Why the fan is noisy on Mac and how to control the cooler on macOS


The fans inside your Mac provide the necessary airflow to cool your critical components. This process is very important, because overheating them can lead to physical damage. By default, coolers automatically start when the system as a whole heats up and stop when it cools down. Fine-tuning the behavior of the cooler in the system is not initially provided.

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But sometimes you realize that you start to hear the fan too often, or maybe you do not notice the fan, even though your Mac is quite hot. We’ll explain how your Mac’s active cooling system works and show you how to monitor and control your cooler speed using third-party utilities.

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Why is the Mac noisy? The main factors affecting the operation of fans

In day-to-day use, an application may require additional processing power to complete its task. In such cases, the computer fans will spin more and make some noise. But when your system is not loaded with resource-intensive tasks, and the fan is still actively running, this is an alarming signal.

Here are some factors that can affect how your Mac’s fan works:

  • Installing the beta version of macOS. When using the beta version of macOS, users often encounter noisy fans. This is due to insufficient optimization of hardware and applications with new software. As a rule, closer to the official release of macOS, the frequent noise of the Mac is eliminated by installing fresh system updates.
  • Blocked air flow. Dust can accumulate on the vents, fan, and surfaces of any parts. It blocks airflow and the fan must work harder to dissipate heat. Avoid placing your Apple laptop on a soft surface that might block the vents on the bottom of the device.
  • A faulty temperature sensor or misconfigured System Management Controller (SMC) can cause your Mac to keep running the fan. You will need to reset the SMC to fix the problem.
  • An active data processing task or a bug in an application can cause your fans to suddenly stop, resulting in system overheating and malfunctioning.
  • The ambient temperature also affects the fan speed. They start up more often in the summer and generally spin faster.

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Why use an app to monitor and control fan speed on Mac?

Like most computer manufacturers, Apple doesn’t let you directly control the fan. But a third party utility will help in the following situations:

  • The utility will allow you to see the values ​​of various sensors, analyze temperature conditions and check the fan speed on the Mac.
  • When replacing a system component, fan speed log data can help you verify the integrity of low-level components and temperature sensors.
  • If you are using your Mac in a noise-sensitive environment, adjusting the fan speed can reduce the noise for a short time.
  • While no Mac model has an ideal fan speed range, a consistent reading with normal system use may indicate that there is no problem with the system.
  • You can monitor the fan speed to see if your Mac is maintaining its normal operating temperature of 30-50 degrees Celsius.
  • In the event of a hardware problem, your fan data can assist with AppleCare repairs.

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Caveats Before Starting Fan Control on Mac

When your Mac heats up, it starts to slow down the processor until its temperature returns to normal. Mac may start to run slower, but there is nothing to worry about. You can artificially increase the fan speed to further reduce CPU heat, but the fan noise will also increase.

If you are uncomfortable with this noise, you can manually reduce the fan speed. When you do this, your Mac may start to heat up, which can lead to system instability. In any case, you must constantly monitor the temperature of the components so that your actions do not cause irreversible damage to the computer.

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Fan (Cooler) Control Apps on Mac

Many third-party utilities in the App Store allow you to monitor component health, check hard drive temperature using SMART technology, and view general system health. We will only cover applications that have special features for monitoring and controlling fan speed.

Macs Fan Control

Macs Fan Control is a utility that allows you to control fan speed and temperature sensors. Immediately after starting the program, you will be able to see the current fan speed. Although you will need a helper utility to control the fan speed, the program’s interface is intuitive and easy to navigate.

Macs Fan Control - application to control fan (cooler) on Mac

The left panel shows the fans in the system and their speed in RPM (revolutions per minute). Meanwhile, the right pane displays the temperature of the thermal sensor on each CPU and GPU. Press the button to control the fan. Other next to the fan and select how you want to control it.

Macs Fan Control - application to control fan (cooler) on Mac

Parameter Constant RPM allows you to manually set the speed value. In this case, the fan will rotate at a given speed regardless of the temperature and sensor values.

Macs Fan Control - application to control fan (cooler) on Mac

Option Sensor based you can select a sensor and define the temperature at which the fan speed will start to increase.

Macs Fan Control - application to control fan (cooler) on Mac Macs Fan Control - application to control fan (cooler) on Mac

If the CPU temperature is high (over 80 or 90 degrees Celsius) and the fans can’t handle it, then you have a hardware problem. The main features of the app are free, but the Pro version allows you to set your own fan presets.

Macs Fan Control - application to control fan (cooler) on Mac

Download Macs Fan Control (Free, $ 14.95 for the Pro version)

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TG Pro

TG Pro is another utility that allows you to quickly view the temperature of your CPU, GPU, and hard drive, as well as check battery status and other hardware parameters. You can also monitor and control fan speed, run diagnostics, and generate a complete report on the fan performance you have.

TG Pro is a fan (cooler) control application for Mac

The left pane displays a list of equipment, and the right pane displays the sensors it has. For each one, you will see the current temperature and a bar showing temperatures ranging from 0 to 105 degrees Celsius. The bar changes color from green to orange and red depending on the temperature in the current state.

TG Pro is a fan (cooler) control application for Mac

In area Fans the fan speed is displayed. Here you can quickly set the fan control mode using various rules. They will determine the speed of rotation of the blades depending on the conditions. Like the temperature scale, the color of the fan scale will change depending on the fan speed. If you constantly observe a high speed of rotation of the blades, this is an alarm signal.

At the bottom is the diagnostics area, where you can get valuable information about the last shutdown, the status of the fans and the status of the battery. If there is an unresolved problem, you can use the Help button to learn how to troubleshoot the fan.

TG Pro is a fan (cooler) control application for Mac

TG Pro is a fan (cooler) control application for Mac

Download TG Pro ($ 12, free trial available)

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Trouble-shooting alarms on Mac

The factory firmware in the Mac is able to control the fans as the temperature changes. The applications mentioned here will help you better analyze system temperature conditions. But even having received a bonus in the form of diagnostics, You should adjust the operation of the fans yourself as a last resort… Use this only when you are confident in your actions and other methods have proved useless.

In addition to fans, other components in your Mac can give alarms even before a serious problem arises. It is worth examining these signs and spotting troubles before they become critical.

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