Thursday, 13 November 2014

Overheating MacBook Pro with Yosemite

Quite a few people have been complaining recently of problems with MacBook Pros after upgrading to Mac OS X Yosemite (example, and a host of other threads). Some people have had success simply by resetting the SMC (System Management Controler: instructions here), but not everyone. If your MacBook Pro is overheating and rebooting constantly, then read on for a simple solution to this vexing problem.

The problem

I updated to Yosemite a couple of weeks ago, and immediately my late-2011 MacBook Pro's CPU began acting up. The CPU temperature was always around 90-95 degrees, the fans were functioning non-stop, and the OS was automatically rebooting two or three times a day.

I tried disabling background processes (dropbox, alfred, iKey, menuclip, bettertouchtool, etc.), tried disconnecting my external monitor, tried fixing Disk permissions, resetting the SMC and the PRAM (well, I was desperate :-), but nothing worked. I could never manage a whole day without at least one reboot.

The solution

The solution was suggested by Pete Corelio over at Apple's discussion boards (link - he removed his user launch agents using Terminal). I achieved the same result using LaunchControl, a little app that showed me two User Agents with problems. I unloaded both of them, and my problems are over. My Mac's been running for over 72 hours without a single reboot. CPU temperature is around 55-60 degrees, and the fans have been idle all the time.

Seeing not everyone is comfortable using Terminal, here is a simple step-by-step method of checking and fixing any user agent problems, without resorting to the Terminal.

  • First, download and open LaunchControl;
  • You should see something like this:
  • Make sure the drop-down menu at the top reads "User Agents".
  • If any of them are red (like the first and last in the example above), click on it's name on the list on the left-hand side, then click the little button labeled "Unload" (circled red in the screen-shot above).
  • LaunchControl will ask for confirmation (you'll probably need to type in your user account password), then the Status of your User Agent should read "Unloaded".
  • You still need to disable it, so that it won't load the next time you restart your Mac. To do that, click on the little check-box for the User Agent you unloaded (also circled red above), and accept LaunchControl's request for confirmation.
  • You'll need to repeat that for all User Agents with problems.
And that should be it! You might want to have a look at other background processes while you're in LaunchControl (explore the drop-down menu on the top left), but you'll most likely not find anything else wrong.

If I can help you in any other way, let me know in the comments below.