For a variety of reasons, laptops can feel warm or hot. You may need to try a few different troubleshooting methods because the problem’s diagnosis isn’t exactly straightforward.
The most frequent problem is a fan that is full of dust; a hot laptop is typically not a sign of any problems.
First of all, keep in mind that all laptops get warm. They have less airflow to keep them cool because they are smaller than desktop computers. You must be able to tell the difference between a normal hot laptop and an overheating laptop.
You must take action to keep your laptop as cool as possible. Extreme overheating can cause internal components to malfunction, rendering your laptop useless. The most common cause of laptop malfunction is excessive heat. Please read on to find how to stop your laptop from overheating.
Why Does My Laptop Get So Hot?
There are many causes of laptop overheating. We recommend that you check all of the potential issues below:
The Fan is Not Working
Your laptop’s fan breaking down is one of the most frequent causes. You must make sure that your laptop fan is still working because modern laptop fans frequently operate almost silently.
Your fan should always be audible, even if it is relatively quiet. Placing your ear on your laptop to hear if it is running is therefore the simplest test. You should check the fan’s functionality by opening up your laptop if you have any reason to suspect it is not functioning properly.
All laptops have exhaust vents, so you can put your hand close to them to feel for any airflow. It’s likely that your laptop fan is operating if you can feel air.
Naturally, there is always the chance that the fan is malfunctioning. Sometimes fans only operate at a partial capacity because a component is about to fail. In this scenario, your laptop will require a new fan.
Not everyone wants to disassemble their laptop to check the fan’s functionality. Finding a professional or a friend who is skilled in this area is necessary if you don’t want to do it yourself.
Ask the store where you bought your laptop to check the fan if it is still covered by warranty. Usually, stickers are present to indicate whether a laptop has been opened. You should avoid attempting to open your machine while it is still under warranty because doing so could void it.
Too Much Dust
It’s amazing how much dust your laptop can accumulate. Your laptop will become extremely hot if the dust eventually builds up to the point where it prevents airflow through the vents. This is due to the fact that your laptop’s fan will be unable to move enough air to cool all of the important parts.
To see if you have this issue, you can quickly check. Place your hand near the laptop vents to feel for airflow if you are certain that your fan is functioning properly. Can you feel the air coming from the vents?
When a laptop fan is functioning properly, no air should be coming from the vents. This indicates that dust needs to be removed from the area. Later on in this guide, we’ll go over how you can accomplish this.
Is It in a Hot Place?
What room is your laptop in? Is there enough airflow around it if it’s on a desk? You shouldn’t use a laptop on your lap for an extended period of time. You may think that this is odd advice because the name of the product should suggest that you can use the computer while sitting on your lap.
This is true, but if you use your laptop on your lap, it’s likely to get hotter than it needs to. When you place a laptop on a hard surface, like a desk, you will restrict the airflow that it would normally experience.
Another habit of laptop users is to set their device down on a pillow or even on their bed. Any soft surface, like this one, will probably prevent the laptop’s side air vents from functioning properly. Get a laptop stand so that it can be elevated above a soft surface and properly cooled by the airflow around it.
You want to be able to use your laptop wherever you are, and we understand that. However, putting it on your lap or on a pillow will cause it to become hot quickly. To provide the essential airflow, you can purchase a good laptop stand from Amazon for a fair price.
A Virus Or Malware
The majority of people are unaware of how seriously damaging a computer virus or other malicious software can be to their laptops. By running processes it creates, some of the worst malware will make your CPU work much harder than it would otherwise. Your laptop will be more likely to overheat if you do anything that puts its components under excessive strain.
Installing a reliable antivirus program on your laptop is a given. The majority of malware and spyware can still enter your laptop’s system despite the best antivirus software. Sadly, new malware programs and viruses are being created every day.
To find any dangerous malware on your laptop, use a malware scanner. Compared to other virus types, malware has a higher likelihood of overheating your laptop. Applications like Malwarebytes AntiMalware, which are available for free, perform a thorough check and let you remove anything they find.
Is My Laptop Just Hot Or Overheating?
Because a laptop does not have as much internal air space as a desktop computer, it is normal for them to become warm over time, as we previously stated. It’s okay to gradually become warm; overheating is not.
What symptoms indicate an overheating laptop? Well, there are some obvious warning signs that you can watch out for. Do you occasionally experience a really slow laptop? Does it suddenly stop functioning? Have you ever experienced any screen freezes or the dreaded Windows “blue screen of death”?
