How to Check CPU Temperature on Mac

Last Updated: December 18, 2016

There are a lot of reasons why you might want to check the CPU temperature on your Mac. You might be benchmarking a new machine you bought, or maybe you’re just trying to figure out when the fans kick in. Whatever your reason may be, the problem is that Macs don’t natively offer a feature to check the CPU temperature. Don’t worry, though, in this article I will tell you how you can check the CPU temperature on your Mac, using third party CPU temperature monitors, and a simple Terminal utility.

Check CPU Temperature on Mac with Fanny

One of the best methods to monitor CPU temperature in Mac, is by using Fanny. This app has been developed by Daniel Storm, is available for free and supports macOS Sierra. Along with CPU monitoring, Fanny also lets you check details around the fan. Once you download this app, you can simply move it into the Applications folder, and launch the app.

The app launches as a menu bar icon, which displays information such as the current fan speed, along with the maximum fan speed that can be attained. Below that, you will see the CPU temperature for your Mac.

fanny-check-cpu-temp-mac-menu-bar

The app comes with a Notification Center widget as well, which you can enable by following the steps below:

1. Go to the Notification Center, and on the bottom, click on “Edit“. It may read “1 New“, instead of Edit.

check-cpu-temp-mac-notification-center-step-1

2.  Click on the “+” icon next to “Fanny” to add it to your Notification Center.

check-cpu-temp-mac-notification-center-step-2

That’s all, you will now be able to see your Mac’s CPU temperature in the Notification Center. This is easier than having it up on the menu bar, because all it takes to launch the Notification Center is a two finger swipe from the right edge of the Mac trackpad.

check-cpu-temp-mac-notification-center-step-3

Check Mac CPU Temperature from Terminal

If you’d rather use the Terminal to check the CPU temperature on your Mac, you can simply follow the steps below:

1. Download the source code for osx-cpu-temp from the GitHub repository, by clicking on the “Download” button, and then clicking on “Download ZIP“.

check-cpu-temp-mac-terminal-step-1

2. Unzip the archive you just downloaded. Then, launch Terminal, and navigate to the directory where you extracted osx-cpu-temp. You can use the “cd” command for this. “cd” into the folder that was extracted from the ZIP file, and then type “make“. This will build the app, and you can then run it.

check-cpu-temp-mac-terminal-step-2

To run the app, you just have to type “./osx-cpu-temp“. This will display the CPU temperature in the Terminal.

check-cpu-temp-mac-terminal-step-3

If you want to change the units being used, just use the command as follows:

  • ./osx-cpu-temp -F” to display the temperature in Fahrenheit

check-cpu-temp-mac-terminal-in-fahrenheit

  • ./osx-cpu-temp -C” to display the temperature in Celsius

check-cpu-temp-mac-terminal-in-celsius

NoteYou will always have to navigate to the “osx-cpu-temp” directory, to run the command. If you don’t want to do that, you can add the path to the directory to your $PATH environment variable. Then, you can simply run the command as “osx-cpu-temp” to get the CPU temperature.

SEE ALSO: How to Check Battery Time Remaining in macOS Sierra 10.12.2

Easily Monitor the CPU Temperature on Mac

You can use these methods to easily check the CPU temperature on your Mac, either from the menu bar, the Notification Center, or from the Terminal. I tried all the methods on my MacBook Air running macOS Sierra and they worked fine. There are a lot of other ways that are available, but most of them are either paid, or require a lot of work to set up, and are beyond the scope of this article. However, if you know of any method that is simple enough to be covered in this article, do let us know about it in the comments section below.

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Akshay has been a gadget freak since longer than he cares to admit and loves everything to do with technology. When he's not fanboying over the latest and greatest in the tech universe, he watches Game of Thrones and Silicon Valley.

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