How to Check the CPU Temperature on a Windows 11 PC
The central processing unit (CPU) is one of the critical components of every computer. It provides the operation instructions and processing power computers need to function and complete tasks. If the CPU is above typical operating temperatures, your computer could be experiencing performance issues and even failure. That’s why monitoring the CPU temperature and ensuring everything’s running smoothly is essential.
If you’re interested in learning how to check CPU temperature on Windows 11, you’ve come to the right place. This article will explain several ways to do so.
How to Check CPU Temperature in Windows 11
The CPU is your computer’s puppet master—it controls every process. Higher than average temperatures could lead to a drastic change in performance, increased risk of crashes and lags, and eventually, total failure.
Checking CPU temperature isn’t as straightforward as one may think. No built-in icon allows you to monitor the temperature with just a few clicks. Fortunately, getting to CPU temperature isn’t complicated, but it takes some work.
How to Check CPU Temperature on Windows 11 using BIOS/UEFI Menu
Windows 11 users can check CPU temperatures by accessing the BIOS/UEFI menus during startup. Since BIOS/UEFI isn’t something you can access by clicking on an icon, we’ll cover the two most common ways to find it and check CPU temperatures.
Notice that we made the word temperature plural. CPUs have more than one core, and it only takes one getting too hot to cause problems. The BIOS/UEFI menu will likely display only one number, but you can install a third-party app that gives each core’s temp details, such as using Speccy.
Method 1: Access the BIOS/UEFI at Startup to Check CPU Temperatures
The easiest way to access BIOS/UEFI is by using a specific hotkey at startup. Keep in mind that the hotkey is manufacturer-specific. In most cases, you’ll need to press Delete, F12, F2, F10, or F1. If you’re unsure which key to use to get to BIOS/UEFI, check the manufacturer’s website or find the answer in the instruction manual.
Here’s how the process looks:
- Turn on your computer.
- Press the relevant key to get to BIOS/UEFI.
- Look for a tab named “CPU” or “Performance Monitor.” Here, you’ll see CPU temperature expressed in degrees Celsius and other information regarding your CPU.
While this is the simplest way to access BIOS/UEFI, it requires speed. If your computer boots fast, you could miss pushing the relevant key on time. However, there is another way to get to BIOS/UEFI.
Methos 2: Access the BIOS/UEFI Using Settings to Check CPU Temperatures
If you’re unsure what key to use to access BIOS/UEFI on startup or missed your chance to press it, don’t worry. You can get to BIOS/UEFI through settings and check CPU temperature. Simply follow the instructions below:
- Launch the “Start menu” and select” Settings.”
- Choose “System” in the left menu.
- Select “Recovery” on the right and press “Restart now.”
- You’ll see the “We’ll restart your device, so save your work” popup on the screen. Once you’ve saved your work, choose “Restart now.”
- A three-option menu will appear. Select “Troubleshoot.”
- Choose “Advanced options.”
- Go to “UEFI firmware settings” and select “Restart.”
- Press “BIOS Setup” and find “CPU” or “Performance Monitor” to display CPU temperature.
How to Check CPU Temperature on Windows 11 using Third-Party Apps
Another way to check CPU temperature on Windows 11 is by using third-party apps. You may wonder why someone would download a third-party app to see CPU temperature when they can access BIOS/UEFI. The most common reason is monitoring thermals. Namely, BIOS/UEFI displays only the current temperature and doesn’t provide insight into the minimum and maximum temperatures or the temperatures and loads the different cores are under. With apps, you can get detailed information about your CPU and establish patterns that cause the temperature to rise.
Below, we’ll cover the most popular third-party apps for checking CPU temperature.
1. Core Temp
Core Temp is a compact app that monitors CPU temperature and provides processor specs. Here’s how you can install it:
- Open your browser and download Core Temp.
- Run Core Temp. CPU temperature readings will be displayed at the bottom. Next to it, you’ll see the minimum and maximum temperatures.
- Core Temp displays the CPU temperature in Celsius by default. If you want to change this, select the “Options” tab.
- Choose “Settings.”
- Open the “Display” tab.
- Mark the checkbox next to “Display temperatures in Fahrenheit.”
2. Open Hardware Monitor
Open Hardware Monitor is another app that provides information about CPU temperature. The monitored values can be displayed in the system tray or a customizable gadget, allowing you to always stay on top of the temperature.
