We demand a lot from our laptops. It’s hardly surprising that they can get a little warm.
Yet keeping your laptop from overheating is an essential part of laptop maintenance.
In this article, we provide you with eight steps to keeping your laptop cool.
We also provide answers to your most pressing laptop overheating questions.
Why Is My Laptop So Hot?
The components inside of a laptop generate hot air.
It is very important that all of that hot air has a way to escape from the device.
If the air vents are blocked, the air will have nowhere to go and will continue to build up within the computer.
There will be no heat transfer and the laptop will continue to get hotter and hotter.
How to Cool Down Your Laptop
Step One: Find the Air Vents
In order to prevent the air vents in your laptop from getting blocked, you first need to identify where the vents are located. On the majority of laptops, you will find the air vents on the bottom of the device. Others will locate them on the back panel of the laptop.
You will find two types of vents on your laptop; air intake vents and air outflow vents. It is vital that both of them remain blockage free in order to cool your laptop.
Step Two: Check the Air Vents
Once you have found out where the air intake and outflow vents are located on your laptop, the next step is to check that they are working properly.
By placing your hand over the vent, you should be able to feel the air coming in or going out. If you can’t, it’s probably because there is dust or debris blocking the passage of air. These impediments will be located in the vents, fans and cooling channels.
You can use a can of compressed air to blow the dust and debris from the affected areas.
Step Three: Clean the Fan
If you are confident with opening up the back of the computer and the fan is easy to access, then you can take off the panels that house the fan and take it out and blow the dust from it.
Be sure to also clean the area where the fan sits.
The fan may be spinning haphazardly. If this is the case, try putting a drop of mineral oil on the fan axle (you will probably have to lift the sticker that covers the axle to do this).
Upon inspection of the fan, you may actually discover that it is to worn out or too affected by dust or debris to function as it should. If this is the case, you should replace the fan.
Go to the user manual of your laptop and look up the fan part number. You should be able to find a replacement part on eBay.
Step Four: Check the Batteries
A lot of laptop users never actually use battery power.
As a result, their battery is permanently at either 0 or 100 percent charge. Neither is good for the battery and will lead to battery deterioration. When a battery starts going bad, it not only becomes less efficient; it also gives off heat.
The first way, then, to prevent your battery from being a contributing factor to the overheating of your laptop, is to use the battery power function regularly in order to avoid the two extremes of battery charge.
If your battery is clearly bad (it hardly holds any charge) then you should replace it.
Again, you should check your user manual to identify the make and model of the battery and eBay should be your first port of call.
Step Five: Clean the Internal Componentry
If the solutions we’ve already gone over have not solved your overheating problems, you should take off the back panel and clean out the internals.
The problem could be that the hard drive is full of dust and that this is the cause of your overheating problem.
You should also be sure to remove any dust from around the RAM.
Step Six: Eliminate Unneeded Apps
If the computer is still overheating then it is time to start reducing the load that your computer machinery is having to deal with.
Your first step here should be to open up the Windows Task Manager.
This will let you know what is using up your CPU power.
From there you should reduce the number of apps that open automatically when you start your computer.
You now need to be ruthless as you get rid of the apps that you really do not need.
Something that can help you decide is Process Explorer, which lets you see the apps that your CPU is using over a certain period of time.
Step Seven: Reset the Heat Sink
The CPU is the biggest heat generator in your computer.
It may be overheating because of the heat sink. The heat sink may not be properly positioned. Its thermal paste may also not be working properly.
Open the back of the laptop and check the condition of the heat sink.
If it doesn’t look right, then you should take off the heat sink, reapply thermal paste and then reattach it properly. Only do this if you feel confident.
Otherwise, ask someone who knows their way around computer internals to do it for you.
Step Eight: Change Your Behavior
The last step is to consider your habitual behaviors with regard to your laptop.
If you regularly use your laptop in bed, it is highly likely that you are blocking up the air vents.
The same thing applies if you often sit the laptop on the floor or even your lap.
If you are still having persistent overheating problems, then you will have to start modifying your behavior.
If you absolutely must use your laptop in bed, then you should consider investing in a laptop cooling pad. This will ensure that it is able to come out and go in.
Q & A
How does a laptop cool itself?
The most common cooling system used by laptops is airflow.
This is a two-way process that involves pulling in cool air from outside and expelling hot air from inside the device.
Simple laptops may have a single exhaust fan with vents on either the front or sides of the laptop. More expensive models will provide you with multiple vents and exhausts.
The two internal components of your laptop that generate heat are the CPU and the graphics card.
CPUs will often have a cooling fan attached and a heat generator to quickly release heat.
The graphics card will also usually have a fan directly attached to it.
Some high-end laptops provide you with a liquid cooling system.
Rather than pushing air through the system, they run water through the internals of the computer by way of a series of tubes and pipes in the case. A radiator also radiates the heat outwards.
How can I tell if my laptop is overheating?
The most obvious sign that your laptop is overheating is that it will be hot to the touch, especilly on the underside.
Other indications that overheating may be a problem are that the computer is often freezing up, shutting down unexpectedly, having blue screen crashes and closing apps randomly.
How can I monitor the temperature of my laptop?
The CPU and graphics card specifications that you should find in your user manual should tell you their ideal settings.
You can use an app like CoreTemp to check the temperature of your CPU.
A more advanced app which will also give you the temperature of your HWMonitor.
Check the computer while you re not doing anything very demanding.
Then do a taxing activity such as playing a video game and then check the temperature settings a second time. If the temperature goes up drastically, then you know that you have a problem.
As a general guide, a temperature that exceeds 90 degrees Celsius is a problem.
Is it true that my laptop can kill my testosterone level?
It has been shown that your laptop computer may, indeed, have a negative effect on our hormones, particularly the male growth hormone testosterone.
This will especially if you use the laptop while sitting it on your lap.
The heat that is generated from the laptop is directly over the groin area. Heat has the potential to destroy sperm.
At the same time that it is generating heat, the laptop also emits electromagnetic frequency (EMF) radiation.
High levels of EMF are detrimental to testosterone levels.
We measure EMF radiation with a gauss meter.
The safe radiation level is 0.3 milligauss. Yet the average laptop releases 200 milligauss.
So, the bottom line here is that, if you don’t want to compromise your testosterone level, avoid using your laptop on your lap – which is what it was designed to do in the first place!
Alternatively, you can place a pillow between your lap and the computer.
Because the EMF field is 12 inches thick, your pillow needs to be at least that thickness.
This will protect you from the EMF field while also protecting your groin from the heat emanating from the laptop.
What dangers can come from an overheated laptop?
The first problem may be to your body.
An overheated laptop may, in severe cases, scald your skin. As we’ve already mentioned, sitting with an overheated laptop over your groin may lead to infertility problems among men.
As far as the laptop itself goes, continuing to use an overheated device can lead to failure of such parts as the video card, motherboard, memory module, and hard drive.
An overheating laptop can also be a serious fire issue. There have been numerous cases where houses have burnt down because of overheated laptops!
An overheated laptop is a serious issue that affects the performance of your computer.
It also poses some serious risks to user health.
By following through on the eight steps to cooling down your laptop that we have outlined you will be able to keep your laptop cool so that you can get the best out of it.