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MacBook Air 2011 fan won't stop after watching a video

4572 Views 13 Replies Latest reply: May 21, 2013 9:46 AM by maremure RSS
htmanning Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Nov 11, 2012 8:13 PM

The fan on my 2011 MacBook Air 13" ramps up significantly (6496 rpms) as soon as I watch a video.  (I have it hooked to a Thunderbolt display.)  The problem is, even after closing the tab that the video is on, and/or closing the browser, the fan doesn't stop. The temperature of the CPU goes back down to about 54 degrees, but the fan is still cranking.  The only way to stop it is to sleep or shutdown the computer.  If I sleep it, I can immediately wake it and the fan will be operating around 2100 rpms.  I've reset the SMC.  Help.

MBP 15, Mac OS X (10.7.1)
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (220,950 points)

    There's nothing wrong. The fan takes some time to return to idle while the computer cools off.

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (220,950 points)

    Then take it in for repair if you believe it's malfunctioning.

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (220,950 points)

    Then reinstall OS X:


    Reinstalling Lion/Mountain Lion Without Erasing the Drive


    Boot to the Recovery HD: Restart the computer and after the chime press and hold down the COMMAND and R keys until the menu screen appears. Alternatively, restart the computer and after the chime press and hold down the OPTION key until the boot manager screen appears. Select the Recovery HD and click on the downward pointing arrow button.


    Repair the Hard Drive and Permissions: Upon startup select Disk Utility from the main menu. Repair the Hard Drive and Permissions as follows.


    When the recovery menu appears select Disk Utility. After DU loads select your hard drive entry (mfgr.'s ID and drive size) from the the left side list.  In the DU status area you will see an entry for the S.M.A.R.T. status of the hard drive.  If it does not say "Verified" then the hard drive is failing or failed. (SMART status is not reported on external Firewire or USB drives.) If the drive is "Verified" then select your OS X volume from the list on the left (sub-entry below the drive entry,) click on the First Aid tab, then click on the Repair Disk button. If DU reports any errors that have been fixed, then re-run Repair Disk until no errors are reported. If no errors are reported click on the Repair Permissions button. Wait until the operation completes, then quit DU and return to the main menu.


    Reinstall Lion/Mountain Lion: Select Reinstall Lion/Mountain Lion and click on the Continue button.


    Note: You will need an active Internet connection. I suggest using Ethernet if possible because it is three times faster than wireless.


    Obviously, everything is not fine but you don't wish to have it repaired. You believe it's not normal, but since it doesn't affect most all products, then it's not something Apple needs to fix.

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (220,950 points)

    Playing any videos will cause the system to heat up quite a bit. It's not just Flash.


    Windows causes a problem because it has no way to control the SMC or the fan.

  • ekals2000 Calculating status...

    Shutdown the MBA... Connect to Power Source.. HOLD the SHIFT, CONTROL, OPTION Button simultaneously with the POWER Button for 2 Seconds.. then Press the POWER Button, the Continous fan running stops....

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (220,950 points)

    Resetting the SMC will not fix fan issues in Windows.

  • ekals2000 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 16, 2012 9:06 PM (in response to Kappy)

    yes... .. coz Parallels or vmware is emulating a generic x86 machine to windows... anyway i dont use WIndows in mymachine except for some specific corporate apps which only run on IE and to use MPP/Visio...

  • kröterix Calculating status...

    Hi htmanning,


    could you solve the fan issues with your macbook airs? I have exactly the same issues with flash videos and Parallels or even Fusion. This is very frustrating...

  • maremure Calculating status...

    Kroterix - I have the same problem. I find that every time I view a video in Safari my MacBook Air starts to run hot and the fan is flying high - because flash player does not end when the video ends. I found this temp solution (I killed, Flash Player and the fan stopped almost immediately) below, BUT, there needs to be a permanent fix. Also, I tested using Firefox and the problem does not occur.



    Oct 18, 2012 10:28 AM



    My Macbook pro's fan runs constantly while I am using it.  It is draining the battery power and I am not sure what to do.

    MacBook Pro



    This solved my question by Kappy  on Oct 18, 2012 10:32 AM



    Well, the fans always run all the time, so you need to be a bit more specific about the issue. Try installing a utility such as iStat Menus 3.26 and then report what you find for the fan speed and for temperatures.


    Open Activity Monitor in the Utilities folder.  Select All Processes from the Processes dropdown menu.  Click twice on the CPU% column header to display in descending order.  If you find a process using a large amount of CPU time (>=70,) then select the process and click on the Quit icon in the toolbar.  Click on the Force Quit button to kill the process.  See if that helps.  Be sure to note the name of the runaway process so you can track down the cause of the problem.

    See the answer in context



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