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How Hot Can A MacBook Get Before Damage? — Apple Says

MacBooks get hot whenever you use them. But what temperature for a MacBook is too hot? This guide will teach you all about the temperature thresholds of MacBooks and what might happen when you exceed them.

Apple says that a MacBook can withstand ambient temperatures between 50° and 95°(10° to 35°C). Do not leave your Macbook in a car as temperatures can exceed this range, if the ambient temperature of the MacBook is higher than 95°(35°C) damage will occur.

You need to remember if you use third-party apps to measure the temperature of your MacBook these apps do not measure the external case temperature which is much lower, do not use third-party apps to diagnose possible hardware issues.

Read on to determine what temperature a MacBook can withstand, whether you can damage a MacBook due to overheating and if 80 degrees is too hot for a MacBook.

What Temperature Can a MacBook Withstand?

Keeping your MacBook at the right operating temperature safeguards your device from damage. However, if you keep your MacBook too cold, condensation may form inside its back cover. It might expose the internal components of your MacBook to water damage.

According to Apple you should only use your MacBook where the relative humidity is between 0% and 95% which is non condensing.

If you keep your MacBook too hot, you might experience slowness as your laptop limits its performance to cool it down. If it cannot lower its internal temperature, you can permanently damage the electrical components inside your MacBook.

Avoid using your MacBook in direct sunlight, whenever I am in a sunny place like in the Caribbean I always avoid my MacBook being under the sun.

Aside from making sure that your MacBook’s immediate environment isn’t too hot or too cold, you should also watch over ventilation. Avoid using your MacBook while the vents are covered by cloths such as beddings and pillows. Although you might not be opening heavy applications, a lack of ventilation will heat your MacBook quickly as the air doesn’t have anywhere to go but back into your device.

You also have to be aware of the different requirements for temperature, even when you’re not currently using your MacBook. For example, instead of 50° to 95°F, the threshold for storage is –13° to 113°F. It’s around 4° to 45°C. If you’ve placed your MacBook into those temperatures while storing it, Apple suggests you wait for your MacBook to acclimate to normal room temperature before turning it on.

Does keeping your MacBook on charge overheat the battery? Read more in my helpful article.

Can Overheating Damage a MacBook?

If the temperature in a MacBook gets too hot, it can permanently damage the sensitive internal components within the MacBook like the CPU or GPU. It is crucial to keep the MacBook within ambient temperatures between 50° and 95°(10° to 35°C) to extend the life of the machine.

A MacBook can operate within temperatures of 50° to 95°F. You can cause the internal temperatures of your MacBook to rise and fall based on a combination of environmental factors and the applications you’re running on it.

If your surroundings are too hot, your MacBook might not be able to suck in enough cold air to cool down its interior. You can also cause your MacBook to overheat by running heavy applications or games. If the MacBook’s processor can’t handle it, it might emit heat and cause your laptop to run more slowly.

Your MacBook heating up while in usage is quite normal. However, you must pay attention to how hot it gets while operating. But suppose your immediate surroundings aren’t humid, and you’re not using any applications. In that case, your MacBook seems too warm, and you might need to check if you have any malfunctions by opening the Activity Monitor.

To do so:

  1. First, go to Applications.
  2. Click on Utilities.
  3. Click on Activity Monitor.

Scan through Activity Monitor and investigate if you have any unclosed applications. You can also look through the performance of your CPU through Activity Monitor. You can usually figure out if something’s amiss by scanning through the tabs. However, if you can’t seem to find an issue, you might have to bring your MacBook to an Apple Repair Center.

Sometimes, repairing a damaged MacBook is not worth it, to know if it’s worth it for you  I wrote an article about MacBook repairs with prices here. 

Is 80 Degrees Hot for a MacBook?

It’s normal to have a MacBook running at 80°F. It falls between the normal threshold of 50° to 95°F, as suggested by Apple. However, 80°C might be too hot for your CPU to handle, depending on your machine and how well your MacBook’s fans are working.

Laptops working high loads might reach up to 90°F temperatures and increase even more.. Apple suggests you keep your internal temperatures down to avoid damaging the MacBook’s internal systems.

You can also check whether the cases you’re using contribute to your MacBook overheating by reading my article. By making sure your case is designed for cooling, you’ll be able to focus on figuring out why your MacBook is overheating.

Like all laptops, MacBooks require electrical components to function. These components cause your MacBooks to heat up whenever you’re operating them. So heat and warmth in your computer are quite normal to experience.

However, excessive heat is known to damage those electrical components as high temperatures cause them to become more susceptible to electrical currents. So the hotter your MacBook gets, the more sensitive your internal components become to electrical damage.

You can lower your MacBook’s temperature by determining which applications cause the most strain and limiting their usage. You can also ensure your immediate environment is cool enough by ensuring that proper ventilation reaches your MacBook. Otherwise, you can check out Activity Monitor to see whether there’s something wrong with your software.

You can also check for excessive fan usage, as this is an indicator of your processor working harder than usual.

Aside from overheating, do overly cold temperatures damage your MacBook? Having your MacBook operating at cold temperatures might even crack your battery. This detailed article talks more about that, and I suggest you check it out if you’re accustomed to leaving your MacBook in cold environments.