closer to your eye level, which is good for ergonomics.
Close down background apps
Another reason why your MacBook may be getting too hot is that it’s being overworked. Having more apps open than necessary, or even tabs, demands more resources. This makes the CPU hotter, which then requires the fans to ramp up to cool the CPU down. Check to see what apps and background processes are open (by going into the Activity Monitor), and close down the ones you are not using. Also, don’t overload your device with too much data. Learn How to free up space on a Mac or keep a MacBook Air reset guide handy.
Furthermore, if you’re using Chrome, this could be the issue in and of itself. Chrome is notorious for using a lot of memory and processing resources. So, check CPU and Memory in your Activity Monitor and if Chrome is clearly an issue, switching back to Safari or an alternative browser could considerably help. Alternatively, simply close down the tabs in the browser if you’re not using them, or use a browser extension that suspends the tabs whilst not in use.
Changing your environment
We have covered the impact that the surface can have (including using your lap). But, it could be the actual temperature around you that is an issue, even if you’re using a flat surface. If the laptop is in direct line of sunlight (i.e. through an office window) it may be time to close the curtains or use a shield. Or, if the room is very hot, Air Conditioning may also help or an open window to allow a gentle breeze.
Clean your MacBook
One of the most important pre-emptive measures you can take to increase the longevity of your MacBook is to regularly clean it. Overheating is the biggest symptom that a lot of junk, from pet hairs to dust, might be trapped inside the chassis and in the components.
One of the worst places for dust to gather is in the fans themselves, as it will significantly hinder performance. So, if you open up the MacBook, take a brush to clean the dust and dirt out, and blow away the debris. This will have an immediate improvement on the airflow and will help significantly improve the lifespan of the machine.