MacBook Overheating and Not Turning On: 4 Effective Solutions + Bonus Tips!

MacBooks are known for their reliability and performance, but even the best machines can experience problems from time to time. One common issue is overheating, which can cause a number of problems, including performance issues, crashes, and even hardware damage. In some cases, overheating can even prevent your MacBook from turning on altogether.

fix macbook overheating and not turning on

If you’re experiencing this issue, don’t panic. There are a number of things you can do to fix an overheating MacBook and get it back up and running. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most effective solutions, as well as some bonus tips to help you prevent overheating in the future.

Identifying the cause of the MacBook overheating

The first step to fixing an overheating MacBook is to identify the cause of the problem. There are a number of potential causes, including:

  • Blockage of the vents: If the vents on your MacBook are blocked, dust and other particles can build up inside, preventing heat from escaping.
  • Fan failure: If one of the fans in your MacBook fails, it won’t be able to circulate air properly, which can lead to overheating.
  • Software issues: In some cases, software issues can also cause your MacBook to overheat. For example, running too many programs at the same time or using a program that is not optimized for your MacBook can put a strain on the hardware and lead to overheating.

Solutions for MacBook Overheating

Once you’ve identified the cause of the overheating, you can start to troubleshoot the problem. Here are some of the most effective solutions:

1st solution: Clean the vents

If the vents on your MacBook are blocked, you can use a can of compressed air to clean them out. Be sure to clean the vents from all sides, including the bottom of the MacBook.

clean MacBook vents

To clean the vents with compressed air:

  1. Turn off your MacBook and unplug the power adapter.
  2. Hold the can of compressed air upright and insert the nozzle into one of the vents.
  3. Short, sharp bursts of air to blow out any dust or debris.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each vent on your MacBook.

To clean the vents with a vacuum cleaner:

  1. Turn off your MacBook and unplug the power adapter.
  2. Attach the soft brush attachment to your vacuum cleaner.
  3. Turn on the vacuum cleaner and hold the brush attachment up to one of the vents.
  4. Gently vacuum the vent to remove any dust or debris.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each vent on your MacBook.

Tips for cleaning the vents on your MacBook:

  • Be careful not to spray the compressed air directly into the vents. This could damage the internal components of your MacBook.
  • Don’t use too much force when vacuuming the vents. This could also damage the internal components of your MacBook.
  • Avoid using any harsh chemicals or solvents to clean the vents. This could damage the finish of your MacBook.

It is recommended to clean the vents on your MacBook on a regular basis, especially if you use it in a dusty environment. This will help to prevent overheating and other problems.

2nd solution: Reset the SMC

The SMC (System Management Controller) is responsible for a number of important functions on your MacBook, including fan control. If you’re experiencing overheating issues, resetting the SMC can help. 

reset SMC on MacBook

To reset the SMC, follow these steps:

  1. Shut down your MacBook.
  2. Hold down the Shift, Control, and Option keys, as well as the power button for 10 seconds.
  3. Release all of the keys and turn on your MacBook.

Resetting the SMC is a non-destructive process, and it will not erase any data on your MacBook. However, it is still a good idea to back up your Mac before resetting the SMC, just in case.

3rd solution: Update your software

Make sure that your MacBook is running the latest software updates. Software updates often include patches for known bugs that can cause overheating issues.

update MacBook software

To update the software on your MacBook, you can use Software Update. Software Update is a built-in utility that checks for and installs updates for your macOS operating system and apps.

To update your MacBook software using Software Update:

  1. Click the Apple menu in the top-left corner of your screen and select System Settings.
  2. Click General in the sidebar.
  3. Click Software Update on the right.
  4. If there are any updates available, click Update Now.

If you don’t see an item named Software Update in System Settings, click the Spotlight icon in the corner of your screen, then type Software Update in the search field. If Software Update is found, you can open it from the search results.

If you’re using an older Mac that doesn’t include Software Update, you can use the App Store to update your software. To update your MacBook software using the App Store:

  1. Open the App Store.
  2. Click the Updates tab.
  3. Click the Update button next to any apps that you want to update.

You can also choose to update your apps automatically.

  • To do this, click the App Store menu in the menu bar and select Preferences. Click the Automatic Updates tab and select the checkboxes next to the options that you want to enable.

4th solution: Use a cooling pad

If you’re using your MacBook in a hot environment or if you’re running demanding programs, using a cooling pad can help to prevent overheating. 

MacBook cooling pad

Cooling pads work by circulating air underneath your MacBook, which helps to keep it cool.

  • To use a cooling pad for your MacBook, simply place your MacBook on top of the pad and connect the pad to a power source. Most cooling pads come with a USB cable that you can plug into your MacBook’s USB port.

Some cooling pads have fans that blow air underneath your MacBook to help keep it cool. Other cooling pads have a passive design that dissipates heat through a combination of materials and airflow.

Bonus tips to prevent MacBook Overheating

Here are some additional tips to help you prevent MacBook overheating:

  • Avoid using your MacBook on soft surfaces: Soft surfaces, such as pillows and blankets, can block the vents on your MacBook, leading to overheating.
  • Don’t place your MacBook in direct sunlight or near other heat sources: Exposing your MacBook to direct sunlight or other heat sources can cause it to overheat.
  • Be careful about what programs you run: Some programs, such as video editing and gaming programs, can put a strain on your MacBook’s hardware and lead to overheating. If you’re going to be running a demanding program, try to do it in a cool environment and avoid running other programs at the same time.

Final Thoughts

If you’re experiencing MacBook overheating issues, don’t panic. There are a number of things you can do to fix the problem and prevent it from happening again. By following the tips above, you can keep your MacBook running cool and efficiently for years to come.

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