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How to manually control your mac’s fans

How to manually control your mac’s fans

Your Mac’s fans probably aren’t something you think about very often—until something goes wrong. Maybe you hear the fan too often, and it’s driving you nuts. Maybe you’ve stopped hearing your fan altogether, even when you Mac feels hot. Either way, you should probably look into that.

For that, we recommend an app called Macs Fan Control. This free program lets you see the temperature of all your Mac’s components, and the speed of your fans in RPM (rotations per minute.) You can even adjust the fans manually, though it’s probably not a good idea to do this very often.

Getting Start With Macs Fan Control

To get started, head to the Macs Fan Control download page and grab the Mac version (There’s a Windows version, but is only intended for Macs running Windows with Boot Camp—other PC fans aren’t supported.) The download comes in a ZIP archive, which you can unarchive simply by opening it.

How to manually control your mac’s fans

Drag the application icon to your Applications folder, then fire it up. You’ll see a list of fans in the large left panel, and all of your temperature sensors on the right.

How to manually control your mac’s fans

The CPU will pretty much always be the warmest thing on your Mac, and the most important temperature to check—but it can be interesting to check the other sensors.

For the most part, however, we’re interested in your fan’s current speed. The minimum, current, and maximum speed are shown in that order. If you see high CPU temperatures—say, over 80 or 90 degrees—and that the fans aren’t running, you might have an issue. The same goes if you see a low CPU temperature—say, around 45—and the fans are running at full speed.

To find out if your fans are working at all, you can click the “Custom” speed button.

How to manually control your mac’s fans

Turn the fan up and see if you can hear anything. If not, your fan has some issues. I really do not recommend disabling the automatic fan control: leaving your fans on constantly will wear them out and waste energy, and leaving them off will overheat your Mac over time. But for the occasional test, it’s nice to have control—just turn things back to automatic when you’re done.

How to Troubleshoot Your Mac’s Fan

Think your fan might be broken? The first thing you should do is launch Apple Diagnostics, one of the hidden startup options on your Mac. Turn your computer off, then hold the “D” key while turning it on. Your Mac will test your hardware, and let you know if your fan is broken.

How to manually control your mac’s fans

If you have a broken fan, you need to replace it. My advice: head to the Apple Store or any authorized Apple repair shop. I managed to replace my own broken fan on a 2011 MacBook Pro, but the internals inside more recent Macs are a great deal less friendly for home repair. It’s not impossible, however: check out iFixIt‘s guides if you want to attempt the repair yourself. But look at all the steps carefully, and only proceed if you’re completely confident you can get this done yourself.

If the hardware report says everything is fine with your fan, your issue is probably a software one. In these cases, resetting the SMC often works—this is the low-level controller that manages thermal management and other things. If that doesn’t solve your issue, consider heading to an Apple Store, or another authorized repair shop.

Passively Monitor Your Fan Speed

If you want to impress your friends in conversation, you should keep track of your Mac’s fans and relay to them how fast they tend to spin during particular tasks. I’m sure everyone will be fascinated at your next dinner party.

To do this, open Mac Fan Control, then click the Preferences button in the bottom-left corner.

How to manually control your mac’s fans

Head to the Menubar Display tab, then select a fan and/or a sensor to display in the menu bar.

How to manually control your mac’s fans

Click “Close”, and you’ll see the information in your menu bar at all times.

Outside of amazing conversations, monitoring the fan speed passively like this can be helpful if you suspect there’s a problem. It’s nothing I’d keep on constantly, but when things are acting funny it’s a nice tool to have around.

How to manually control your mac’s fans

By default, Apple runs your Mac’s fans automatically—with no way to configure them—and it ramps them up when your system gets too hot. The free Macs Fan Control app lets you manually control your fans. There are two reasons you’d want to do this—to allow your Mac to run faster but louder, or slower but quieter. Apple’s auto control aims for somewhere in the middle.

A Few Warnings

Your Mac throttles your CPU when it gets too hot, slowing it down significantly until the temperature gets under control. Usually, this kicks in before the temperature gets too high, but you can manually push your CPU farther by turning the fan speed up farther than Apple usually allows. This makes a lot of noise, which is why the auto-control tries to slow it down.

