Macbook temperature range

Macbook temperature range DEFAULT

What is the normal operating temperature for the MacBook (2016 generation)?

Considering that the entire line of MacBooks have no fans, I wouldn't be surprised if it got to the range of 50°C while idle.

Apple only supplies minimum and maximum ambient temperatures; the specified ambient temperature range for your MacBook 50° to 95° F (10° to 35° C) (source). Unless you're using your MacBook in an abnormally warm environment (i.e. direct sunlight in a tropical country), your MacBook shouldn't get too much hotter than its regular idle temperatures.

My 13" Retina MacBook Pro, mid-2014 version can get rather warm when idle (~50°C-60°C) especially if placed on a non-heat conducive surface like a mattress or my legs. I don't mean to get too technical, but you can think of the entire unibody as a rather large heatsink that conducts heat away from your Mac (another reason why sometimes the entire computer feels warm and not just one region). It's also important to remember that OS X will shut your computer down if it gets too hot (>100°C IIRC).

Unless the MacBook in question is exceeding 80°C while idle with no absurd CPU usage or rogue processes (check with Activity Monitor for process CPU usage), I wouldn't see any cause for concern about the temperature of your MacBook.

answered May 9 '16 at 4:59


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Reminder: Keep Electronics Warm and Safe This Winter

Most people are aware of hot weather being a danger to consumer electronics, but they don’t realize that the colder times of year can be just as difficult to our electronic helpers. To make sure that your devices survive the cold this winter, here are some tips to keep them safe when the weather gets brutally cold.

Don’t Charge Batteries In Low Temperatures
It may seem like a straightforward reminder, but be sure to bring your devices into a warm room and let them warm up before charging them.

Why? Well, most consumer electronic devices use lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries and those batteries cannot be charged at subfreezing temperatures (below 32°F or 0°C) without causing damage. Sure, it may look like the cold battery is charging normally, but the battery anode can experience metallic lithium plating. This damage is permanent, and any batteries that are subject to plating can fail when exposed to vibration or other conditions.

This is the solution – don’t charge your electronic devices in a car or unheated garage that is at a temperature below freezing.

Warm Up Your Cold Gadgets
So, you ordered a new MacBook Pro and it was delivered today…and sat in its box on your porch for hours until you got home from work. It’s been below freezing all day. Can you just bring it into the house, unpackage it, plug it in and get to work?  We’d recommend that you be patient and let the computer warm up to room temperature first. This is not just for laptops, but any consumer electronics.

Although they’re becoming less common as the default drive in our new devices, Hard Drives (see image below) really have problems with cold temperatures. There are lubricants that keep the platters spinning freely at high speeds, and those lubricants can thicken when they’re cold. The platters may not be able to spin at their design speed when cold, so your device may not boot properly or data written to the drive when cold may be unreadable when it’s warmed up later.

Solid State Drives (SSDs) are less susceptible to cold temperatures as they have no moving parts, but manufacturers recommend that they be operated only after being warmed to a temperature of 32°F (0°C) or above.

Finally, there’s one other killer for cold electronics in areas with high humidity. When devices that have been exposed to cold temperatures are brought into a warm, humid place, they can be covered with condensation as the moist air hits the cold surfaces. This happens with electronics as well — for example, bring a device into a warm and humid location when it’s been sitting in cold weather and the condensation can be bad enough to cause electrical shorts on circuitry. This isn’t as much of a problem as it used to be now that many of our devices are sealed, but it can be particularly hard on older Macs with motherboards that are exposed to the air (the Mac mini and Mac Pro in particular).

Let those electronics warm up! If you’ve ordered a new hard drive from OWC and it has been sitting outside in a box in subfreezing temperatures for a while, let it warm up before installing it. Laptops should also be given some time to warm up after a prolonged cold soak before turning them on.

How Cold Is TOO Cold?
The best way to find out if a device can be used or stored in cold temperatures is to check the manufacturer’s specifications. Most specs include maximum and minimum temperatures for use and for storage, so keep those temperatures in mind.

