There is no denying the fact that macOS is more efficient than other desktop operating systems including Windows. But, that doesn’t mean the OS is without any quirks or pain-points. If the lack of a native feature to disable Turbo Boost seems annoying, the inability to check CPU temperature on Mac feels nothing less than a classy puzzle. While Activity Monitor does offer a way to view how apps and other processes are impacting the CPU, GPU, energy, disk, memory, and network usage, the built-in task manager is still quite limited and lacks a clear cut feature to show the current temperature of CPU on macOS. But fret not, this is where third-party Mac apps come into effect.

How to View CPU Temperature on macOS

Before getting started with steps, let’s clear out a couple of fundamental questions!

Why Do You Need to Track the CPU Temperature on Your Mac?

There are multiple reasons why you may want to keep a track of the CPU temperature on macOS. Maybe you are trying to benchmark your newly bought machine or maybe you would like to find out when actually the fans get going. Moreover, it can also let you figure out whether or not you are overkilling the CPU by allowing the high-octane games or resource hogging apps to run amuck.

So, What’s the Ideal CPU Temperature?

As the normal CPU temperature varies from model to model, it’s a bit difficult to point out a precise number that can be the best representative for all. However, if I were to break it down in simple term I would say that the cooler the CPU temperature is, the better it is for the health of your computer.

The normal room temperature 22-24 degrees celsius is ideal for CPU temp. But even if the computer runs 10 degrees celsius above the ambient level, it’s still fairly okay. Long story short, the normal CPU temperature must be around 45-65 degrees for a healthy system. So, if the number goes above this normal level, you must think of cutting down the workload of the CPU. Now that the talk is over, it’s time to run through the quick steps.

Check CPU Temperature on macOS Using Fanny App

Whenever I think of tracking CPU temperature on macOS, the one app that instantly comes to my mind is Fanny. Probably the best part about it is the ability to work as a native macOS feature. Once you have installed this app and set it up (that requires hardly a couple of steps), you can take a quick glance at many performance defining aspects like CPU/GPU temp. What’s more, it’s available for free.

1. To get started, download Fanny on your Mac.

2. Once you have downloaded the app, click on the Notification Center icon  (three stacked horizontal lines) at the top right corner of the screen.

Click on the Notification Center icon

Alternatively, you can swipe to the left from the right edge of the trackpad to access Notification Center on your computer.

3. Now, ensure that the Today tab is selected. Then, click on 1New at the bottom.

Click on 1New

4. Next, click on the “+” button to the right of Fanny.

Click on the plus button to the left of Fanny

That’s pretty much it! From now onwards, you can check the CPU temperature of your macOS device right from the Notification Center.

View CPU temperature on macOS

Besides, you can also click on Fanny’s menu bar icon to view your Mac’s current CPU temperature. Aside from showing the CPU temperature, this handy app also lets you keep a track of the current speed, target speed, minimum speed, maximum speed, number of fans, and GPU temperature on your computer.

Check CPU temp of mac using menu bar app

Best Fanny Alternatives for Viewing CPU Temperature on Mac

While Fanny remains the most loved notification center widget for tracking the CPU temperature along with other important system information of Mac, there are a couple of notable apps that are more proficient. And if you don’t mind spending a few dollars for extra functionalities, they would be worth taking a look.

1. Monit

Should you want to go for a slightly more feature-rich CPU temperature tracking Mac app, I would recommend you to try out Monit. The app works efficiently in offering a quick way to check out the key performance data of Mac. For instance, you can use this app to check out several important performance defining things like CPU, network, disk, memory, and even battery. Though this notification center widget comes at $2.99, it’s worth the price considering the notable features and reliable performance.

Monit notification center widgetPrice: $2.99

2. iStat Menus

For the folks who are looking for a complete menubar system manager, iStat Menus is hands down the best bet. What gives it an edge over many other rivals is the ability to show a wide range of key performance metrics including CPU, GPU, memory, disk usage, network usage, disk activity, battery, and more. Moreover, this macOS app is fully customizable so that you can hide unwanted information and make it show only the metrics that matter to you. But keep in mind all these goodies will cost ($10) you way more than other apps.

iStat Menus 

Price: $9.99

Keep a Track of the Current CPU Temperature of Your Mac with Ease

So, that’s how you can keep an eye on the CPU temperature of your Mac. Though I’m quite pleased with the performance of these third-party apps, I would love to have a native macOS feature for this specific functionality. Hopefully, Apple introduces it in the next iteration of macOS this fall. Have any feedback? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments and also let us know which one of these apps have been able to catch your attention.


