Why is my Mac fan so loud and overheating?

Asya Karapetyan
Content marketer, who specializes in Mac how-to guides
June 22, 2023
7 minutes to read

When your Mac is making noise, this means that your computer is overheating and a Mac fan control is running to cool the hardware. Generally, Mac’s fan has excellent control, they only run when your Mac gets hot. However, a noisy Mac can be irritating and, more importantly, it can start slowing down.

This article will explain why Mac fan is loud, how to stop your MacBook from overheating, and how to fix Mac fan noise issue.

MacBook fan is noisy


  1. Why is the MacBook Air (Pro) fan so loud?
  2. Can a MacBook cool itself without a fan?
  3. How to stop a MacBook from making a fan noise.
  4. FAQ about Mac fan control.

Tip 1 – Close memory-heavy apps that make your Mac get hot and noisy

One of the reasons why your Mac is making noise is that you have several memory-consuming applications running at the same time on your system. You can monitor the memory usage on your Mac, quit heavy consumers, and free up RAM with a professional software tool called MacCleaner Pro.

Download MacCleaner Pro and prevent it from getting hot and noisy.


MacCleaner Pro

Free Download

Why is the MacBook Air (Pro) fan so loud?

In most cases, you hear loud fans when your computer is overheating. Usually, your Mac makes noise when you restart it or when a large number of applications are running on your system at the same time. Also, the noise and hot air can increase if you use your MacBook incorrectly, for example, if you hold it on your lap or let it lay on a blanket, which interferes with the operation of the cooling system. When the cooling system is running at its full capacity, the fans spin like jet engines, and it seems like your Mac is going to take off!

However, your MacBook’s fan may make noise for other reasons than overheating. Sometimes, a MacBook’s fan is working constantly, which might indicate some problems with the hardware:

  • A thermal sensor or controller damage, software failure.
  • A Mac fan control (cooling system) damage.
  • A heat pipe damage.
  • A thermal paste has worn out.

If your MacBook fan is too loud, you should check the temperature sensors. You can do this with the help of third-party applications, like iStat Menus. Your Mac’s temperature should remain within 30-50 degrees in a normal mode and 50-70 degrees when the fan is working.

Read on to learn the main reasons why your MacBook Pro/Air is overheating, how to prevent it from happening, and how to make your MacBook fan quieter.

Can a MacBook cool itself without a fan?

MacBook does not have a fan to cool down its components. Instead, it relies on passive cooling methods, such as heat pipes, thermal paste, and metal chassis. These methods help to transfer heat from the processor and other parts to the outer surface of the laptop, where it can dissipate into the air.

However, passive cooling has its limitations. If the MacBook is used for intensive tasks, such as gaming, video editing, or rendering, it can generate more heat than it can dissipate. This can cause the MacBook to overheat and throttle its performance to prevent damage. Overheating can also shorten the lifespan of the components and affect the battery life. Therefore, a MacBook can cool itself without a fan, but only up to a certain point.

How to stop a MacBook’s fan from making noise

Often, MacBooks overheat due to improper handling. Here are some tips to make your Mac much quieter:

1. Place your MacBook on a firm, level surface

Don’t put your MacBook on your lap, especially on a blanket. Placing your MacBook on any soft surface, like a pillow, bed, or sofa is not a good idea. Apple MacBooks have ventilation slots on the bottom that must not be blocked. And it’s not just about blocking the air ducts. Some fabrics are good at insulating heat in and of themselves, which is a big problem for passive cooling. If you like working in a bed, just work on a special laptop stand. Otherwise, your MacBook may overheat, causing serious problems with the hardware.

2. Check the system unit ventilation

This tip is more relevant for iMac or Mac Mini users. These Mac computers are usually placed on a flat hard surface. However, make sure that your Mac is not pushed into some recess. Your Mac requires free air circulation. Otherwise, your Mac will definitely overheat and its fan will start to work constantly making a loud, annoying noise. When thinking of where to place your Mac computer, pay attention not only to the aesthetic part but the proper ventilation.

3. Clean up the dust

Occasionally, a Mac’s fan system can get clogged with dust. Dust prevents normal air circulation and, as a result, prevents the Mac from cooling properly. You will have to open the case to clean up the dust. Generally, it is not complicated and you can do this by yourself. However, do not use a wet rag; dust must be cleaned with compressed air. If you are not sure how to clean up dust, contact the Apple service center for cleaning and preventive maintenance of your Mac’s cooling system.

4. Reset system management controller (SMC)

Every Mac computer has a system management controller (SMC) which is responsible for many system processes, including temperature regulation. If it seems like your Mac fan is at full speed or it is working constantly, you can try resetting the SMC.

If you have a MacBook, do the following to reset SMC:

  1. Disconnect from your MacBook everything but the power.
  2. Press and hold for 10 seconds the Shift+Control+Option shortcut + the “Power” button.

If you have an iMac, follow these steps to reset SMC:

  1. Shut down your iMac.
  2. Press and hold the power button for 10 seconds.
  3. Restart your iMac.

The Mac computer will immediately turn on and then turn off. The blinking of the power indicator means that SMC has been reset.

Note: This option is not supported on M1 Macs. Apple’s chip doesn’t have the SMC.

5. Close heavy-consumers

Some applications, like Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, or too many tabs opened in your browser require a lot of RAM memory. You should quit any memory-consuming applications once you’re done using them. If many heavy applications are running on your Mac simultaneously, your Mac will most likely start overheating and making noise. You can find and close your heavy consumers and free up RAM memory with the help of MacCleaner Pro.

How to close memory-consuming apps with MacCleaner Pro:

  1. Download and launch MacCleaner Pro.
  2. Switch to the Expert mode.
  3. Go to the Speed Up section in the sidebar.
  4. Click on Heavy Consumers and select the unneeded apps that use much RAM.
  5. Click the Speed Up button and confirm the action.

how to speed up macbook air 2015

You can download the MacCleaner Pro trial absolutely for free. The application also allows you to clean up junk files, completely uninstall applications, find and remove duplicate files, and so much more.

FAQ about Mac Fan Control

How do I turn off the fan noise on my Mac?
How do I stop a MacBook from overheating?
What do I do if a MacBook Air fan is running constantly?
Why is my Mac so quiet?
How do I clean a MacBook Pro’s fan?
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