The 2017 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar has these temperatures listed under “Tech Specs” for the laptop on Apple’s website:

  • Operating temperature: 50° to 95° F (10° to 35° C)
  • Storage temperature: –13° to 113° F (–25° to 45° C)

How about that new iPhone XS that’s sitting in your pants pocket while you wait for a train in cold weather? While it can operate in a slightly wider temperature range than the MacBook Pro, it has a slightly less forgiving storage (nonoperating) temperature range:

  • Operating ambient temperature: 32° to 95° F (0° to 35° C)
  • Nonoperating temperature: −4° to 113° F (−20° to 45° C)

For any Apple device listed on the Apple site, just tap on “Tech Specs” to get the word on how cold (or hot) it can be before that gizmo may decide not to work.

Beware of Wind Chill
One reader of the Rocket Yard reported earlier this year that “Outdoor enthusiasts need be aware of wind chill factor also. I had an iPod mounted to the handlebars on my motorcycle and froze it to death riding on an extremely cold day. Ice crystals formed and that was it.”

Keep those gadgets in a jacket or pants pocket to keep them warm while you’re riding, hiking, skiing, ice skating, inner-tubing, sledding, tobogganing, or enjoying any other sort of winter fun…or just stay inside and wait for warmer weather!

  1. Crosman air pistol
  2. Garter stitch loom
  3. Custom fanatec wheel

Keep your Mac notebook within acceptable operating temperatures

Mac notebooks comply with all temperature limits that are set in national and international safety standards. Make sure to follow the user guide instructions regarding safety and handling. 

Mac notebooks have sensors that detect temperature changes inside your computer. If your Mac notebook has fans, they turn on automatically to cool critical components. 

Here are some tips to manage the operating temperature:

  • Make sure that you’ve installed all Mac software updates and all current firmware updates.
  • Use your Mac notebook where the ambient temperature is between 50° and 95° F (10° and 35° C). Don’t leave your Mac notebook in your car, because temperatures in parked cars can exceed this range. You should also use your Mac notebook where the relative humidity is between 0% and 95% (noncondensing).
  • Use your Mac notebook on a stable work surface that allows for good ventilation. Don’t use your Mac notebook in your bed, on a pillow, or under covers.
  • Don’t put anything over the keyboard. 
  • If your Mac notebook has ventilation openings, don't put anything into them. 
  • Use only Apple-authorized power adapters. Take steps to avoid overheating the power adapter.

If your Mac notebook gets warm even when it isn’t doing tasks that require intensive calculations, or if it has fans that run for a long time, use Activity Monitor to check CPU activity. Look for malfunctioning processes that can put a significant load on the CPU, and check whether Spotlight is indexing your hard drive. You might also need to reset the System Management Controller (SMC) on your MacBook.

If you use third-party apps that measure the temperature of your notebook computer, it’s important to understand that they don't measure the external case temperature. The case temperature is much lower. Never use third-party apps to diagnose possible hardware issues.

If you have issues with your Mac notebook’s operating temperature, contact Apple. Or visit an Apple Retail Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider.

How to get your MacBook to run Cooler and Quieter!

Waves of extreme heat have already passed across the United States, Europe, and other parts of the world so far this mid-2021. While people are at the greatest risk from high temperatures, your Mac may be more fragile. People can be water cooled and no current Mac offers that option—though some have tried. An iPhone or iPad will warn you when it detects it’s too hot and shut down, while a Mac may simply suddenly power off. If it doesn’t power down, you may be running it to close to its maximum capability and putting a lot of additional wear in the process on components that might fail later during other seasons.

Knowing the temperature is one thing. The other is how hot should your internal components run? Apple says you should only use a Mac when the ambient temperature—the temperature around you—is in the range of 50°F to 95°F (10° to 35°C) and 95 percent or lower humidity.

