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  • Writer's pictureAaron Magruder

Apple MacBook Pro High CPU and Fan Speed

What is this Cisco Guy doing writing about Apple MacBook issues? Things that plagued me for a lengthy period of time, that have a quick fix, is worth sharing with my fellow IT man/woman.

Sometime ago my MacBook had a few strange issues. External Apple Thunderbolt 27" monitors would cause high CPU. This took long enough to figure out what was causing the high CPU. Unplug the monitors, the CPU would go down for a bit. Plug it back in, CPU would go up after several minutes. Disabling Graphics Acceleration helped but not permanent fix. Different Apple updates seemed to fix, then break this again. Second issue, Adobe Reader would constantly freeze when it was opened. Sometimes it would allow you to open the document and scroll through the first page before freezing. After walking through all the Adobe removal and installation instructions, I gave up and started using Safari and Preview to open PDF files.

Both these issues caused CPU to spike, which turned the two fans inside the MacBook on high. MacBook got pretty hot when it ran. After enough time, persistence and Google Searching, I found the problem. Vent were plugged. Temporarily, I put some compressed air in the vent to blow it out, but the MacBook is so compressed, I would just be pushing the dirt and lint further back in to the MacBook. But it helped enough to get the MacBook fan to slow down, lower CPU and cool it down. Much to my surprise, Adobe started working flawlessly. No more locking up when I opened a document or ten documents.

Cleaning out the MacBook is pretty easy, excluding the fact that Apple thinks it necessary to make custom screws for everything and you need to purchase a T4/5 or P5 screwdriver. Just take the screws off the bottom case and pop it off. Blow it out with compressed air and put the case back on. Two screws at the top are different so keep track of which ones go where when you remove them.

If you are having performance issues with your Mac or any PC for that matter, clean out the dust and dirt. Hope this helps.

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