Abstract The present paper is aimed at studying the effects of viscosity and diffusion on thermoelastic interactions in an isotropic, thermally and electrically conducting half-space solid whose surface is subjected to mechanical and thermal loads. The formulation is applied to the generalized thermoelasticity based on the Green and Lindsay (G–L) theory, where there is an initial magnetic field parallel to the bounding plane. The normal mode analysis is used to obtain the expressions for the variables considered. Numerical computations are performed for a specific material and the results obtained are represented graphically. Comparisons are made within the theory in the presence and absence of viscosity and diffusion.