Follow the instructions below to use Open Hardware Monitor to check CPU temperature:
- Launch your browser and download Open Hardware Monitor.
- Extract the zip archive.
- Open the extracted folder and click on “openhardwaremonitor.exe” to launch it.
- View the “Temperatures” branch found under the processor section. Depending on your CPU, you may see a combined core temp range (Value and Max) or individual core temps.
Here, you’ll see the current and maximum temperature(s). Besides monitoring CPU temperature, you can use the app to check voltages, fan speeds, load and clock speeds, etc.
Speccy is an advanced system information tool for your PC. It allows you to get detailed information regarding the performance of every piece of hardware in your computer. Follow the steps below to use Speccy to monitor CPU temperature:
- Launch your browser and download Speccy.
- Select “Install” and follow the on-screen instructions.
- Open Speccy. The initial screen provides a summary of the main system components.
- Select the “CPU” tab. You’ll see the average CPU temperature listed under your processor. Scroll to the bottom right to see live core temps.
Common Causes of High CPU Temperatures
As mentioned, a high CPU temperature could lead to performance issues and failure. For this reason, it’s crucial to understand the most common reasons for high CPU temperatures and take precautions to prevent them.
Overclocking increases a computer’s clock rate above the rate certified by the manufacturer. Essentially, it means running a slower chip at higher speeds. If you don’t know what you’re doing and aren’t using the right tools, overclocking could cause overheating and damage your processor.
2. Old Computer
Older computer models are not powerful enough to handle today’s demanding apps and games. If you have an older PC/laptop constantly overheating, it’s most likely because the CPU works harder than usual to process different programs and apps.
3. Poor Maintenance
Poor maintenance is one of the most common reasons for high CPU temperatures. When dust builds up around cooling fans, they can’t do their job correctly, leading to overheating.
Maintenance doesn’t only refer to the computer’s exterior. Having a bunch of unnecessary apps that take up space and work in the background can also cause overheating. Taking care of the interior is just as important.
4. Thin Laptop
Thinner laptops tend to experience more overheating problems. Namely, thin laptops can’t accommodate large fans that ensure proper cooling. This isn’t a problem if you’re a casual user who needs a computer for surfing the internet or word processing. However, if you’re running demanding games, apps, or programs, you should know that thinner laptops will experience heat issues much faster. They tend to slow down processing and power to reduce heat.
Malware can damage any computer, no matter how powerful. If malware gets inside your computer, it can jeopardize its normal functioning and make your CPU work much harder to achieve the usual results. Understandably, this leads to overheating and performance issues.
How to Prevent High CPU Temperatures
You can take numerous actions to ensure the CPU temperature is within a normal range.
1. Buy a Cooling Fan
If you have a laptop, a cooling fan lap desk can help dissipate heat from the device and ensure smooth performance. It plugs into a USB port and is a convenient solution for preventing high CPU temperatures.
2. Buy a Laptop Stand
Your laptop can overheat if the fans don’t have enough space to do their job correctly. A laptop stand ensures enough airflow for heat transfer.
3. Pay Attention to Your Workspace
A dusty workspace often means dusty computer fans. If you want to lower CPU temperature, keep your workspace dust-free. Moreover, ensure fans and vents aren’t blocked and have enough airflow. This is especially important during summer when temperatures are higher.
4. Clean Your Computer
Keeping your computer clean is essential for preventing high CPU temperatures. Check your computer for dust occasionally, and use canned air to clean your PC thoroughly. If you need to clean caked dirt, use Q-tips or a cloth, but be gentle not to loosen or pop off any tiny components.
5. Re-Apply Thermal Paste
Thermal paste ensures the heat transfers from the CPU to the coolers. After some time, the paste can dry out and reduce heat transfer. If you suspect this is the problem, try adding a new layer of thermal paste.
6. Be Careful When Overclocking
As mentioned, overclocking can cause CPU overheating and lead to system failure. If you want to overclock your system, use the right programs and accessories to help your CPU stay cool.
Having a Hot Computer Isn’t Cool
Monitoring CPU temperature allows you to identify potential issues and do what you can to get it back to normal. While ideal CPU temperatures vary depending on the processor, a general rule of thumb is that anything above 70 degrees Celsius is concerning. Fortunately, you can keep track of CPU temperature with ease, either by entering BIOS/UEFI or using third-party apps.
Has your computer ever experienced overheating issues? Were you able to establish the cause? Tell us in the comments section below.