Easy Fix for Always-On Macbook Fan

Easy Fix for Always-On Macbook Fan

May 6, 2012 8:48 pm 20 comments

I had an unfortunate incident with my 1.5 year old Macbook Air a week ago and it was destroyed, so I headed to the Apple store and got a new one. The problem with the new one (also a newer version with the backlit keyboard) is that the fan was running almost non-stop at 5000+ rpms. I checked everything. There was no Flash being run, I dimmed the keyboard backlight, I closed every program except Google Chrome, and the fan kept spinning as if the laptop was about to melt.

After a little digging, and refusing to accept the fact that Macs just tend to run hot, I found the solution. This extremely easy fix will take you about 2 minutes, and requires absolutely no technical skills. I will warn you, though, that Apple says this should only be done if you’ve tried everything else first. There is no indication of how it could negatively effect your machine, but I offer that warning just in case.

Now, first you should download iStat if you don’t already have some diagnostic tool. It’s is a free widget that will allow you to see the speed at which your fan is spinning and the temperature of your computer (among other things). After you’ve done that, and looked to see that your computer is, in fact, running hot while performing tasks that should not require much work, proceed with the following:

  1. Shut down your computer safely.
  2. Plug in your machine.
  3. While the computer is completely off, hold down Shift+Control+Option+Power for about two seconds or so. You might see the AC adapter indicator light change colors or blink, but nothing else will happen.
  4. Release those keys simultaneously, and then press the Power button again to boot the machine up.

That should do it. Give the Mac plenty of time to load everything before launching any applications, then check iStat to see that everything is running normal. Once that is verified you can try running a few apps at the same time to see if it worked.

One last warning. If you had customized energy settings in your Preferences, those will probably have to be reset.

Resetting the System Management Controller (SMC)

 

 

 

20 Comments

  • Allad

    Thanks so much! You literrally made my day with this fix. After a memory upgrade, my 3 years old Macbook Pro fan started spinning non stop. I was afraid that was it for my beloved machine. But the keys combination actually worked. Magic :)

  • Julia

    Why should it be last resort?! What will happen?!!??!

  • Amanda

    Thank you!

  • It happened today to dad’s 2011 Macbook Air that the power led would not turn on and the fan would run full speed all the time. In addition, when the OS powered up, the battery status on the tool bar would not show, and when it did finally show, it would appear with an X on the battery, as if the machine had no battery.

    This fixed it!

  • Thank you soo much… God bless you… !!!

  • abadb

    WORKS!!! THANKS SOOO MUCH!!! MY BUTTHOLE IS FINALLY UNCLENCHED !!!

  • It happened today to dad’s 2011 Macbook Pro that the power led would not turn on and the fan would run full speed all the time. In addition, when the OS powered up, the battery status on the tool bar would not show, and when it did finally show, it would appear with an X on the battery, as if the machine had no battery.
    This fixed it! I TRULY APPRECIATE YOUR FIX.

  • Polygonking

    Didnt work for my 2006 Nov MBP.
    The buttons that I hit while OFF actually started up the fan for a couple of seconds.
    Powered up.
    Fan still always on.

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