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How Cold Is Too Cold For a MacBook? (Short Answer!)

The number one advantage of a MacBook is its portability, but if you take it with you on holidays, to work, school, etc it may end up being exposed to some lower temperatures, so how cold is too cold for a MacBook?

As a general rule, don’t expose your MacBook to lower temperatures than 32°F (10°C) when it is running and the lowest temperature at which you can store it is –13°F (–25°C). Don’t immediately turn on your MacBook when you get it out of storage, leave it in a room with a normal temperature for at least 30 min.

Not leaving your MacBook to acclimatize to the room temperature after it was stored at a lower temperature than 32°F (10°C) may cause significant damage to it and if you are lucky and it will still run most surely this will lower its lifespan.

In this article we will analyze if you can use your MacBook outside and if you can leave it in a cold room or a car, so keep reading!

Can You Use Your Macbook Outside?

Man using a MacBook in the park
Using a MacBook outside

You can use your MacBook outside if you use it in its recommended temperature range of 50° to 95° F (10° to 35° C). If the temperature outside is lower than 50°F (10°C) you have an increased risk of damaging your MacBook.

Keep in mind that even if your MacBook still works after using it at a lower temperature this doesn’t mean that you got away with it, exposing your MacBook to low temperatures often will lower its lifespan and you will end up losing money in the long run.

A good rule is: if you don’t feel too cold or too warm in a t-shirt outside, it is safe to use your MacBook (no drawbacks in the long run).

Make sure that you don’t expose too much your MacBook to strong direct sunlight, its battery may be damaged over time.

Can You Live Your Macbook in a Car on a Cold Day? (Or Overnight)

Leaving your laptop in a cold car is a big no-no. Freezing temperatures can damage the components of your computer, which is why you should never leave your MacBook parked in a cold car, Keeping it in the trunk will minimize but not remove the risk of damage.

Additionally, the battery in your MacBook may freeze and crack, or it can expand when you turn it on. Charging it in the car should be done at a temperature above 10°C or 32°F. As we all know it is not wise to expose a Batey to the cold, it can damage it.

If you leave your MacBook in a car overnight it will be exposed to major temperature swings, even in the summer, and this can lead to condensation which can have a negative effect on your MacBook and even shoot its lifespan.

If you must leave your MacBook in a cold car, you should invest in an insulated laptop bag, your MacBook will not suffer any damage if the storage temperature is above freezing and you let it acclimate at a normal room temperature before using it. Try not to move it from cold to warm too quickly, because this will cause condensation.

Besides protecting your MacBook’s battery, it’s important to keep the temperature of your laptop stable. Even if you do not use your MacBook in a car, you should also try to keep the temperature inside the car above 32degF (10degC).

Extreme temperatures are a major cause of damaged MacBooks. Do not leave your MacBook in your car during winter, it will freeze in the cold. Even the insulated cases will not protect your MacBook from the cold, It’s better to consider purchasing a laptop sleeve or a laptop messenger bag since they offer excellent insulation. However, if the temperature is too cold, your MacBook may still suffer damage from the cold.

Can You Store (Use) Your Macbook in a Cold Room?

MacBook on table
MacBook on home office

When storing your MacBook, be sure to follow Apple recommended storing temperature, –13° to 113° F (–25° to 45° C). If the room is too cold or too warm, it could damage your MacBook’s components.

Apple recommends operating your MacBook at a temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit (10degC) or above. Cold temperatures may result in cracked screens or freezing batteries.

It is recommended to store your MacBook in a room with a consistent temperature, rather than a temperature that fluctuates frequently. Exposure to cold temperatures can damage the battery and charging block of your MacBook, and could even cause internal problems.

Apple recommends that you always leave your MacBook at room temperature before using it (at least for 30 min). If you’re in a hurry, you should wait until it warms up a bit before using it. If you have to leave it in a cold room for extended periods, consider charging it to at least 50% capacity.

Do Subfreezing Temperatures Damage Your Macbook?

It is recommended that you avoid exposing your MacBook while it is running to temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius. This can damage the components inside and can result in condensation.

If you must leave your MacBook in the cold do not live it at lower than –13° F / –25° C, when you need to use it keep the device at room temperature for at least 30 min and make sure that the battery is fully charged before turning it on.

The temperature of your laptop’s case should be at least five degrees lower than the ambient temperature of the room where it is kept. You should also avoid placing your MacBook in direct sunlight as this will cause the temperature to rise and overheat faster.

Whenever possible, avoid using your MacBook when it’s too cold. Even if it’s not in use, you should always leave it in a warm room for at least half an hour. If you’re using your laptop outside, don’t turn it on too early – you may damage it beyond repair.

When you leave your MacBook outside, make sure that it reaches room temperature before turning it on. Cold weather can cause permanent damage to your laptop, it can damage the battery. When the temperature of the screen is too low, you should always allow your MacBook to warm up before using it. In extreme cases, you should let the laptop reach room temperature for several hours before using it.

Conclusion

If you use your MacBook at temperatures lower than 32°F (10°C) you may end up with a damaged MacBook or at least you will shorten its lifespan and you will definitely lose money in the long run.

It is better to stick with the temperature ranges recommended by Apple (Operating temp – 50° to 95°F and storage temp −13° to 113°F) because damaging your MacBook is not a cheap mistake to make.

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I started building and fixing PCs in high school. After a couple of years of offering consultancy to a PC repair shop, I became the goto guy for all my acquaintances for PC/Laptop related buying advice or troubleshooting.