On the other hand, if you hate fan noise, you can manually turn them down. Keep in mind that this will make your system run a lot hotter, and could lead to system instability if you let it go too far.

With either option, you should monitor the temperatures of your CPU and other components and make sure you’re not causing damage to your system. It’s also possible that running fans at max speed for extended periods could lead to damage, so try not to torture your laptop.

Controlling Fans

How to manually control your mac’s fans

Get started by downloading the Macs Fan Control app and moving it to the Applications folder. When it starts, you’ll see a list of all your fans and the option to set custom controls. “Auto” keeps the default behavior, but opening up “Custom” allows you to set a specific RPM value, or set a target temperature.

How to manually control your mac’s fans

The sensor-based value option mimics the automatic behavior but lets you select how hot you want your system to be. You can push the maximum temperature higher if you want more performance, or lower if you’d like your fans to be quieter.

As a nice touch, the app also lets you monitor the temperature sensors in your system. The main ones to look out for are the CPU Core temperatures.

How to manually control your mac’s fans

If you don’t want to have the application open all the time, you can set one of the fans and sensors to display in the menubar with the app icon; click the “Preferences” button in the bottom right corner to get to those settings.

How to manually control your mac’s fans

This adds a nice sensor in the menubar, and it doesn’t take up too much space if you display it on two lines.

How to manually control your mac’s fans

Under the general preferences, you’ve also got the option of having the application launch on startup and displaying the temperatures in Fahrenheit.

How to manually control your mac’s fans

Apple takes great strides to ensure that your Mac thermals run well within the hardware specifications automatically without consumer intervention. The goal for Apple is to give you the best possible performance while keeping the system as quiet as possible all whilst using the least amount of power. And they do a pretty decent job of it too. However, sometimes you may wish to forego the quiet for cool. Or perhaps forego the cool for quiet. You can take more direct control over your Mac’s fan speeds with the Macs Fan Control app!

Why bother overriding the fans

If you are one to leave well enough alone, then this is not something you’d want to delve in to. As mentioned, Apple does its homework when it comes to what fans should run at what speeds for the amount of heat and power being produced and used. It ensures that your Mac being a MacBook, MacBook Pro or even a Mac Pro can function with decent capabilities while maintaining stability and safe operating temperatures.

That being said, even Apple is a prisoner to the hardware specs. If a CPU starts to run at too high of an operating temperature, it will have to throttle its frequency to a lower setting. This lowering of frequency allows the CPU to run less power and in turn run cooler thus lowing the operating temperature. This avoids damaging the CPU. However, the lowering of the frequency also lowers the performance capabilities of the CPU. Making it run your tasks slower as a result.

In order for the CPU to not throttle its frequency to a lower state, sufficient cooling must be available to avoid high operating temperatures. Sufficient cooling means faster fan speeds. Faster fan speeds means louder computers. Apple tends to configure its hardware towards quiet operations. Since the tendency is for quieter computers, that will also mean you’ll have a tendency for throttling your CPU due to higher temperatures.

If you are on that doesn’t care about fan noise and want “ALL THE POWER” then running your fans at higher spec to keep temperatures lower for longer may be what you’re looking for. And vice versa, if you want quiet operation for a long as possible, then limiting when your fans speed up or slow down may be in your best interest. But be warned!

Some warnings

Changing your fan speed can cause a minimum greater wear and tear on your components. Maybe unnecessarily so. At worst, you can completely destroy your hardware components if you allow temperatures to rise too greatly with adding sufficient cooling. So be aware that fiddling with your Macs designed specifications will indeed break warranty and can even break your Mac.

Macs Fan Control

If you think that you still want to go ahead and manually control your Mac fans, here’s what to do.

  1. Download the Macs Fan application.
  2. Use Finder to navigate to your Downloads folder.

Drag the Macs Fan Control ** app to your **Applications folder.

