Apple Says Pro Display XDR and 2021 MacBook Pro Can Experience Limited Brightness in High Temperatures

Apple today shared a new support document outlining a warning symbol that can show up on the MacBook Pro with Liquid Retina XDR Display or the Pro Display XDR when the screen is running too hot, leading to brightness being diminished.

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Apple explains that a caution symbol in the menu bar or Display menu in Control Center on a 2021 MacBook Pro or an Apple Pro Display XDR means the display is in low power mode and "using limited brightness."

This situation can occur if the ambient temperature of the room is high and if bright content has been playing for an extended period of time. Apple offer several solutions for those who see the warning, including lowering the temperature of the room and temporarily putting a Mac to sleep to allow it to cool.

  • On MacBook Pro with Liquid Retina XDR display, quit any apps that could be consuming significant system resources.
  • Use the Apple XDR Display or Pro Display XDR reference mode unless your current workflow requires a specific reference mode.
  • Lower the ambient temperature of the room.
  • Close or hide any windows with HDR content.
  • Choose Apple menu  > Sleep to put your Mac to sleep. Let your display cool down for 5-10 minutes, then press any key on the keyboard to wake your Mac.

Apple says that users who see this problem continually when the ambient temperature of the room is under 77 degrees Fahrenheit should contact Apple Support for help.

Related Forums: Mac Accessories, MacBook Pro

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Top Rated Comments

obamtl Avatar
31 months ago
Only ever got the caution symbol on an Apple device once, and I knew I was torturing the device under direct sunlight in sweltering heat. This is a reasonable precaution for extreme situations, and it’s clear it doesn’t get triggered easily or often.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MJaP Avatar
31 months ago
So Apple now run their processors cool but their screens hot! ?
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dammster Avatar
31 months ago
I do not blame them. Running something demanding for longer period of time and also watching some HDR content at 1600 nits and that thing will get hot :-) The same as iPhone and everything else.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Stuey3D Avatar
31 months ago
This is just physics, those mini LED’s will generate a lot of heat when at a high brightness and could potentially damage themselves.

LG OLED TV’s are the same you could buy a cheaper model which would be dimmer, or you could buy the more expensive EVO models which have a heat sink attached to the back of the panel allowing the pixels to be driven brighter.

If Apple were to attach a heat sink to the screen the MacBook would probably be too thick and probably top heavy reducing it’s stability.

That being said I bet even at a dimmed brightness this thing is still brighter than most other laptops on the market.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vmistery Avatar
31 months ago
25 centigrade for anyone outside the US. Not particularly warm if you’re in summer with no A/C. Will be interesting to see how bad the effect is and how likely it is to notice, I guess those in the Southern Hemisphere might be able to give us some idea?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
7149041 Avatar
31 months ago
Living in a country where ambient temperature never drops under ~30 Celsius / ~90F this is a major PITA with the iPad Pro when trying to use it outside.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)