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Late 2011 model, A1278 / 2.4 GHz i5 or 2.8 GHz i7 processor.

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MacBook Pro heating up and fan running faster without apps running

Hi All,

I've seen similar issues to mine over the forum, but I believe this is a unique scenario.

I am on a clean installation on Sierra and I do not have any apps running on the machine. But as soon as I log in to the OS, I can hear the mac's fan going crazy and mac heating up. This is quite strange since I dont have any apps installed.

1. I did an SMC rest, NVRAM reset, but none of them helped

2. Checked if its an issue with kernel_task - Used "top" to figure out if its kernel_task, but I cant see any issue there.

3. Opened up the mac to check for dust - Cleaned up the fan (there was not a lot of dust there to begin with)

None of the above steps helped. The next steps I plan to do are,

1. Install istat menus and check fan status

2. Check mac status on diagnostics mode (Command + D on start-up) - see if I can get anything out of it.

Please let me know if you have faced a similar issue or if you have found a resolution to this issue.

Thanks in advance

Beantwoord! View the answer Dit probleem heb ik ook

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Re-installing Yosemite resolved the issue.

Seems like its a problem with Sierra.

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That makes no sense!


I haven't seen anything that would lead me to believe this is a real fix.


Believe it or not, it did resolve my issue.

The only thing i did was, moving back to Yosemite from Sierra.


oh, and I installed istat menus, CPU temp and fan speed looks fine. Can't see any issues there. I will report back if I continue to see more issues.


I have a few of these running Sierra for testing for our big roll out. None have had any problems.

I suspect you really have a HD or SATA cable issue here as the stress of upgrading can push a system hard. This series has a known issue with the SATA cable.


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Sadly I suspect your heat sink is bad. You'll need to change it as well as clean & apply fresh thermal paste.

if you do a careful inspection you'll likely see some wetness near the heat transfer tube on the logic board or you'll see a pin hole in the tube.

If you have access to a non contact thermometer or FLER scope you can see the heat is not transferring to the fins.

Once you get the new heat sink with a good digital scale you'll note the bad unit will be slightly lighter than the new unit.

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Thanks Dan.

an installation on Yosemite resolved the issue. Seems like the problem was OS dependent


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I have the same issue with heat since my mac is on Sierra. It heats up as I log in and my mouse becomes very jumpy and erratic. I has nothing to do with heat sink. It has to with Sierra OS. I think Apple has concentrated on iPhone business too much where money is and they ignore the OS. Simply SIERRA is terrible. The new comer HIGH SIERRA would be the same if they continue ignoring it. MS Windows welcome back!

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Hashan Ranatunga zal eeuwig dankbaar zijn.

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