How to manually control your mac’s fans

  • Double-click the Macs Fan Control app in Applications.
  • Click Open.
  • You’ll now see a list of Fans that you can manually override on the left and a list of current operation temperatures on the right. Let’s for example decide that we want to make certain that our Mac gets the most amount of fresh cool air into the system. We can decide to override the settings for INTAKE and EXHAUST.

    1. Next to the EXHAUST section, click Custom.
    2. You can use the slider to manually set a constant fan speed at whatever you desire.

    Or you can choose to set a Sensor-based value where given a certain temperature on a specific sensor one the system, the fan can start to increase speed and go to its maximum speed at yet another temperature for that same sensor. Here we choose Ambient temperature as our sensor. We left the temperature range as default.

    How to manually control your mac’s fans

  • Click OK.
  • Repeat the same steps from 1 to 4 but with the INTAKE fan.
  • You’ll immediately hear a change in fan speed once you click OK. You can keep an eye on your sensor value to see if the change you applied makes a difference to your liking.

    If you decide that you want these changes to persists after a reboot do the following.

      Click Preferences.

    Check the Autostart minimized with system (recommended) box.

    How to manually control your mac’s fans

  • Click Close.
  • See if the changes are worthwhile

    Now you should monitor your system and the temperatures. Perform your normal tasks and see if the changes you made are 1) working like you envisioned and 2) worth the extra heat or sound emanating from your machine.

    Final comments

    I can make my system cool down a good 5 degrees celsius with my own custom changes but at a cost of considerably louder fan speeds. For my day to day task it’s not worth it. But If I only enable my changes when I use CPU intensive tasks where I’d expect more fan noise, then for my it’s worth the increase in noise. What about you? Any interest in controlling your Mac thermals? What do you do about it? Let us know in the comments!

    How to manually control your mac’s fans

    Advanced Mac users may wish to occasionally manually control their Macs fan speed, along with monitoring the active fan speed and keeping an eye on the various internal temperature gauges of their Mac. This can be helpful for performance reasons, but also for some troubleshooting situations, or even if you want to attempt some drastic intervention to manually cool the temperature of a hot Mac.

    The aptly named Macs Fan Control application allows for this. But remember, the Mac will adjust fans on its own depending on temperatures as needed, so intervening on your own is generally not wise nor recommended.

    Manually controlling Mac fan speed is not without risk, so if you don’t know what you’re doing and how to not damage your computer, you should not use these type of apps. Failure to adequately cool a Mac can result in performance problems, crashes, and even permanent damage to hardware. Overusing a fan could result in hardware failure as well. This app and others like it are for advanced users who have the sufficient knowledge and experience to understand what they’re doing and why they’re doing it, and to avoid harming their computers.

    Use this app entirely at your own risk, as it may damage your Mac. If you are not a very advanced Mac user, do not use this app and do not attempt to adjust fan speeds.

    How to Manually Control Mac Fan Speed

    Warning: The Mac Fans Control app assumes you are an advanced computer user and comes with the following warning from the developer: “This program is for advanced users who know how to use it without doing harm to their macs. The authors are not liable for data loss, damages, profit loss or any other types of losses connected with the use or misuse of the program.” Take that warning seriously!

      1. Get Macs Fan Control free from the developer here
      2. Launch Macs Fan Control, then click on the “Custom” button to manually adjust the speed of the Mac fans based on either a constant RPM value or a sensor-based temperature value

    How to manually control your mac’s fans

      1. Select “Auto” to return to the default settings

    How to manually control your mac’s fans

    You can see the current temperature and fan speed from the menu bar item once the app is open, even if it’s not the most forefront app.

    How to manually control your mac’s fans

    Similarly, if you are in Macs Fan Control you’ll be able to see temperature readings from the various onboard temperature sensors on the Mac.

    How to manually control your mac’s fans

    Any custom settings in Macs Fan Control should be reset and cleared before quitting out of the app or uninstalling it (the app should do this itself, but don’t depend on that).

    If there are persistent changes to fan behavior then you can reset the SMC on MacBook Air & MacBook Pro (2018 and newer) and reset the SMC on prior Macs to clear the system management controller. Note that resetting SMC will not fix a damaged fan or damaged hardware, so if you broke something by improperly using the app that will be your own problem to deal with.

