How to Keep Your MacBook Cool

If your MacBook is constantly getting hot under the collar, here are some ways that you can keep your MacBook cool.

MacBooks are notorious for getting a bit warm, and not only that, but once the cooling fans kick in, it sounds like a passenger airliner getting ready to take off at O’Hare.

The good news is that your MacBook probably isn’t overheating, because if it was, it would suddenly shut down and restart itself. Otherwise, it’s performing just fine, and even if it feels hot to the touch and the cooling fans are working overtime, there’s probably nothing major that you should be worried about.

However, over time, components can slowly degrade more quickly if their subjected to heat more often, as opposed to if they were slightly cooler. If there’s one thing you probably want to get out of your MacBook, it’s a longer life span, which is why it’s important to keep your MacBook cool under pressure.

Luckily, there are a few ways that you can keep your MacBook cool and prevent it from getting too hot. Some methods involve simple changes in your habits, while other methods can be accomplished with some accessories.

Here are some ways that you can keep your MacBook cool and feeling fresh.

Keep It Elevated

Most of the heat that your MacBook releases is dissipated through the bottom of the laptop, since that’s where the components are located. With that said, it’s important to keep your MacBook at least somewhat elevated so that the heat coming off from the bottom can escape easily.


To do this, you can simply slide some small blocks of wood underneath the back side of your MacBook to prop it up a bit. If you’re looking for a more permanent solution that also looks better overall, getting a laptop stand may do the trick.

The Griffin Elevator is my favorite laptop stand, as it sports the same aluminum design as the MacBook lineup, and it’s also really easy to assemble. It’s a bit pricy for what it is ($35 on Amazon), but it’s one of the best-looking laptop stands around, and it’ll elevate your MacBook enough so that heat can escape quickly and easily.

Stay Away from Soft Surfaces

If you use your MacBook in bed or on your lap you may want to rethink that. Setting your MacBook in any kind of soft surface like a pillow or other fabric is a bad idea, as they pretty much act the opposite of what a heatsink does.


Instead of spreading out the heat and helping it escapes, a pillow or a comforter would trap that heat in, and if your MacBook is sunk down far enough into a comforter, it can potentially block the vents on your MacBook.

It wouldn’t just get hot, but your machine would most likely overheat.

If you want to use your MacBook while in bed, you may want to think about getting a lap desk of some kind, like this one. This allows you to still use your MacBook as you wish, but it’ll be resting on a hard service, allowing it to stay cool.

Clean Out the Cooling Fans

One reason that your MacBook may be getting hot is because there’s dust on the inside that’s blocking the cooling fan and/or vents.

You can easily clean these out, though, but it involves taking the bottom cover off and exposing the internal components in order to remove the dust. This same seem daunting, but it’s actually really easy, and we even have a video that shows you the process.

All you have to do is remove the screws on the bottom with a P5 pentalobe screwdriver, and remove the bottom cover. From there, simply just take a can of compressed air and blow the fan and the vents to clear out any dust. Be sure to hold the fan still with your finger while you spray it to make sure that the fan doesn’t move. The compressed air can actually make the fan spin faster than it was designed for, which can possibly damage the motor and break the fan.

Otherwise, don’t be afraid to be thorough with the compressed air and make sure to get all of the dust out that you can.

Get a Laptop Cooler

If you have the chance to spend a little money, then getting a laptop cooler can be a great accessory to get in order to keep your MacBook chill.


Laptop coolers have advanced greatly over the years. They used to be complete garbage a few years ago, but they’re getting better and better.

This specific laptop cooler, for instance, comes with five fans and it’s reasonably priced. Perhaps the most important thing is that there are fans located near the top corners, as that’s where your MacBook is producing the most heat,  so you want to make sure that you can a laptop cooler that can focus on those areas of your MacBook.

If you’re concerned about noise, then yes, a laptop cooler will produce a bit of noise, but hopefully nothing like the sound that your MacBook makes when the cooling fans go full blast.

Do Not Use Fan Control Software

I’ve seen many users suggest installing fan control software if they want to keep their MacBook quieter, but this is about the worst idea possible if you’re wanting to keep your Mac cool. In fact, using fan control software to make the cooling fans quieter will probably do more damage to your MacBook than fixing the problem.

Image Credit: MacUpdate

Image Credit: MacUpdate

When you use this software to quiet your fans, you’re essentially turning them off during times when your MacBook really needs them to be on when it gets hot. This means that your MacBook is more prone to overheating.

Instead, you need to let your MacBook control the fan speed itself. It knows better than anyone else as far as how fast the fan needs to spin in order to cool the internal components off. It might be loud as a jet, but it’s for a good cause.