Have you ever encountered your laptop being hotter than its usual temperature? Perhaps after noticing this hotness of your laptop comes the nasty effects, such as CPU throttling, bluescreens, hard freezes, and the sudden shutdowns and restarts.

Solving an overheating laptop isn’t actually the same as fixing an overheating desktop PC. If the heatsink on a PC is not functioning properly, you can easily replace it. In case the problem is that the airflow through the case is not sufficient, you can stick fans around the PC to keep the cool air flowing. For laptops, however, all of its components are compressed into one tight space. This means troubleshooting an overheating laptop can really be a tricky job.

If your laptop is getting the flu-like temperature, don’t disregard it and try troubleshooting it with the steps below before it’s too late.

Cleaning Dust


If your laptop is already a few years old, it’s probably dusty on the inside. It’s difficult to tell sometimes since most of the dust will be hidden away within the crevices or on the heat vents. One of the major culprits of overheating in laptops is the dust accumulation, as it acts as a great insulator and blocker of airflow.

To start, look for places where air enters and leaves the machine. If you see any form of dust on these, clean it off the best you can. Cans of compressed air works wonders on these vents as long as you ensure the laptop is turned off and unplugged, and you use short controlled bursts of air.

If you found that your vents are clean, there is an option of unscrewing the panels on the bottom of the laptop to check for dust. But beware, since some laptop manufacturers dislike you doing this, even going so far as to put stickers on the screws holding the laptop bottom in. If your manufacturer has a strict policy and discovers you opened your laptop, it will void your warranty. If you’re worried about voiding warranties or damaging hardware, contact your manufacturer about how to solve your issue.

Check the Fans

Your laptop has vents with fans in it to allow hot air to flow out of the unit. If these fans are particularly old, they may not be working as well as they did in their prime and could be causing the laptop to overheat.

Check to see if air is flowing out of its vents properly. You can do this by simply putting your hand near the vent while the laptop is on and feeling for a hot air flow. If you notice a considerable lack of airflow (or worse, none at all!), then the fan is either wearing out or is clogged with dust. If you notice that the fans are not functioning correctly, try either one of the below cooling methods or contact your manufacturer to see if you can get it fixed, especially if it’s still under the warranty.

External Cooling


The options mentioned above are suitable for laptops who have been working for a number of years now. But, if your laptop is considerably new (months or weeks-old only), then obviously dust is not the issue. So what can you do?

You can consider purchasing an external cooler. These usually sit outside of your laptop and blow cool air at it to help cool down its temperature. You have to be careful though, it’s very easy for manufacturers to stick a fan on a stand and call it a cooling product. When looking for a stand, make sure you read customer reviews and choose a model proven to really make an impact to the laptop’s temperature.

Check the Surface It’s On


Are you fond of doing your laptop works on the bed? If so, then this might be causing the laptop to overheat. In order to take in cool air and dissipate hot air, there should be no obstructions on the laptop’s undersides. It is always recommended to place the laptop on a flat surface like the table, since the feet raise the laptop high enough for the air to circulate. Placing the laptop on top of your bedsheet will smother your machine’s vents and stop the air from flowing. Doing this can also make matters worse, as it may even help trap the heat inside the laptop.

If you really can’t resist putting your laptop on the bed to watch Netflix, you may want to purchase a board or tray, which you can place the laptop on, so that it can get a good air circulation all the time.

Reduce the Load

If none of these methods worked for you, you can reduce the temperatures by reducing the workload the laptop is currently processing. This will, in turn, keep the temperatures low and then stop it from overheating.

To do this, download a software (like Speccy) that will help keep track of how hot your devices are getting. Keep an eye on your CPU and GPU, and note when it’s undergoing a significant amount of load. You may notice specific software makes your laptop heat up, such as games. If so, see if you can turn down any settings or apply tweaks to reduce the load. You can also put the laptop on lower power plan (such as Power Saver) and tweak it so that it will use lesser processing power.


This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 6:34:01 AM and is filed under Tech Tips & Tricks.

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