    If you use Macs Fan Control and find it beneficial for some purpose, you can even get a Windows version too. That’s helpful if you run Windows 10 in Boot Camp on a Mac and want to manually control your Mac fans from the Windows side of things too.

    It can not be emphasized enough that these sort of applications are intended for very advanced computer users who understand the risks of manually intervening in hardware performance and behavior. The vast majority of Mac users should not ever attempt to use apps to adjust fan behavior or anything similar, as they will likely experience problems they would not otherwise have. If your interest in adjusting fan speed is purely based on temperature, a better solution would be to focus on ways to keep the Mac cool in hot climates.

    Note that an overheating Mac will often simply crash or freeze, and unlike the iPhone which displays a temperature warning, the Mac will typically just stop being responsive, often with the cursor failing to move as well, when the machine as overheated. Excessive heat is damaging to electronics, so do your best to avoid putting your hardware into situations where the device is running in a hot environment or is not able to adequately cool down.

    The capability to manually adjust fan speeds and control a Macs fan system has been around for quite a while, and longtime readers may recall SMCFanControl from the original Intel MacBook line from back in 2007, and that tool still works on those older Macs, whereas Macs Fan Control functions on modern Macs.

    Anthony Bouchard on September 28, 2018

    If you own an Apple computer, especially a modern one, then you’ve probably come to notice how particularly thin these machines have become. Despite that, most Macs still sport internal cooling fans to keep the CPU and GPU temperatures in check.

    By default, Apple’s internal cooling fans run as silently as possible for a quiet user experience, but this isn’t without its caveats. Thinner machines like the MacBook Pro are more susceptible to heat soak because the cooling capabilities of such a compact chassis are limited; this is something you’ve undoubtedly felt while the machine sits on your lap during intensive tasks.

    While most people overlook it, heat soak can be bad for several reasons, including:

    • Blisteringly-hot heat transfer to your lap when sitting
    • Faster CPU or GPU degradation
    • Throttled CPU and GPU performance
    • And much more…

    Fortunately, you can mitigate these concerns by managing your Mac’s fan speeds manually with a free third-party app dubbed Macs Fan Control. With it, you can achieve preferable CPU and GPU temperatures and benefit from the long-lasting results.

    How to manually set your Mac’s cooling fan speeds

    Upon launching Macs Fan Control for the first time, you’ll notice that the interface encompasses both fan speed controls and a place to monitor real-time hardware temperatures:

    How to manually control your mac’s fans

    By default, my Mac’s cooling fans run between 2,000-2,100 RPM at idle, and that’s great. But Apple’s fan curve tends to be somewhat lax as CPU and GPU temperatures climb, resulting in higher temperatures than you might want.

    By clicking on the Custom… button, you can enter your own fan RPM value, like so:

    How to manually control your mac’s fans

    You can apply custom fan speeds to both fans if necessary, one for the CPU and one for the GPU:

    How to manually control your mac’s fans

    Note: not all Macs have dual fans, so your mileage may vary.

    Upon closing the Macs Fan Speed interface, the app hides in your Menu Bar, where it’s always readily accessible:

    How to manually control your mac’s fans

    From here, you can still manage your Mac’s fan speeds and access the app’s preferences, but you won’t be able to see your Mac’s hardware temperatures unless you click on Show Macs Fan Control from the drop-down menu.

    Speaking of preferences, Macs Fan Control doesn’t come with too many of them. You can:

    • Force Macs Fan Control to launch at system startup
    • Check for app updates automatically
    • Switch between (C) Celsius and (F) Fahrenheit temperature scales
    • Enable decimal points in the hardware temperature read-outs
    • Choose the app’s language
    • Change between a colored or black/white Menu Bar icon

    After configuring a higher fan speed on your Mac, fan noise becomes more audible, but the core temperatures of your machine drop significantly. For me, this is a fair trade-off. As a computer-building enthusiast, I prefer to see lower temperatures, but your use case may vary.

