How to Cool Down a Hot Laptop

Laptops are prone to overheating due to the limited space inside for airflow.

How to Cool Down a Hot Laptop

If you need to know how to cool your laptop down, then you’re in the right place.

This article includes straightforward tips on how to reduce the temperature of your laptop or PC. Plus, you’ll find out what can be done to prevent it from overheating in the future.

How to Cool Down a Hot Laptop

When your laptop starts to overheat it’s a sign that there is a problem. Try the following to help bring its temperature down:

Give It a Break

The simplest and most reliable way is to shut your laptop down. Leave it for a few hours until it’s completely cool to the touch. If switching it off isn’t an option, the following can be tried whilst it’s still running:

Reduce Load on the Processor

When your laptop is frequently running programs that require a lot of processing, the relevant components are made to work harder; eventually causing overheating. This is the case when multiple applications are open at the same time. If this is the case, do the following:

  • Close any applications and browsers you’re not using
  • Disconnect any USB powered devices
  • Lower the screen resolution

Check the Power Settings

Consider configuring your power settings so that only the power necessary to run your applications will be used, rather than always using the maximum processor speed.

To set this up in Windows 10, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Select Power Options from the Start Menu.
  2. From Power & sleep select Additional power settings.
  3. Select Balanced (recommended).
  4. Then select Change plan settings.
  5. Select the ‘On battery’ and ‘Plugged in’ settings to the options that suit you.
  6. Then select ‘Change advanced power settings.’
  7. Hover your cursor over the power settings to see its description. With the goal of balancing power usage with power in mind, customize each setting to suit your usage.
  8. Then click Apply and OK > Save changes.

Clean the Vents

When dust or debris clog up the air vents, they block the internal airflow and trap the heat. Check the vents to see whether this is the case; they’re usually found at the sides, back, and underneath the laptop. If you find that the vents could do with a clean, switch off and unplug the laptop, then use cotton swabs to clean it out.

Moving forward, keep an eye on the dust build-up, as blocked air vents are a common cause for a laptop overheating. For an easier and more thorough clean, purchase a can of compressed air or a computer vacuum to blow the dust out.

Make sure your laptop is placed somewhere where the vents are free, e.g., not on a soft surface like your duvet.

How to Stop a Laptop From Overheating

As well as trying the fixes outlined above, you should do the following to prevent problems from developing in the first place:

Use on a Flat Surface

For maintaining good airflow, place your laptop on a flat, clean, hard surface, not somewhere it will attract dust and be exposed to direct sunlight. Consider investing in a laptop stand. It elevates the laptop, therefore, encourages airflow; some come with built-in fans.

Moreover, since you’re able to position the laptop in a comfortable way, it reduces the risk of repetitive stress injury and strain on your neck.

Work on a Laptop Cooling Mat

A laptop cooling mat/pad, chill mat, or cooler is an accessory designed to go underneath your laptop and is connected via a USB power lead. It helps reduce the temperature when the laptop is not able to do so sufficiently.

The mat houses a large fan or several small fans covered by mesh. The size of the fans affects the amount of noise it makes e.g., bigger fans usually have larger blades and rotate faster which tends to make them nosier.

Don’t Use Whilst Charging

Heat is generated by the internal components, usage, and charging the battery. Where possible, to reduce the temperature, do not use the laptop whilst charging it.

Consider the Room Temperature

The temperature of the surroundings where your laptop is being used may contribute to overheating. When a room is hot it prevents cool air from keeping the temperatures inside the laptop from getting too high. The moisture in cold rooms can cause internal condensation and damage the electrical components.

A room of around 50-95 degrees Fahrenheit or 10-35 degrees Celsius is a safe temperature range.

How to Stop Your Computer From Overheating

Similar to the laptop tips above:

  • Configure your settings to balance the load on the processor
  • Ensure the air vents are kept clean
  • Ensure your computer case is free from obstruction and has free space all around it
  • Keep in a room that isn’t too hot/cold
  • Avoid having your computer next to a heat source or any other hot electrical gadgets

Also, consider the following for optimal airflow inside the case:

Check for Faulty Fans

Whenever you start to hear strange grinding noises or vibrations coming from your computer, this may be a sign that it needs to be replaced. Sometimes the component fans will die without notice. If you suspect this may be the cause of the problem, open the case and see whether any of the fans have stopped spinning.

Add Extra Case Fans

Case fans help to move air through the computer. They’re small enough to attach to the inside front or back of the computer case. The best way to keep the computer cool using case fans is to install one to move warm air out of the computer and the other for moving cool air in. They’re straightforward to install, much easier than installing a CPU fan.

Upgrade Your CPU Fan

Your Central Processing Unit (CPU) is like the heart of the system and is probably the most sensitive part of your computer; it’s prone to overheating. It comes with its own fan but generally, it will need replacing over time.

Upgrading your fan helps to keep the internal components from overheating as well as increase the lifetime of other components. They work by dispersing heat from your processor over a large surface area, cooling it down with air or liquid.

Additional FAQs

How Do You Know Your Laptop Is Overheating?

Your laptop is probably overheating if it feels hot and does any of the following:

• Struggles to perform basic tasks like opening a new browser window

• The fan begins to run at full speed for longer and makes loud noises

• Unexpected or random error messages are displayed

• The dreaded blue screen of death is displayed following a fatal system error

• It shuts down

How Do You Know Your Computer Is Overheating?

Similar to a laptop overheating, your computer will do the following:

• Responds painfully slowly to your input

• It suddenly shutdown and restarts

• The case and system fans become noisy

• The case air vents get very hot

• The blue screen of death appears

In this event, switch the computer off and wait for it to cool down.

Is It True That My Laptop Can Kill My Testosterone Level?

Here is a summary of some research undertaken to find out the impact of testosterone levels with laptop use:

In a one-hour study, 29 healthy males aged 21-35 had their scrotal temperature taken every three minutes, whilst balancing working and non-working laptops on their laps.

The study concluded that the scrotal temperature rise increase was greater with working laptops; around 5 degrees Fahrenheit/2.7 degrees Celsius.

Those without working laptops had a scrotal temperature increase of about 3-4 degrees Fahrenheit/2.1 degrees Celsius.

Balancing the laptop on closed thighs also increases scrotal temperature, however, the heat generated by the laptops adds to the problem.

How Do I Keep My Laptop Clean?

To keep your laptop clean, do the following:

• Switch off the laptop, unplug it and if possible, remove the battery. Then physically blow or use a can of compressed air to remove the dust from the keyboard, ports, and vents.

• Clean the surfaces using a microfiber cloth with a little alcohol. To get in between the gaps of the keyboard keys you can use alcohol and a cotton swab.

• For the screen, use a microfiber cloth and a little water.

Some household cleaners can be too harsh. Avoid those that include chemicals like ammonia or alkaline.

Ensuring Your Laptop Keeps Its Cool

Now that you’re armed with plenty of tips and tricks to help keep your laptop/PC cool, you can extend the life of your computer. Remember, the most common cause of an unhappy laptop is trapped heat caused by blocked air vents. Hot air must be released so the internal components don’t overheat.

Have you ever experienced problems with your laptop overheating? If so, we’d like to know what you did to solve the issue. Let us know in the comment section below.

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