Internal components produce far more heat than the ambient temperature, with around 100°F or 40°C often the minimum at which they operate in normal indoor circumstances. CPUs, GPUs, ports, and other elements shouldn’t exceed about 192°F (89°C) for extended periods. At 212°F (100°C), the boiling temperature for water at sea level, you should either figure out what energy hogs are making your computer work that hard or shut the system down for a while. It’s almost always a browser. (Use Activity Monitor in Applications > Utilities to look at the Energy tab’s Energy Impact column for more particulars.)

Checking the Mac’s temperature

Moderns Macs have an inordinate number of power sensors to detect problems and manage fan speeds in models that contain them—I count 34 using one tool on an M1 Mac mini. These sensors can be monitored with the right knowledge or software.

On some Intel Macs, you can use Terminal or a free utility for basic temperature monitoring. In Terminal enter the following command and press return:

(Note that those quotation marks are straight double-quotes.) Enter your administrative password when prompted. This will provide a continuous temperature reading of the CPU’s temperature. Press Control-C to stop the monitoring.

You can also install the free app Fanny (not the most perfect name for U.K. and other Commonwealth Mac owners), which offers a simple drop-down set of information in the menu bar or as a notifications widget. Details include the average CPU and GPU temperature along with current fan speeds.

For any Intel Mac and M1-based Mac, the utility TG Pro ($20; on sale att he time of this writing for $10) provides detailed monitoring and fan control. You can see the temperature recorded by every sensor in your Mac and for hard disks and SSDs that support the industry-standard SMART diagnostics. Information and controls are available both in a standard app window and a drop-down menu bar. That bar shows the highest port and CPU temperature and the current fan rotation.

You can monitor the speed of internal fans and override Apple’s settings. This includes creating rules for when fans and how fast fans run. The app comes with a preset rule that turns the blades up to their maximum rotation if the highest temperature of any CPU parameter is at least 158°F (70°C).

Ask Mac 911

We’ve compiled a list of the questions we get asked most frequently, along with answers and links to columns: read our super FAQ to see if your question is covered. If not, we’re always looking for new problems to solve! Email yours to [email protected], including screen captures as appropriate and whether you want your full name used. Not every question will be answered, we don’t reply to email, and we cannot provide direct troubleshooting advice.


Range macbook temperature

How to check a MacBook's temperature

Much is happening inside of your MacBook, and every process and app causes the internal temperature to rise. This is perfectly normal — as long as the temperature remains within an acceptable range. There's much you can do to keep your computer running at acceptable operating temperatures and ways to check the temperature when necessary. 

Keep it cool 

Your MacBook's ambient temperature should between 10° and 35°C (50° and 95°F). Each notebook includes a series of sensors for temperature detection. The MacBook Pro and older MacBook Air models include a built-in fan that turns on automatically to cool critical components. MacBooks with Apple silicon use thermal efficiency for active cooling; the MacBook Air (M1, 2020) does so without a fan. 

Apple offers tips to keep temperatures cool on your notebook. These include:

  • Staying on top of software and firmware updates
  • Avoid keeping and using your computer in a parked car
  • Keep the MacBook on a flat surface in a room with ventilation
  • Don't put anything over your keyboard
  • Keep ventilation openings clear of debris
  • Using only Apple-authorized power adapters

Checking the temperature

Through the macOS 'Activity Monitor' you can get an idea of which processes are impacting your notebook's CPU, GPU, energy, disk, memory, and network usage. You can find this tool by clicking on 'Finder' in the Mac dock, then choosing 'Go' > 'Utilities', then choosing 'Activity Monitor'. However, there's no way to find the actual current temperature using the tool. 

There are third-party temperature monitors on the market that do tell you the actual internal temperature. One of the oldest tools on the market, the free CoconutBattery, is also one of the most basic that gets the job done. With an iOS/iPadOS device connected to your Mac, the app will also give you a battery analysis of your mobile device. A premium CoconutBattery version is also available, which adds more diagnostics for a small fee.

