How do I become an Apple fan?

Learn about the fans and fan noise of Apple products

Learn how your Apple product monitors internal temperatures and uses fans to cool key components.

Some Apple products have sensors that react to changes in temperature in the system or device and then activate fans that cool important components.

Information on fan noise

When your device's processor is doing high-performance tasks, such as compressing HD video, playing a graphics-intensive game, or indexing the hard drive with Spotlight after a data migration, the fans will run at higher speeds to increase airflow. In this case, you may hear fan noise, especially if you are in a quiet environment. This sound of flowing air is normal and part of the cooling process.

The ambient temperature, i.e. the temperature outside the device, also plays a role in the reaction behavior of the fans. If the ambient temperature is high, the fans switch on earlier and run at a higher speed.

If you hear the fans in your Mac Pro spin at full speed even though you aren't doing high-performance tasks, check the case. Make sure your Mac Pro is latched and seated properly, or, for rack models, the top cover or access door is closed and latched.

Make sure the air vents on your Apple product are not covered

Some Apple products have vents that fans use to draw in cold air and expel hot air. Make sure the vents are exposed. Otherwise, the performance of the device may be adversely affected.

  • The Apple TV 4K has fans and ventilation slots on the bottom of the device.
  • AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule devices have fans and air vents on the bottom of the device.
  • The vents on the iMac are along the bottom edge and on the back.
  • The vents on the iMac Pro are along the bottom edge and on the back.
  • The Mac mini supplies the inside of the device with cool air through ventilation slots on the underside. He discharges hot air from the back.
  • The Mac Pro has three fans on the front and air vents on the front and back.
  • The ventilation slots on the MacBook Pro are along the sides and on the back. MacBook Air models have vents along the back near the hinges.

The surface on which your device stands can cover the ventilation slots and thus impair the fan behavior. If you use your device on a soft surface like a couch, pillow, bed, or on your lap, the fans may run faster. The device is best at regulating temperature when you use it on a hard, flat surface such as a table or desk.

Release date: