I just got a MBP 15" Touch Bar with sierra. I am using it for web development (Webstorm) and graphic design (Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer). When using the graphic design tools, my MBP can start getting hot... up to 88°C. Now this happens with within 30 minutes or more of using the software. I have to stop my work and wait for it to cool off.

I have even put my Mac to sleep and went to the store and when I came back my Mac was pretty hot. It seems like sleep mode did not work. Keyboard lite was on when I got back from the store. I put it to sleep again and the same behavior happened.

I also have a 2015 MacBook Pro 15" and it does not run as hot as the latest 2016 MBPs. Am I missing something? Is this normal for new MacBooks? I have checked the apple pages for temperatures but they only provide ENVIRONMENT temperatures and that is it.


3 Answers 3


The normal operating temperature range for silicon is much higher than is comfortable to the touch. The heatsinks & fans are directly below the top of the keyboard along the hinge opening. I too have found the upper edge of my MBP to be uncomfortable to touch -- typically when I'm debugging using the F() keys.

My recommendation would be to use a product that allows you to manually adjust the fan speed in order to run the fan at a higher-than-minimally-necessary speed to lower the temperatures accordingly.

I personally use iStat Menus. In that tool, under 'sensors' is a button to 'Edit Fan Rules'.

Incorporating feedback from the OP to create a more comprehensive answer:

Alternatively, if you believe you may have a hardware issue, a trip to the Apple store might be warranted. The OP had a hardware issue that, while mitigated by the iStatMenus approach, really required a hardware solution, including multiple trips to the Apple store, to ultimately resolve.

  • 1
    So sad that I have to buy extra software to keep my MBP from getting very HOT. I tried using iStat Menus and so far it is working well. I have my settings at medium but on gaming it still gets very very very HOT.
    – user218227
    Jan 22, 2017 at 21:11
  • 1
    @btinoco - I agree wholeheartedly! I've been keeping an eye out for something that would just allow me to adjust the target temperature used by the smc, but so far, nada. Also, I commonly 5 different fan presets, based on the amount of cooling I need and the noise I can stand in a particular environment. It's not uncommon for me to use both fans on High to get the desired cooling if my CPU is busy (say, running 2 VM android emulators, for instance.) Jan 23, 2017 at 16:28
  • @MrWonderful could you post your iStat Menu desired cooling temps and fan speed settings, would be useful for me, and perhaps others finding this thread.
    – paj
    Jan 30, 2018 at 20:28
  • What fan rules should we use? Oct 9, 2019 at 18:43
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    @IgorGanapolsky - I didn't realize there WERE fan rules in the new version(s) of iStatMenus! I played with them a bit and determined I don't care for the approach. I still use fan SPEED settings, just a few like low, med, hi, for presets and change them manually if I find the touch bar area running hotter than I'd prefer (up,) or if the computer is louder than I'd prefer (down.) When I used the rules, I was annoyed that the fan speed would 'flutter' around the trigger temps. What would work BETTER for me is setting a target temp for a sensor, and let iStatMenus adjust the fans gently. Nov 19, 2019 at 11:35

The first things I would do are to reset both the NVRAM and SMC. Follow the steps below.

Reset the NVRAM

IMPORTANT: The steps for resetting the NVRAM are different for the Late-2016 MacBook Pro models (i.e. different to all other Macs).

For all Late-2016 MacBook Pro models (with and without Touch Bar) follow these steps:

  1. Shut down your machine. Yes, a full shut down, not just logging out.
  2. Press the power button and then immediately press the commandoptionpr keys.
  3. Keep these keys pressed down for at least 20 seconds!
  4. Let go of the keys and let your Mac reboot normally.

Note: When you log back in you may need to readjust some of your system preferences (e.g. speaker volume, screen resolution, startup disk selection, time zone information, etc).

Reset the SMC

You should also try resetting the SMC. To do this on your MBP, follow these steps:

  1. Shut down your computer
  2. Keep the power cable plugged in.
  3. Press at the same time shiftoptioncontrol (on the left side of the keyboard) and the power button
  4. Let go
  5. Turn your computer back on with the power button.

How does your temperature compare?

Once you've reset both the NVRAM and SMC, your MBP should behave how Apple intended. If you still experience temperatures of 88º C and are concerned by this, you can use this resource (which can be filtered) to compare temperature readings with other users. Of course, I'm not sure how many users with Late-2016 MBPs have recorded their temperatures yet.

However, my earlier MBP temp is regularly at 81º C and it performs very well!

Do you have a problem?

Another thing you can do is run Apple Hardware Diagnostics to see if it finds any errors. To do this:

  1. Fully shut down your MBP
  2. Restart your MBP
  3. Immediately press the D key and keep it down until you see the Diagnostics screen appear
  4. Wait for Diagnostics to finish (this typically only takes a few minutes)
  5. Once complete, one of two things will appear on the screen:
    • a No issues found message
    • a brief description of any errors found plus further instructions
  6. If the diagnostics test does find errors, take a note of what they are

Note: If pressing and holding the D key at Step 3 doesn't work, start again at Step 1 and, at Step 3 press and hold both the OptionD keys instead. This will try and run diagnostics from the internet instead, so you will need to allow more time for it to complete.

Let us know how you go.

  • The new Macs can run hot out of the box when fans are controlled by the SMC. Some owners might want to attempt to manually control the cooling before resetting hardware...
    – paj
    Jan 30, 2018 at 20:31

Actually, I just took my MacBook pro to the Apple store (again) and after 3 times of repairs, the MacBook pro 2016 was still having issues with the display, keyboard and overheating. Apple replaced it. Overheating is not normal specially when you are using non intensive programs. I now have a MacBook 2017 that runs at 42°C most of the time, compared to my 2016 that ran most of the time at 60°C or higher. Something to do with the Skylake vs the Kabylake... I think.

  • I'm curious, did one or both machines have a discrete GPU?
    – Scottmeup
    Jul 20, 2018 at 5:41
  • Yes, they both did.
    – user218227
    Jul 20, 2018 at 5:43

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