A recent MacBook should have an overheating failsafe that will turn the computer off before it gets too hot. This function is available on a few contemporary Windows laptops. You will be able to determine whether the laptop is overheating or not if this feature is present.
Unfortunately, the overheating failsafe feature is absent from the vast majority of Windows laptops. If your laptop exhibits this behavior, you can download affordable and free applications that will inform you whether it is overheating or not.
The user manual or the website of the manufacturer can tell you what the safe operating temperature is for your laptop. When you enter this value into a program like Core Temp, a message will be sent to you if your laptop’s temperature rises above this level.
How Hot Should a Laptop Get?
It is accurate to say that laptops are designed to heat up. What temperature ranges are normal, though, and how hot is too hot?
On idle, a laptop’s temperatures should average between 30°C and 40°C. And when under load, the temperatures of both the CPU and GPU should average between 70 and 80°C. A safe temperature is defined as anything below 80°C. Beyond 80°C, most gaming laptops will start to throttle.
However, depending on the design, some gaming laptops will throttle at 90°C. In order to protect the CPU, GPU, and other parts soldered to the motherboard from long-term damage, your laptop should shut down automatically at around 99 degrees Celsius.
Read about How Long Does A Laptop Last?
What to Do If Your Laptop is Hot?
The initial diagnosis of a hot laptop that is having trouble cooling down can be challenging. There are many reasons why your laptop might feel warm, so you might need to try a few different troubleshooting techniques before you identify the cause.
Clean Your Laptop
Dust can accumulate in fans and vents, making it difficult for the fan to effectively cool your processor. Typically, the fans for your computer are on the bottom or at the back of your laptop. If your laptop ever feels warm, start by checking this area.
Dust can be gathered or blown away from the fan’s vents using a cotton swab or a can of compressed air. To prevent dust from getting into other areas of your computer when using a compression air can, make sure the laptop is tipped downward.
Check the Heat in Your Laptop’s Environment
Your laptop will probably start acting up if you leave it in a hot car all day.
However, if you are using your laptop on a bed, pillow, or under a cover of blankets, your computer is likely to feel warm. Most laptops can operate normally at temperatures up to 95 degrees. If your computer is being used on top of any blankets or pillows, those can make it overheat because they retain heat. Additionally, they have the power to obstruct the vents on your laptop, preventing the fans from cooling it down.
Use caution when using a computer in confined spaces, such as a bed or other enclosed spaces where it cannot properly vent. Think about getting a laptop desk so it can rest on a flat surface with enough ventilation.
Close Intensive Applications You Are Not Using
Close any and all resource-intensive programs you are not using right away if your computer’s fan is starting to run more frequently. For instance, if you are only using Photoshop while running Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Excel, and Google Chrome, close the other two programs until you have finished your task.
Your computer’s reliance on its central processing unit (CPU), which processes the instructions or commands you give it, may increase if you run multiple applications at once.
You can learn what programs are causing your computer to run slowly and to heat up with the help of dozens of third-party applications. If you have a Mac, you can monitor your computer’s CPU in the Activity Monitor tab and then select “Energy.”
Consider Taking It to a Professional
Shut down, unplug, and think about scheduling an appointment with a technician to look at your laptop if it is hot and none of the aforementioned troubleshooting techniques are successful. Your computer and all of its data could be severely harmed by excessive heat.
How to Prevent Your Laptop from Overheating
Clean the Laptop Fan and Vents
As we already mentioned, when a laptop overheats, it usually happens because of an excessive buildup of dust that obstructs airflow. You just need to clean the fan and vents on your laptop to fix this.
You can do it at home without disassembling the laptop by using a pressurized air spray. Find your laptop’s air vents, then turn it off and unplug it from the charger. They are typically found near the screen hinge or on the machine’s sides or base. If it’s not clear, check the manufacturer’s website.
Once you’ve found the vents, direct the pressurized air nozzle at them and blow a brief burst of air through them. On some laptops, the fan blades might be visible through the vents. Blow air directly onto the fan blades in that case.
This is where you should exercise some caution because the air may actually come out of the can before some liquid does. If you’re only lightly pressing the spray button, it will probably happen more frequently. The ideal sprays are quick, precise ones.
Of course, compressed air can be used to clean more than just fans and vents; it works wonders to remove hair, crumbs, and other debris from in and around the keys on your laptop. Rechargeable air dusters that don’t require compressed air are also an option and should be taken into account for routine use.
