That whirring noise you hear from your Mac from time to time is the fan. It comes on when the Mac gets hot. The Mac gets hot when it has to work harder. Most of the time, that’s a good thing. But sometimes something goes wonky.
Enter Fanny, a free app for macOS that lets you view the Mac’s internal temperatures and get information about the Mac’s various fans. While all that is interesting, anything free has limitations, including Fanny.
Check? Or, Change?
Most Mac users do not have a fan problem. If we’re running games, or working on a video, or doing almost anything that chews through some CPU cycles, a Mac’s fan might come on for awhile because an internal sensor was triggered by the additional heat. That is normal and behaves as expected.
Fanny is more of a Notification widget also visible in the Mac’s Menubar and with a click displays your Mac’s fans and the temperature. What you see is what you get.
If you’re curious and don’t have an interest in tinkering with fans or changing anything that will alter the Mac’s fans, Fanny is the name of the game. It’s free. It works with a click. It can be useful but it is limited.
Less limited and more for the geeky Mac is Macs Fan Control, a utility that also displays Mac sensors, temperatures, and fan status, but also comes with a few more granular controls.
Macs Fan Control displays your Mac’s CPU cores and various temperature sensors inside the Mac. Those controls also let you troubleshoot your Mac whenever a fan goes on and stays on– things happen– and becomes cause for alarm. Yes, a Mac can overheat and Macs Fan Control can zero in on a problem’s location.
Fan monitoring is handled in real time but also lets you set custom RPM’s or control the Mac’s fan speeds relative to other items. In fact, Macs Fan Control is so smart it comes with a built-in Windows version. No, not for a Windows PC. For Windows running on your Mac in Boot Camp. The app also identifies specific sensors and gives you options for displaying specific icons in the Menubar.
What’s not to like. Both Fanny and Macs Fan Control are free. The former is a good way to learn about sensors and fans without mucking something up. The latter is for the Mac geek who wants more control (ostensibly without mucking something up).