    One thing to keep in mind is that higher fan speeds equate to additional power consumption. That said, you can expect battery life to take a hit if you aren’t using an AC adapter while manually-managing your fan speeds. If you have a Mac desktop such as the iMac or iMac Pro, then battery life isn’t really an issue; you’ll only need to deal with a little more fan noise.

    Regardless, if you want to see cooler temperatures, experience more comfortable computing on the couch, and enjoy longer-lasting Mac hardware, then Macs Fan Control should be the next thing on your list of apps to try.

    Macs Fan Control can be downloaded for free for both your macOS and Windows BootCamp partitions. You can grab it from the download links below:

    Will you be managing your Mac’s fan speeds manually from now on, or are you satisfied with Apple’s stock fan curves? Let us know in the comments section below.

    How to manually control your mac’s fans

    How to manually control your mac’s fans

    By default, Apple automatically runs your Mac’s fans – with no way to configure them – and speeds them up when your system gets too hot. The free Macs Fan Control application allows you to manually control your fans. You want to do this for two reasons: to make your Mac run faster but louder, or slower but quieter. Apple’s automatic control is aimed somewhere in the middle.

    Some warnings

    Your Mac throttles your CPU when it’s too hot, slowing it down dramatically until the temperature gets under control. Usually, this happens before the temperature gets too high, but you can manually push your processor further by increasing the fan speed faster than Apple usually allows. That makes a lot of noise, that’s why the automatic control is trying to slow it down.

    On the other hand, if you hate the noise of the fans, you can lower them manually. Keep in mind that this will make your system much hotter and could cause system instability if you let it go too far.

    Whichever option you choose, monitor the temperatures of your CPU and other components and make sure you do not damage your system. It is also possible that operating the fans at maximum speed for long periods of time may cause damage. Try not to torture your laptop.

    Control the fans

    How to manually control your mac’s fans

    Start with Mac Control Fan application download and moving it to the Applications folder. When that starts, you’ll see a list of all your fans and the ability to set custom controls. “Auto” retains the default behavior, but opening “Custom” allows you to set a specific RPM value or a target temperature.

    How to manually control your mac’s fans

    The sensor-based value option mimics the automatic behavior, but allows you to select the temperature at which you want your system to be. You can increase the maximum temperature if you want more performance or lower if you want your fans to be quieter.

    In addition, the application also allows you to monitor the temperature sensors of your system. The main ones to watch are the central temperatures of the processor.

    How to manually control your mac’s fans

    If you do not want the app to be open permanently, you can set up one of the fans and sensors to display in the menu bar with the help of the icon of the 39; application. Click the “Preferences” button in the lower right corner to access these settings.

    How to manually control your mac’s fans

    This adds a nice sensor in the menu bar, which does not take up too much space if you display it on two lines.

    How to manually control your mac’s fans

    In general preferences, you also have the option to launch the application at startup and display temperatures in Fahrenheit.

    Image credits: Anake Seenadee/ Shutterstock

    How to manually control your mac’s fans

    Advanced Mac users may wish to occasionally manually control their Macs fan speed, along with monitoring the active fan speed and keeping an eye on the various internal temperature gauges of their Mac. This can be helpful for performance reasons, but also for some troubleshooting situations, or even if you want to attempt some drastic intervention to manually cool the temperature of a hot Mac.

    The aptly named Macs Fan Control application allows for this. But remember, the Mac will adjust fans on its own depending on temperatures as needed, so intervening on your own is generally not wise nor recommended.

    Manually controlling Mac fan speed is not without risk, so if you don’t know what you’re doing and how to not damage your computer, you should not use these type of apps. Failure to adequately cool a Mac can result in performance problems, crashes, and even permanent damage to hardware. Overusing a fan could result in hardware failure as well. This app and others like it are for advanced users who have the sufficient knowledge and experience to understand what they’re doing and why they’re doing it, and to avoid harming their computers.

    Use this app entirely at your own risk, as it may damage your Mac. If you are not a very advanced Mac user, do not use this app and do not attempt to adjust fan speeds.