Another choice is a small vacuum cleaner, but we haven’t been particularly impressed with how well they can actually remove tough dust and dirt. Never use a regular vacuum cleaner on your laptop because the air pressure is too high and they produce a lot of static electricity. Both can harm your equipment.
But it’s worth taking your laptop to a computer servicing or repair shop to truly get rid of all the dust and dirt. Depending on where you are in the world, they can open up the case and give it a thorough deep clean, and it won’t cost too much either.
Change Your Fan Speed Settings
A laptop that is overheating may be fixed by speeding up the fan. In theory, your laptop should stay cooler with a faster fan because it moves more air.
If you’re using a Windows laptop, the Control Panel may allow you to fully accelerate the fan speed. Not all have support for this, but for those that do, simply follow these steps:
- Go to Control Panel, click on Hardware and Sound, and choose Power Options.
- It will open a new window. Click on Change Plan Settings and then Change Advanced Power Settings. The Power Options dialog box will appear.
- On the Advanced Settings tab. If you see a Processor Power Management option, click on the “+” symbol beside it to open up a submenu.
- Select System Cooling Policy from the submenu.
- Select Active on both On Battery and Plugged-in. The cooling fan speed for the CPU will increase as a result.
- Click Apply and then OK.
Also, check the BIOS settings to see if you can increase the fan speed. The benefit of this strategy is that it frequently gives you more control and lets you manually select the fan speed level. Try following these steps:
- Restart your laptop.
- When it boots up, press and hold Delete or the F12 key to open the If those two approaches don’t work, you can access the BIOS settings by pressing a specific key, which varies depending on the laptop you’re using.
- Go to Monitor > Status > Fan Speed Control or similar. Again, the specifics will vary by laptop model (and not all laptops have this), so if you can’t find the exact same option, look around for a setting with a similar name.
- If the configuration option exists, you’ll see RPM Settings for your cooling fan. If your laptop has more than one fan, you’ll see multiple RPM Settings available.
- The optimal speed for a laptop fan should be between 600-1500 rpm. If you see your fan speed is lower, you should bring it to at least 600 rpm. If your laptop overheats frequently, consider increasing the fan speed to 1500 rpm, but be aware that doing so will drain your battery much more quickly when you’re not plugged in.
- Select “Save Changes and Reset” to save the new settings.
Cleaning should always be done first because increasing the fan speed won’t help if the vents are clogged with debris. Additionally, increasing the speed won’t help if the fan is damaged or malfunctioning in some other way.
Be Mindful About Where You Use Your Laptop
It’s likely that your laptop is also uncomfortable hot if you are. The cooling system becomes less effective as the temperature rises. Make sure the laptop isn’t close to a radiator, in direct sunlight, or any other heat source. Unexpectedly, a small fan or the breeze from an open window can make a big difference.
Similar to how a laptop on a desk will heat up more quickly than one on a bed, sofa, or other soft furniture. The air vents will be blocked by cushions and blankets, which also absorb and hold heat. The fan will have a difficult time cooling a laptop that is resting on a pillow that is as hot as an oven, regardless of how quickly it rotates.
The simplest solution is to purchase small stands and props that elevate your laptop. As a result, the heat is dispersed and the fan is able to blow more air through the vents. A budget “life-hack” approach is to cut a couple of wine corks in half and prop them under the corners to keep your laptop elevated.
Check for Malware
Malware or viruses that make your computer’s CPU work harder can occasionally cause overheating. Any reliable antivirus program ought to be able to identify and get rid of unwanted programs that are making your laptop work too hard.
Consider scanning your Windows 10 laptop with the built-in Windows Defender Antivirus if you don’t already have any antivirus software installed. Simply click on the Start menu, type “Windows Security,” and click on the app of the same name. Click Scan options to choose a full scan, then click Scan now.
Buy a Cooling Pad
If your laptop’s fan is having trouble keeping up, a dedicated cooling pad is a great way to maintain proper temperature.
With a USB cable plugged into your laptop or a wall charger, cooling pads can be powered by one, two, or more internal fans. The cooling pad is positioned beneath your laptop, and the fans blow air directly into the vents.
The better ones can lower the internal temperature of your laptop by several degrees, making pads like these an efficient way to prevent it from overheating. However, if your vents are clogged with debris and dust, they won’t function properly or at all, so once again, cleaning those should always be the first step.
We hope you found this article on the causes of laptop overheating and solutions to the problem useful and educational. As you can see, there are a few easy steps you can take to avoid overheating and defend the internal parts of your laptop.
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