Previous 1 2 3 Next 31 Replies Latest reply: Jul 4, 2015 10:25 AM by ethel100 Branched to a new discussion.
ryantmeaney Level 1 (0 points)

Hey guys I just bought a 13.3 inch macbook pro from the apple store a few days ago and I have noticed when I am using it, it gets really hot. Like to the point where if I have it in my lap its buring my legs. I am only surfing the web and using microsoft office when it gets hot. How can I stop this?

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.4)
  • Bimmer 7 Series Level 6 (10,270 points)

    See what's running on the background when you're surfing the web.

    Flash is notorious in using loads of cpu process which in turns heats up.

    I've noticed my late 2011 MBP 13" heat up when I'm using Firefox with the Flash plugin running.  Once I turn the Flash plugin off, it goes back to normal 43 - 48 degrees C.

  • sig Level 8 (35,785 points)

    Burning your legs? Read the User Guide that came with your MBP. Chapter 5 Safety Information. Just in case you need some help:


    "Proper handling Set up your MacBook Pro on a stable work surface that allows for adequate air circulation under and around the computer. Do not operate your MacBook Pro on a pillow or other soft material, as the material can block the airflow vents. Never place anything over the keyboard when operating your MacBook Pro. Never push objects into the ventilation openings.

    The bottom of your MacBook Pro may become very warm during normal use. If your MacBook Pro is on your lap and gets uncomfortably warm, move it to a stable work surface. "

  • OGELTHORPE Level 8 (42,800 points)

    To get any meaningful advice, you will need to install something like iStat Pro which will give you exact temperatures and fan speeds inside your MBP.  When you do experience 'hot' conditions, check Activity Monitor (in your Utilities folder) and see what applications are active.  With specific facts one can determine if you do or do not have a problem.



  • snowboarder4x4 Level 1 (5 points)

    The reason your MacBook is getting hot is because you are using it on your legs. In order to keep cool it must be on a hard flat surface so that air can flow beneath it. When it is on your legs, it sinks down, airflow is cut off, and heat collects.


    There are two solutions to this problem:

    1. Use your MacBook on something hard and flat (like a desk), instead of on your legs.

    2. Download an app that allows you to control fan speed. I recommend smcFanControl. This is a safe and simple app that allows you to increase your MacBook's fan speed. It is free and can be downloaded here: Download Now (Here is the website:


    When you are using your MacBook on your lap, set the fanspeed to "Higher RPM" and it should stay cooler. (To go back to the original fan speed you can choose "Default" or quit smcFanControl.



    Screen Shot 2012-05-27 at 2.49.18 PM.png

    Hope that helps!


    Ask if you have any questions!



  • peter_watt Level 3 (905 points)

    I like smcfancontrol too. I believe apple design mbp to be quiet rather than cool. Minimum 2500 rather than 2000 makes a big difference.


    From a physics point of view, with a smooth aluminium bottom surface and no grilles it's a tenuous argument that the 1/16 inch gap between mbp and desk will assist cooling. Indeed if your leg gets hot you are conducting heat away faster than a thin air gap would. However the important thing to avoud is sitting with your knees up and blocking the hinge gap where the fan air comes out.


    But yes i set it to 3000 rpm on the lap, or use a tv dinner lap tray.

  • Anuj Goel Level 1 (0 points)

    Ok, 1st thing is that a laptop means top of your lap, and not a hard flat surface. So  an MBP should be supposed to be used on a 'lap top' only and not essentially a hard flat surface.


    2ndly , even when I am using it on my worktable , its still getting hot somewhere around the charging point on top left corner.

    So, I guess we must have a better solution.


    Is a cooling pad useful to this situation or is a pre-requisite ?

  • Bimmer 7 Series Level 6 (10,270 points)

    First of all, to be more specific in the word or term " laptop ".....


    When IBM came out with the Thinkpad, they said it was small enough to let it sit on your lap.  Hence the word " laptop "......


    Nowhere in the computer industry states that your "laptop" was made to sit on your lap while you work.


    Ever tried sitting on a chair and working on your laptop sitting on your lap for 2 hours + ?  Doesn't feel comfortable yeah?


    Where do i get this info?  I don't know, maybe my 30+ years being in the computer industry in both manufacture and design of computers and notebook.  Maybe the fact that I used to be a computer instructor back in the 90's.


    In any event, the main topic was the orginal poster's comments of his laptop is getting hot.


    Why don't we help try to solve that issue instead of getting off track.


    Beter yet, why don't you read sig's comments " Chapter 5  - Safety Information "


    Just my .02 cents.

  • peter_watt Level 3 (905 points)

    Simple answer to his question is it's supposed to get hot - the unibody is a heatsink. The main heat sink area is under the rear left hand side. Thisis to keep down noise, and the fans are only supposed to speed up under heavy loads. It will not damage itself, and it will not shut down so long as the hinge area is not blocked. If it's uncomfortable then use smc fan control and set the minimum speed above 2000, or use a lap tray, piece of plywood on the lap, whatever.   


    On an older mac then checking the fans for dust may be required but he says this is a new one.


    These comments may well become obsolete with the new MBP retina model which seems to have vents along the sides??

  • JDThree Level 1 (55 points)

    I've always used my MBP's on my lap.  13" 2009 model, 15" 2010 model, 15" 2011 model, and my new 15" retina 2012 model.  Never had a problem, and even when the CPU/GPU would get up near 200 degrees F, it was never uncomfortable on my lap...  Been spending most of the last two days now with the new one on my lap installing everything and copying all my data from my old SSD to the new one.  No problems.

  • peter_watt Level 3 (905 points)

    Are those fan vents down the sides? Only seen pics.

  • JDThree Level 1 (55 points)

    Yes.  Each bottom side edge has three slits that run from about the rubber foot to just past the screw half way back.

  • AstroMacMan Level 2 (295 points)

    "Ever tried sitting on a chair and working on your laptop sitting on your lap for 2 hours + ?  "


    Do it all the time!    It works well except in very hot weather or, for me, when Preview is using 125% of CPU saving annotated PDFs.  In those cases, I prop it up so that only the back edge touches my leg.


    This is a vintage MacBook Pro, early 2008.  Have the MBPs gotten hotter?


    I even use mine with shorts on!


    Do the MacBook Airs run cooler?  I would think so, but have read conflicting reports.


    This would be a major factor in whether I buy an MBA or an MBP--I want an actual laptop!! 

  • peter_watt Level 3 (905 points)

    AstroMacMan wrote:



    This is a vintage MacBook Pro, early 2008.  Have the MBPs gotten hotter?


    I believe so yes, as a result of higher speeds and with Lion.  My i7 cores, when running iphoto library build, can get to 210F within a minute. The fans run up to full speed like an airplane starting, and you can not wear shorts! Surf the web or run Office and it's cool.

  • peter_watt Level 3 (905 points)

    Additionally, even though Ryan was only surfing etc, just like windows, on a brand new mac, Osx will spend time in the background indexing files if they have been copied over from a previous computer. That kind of cpu intensive activity will heat up a quad core in no time . Activity manager is the place to go. Although just what 796% cpu actually means is a intriguing on i7 as I render a DVD.

Previous 1 2 3 Next