For a more advanced tool, consider iStat Menus. The app puts a broad range of information on the menu bar, including a CPU monitor, GPU, memory, network usage, disk gauge, and more. TG Pro and iStatistica are also worth considering.

With regular use, your MacBook should maintain optimal temperatures. If it doesn't, check your surroundings and follow Apple's tips. When in doubt, contact Apple support. 

Bryan M. Wolfe is a staff writer at TechRadar, iMore, and wherever Future can use him. Though his passion is Apple-based products, he doesn't have a problem using Windows and Android. Bryan's a single father of a 14-year-old daughter and a puppy, Isabelle. Thanks for reading!

Why MacBooks Get So Hot

How to Check MacBook Temperature

What to Know

  • Use Terminal command sudo powermetrics --samplers smc |grep -i "CPU die temperature" to view your temperature at a glance.
  • Alternatively, download Fanny to view temperatures more attractively. 
  • Keep your Mac cool by avoiding covering it with anything.

This article explains how to check your MacBook's temperature, including looking at Terminal commands and a third-party app that simplifies the process. It also looks at what to do if your Mac is overheating.

How Do I Check the Temperature of My MacBook Pro?

If you want to check the temperature of your MacBook Pro for a moment or two, it's easy to do via the Terminal app. Here's what to do.

  1. Open Terminal on your MacBook Pro.

  2. Type in sudo powermetrics --samplers smc |grep -i "CPU die temperature"

  3. Enter your Mac's password.

  4. Wait for Terminal to display your CPU temperature.

    Terminal will continue to update the temperature until you close the app. This command doesn't work with M1-based Macs.

How Do I Monitor the Temperature on My Mac?

If you'd prefer to monitor the temperature on your Mac regularly, there's a much simpler way than using Terminal commands, and it looks more stylish too. However, it requires downloading a separate app. Here's how to use Fanny to check the temperature via the Menu Bar.

Fanny needs to be downloaded, but you don't need to install it to your Mac to use it. 

  1. Download Fanny from the Fanny Widget site.

  2. Open the app, and it's automatically placed in your Menu Bar.

  3. Click the Fanny icon on the Menu Bar to view your CPU and GPU's current temperature.

    Fanny also provides information regarding how well the fans perform on your Mac which can help you troubleshoot any potential issues.

How Do I Know if My Mac Is Overheating?

If you're worried your Mac is overheating, there are some simple precautions you can take to avoid the issue. Here's a look at some of the key ways to prevent your Mac from overheating.

Not all of these fixes will work if there's a hardware fault on your Mac. 

  • Make sure your Mac is up to date. Apple releases regular firmware updates for Macs, and it's essential to keep up to date, so your device runs optimally.
  • Avoid using it in hot locations. Don't leave your MacBook in a parked car when the weather is hot outside, and avoid using it in high humidity situations.
  • Use your Mac on a stable work surface. Ensure your Mac has good ventilation at all times and avoid using it on your bed, a pillow, or under covers.
  • Don't cover it. Don't cover your MacBook with anything that could block its fans or cause it to overheat.
  • Only use Apple-authorized power adapters. Avoid using unofficial power adapters that may be unsafe. 
  • Restart your Mac occasionally. If your Mac seems to be struggling and you can hear the fans whirring a lot, try restarting it or switch it off for a time to give it a break.


  • The methods listed above will work for checking the CPU temperature of a MacBook Air. Alternatively, download the iStat Menus app to monitor your Mac's stats, including CPU temperature, continuously.

  • There's no one-size-fits-all answer for safe operating temperature, as "normal" CPU temperatures vary by processor, outside temperatures, and whether the device is idle or working at full load. Generally, if your MacBook has the M1 chip or the Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, the CPU can safely reach temperatures of 100 degrees Celsius. Apple advises that the ideal ambient temperature when using a MacBook can range from 50 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Consider testing your MacBook's temperature when it's idle and then under a full load.

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