I have MacBook Pro:

13-inch, Late 2011   
2.4 GHz Intel Core i5  
4 GB 1333 MHz DDR3  
Intel HD Graphics 3000 384MB  
OS X Lion 10.7.4

When it plays a video, the CPU temperature goes over 90 degrees celsius and the fan makes loud noises. Is this normal? Or should I change speed of fan and make it faster for better cooling?

  • Flash video? (aka YouTube, Vimeo, etc.)
    – Alexander
    Commented Aug 19, 2012 at 11:48
  • example video on youtube. or video call in skype :(
    – user193542
    Commented Aug 19, 2012 at 12:09
  • Consider my answer below
    – Alexander
    Commented Aug 19, 2012 at 12:34

7 Answers 7


I believe that it is common for the CPU to reach 90°C under heavy load. However a simple video should not bump an i5 into that region. Depending on the footage and format you are playing back you might want to try a different player (vlc mplayerX). If you are playing back flash HD videos in your browser (especially multiple streams simultaneously), that behavior might be common (due to the bad flash performance on os x).

So much for the software.

Secondly you should take care of the outer temperature (e.g.is your computer in a very hot room) and even more importantly where your notebook is placed. e.g. does it sit on a carpet or any other good insulating soft cushiony surface that prevents heat from leaving your computer.

Thirdly you might want to take a look in the activity monitor and see whats using your cpu. (Maybe some background application e.g. spotlight indexing new pdfs)

  • Thanks for your answer. 1) this heppens when i watch video on youtube or video call in skype or everything which uses video. 2) it is not very hot in my room. macbook is placed on the table without any cloth under it. 3) there is nothing heppening bad in the activity monitor :(
    – user193542
    Commented Aug 19, 2012 at 12:14

I have bought a Retina macbook Pro late 2013 13' and when i play civilization V my temps are 95/98, in idle they are 30/40..I think they're normal

  • your answer does not provide any useful information about the question, you use a much newer mac and playing a game is not the same as watching a video, you can always check here apple.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-answer to see how to answer correctly Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 8:13

After further clarification, it seems that you're getting this high temperature from running videos on YouTube's Flash Player. Flash Player is infamous for its overall crapiness, especially its resource usage (especially CPU usage). One solution to this problem is to find solutions for watching online video (such as off YouTube) without using their Flash Player. Here are the two applications I use:

  • ClickToFlash is a free app that replaces Flash content with a gray placeholder, which only runs the Flash content if clicked on. It works on most YouTube videos, detects the video frame, and lets you play the video using the HTML5 video player, which uses almost no CPU at all. As a bonus, it prevents Flash ads from running (which can sometimes slip by AdBlock)

  • HUDTube (it's accompanying Safari and Chrome extensions) allows you to open videos in an external player (much like QuickTime, but with a togglable ability to keep it on top of all other windows). It's useful to play the few videos ClickToFlash doesn't pick up.


Try SMCFanControl, a free app for regulating fan speed. Your Mac only increases fan speed once core temperature hits a certain threshold. At this point, the mac is already hot, and the fan must work overtime to lower it. If you expect a high load, you can primitively increase fan speed, to avoid the sudden temperature spike.

  • 1
    I should give a warning that 99.9% of the users shouldn't have to download this to make their Mac work. Commented Nov 1, 2012 at 3:37
  • yeah, it's unfortunate. 99.9% of users will never need to either, because they don't use that much of their CPUs. I saw an app that lets you change the fan speed to cpu temp relationship curve, so that you can lower the threshold needed to increase fan speed. I think apple deliberately makes the fan be triggered at such a high temp to reduce noise for the 99% of people who won't sustain such a temperature for so long.
    – Alexander
    Commented Nov 1, 2012 at 4:14

If youtube is giving you heat issues it's pretty likely that it's due to them using VP8/VP9 codecs by default, which your mac won't have hardware decoding for.

If you use chrome you can install the plugin h264ify. You should be able to hardware decode youtube with that & take the load off your CPU.


This problem can be easily solved First, download and run the Adobe Flash uninstaller Then restart the computer Second, place the power supply in a cool place In one minute the temperature reaches less than 70 degrees

  • The OP doesn't mention anything about having Adobe Flash installed on their machine.
    – agarza
    Commented Mar 17, 2021 at 0:00
  • yeah, YouTube or video processing can often be a major problem that can be fixed with Chrome extensions. But one of the biggest pressures on the CPU is the Adobe Flash, which heats up and speeds up the exhaust fan. So by uninstall Adobe Flash from Mac, it lowers the temperature Commented Mar 17, 2021 at 7:34

In Safari, right click, copy url of the video and play it on VLC. It will solve 100% the problem ;)

  • Welcome to Ask Different and thank you for your answer. :) Unfortunately, short answers such as this don't really provide enough detail or context to help many users. If possible, it'd be good if you could add some more info. For example, don't assume that users will know what you mean by VLC, so you could perhaps add a link to it and also explain how/why this will solve 100% the problem. Also, you may want to read How to Answer for tips on providing answers here.
    – Monomeeth
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 7:47

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