    How to Manually Control Mac Fan Speed

    Warning: The Mac Fans Control app assumes you are an advanced computer user and comes with the following warning from the developer: “This program is for advanced users who know how to use it without doing harm to their macs. The authors are not liable for data loss, damages, profit loss or any other types of losses connected with the use or misuse of the program.” Take that warning seriously!

    1. Get Macs Fan Control free from the developer here
    2. Launch Macs Fan Control, then click on the “Custom” button to manually adjust the speed of the Mac fans based on either a constant RPM value or a sensor-based temperature value

    How to manually control your mac’s fans

    Select “Auto” to return to the default settings

    How to manually control your mac’s fans

    You can see the current temperature and fan speed from the menu bar item once the app is open, even if it’s not the most forefront app.

    How to manually control your mac’s fans

    Similarly, if you are in Macs Fan Control you’ll be able to see temperature readings from the various onboard temperature sensors on the Mac.

    How to manually control your mac’s fans

    Any custom settings in Macs Fan Control should be reset and cleared before quitting out of the app or uninstalling it (the app should do this itself, but don’t depend on that).

    If there are persistent changes to fan behavior then you can reset the SMC on MacBook Air & MacBook Pro (2018 and newer) and reset the SMC on prior Macs to clear the system management controller. Note that resetting SMC will not fix a damaged fan or damaged hardware, so if you broke something by improperly using the app that will be your own problem to deal with.

    If you use Macs Fan Control and find it beneficial for some purpose, you can even get a Windows version too. That’s helpful if you run Windows 10 in Boot Camp on a Mac and want to manually control your Mac fans from the Windows side of things too.

    It can not be emphasized enough that these sort of applications are intended for very advanced computer users who understand the risks of manually intervening in hardware performance and behavior. The vast majority of Mac users should not ever attempt to use apps to adjust fan behavior or anything similar, as they will likely experience problems they would not otherwise have. If your interest in adjusting fan speed is purely based on temperature, a better solution would be to focus on ways to keep the Mac cool in hot climates.

    Note that an overheating Mac will often simply crash or freeze, and unlike the iPhone which displays a temperature warning, the Mac will typically just stop being responsive, often with the cursor failing to move as well, when the machine as overheated. Excessive heat is damaging to electronics, so do your best to avoid putting your hardware into situations where the device is running in a hot environment or is not able to adequately cool down.

    The capability to manually adjust fan speeds and control a Macs fan system has been around for quite a while, and longtime readers may recall SMCFanControl from the original Intel MacBook line from back in 2007, and that tool still works on those older Macs, whereas Macs Fan Control functions on modern Macs.

    Apple doesn’t open up its hardware to users or developers very easily. This goes for most of its hardware; desktop, TV, and phones. On the desktop though, it can’t be as restrictive as it might like e.g., you can install apps from outside the Mac App Store with little to no effort which is something you can’t do on an iPhone.

    On a Mac, any type, you can control the fan speeds manually. Apple doesn’t give you a tool to do it but there are third-party apps that you can use. Here’s how you can control Mac fan speeds manually.

    Control Mac fan speeds

    Before we proceed, you should know that this isn’t something you should take lightly. The fan(s) keeps a Mac cool and if it overheats, for whatever reason, it can damage the hardware. The damage may not be covered by any warranty that you have so be careful.

    Macs Fan Control

    To control the fan speed, download an app called Macs Fan Control. Make sure you move the app to the Applications folder before you run it. You’ll see the following interface. The number of fans that you see will differ based on the Mac model you’re using. Some Macs have three fans, others only have one.

    Sensors

    You will also see a list of sensors in the column on the right. These are the sensors that can measure temperature which will be instrumental in how you change the fan speed.

    Fan RPM

    One final thing you should know is that fan speeds are set in RPM i.e., rotations per minute. Higher RPM means the fan runs faster, and lower RPM means it runs slower.