  1. I was having kernel panic restart issues. Tried everything regarding resetting memory, disk first aid…anything I could try, but nothing helped. I came across this article and wanted to see if I had a heat issue. My cpu temps after running the sudo command line was showing between 80-92 degrees centigrade. I downloaded a utility from the App Store called Macs Fan Control, free or 10 bucks for the pro version. It supposedly shows the temperature sensors in the MacBook, but the sudo command shows a higher temp than the app shows on the cpu. The app showed my fans under system control, and basically no matter how hot the cpu got, the fans stayed at around 2500 rpm’s. I took over my Macs fan control with the app and started testing using constant rpm’s and how it would affect the cpu temps. The app shows that my fans are capable of between 2000 rpm’s and 5900. After some trial and error, I put both fans at 4600 rpm’s, and I haven’t seen a kernel crash in 2 days now, and my cpu temps are running in the low 70’s. If the crashes come back and I can find this page again, I’ll let you know.

  2. Certainly advised that you look/read before blindly trying 3rd party or native options. That said, try native options—particularly command-line interface (CLI) first, since they are generally supported by Apple and free.

    Review help/manpages for CLI suggestions first, too. Use powermetrics –help (no manpage available) to check and confirm any suggested option—including those I’m posting below.

    Note: the commands below run until you stop them via [cntl]-[c]

    # Run basic command with no additional filters
    sudo powermetrics –s thermal

    # Filter to only see repeating output like…
    #”**** Thermal pressure ****
    #Current pressure level: Nominal”

    sudo powermetrics -s thermal | grep -A2 -i thermal

    You can also see if your CPUs are being throttled…
    pmset -g thermlog
    # Example output looks like…
    #”Note: No thermal warning level has been recorded
    #Note: No performance warning level has been recorded
    #2020-11-30 10:35:28 -0800 CPU Power notify
    # CPU_Scheduler_Limit = 100
    # CPU_Available_CPUs = 6
    # CPU_Speed_Limit = 100
    # ^C”

  3. I don’t think you know much of what you’re talking about either. 90°C is not an ideal temperature at all. At such a temperature the processor would start thermal throttling, causing your computer to run slower. Please learn what you’re talking about before commenting an obnoxious comment such as yours.

  4. your temperature ranges are RIDICULOUS. 35C for a running computer? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. Hitting 90C regularly is not a problem at all for a modern computer. You don’t have any idea what you’re talking about.

    • I don’t think you know much of what you’re talking about either. 90°C is not an ideal temperature at all. At such a temperature the processor would start thermal throttling, causing your computer to run slower. Please learn what you’re talking about before commenting an obnoxious comment such as yours.

  5. Thanks this post actually helps me a lot after fumbling … a lot asking me to install iStat and other hundred dollars apps but what I really want is actually a very simple app like Fanny ….

    Long Live Fanny

  6. Hi Beebom, I love your content but do you really think giving away a zip file is a right way to do? I don’t who developed this app and it can contain any malware or bloatware which I don’t want. If you guys made it then please mention that or mention the source and the company which made that app.

  7. On Fanny, the temperature of the CPU and GPU never change. I hear fan starting and stopping, but the values there never change.

  8. I am trying to run the terminal utility as you describe, however, I am experiencing problems. After downloading and extracting the zip into Downloads, I enter the following in the terminal:

    cd Downloads/osx-cpu-temp-master/

    Then click on Enter. I then enter the following in the terminal:


    I then see the following error:

    xcrun: error: invalid active developer path (/Library/Developer/CommandLineTools), missing xcrun at: /Library/Developer/CommandLineTools/usr/bin/xcrun
    Wendyb-MacBook-Pro:osx-cpu-temp-master wendyb$

    What am I doing wrong? Many thanks.