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If you’re a MacBook or MacBook Pro user you’ve probably noticed that the bottom of the computer gets a bit warm and you probably wonder if that’s normal.

The answer is yes, your Mac will get warm, in fact it’s designed that way.  Like any machine, your Mac produces heat while it is operational and its heat sinks, or metal parts that conduct heat, are designed to draw heat away from the vital parts of your computer.  Your Mac will get hot if you are watching YouTube videos (really anything that is running Adobe Flash) or if you are running apps or software that use a lot of CPU or GPU such as Photoshop or video editing software.

While Macs will get hot, it’s best to keep your computer as cool as possible.  Try not to use your Mac on soft surfaces such as your bed, couch, pillows, or carpet.  When you use your Mac in these places, airflow through the vents of your computer (located under the screen hinge) is restricted meaning your computer can’t get any air to cool down and can’t force out the hot air it’s generating.  Not only do these surfaces prevent air flow, but it is easier for lint and dust to get inside your Mac when it is on these surfaces.  Use your computer on a hard surface or if you use it on the couch or bed, place it on a book or buy a cooling pad for it to rest on.

When should you be concerned?  If your Mac is so hot that it causes discomfort when touched, if it is constantly running its fans but not getting any cooler even when moved to a table, or if you’re experiencing a problem with your graphics (for example pixelation or bars across the screen) then its time to bring it to the experts.  While some heat is okay, prolonged heat or constant heating and cooling can damage vital parts of your computer.

If you think your computer is running hotter than usual, please contact us to fix the problem before damage occurs.