How to check your PC or Mac’s CPU temperature to see if it’s at risk of overheating
Your computer can easily overheat when you use it on soft surfaces, like pillows and blankets – here’s how to check your computer’s CPU temperature. Laurence Dutton/Getty Images
You can check your CPU’s temperature on a Mac or PC by downloading a third-party app.
If your CPU gets too hot for too long, your computer could shut down or stop working permanently.
To monitor your computer’s CPU temperature, we recommend HWMonitor for PCs and XRG for Macs.
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If you recently upgraded your computer, you’ll want to pay attention to its CPU temperature. Running your CPU too hot can burn out your components, making your computer unusable. And if you need cooling fans, you’ll never know unless you check that temperature.
Fortunately, you can easily keep tabs on your
PC or Mac’s CPU temperature by installing a third-party monitoring app.
How to check your CPU temperature on a Windows PC
For Windows, we recommend the HWMonitor app, which is
downloadable at the developer’s website for free.
There is a paid ‘Pro’ version of the HWMonitor app, but you can use the free version to monitor your PC’s temperature. Emma Witman/Insider
Once it’s downloaded, open the .ZIP file and extract all the files inside.
Extract the downloaded files. Emma Witman/Insider
Launch the app. You’ll see an itemized list of your computer’s components, with the temperature listed beneath each. Just find the CPU – it’ll be the first item on the page, listed with its model name and number – and check its temperature there.
Your CPU (and other components) will be listed with their model names – for instance, the CPU here is an Intel Core i7 3520M. Emma Witman/Insider
How to check your CPU temperature on a Mac
For Macs, we recommend the free open-source app XRG. You can
find and download the app at macupdate.com.
Make sure your Mac meets XRG’s required minimum version release and processor before you download. Emma Witman/Insider
Double-click the .ZIP file that’s downloaded to unpack it, and the application icon will automatically appear in the same folder you saved the .ZIP file. You might want to move this icon to your “Applications” folder to find it easily in the future.
The XRG zip file will unzip when you’ve opened the app, completing the download. Emma Witman/Insider
Launch the app, granting it permission to open if your Mac prompts you with a warning about third-party downloads.
The XRG app, a slender window with a black background, should appear. You can find temperature statistics for your computer, including the CPU, in the middle portion of the window, right under the fan speed.
Your CPU’s temperature and fan speed are listed by default. William Antonelli/Business Insider
You can see more in-depth data by clicking “Window” at the top of the screen, and then selecting “Temperature Sensors.” This will give you a readout not just for the CPU in general, but also each of its cores.
Select ‘Temperature Sensors’ for a more detailed breakdown of your components’ temperatures. William Antonelli/Business Insider
If you want to change the app’s appearance or units of measurement, you can click “XRG” in the top-left corner of the screen, and then “Preferences.”
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