Abstract The effect of heat in-leak, an unavoidable phenomenon occurring due to the temperature difference between the system and its surroundings, has been studied for two-stream crossflow minichannel heat exchangers with unmixed fluids. Assuming that the amount of heat in-leak is known, an analytical expression for the normalised temperature difference between hot and cold fluids has been derived in terms of dimensionless parameters. The analytical results, in conjugation with the area partitioning of crossflow heat exchanger both in x and y directions, have been used for predicting the outlet fluid temperatures. On the experimental part, one of the end plates in a crossflow-type multistream, minichannel heat exchanger has been subjected to deliberate external heat input given electrically. The variation in the exit fluid temperatures has been recorded as a function of this external heat in-leak entering the exchanger through one of its outer surfaces. Experimental data obtained is employed to validate the fluid exit temperatures predicted by the developed model under the same conditions of external heat ingress.