How To Make Your MacBook Pro Cooler

How To Make Your MacBook Pro Cooler

If you own a MacBook Pro, then you know how hot it can get. In fact, before I started writing this, I had my MacBook Pro on my lap, but couldn’t take the heat anymore — right now I have it on my kitchen table while steam continues to rise from my legs. Fortunately, a user on MacRumors Forum has come up with a way to make it cooler. The user claims to reduce the heat by 40-50° Fahrenheit by tweaking a system extension.

My original post had instructions on how to make the change, but the author of the tweak created an AppleScript that does it for you. One thing to keep in mind is that the changes revert back to their original settings when you reboot. Tyler assures me that it’s only a matter of time until someone creates a more elegant solution. When that happens, I’ll post it here.

Update 1

(Friday, October 13th, 2006)

smcFanControl 1.1 has been released. It’s an application that let’s you:

  • Let’s you set the minimum speed for each fan individually
  • Adjust fan speed until the Macbook(Pro) is finally comfortable on your legs again
  • Auto apply mode to set the new fan-speeds after a restart
  • Sourcecode included! Extend it and change it to your needs


Update 2

(Thursday, October 19th, 2006)

smcFanControl 1.2 has been released. Other than fixes, it now monitors temperature.


Update 3

(Thursday, July 26th, 2012) by @RavenJeremy

This app is now up to version 2.3

smcFanControl is now up to version 2.3, I just deployed this app and decreased the temperature by 4 degrees in the first 5 minutes. Still a great application.


Jon Henshaw
Co-Founder and President

Jon is the Co-founder and President of Raven Internet Marketing Tools.

Jon is the Co-founder and President of Raven Internet Marketing Tools.

  • Tyler Hall

    I would be *very* careful modifying the fan-speed-table array in the AppleFan kext. The author of the quoted post implies that these values correspond to fan speeds, e.g. RPM’s. That’s incorrect. They’re actually a list of temperature values determining when the fans should turn off and on. The temperatures are degrees celsius expressed in multiples of 256. For example, the first value, 14592 is 256 x 57 degrees.

    That said, it seems that changing these values to a higher number would cause the fans to wait longer before cooling off. Shouldn’t you lower the values if you want the fans to always be on?

    I could be completely wrong about this, but I don’t think so. Three values above the fan-speed-table key you’ll find fan-hysteresis-temp. From

    “[Hysteresis] typically refers to turn-on and turn-off points in electrical, electronic and mechanical systems. For example, if a thermostat set for 70 degrees turns on when the temperature reaches 68 and turns off at 72, the hysteresis is the range from 68 to 72.”

    I’ll wait and pass judgement on this hack after others have tried it out.

  • Jay

    Lots of people talking about this hack, but I’m too afraid to try it. I use a stand that has cooling fans and seems to help a bit. There hasn’t been any major heat issues with my black macbook as of yet, so hopefully I won’t be tempted to try that tweak and screw something up. lol