Released October 24, 2011 / 2.2, 2.4, or 2.5 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 Processor

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Why does my MBP overheat when I'm not using it?

This has been an issue for several months now.

I've read many posts in help forums on different sites. So far I have done things like reset PRAM, did an SMC reset, re-installed the OS, opened and cleaned out any dust, replaced both fans, and last night I reapplied thermal paste using the ifixit guide :).

And it runs cooler--when I'm using it. (SMC Fan control clocks it at 95 degrees Fahrenheit). But when I close it up and go to bed, by morning, the fans are running full speed and its burning up, and the screen is completely dark. It sits on a wooden coffee table when not in use, and sometimes its fine, while other times it's not. I make sure it has enough room around it for proper ventilation, and at this point I'm planning on purchasing a cooling pad for it to sit on, but I don't just want to treat the symptoms!

Any ideas as to what is causing it to overheat when not in use?

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Deck the Halls
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2 Answers

Check if Power Nap is enabled. Power Nap would have your Mac running when it is closed. To turn it off go to System Preferences, Energy Saver, and then under batter and power adapter uncheck Power Nap. Do you have many applications on when you close it at night? If you do try to close them all, but you should try turning off you computer at night to give it a break.


Sure, the keyboard is a way to cool down the computer, but the fan pushes air out of the vent that is located between the display and the hinge. Closing the computer should have to effect on ventilation.

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I don't have the Power Nap option. I have "Put hard disks to sleep when possible" checked, and "Slightly dim the display while on battery power" unchecked. If I forget to close them, I'll usually have Microsoft Word and Safari open, but that's usually it. I've been trying to turn it off whenever I know I'll be away from it for more than several hours, but I just can't figure out what the root cause is.


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Shut it off, or, leave the lid open. Cooling takes place through vents and keyboard that are blocked when the laptop is closed.

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