Sometimes my MacBook shows a "Performance is reduced" notification after it gets hot from running intensive apps on a hot summer day.

When it's left idle for about 30 minutes and becomes cooler, is there a way to manually increase the performance back to its normal level without having to reboot the Mac?

Or, when the Macbook is left idle for a couple of hours, will it automatically go back to the usual performance and how can you tell?

  • Did you reboot the computer? If this persisted after the reboot... did you try resetting SMC /PRAM? We need more info,., – Thomas Nelson Jul 26 at 4:24
  • The question really is to find a way to do it without rebooting the computer – nopole Jul 26 at 6:44
  • How hot is a hot summer day? Safe operating temperature is up to 35˚C (95F). What tasks are you performing? Which particular MacBook model? What OS version? There have been some updates to improve overheating in certain models. – benwiggy Jul 26 at 11:19
  • so when the room temperature is 36˚C, then it'd be too high already, won't it? It is a Macbook 12 inch running Sierra, and it was only running YouTube showing HD and many Google Chrome tabs open. One catch is on cooler days I use a thin blanket to cover my legs and place the Macbook on the blanket, and I think I saw that overheating notification when I put my Macbook Pro 15 on the bed and let it do video compression before. The thing is not about: what made the computer overheat. It is about: how to make it go back to normal speed once it has cool down enough – nopole Jul 26 at 12:30
  • You could try a laptop cooler .. a plastic pad with a fan. – historystamp Jul 26 at 20:13

I installed the Intel Power Gadget to check if anything can be shown.

Then one time I left YouTube running, showing 1080p, and placed the Macbook 12 inch on the bed, and an hour later, I saw that the notification said CPU performance has been reduced, and Intel Power Gadget showed:

enter image description here

so it seems like the Blue Line (for the processor) is showing that it was running at 1GHz.

And then I stopped YouTube, and put something under the Macbook so that it can ventilate better under the notebook base. After 30 minutes, without rebooting the machine, I ran YouTube again and some other apps, and the Intel Power Gadget showed the Mac running at 2GHz or above again. So it looks like the processor speed got bumped up back to normal, but it won't show you any notification:

enter image description here

P.S. When I have some apps running and Google Chrome running with a dozen tabs, the temperature kept on being 60°C and it won't jump back up to the 2GHz range. I had to quit the apps and Chrome and the temperature went down to 50°C, and after about 30 minutes the Macbook went back up to 2GHz.

  • Also related to your other question. In the upper image you can see that Turbo Boost has been disabled entirely to reduce heat buildup. In the second image the CPU can scale clock speed again. In a way it makes sense I think. The warning is only displayed while the Mac is being throttled. – n1000 Aug 24 at 8:24

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