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Mike
Mike, Mac Medic
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 8425
Experience:  Over 20 years IT experience with Apple computers in publishing, marketing and design.
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The fan runs at max speed all the time, and kills my battery

Customer Question

the fan runs at max speed all the time, and kills my battery time. Just started about a week ago. MacBook Air Unit.
JA: Just to clarify, how old is your MacBook Air and what operating system are you running?
Customer: It is about 4 years old
JA: Have you installed any updates recently?
Customer: Yes it is up to date
JA: What troubleshooting have you tried?
Customer: I did shut the fan manually by pressing control shift option and the powe button at same time. this shuts it off but when I restart the unit it comes back on. I tried to see if any other program is working on background? also I tried to move all my pictures to the cloud (8600 pictures) try to get ready of the pictures on the Mac.
JA: Anything else you want the Mac expert to know before I connect you?
Customer: no really
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 months ago.

Hi and Welcome. My Name is ***** ***** I look forward to assisting you today with your question.

This happens if there are any resource intensive applications are running in the background or if there is any issue with fan or sensor or if there is any system glitch.

I think you already ruled out the system glitch part i.e SMC Reset by pressing the control, shift and option keys.

To rule out software part, we can test it in Safe Mode. Turn it off. Turn it back on and immediately hold down Shift for 20 seconds. This will boot into Safe Mode. Does the fan run at full speed in safe mode ?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
ok I am waiting
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 months ago.

Sorry, since the Mac is not starting up, I will not be able remotely connect and fix it from here. So ignore the remote offer.

I will send you instructions in here

Expert:  Ashik replied 2 months ago.

Tell me the instructions in here

Expert:  Ashik replied 2 months ago.

Sorry for the typo. I mean I will give you instructions in here to fix it.

Boot your Mac into Safe Mode and is it running at max in Safe Mode ?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
ok, i will try the safe mode. also what is the best way to store the pictures on the cloud instead of my Mac? What is the procedure? I think this cam be the problem since I am out of disk space?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
are you sending answers to my phone meassage? how do i read them?
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 months ago.

If you want to store it on cloud, then best option is Apple's own iCloud Photo Library feature. But this feature is not available on old OS X. What version of Mac OS X are you using ?

Expert:  Ashik replied 2 months ago.

What version of Mac OS X are you using ? You can find it from Apple menu > About This Mac

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I am on latest system is it sierra
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 months ago.

You can use Apple's iCloud Library for this. Go to System Preferences > iCloud > Photos. Click Options next to Photos. Enable iCloud Photo Library if it is not enabled.

Now the most important part is, optimize the storage of photos

  1. Open the Photos app and click Photos in the menu bar.
  2. Click Preferences.
  3. Go to the iCloud tab and choose a storage setting there.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I did started the Mac on safe mode and the fan is OFF, now what?
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 months ago.

That means some software or background task is causing it to run at max.

Restart normally. Then go to Applications > Utilities folder and open Activity Monitor. Now check the apps that uses more resources i.e CPU

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Ok I foun few applications running like Mds, kernel task, windows server etc how I turn them off?
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 months ago.

Are these using much CPU ? If so, quit them by clicking on them and click Quit button

Then go to System Preferences > Users & Groups. Then select your user account in left side and unlock the lock. Then click Login Items tab and disable all there.

Then go to Applications > Utilities folder and open Disk Utility. In Disk Utility, select your hard disk in left column (Macintosh HD or Mac HD). Click First Aid button and run it. Repair if asked

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I did all of that and first aid said it found corruption to run "first aid from "recovery"? how i do that?
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 months ago.

Before you do this, back up all your important files to an external hard drive or disc. Then follow the steps below to run first aid.

Turn off your Mac. Then turn it back on and immediately hold down Command and R keys at same time for 20 seconds and this will boot your Mac to the Mac OS X Utilities screen. From there, click Disk Utility. Select your hard disk at left column (Macintosh HD or hard disk name). Run First Aid.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I did it all and the fan starts as soon as i tried to do anything. Thank you for all your help, I will take it to the Mac store to see what they can do.
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 months ago.

We have not finished troubleshooting. If you want, I can continue to help you until we find the issue and sort it out

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
ok lets try?
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 months ago.

Go to System Preferences > Users & Groups. Then create a new administrator account for testing. Then logout from Apple menu and login to new account you created (it will be blank, it is only for testing). Does the fan goes to full speed in this account ?

Also, do these steps.

Shut down thec omputer.

Plug in the power adapter to a power source, connecting it to the Mac if not already connected.

On the keyboard, press the (left side) Shift-Control-Option keys and the power button at the same time.

Release all the keys and the power button at the same time.

Press the power button to turn on the computer.

Then follow the steps below;

Shut down your Mac

Restart and immediately hold down Command-Option-P-R keys at the same time

Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for two or three times.

Release the keys and let the Mac boot up.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I did all the steps in the new sign in and after few minutes the fan fan is back
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 months ago.

It is possible that we're dealing with an hardware issue. To make sure this is not system files related, we can reinstall the OS X.

Restart your Mac and immediately hold down Command and R keys at the same time for 15 seconds and this will boot your Mac to the Mac OS X Utilities screen. From there, click Reinstall Mac OS X. Then follow the instructions to reinstall your Mac OS X.

If that didn't work,then restart your Mac and immediately hold down Command, Option and R keys at the same time for 15 seconds and this will boot your Mac to installation screen. Follow the onscreen instructions to reinstall.

(It may take up to 3 hours to finish the reinstall process. Also, backup your files before reinstalling)

Please let me know if that didn't work, so we can continue troubleshooting.

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