    How to manually control your mac’s fans

    To control a fan’s speed, run the app and follow the steps below;

    1. You will see all the fans that are on your Mac. Note the Min/Current/Max values for a fan. These are RPM values.
    2. Select a fan and click the ‘Custom’ button next to it.
    3. There are two ways to control the speed of a Mac; RPM, and sensor based. In the panel that opens when you click ‘Custom’, the RPM option is selected by default. With RMP, you have to enter a value but the value will have to be within the Min and Max values that you noted in the first step.
    4. If you don’t want to use RPM values to determine the speed, you can set it to be temperature based. Select the Sensor-based option.
    5. You will see a dropdown that will list the sensors on your Mac. The speed of the fan can be set to the temperature of the sensor you select. Choose one from the list, and set a minimum and maximum temperature that will trigger the fan to run or run faster. Click OK.

    How to manually control your mac’s fans

    Troubleshooting fans

    While this is generally safe, you can run into problems with the fan even if you aren’t changing how they work. If your fans are suddenly running when they shouldn’t, running constantly, or not running at all, you’re going to have to fix it. To fix it, you have to perform an SMC reset or a System Management Controller reset.

    Desktop Mac/iMac

    1. Shut down the Mac.
    2. Unplug it.
    3. Wait for 15 – 20 seconds.
    4. Plug it back in.
    5. Wait another 5 seconds.
    6. Turn the Mac on.

    MacBooks

    1. Shut down the MacBook.
    2. Do not disconnect the power adapter. If it isn’t connected, connect it first before moving to the next step.
    3. Hold down the Left Shift key + Control + Option + Power button all at once for 15 seconds.
    4. Release the buttons and wait 5 seconds.
    5. Tap the Power button to turn the MacBook on, and your fans should be back to normal.

    Managing heat and fans

    If you have a single fan on your Mac, it might be fairly simple to manage it since you know it’s the only thing that will be keeping it cool. If you have more than one fan though, it means cooling is divided between them and you will have to look at several different regions within the chassis of the Mac to manage the heat effectively. With multiple fans, it is also possible that a single fan doesn’t have access to all the sensors on your Mac in which case you’ll have to keep an eye on multiple sensors and the temperature of multiple regions. It’s not easy and it’s a good idea to research how heat flows in your Mac model before you proceed.

    Conclusion

    Macs generally do a good job of managing how hot or how cool they run. You won’t often hear of a Mac shutting down because it overheated while the same cannot be said for a Windows PC. Macs are also not used for gaming but they are often the go-to system for design and animation and those apps do tend to run the Mac hot so it might help to know how to manually manage the heat on it. If your Mac is running too hot all the time, and it doesn’t have anything to do with your apps, consider taking it in for a check.

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    How to manually control your mac’s fans

    By default, Apple runs your Mac’s fans automatically—with no way to configure them—and it ramps them up when your system gets too hot. The free Macs Fan Control app lets you manually control your fans. There are two reasons you’d want to do this—to allow your Mac to run faster but louder, or slower but quieter. Apple’s auto control aims for somewhere in the middle.

    A Few Warnings

    Your Mac throttles your CPU when it gets too hot, slowing it down significantly until the temperature gets under control. Usually, this kicks in before the temperature gets too high, but you can manually push your CPU farther by turning the fan speed up farther than Apple usually allows. This makes a lot of noise, which is why the auto-control tries to slow it down.

    On the other hand, if you hate fan noise, you can manually turn them down. Keep in mind that this will make your system run a lot hotter, and could lead to system instability if you let it go too far.

    With either option, you should monitor the temperatures of your CPU and other components and make sure you’re not causing damage to your system. It’s also possible that running fans at max speed for extended periods could lead to damage, so try not to torture your laptop.

    Controlling Fans

    How to manually control your mac’s fans

    Get started by downloading the Macs Fan Control app and moving it to the Applications folder. When it starts, you’ll see a list of all your fans and the option to set custom controls. “Auto” keeps the default behavior, but opening up “Custom” allows you to set a specific RPM value, or set a target temperature.

    How to manually control your mac’s fans

    The sensor-based value option mimics the automatic behavior but lets you select how hot you want your system to be. You can push the maximum temperature higher if you want more performance, or lower if you’d like your fans to be quieter.

    As a nice touch, the app also lets you monitor the temperature sensors in your system. The main ones to look out for are the CPU Core temperatures.

