Macs Fan Control: What It Is and How It Works

Control your Mac's fan speed manually or use a temperature profile

Macs Fan Control is a utility app that monitors the temperature and fan speed of a Mac. The app also can control fan speed to the desired RPM.

What We Like
  • Easy-to-use interface.

  • Select a temperature sensor to take control of a fan.

  • Set a static fan speed, or use a sensor to control fan RPM.

  • It's free.

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't indicate which sensors are associated with which fans.

  • Lacks an automated notification system.

Monitor and Control Your Cooling Fans

Macs Fan Control provides something that only Apple developers possessed in the past: the ability to control how a Mac's cooling fans perform. This is not something you should take lightly.

Apple used advanced thermal modeling to develop the cooling profiles used in their fan management systems. Geared toward intermediate to advanced Mac users, Macs Fan Control can replace the Apple-supplied fan profile with the one you create. Beginners can use it, too, but you must be careful: Misuse can damage a Mac.

Macs Fan Control setting fan temperature profile
Coyote Moon, Inc.

Why Use Macs Fan Control?

There are two primary reasons for creating a custom fan profile:

  • You replaced a component in your Mac (such as a drive or graphics card), and the old temperature sensors were damaged or no longer measure the temperature correctly. Use Macs Fan Control to set a fan speed limit to prevent a fan from revving up beyond what is needed.
  • You use your Mac in a noise-sensitive environment, such as a recording studio. Use Macs Fan Control to silence your Mac for a short period by preventing the fans from spinning up beyond a preset limit.

The User Interface

No matter how you use this app, the controls and layout are easy to use and navigate. The main window has two panes:

  • The first shows the fans and their speeds. A control section lets you create custom settings for each fan.
  • The second pane shows the temperature of each thermal sensor. This uncluttered interface displays pertinent information at a glance.

To take control of a fan, click the Custom button next to the desired fan to display the Fan control panel. Then, select how to control the fan:

  • Constant RPM: Set the RPM manually. The fan spins at the desired speed regardless of temperature or sensor values.
  • Sensor-based value: Select the sensor to use. Then, define the low-end temperature at which the fan speed will increase and the high-end temperature at which the fan is set to maximum RPM.

To return to the default settings for a specific fan, select the Auto button.

In the Menu Bar

Macs Fan Control can also display in the menu bar. Here, you'll see the selected sensor temperature and fan speed at a glance. You can also choose a black-and-white or color icon for the menu bar item.

System Compatibility

Macs Fan Control is available for all types of Macs, including MacBooks and iMacs. The app is also available in a Windows version for those who use Boot Camp to run a Windows environment on a Mac.

Final Verdict

You don't have to use the fan speed control feature of Macs Fan Control to appreciate this utility. You can monitor temperature sensors and speeds of associated fans in RPM (revolutions per minute). All in all, if you need an extra level of control over your Mac's cooling abilities or want to see how hot your Mac gets, Macs Fan Control might be the app you need.

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