• February 8, 2023

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Temperatures in the U.K. are about to reach a point that exceeds the recommended operating temperature for MacBooks and other laptops.

The U.K. is currently in the midst of a heatwave, with temperatures predicted to reach 40C (104F) in some parts of the country on Monday, potentially setting a new record. The previous highest recorded temperature in the U.K. was 38.7C.

With the vast majority of U.K. homes and many offices not fitted with air conditioning, that creates a real risk that people will be using laptops and other electronic equipment beyond its recommended operating temperature.

For example, Apple recommends that use your MacBook “where the ambient temperature is between 50 and 95F (10 and 35C)”.

Other laptop manufacturers make similar recommendations. The recommended operating temperature for a Dell Latitude 5400 is set at between 0 and 35C. The regulatory information for Microsoft’s Surface Go laptop also states the device is “rated as a commercial product for operation at +32F (+0C) to +95F (+35C)”.

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Keeping laptops cool

Even if the ambient temperature does exceed the manufacturer’s recommendation, it doesn’t mean the laptop will fail. Laptops are fitted with sensors that automatically turn the system off if there’s a risk of overheating, making burnt-out components highly unlikely. However, using equipment beyond its recommended operating temperature could void warranties.

People using laptops and other electrical equipment in extreme heat would still be well advised to pay attention to the running temperature of their devices.

Windows laptop owners can monitor system temperatures using the free Speccy utility, and iStat Menus is a highly detailed temperature monitoring app for Macs.

Avoiding intensive activities such as gaming and video editing, putting laptops in power-saving modes and ensuring that laptops are only used on hard surfaces are other ways to keep operating temperatures down.

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