    How to manually control your mac’s fans

    If you don’t want to have the application open all the time, you can set one of the fans and sensors to display in the menubar with the app icon; click the “Preferences” button in the bottom right corner to get to those settings.

    How to manually control your mac’s fans

    This adds a nice sensor in the menubar, and it doesn’t take up too much space if you display it on two lines.

    How to manually control your mac’s fans

    Under the general preferences, you’ve also got the option of having the application launch on startup and displaying the temperatures in Fahrenheit.

    Image Credits: Anake Seenadee/Shutterstock

    If your computer’s running a little loud for your tastes, it’s probably because your fans are running at full speed—even if they don’t need to be. Here are a few ways to manage your fan’s speed so they’re keeping your computer cool when they’re necessary and silent when they’re not.

    We’ve talked about how to quiet an especially noisy fan before , but focused on computers running too hot or not clean enough. If you’ve built your own computer, chances are your fan speeds aren’t being regulated, and they’re just running at full speed all the time. This makes for a very cool computer, but it can be annoyingly loud, especially if you don’t need those fans running. There are a lot of ways to regulate those fans, many of which are completely free. Here’s how to set them up.

    How Can I Quiet a Noisy Computer Fan?

    Dear Lifehacker, My laptop fan is super loud, and I can’t seem to get it to quiet down. It’s all…

    Method One: Install Fan-Controlling Software

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    The most ideal way to control your fans is with something like previously mentioned SpeedFan (or, if you’re on a Mac, previously mentioned smcFanControl ). These will give you the most control over your fans, letting you choose how fast they’re running at any given time. SpeedFan can even monitor your computer’s temperatures and adjust the fans accordingly. And, if you head to SpeedFan’s configuration, you can even tell it your desired temperature and have it adjust your fans automatically based on that. Just be conservative, since your motherboard’s temperature values aren’t always accurate to the degree.

    SpeedFan Monitors Your Hardware, Controls Fans

    Windows only: Free application SpeedFan monitors the fan speed, temperature, voltage, and more of…

    The one downside with SpeedFan is that it isn’t compatible with every computer out there. You can check out their Support page to see if it’ll work with your machine, or just try it out yourself. If it doesn’t work, you can skip to the next method and see if there are options in your BIOS instead. SpeedFan also requires that your fans be plugged into the 3- or 4-pin headers on your motherboard, not the large, 4-pin Molex connectors. If you only have Molex connectors available, you’ll need to skip to method three. And lastly, it won’t control all the fans in your machine—just the ones for which your motherboard supports fan control. If you want to control all your fans, you’ll need to resort to method three below.

    Method Two: Tweak Your BIOS Settings

    Many motherboards have fan control built-in to the BIOS settings these days, though they don’t always give you as much control as something like SpeedFan does. But, if your computer isn’t supported by SpeedFan, this is a good plan B. Open up your motherboard’s BIOS settings (usually by holding a key like Delete when you boot your computer), and search for the fan settings. They’re called all sorts of different things (for example, Asus has “Q-Fan Control”, while Gigabyte has “Smart Fan Control”), but generally you should be able to find it under one of the BIOS menus. Enable this feature, and tweak any settings it gives you to your liking. Some machines may only let you set it to conservative or liberal mode, while others will let you individually set temperature thresholds like SpeedFan.

    It’ll also offer you a choice between two regulation methods: voltage and PWM. The voltage mode adjusts the voltage of the fan, while PWM mode sends calculated voltage pulses to the fan to make it run a bit slower. For the most part, this depends on how your fans are plugged into the motherboard. Fans connected with a 4-pin connector should use PWM, while fans connected with a 3-pin connector should use voltage. Voltage is slightly less efficient, and you can’t get speeds quite as low as with PWM, but PWM can be finicky sometimes too. If you find PWM is giving you problems, you can always switch to voltage. And, if you can’t connect your fans to the headers on your motherboard (that is, if you’re using the large, 4-pin Molex connectors), you’ll need to use method 3 below. Again, your motherboard will only support this kind of fan control for a few fans, too (usually your CPU fan and a system fan). If you want to control them all, check out method three below.