Mac notebooks: Operating temperature

The bottom surface and some areas between the keyboard and LCD hinge of your Mac notebook can become warm after extended periods of use. This is normal operating behavior.

To address any concerns you may have with the operating temperature, here are some suggestions for working with your notebook computer:

  1. Make sure you are running the latest system software and have installed all current firmware updates. To find the latest system software, use Software Update or download system software and firmware updates from
  2. Set up your notebook on a stable work surface that allows for adequate air circulation under and around the computer. Do not operate your notebook on a pillow or other soft material, as the material can block the airflow vents. Never place anything over the keyboard when operating the computer. Never push objects into the ventilation openings.
  3. The bottom of your Mac notebook may become very warm during normal use. If your notebook is on your lap and gets uncomfortably warm, move it to a stable work surface that allows for good ventilation.
  4. The location you are using your notebook should be within these ranges: 
    • Operating temperature: 50° to 95° F (10° to 35° C)
    • Relative humidity: 0% to 90% noncondensing
  5. Make sure the AC plug or AC power cord is fully inserted into the power adapter before plugging the adapter into a power outlet. Use only the power adapter that came with your Mac notebook, or an Apple-authorized power adapter that is compatible with this product. The power adapter may become very warm during normal use. Always plug the power adapter directly into a power outlet, and place it on the floor or in a well-ventilated location. For more information see Mac notebooks: Using and maintaining your Apple MagSafe Adapter.
  6. Runaway applications can cause the processor to work overtime and affect the heat level of your computer. For more information see Runaway applications can shorten battery runtime, affect performance, and increase heat and fan activity.
  7. Spotlight automatically indexes the contents of your hard drive. This activity may increase the CPU utilization and your computer may become warm. See Spotlight indexing may make the fans run for more information.

Note that you shouldn't keep your notebook or power adapter in your bed or under covers as this doesn't allow adequate airflow.

Learn more

For computers with internal fans, the fans turn on automatically within a temperature range that is selected to ensure proper operation of the computer. 

Mac notebooks comply with temperature limits set in national and international safety standards when used in accordance with the instructions in the user guide.

While there are third-party utilities that measure the temperature of a notebook computer, it is important to understand that these utilities are not measuring the external case temperature. The actual case temperature is much lower. Never use third-party applications to diagnose possible hardware issues. Instead, contact Apple or go to an Apple Retail Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider.

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