Between 2020 to 2025, over 200 million laptops are forecasted to be shipped around the globe, a significant growth compared to 100 million+ from the last six years.
Even gamers are substituting the powerful but stationary desktop computers for mobile gaming laptops.
Nevertheless, as impressive as the surge the laptop industry is experiencing, there’s one problem longtime laptop users always complain about, which is overheating.
Of course, if you spend so much time on your laptop, you can relate to this, so if you are looking for how to cool down your laptop, this guide got you covered.
How to Know your Laptop is Overheating
Besides the unusual heat, below are other apparent signs that your laptop is overheating.
- System fan and case has become noisy.
- Automatically shuts down.
- Fan’s speed increases alongside loud noises.
- Delays in performing random tasks, including opening applications and folders.
- The Blue Screen of Death!
Now, most laptops, especially older models, have loud fans. So, while a loud fan is a glaring indication that you need to cool down your laptop, it may also be that’s how your laptop is, so look out for the other signs listed above.
How to Cool Down your Laptop: Top 9 Pro Ways to Cool Down Laptop
1. Temporarily Shut it Down
The best way to keep the laptop cool is to shut it down periodically. Shutting down or hibernating your laptop will stop/pause every process or activity while, in turn, relaxing the laptop fan and allowing hot components to cool down.
If you can’t go with this method, go below to find out others.
2. Use Laptop Cooling Accessories
Some accessories can help keep your laptop cool as you work or game on it, viz. –
A cooling pad is a laptop stand that has fans built into it. How it works is, you place it where you’ll typically place your laptop, switch it on and put your laptop on it.
The pad then blows air into the bottom side of your laptop; typically, your laptop has different ventilation openings, the cooling pad takes advantage of these openings.
Cooling pads are inexpensive, and getting one is a must, especially for gamers and those who use their laptops for a long time.
Laptops usually have heat sinks, especially laptops that offer no rooms for CPU fans. A heat sink’s work is to disperse heat from an object. You could get an air or liquid cooling heat sink.
However, installing a heat sink may be too technical for many of us, so we can settle for an external laptop stand; most are made of materials that play the role of heat sinks.
3. Place it on a Hard Flat Surface
I was a victim of overheating about a decade ago; this happened after I used my laptop on my bed for a long time; my soft mattress blocked the ventilation outlets, which caused overheating and led to, literally, a meltdown.
Laptops should always be placed on hard flat surfaces, preferably on a table. You can also substitute a book for a laptop stand. Also, avoid putting any object close to the ventilation outlets.
Floors and hardwood don’t count as hard flat surfaces in this case; they could be an avenue for dust which would block your ventilation. Good laptop tables with enough space for ventilation is one of the best ways to keep laptops cool.
4. Reduce Avoidable Workload on the Processor
When you run many applications or processes simultaneously, the hardware is made to work harder for longer, leading to overheating.
Your best bet is to quit some of these processes or close the applications. To see applications demanding much from your computer, you’ll need to access your task manager.
- Right-click on your taskbar, select the Task Manager option or use the CTRL + SHIFT + ESC shortcut keys.
- Select the Process tab and go through the apps and background processes there, right-click on any and select End Task
Only quit apps you are sure about; most processes here are integral for the smooth run of your PC and stopping them may be counterproductive.
Also, you can check the Startup tab and disable apps that automatically launch, which you perceive to be both irrelevant and adding to the overheating.
5. Configure Power Setting
Your laptop might be configured to use the maximum processor speed; while this may help in some cases, it may contribute to overheating.
If you still want to see how to keep the laptop cool, then we’ll have to check our power settings.
- Right-click over the Windows icon on your taskbar, select Power Options or use the Win + X shortcut key.
- Select Power & sleep in the left pane, then click on Additional power settings in the main window.
- From the pop-up window, click on Balanced (recommended), then Change plan settings.
- Configure the Turn off the display and Put the computer to sleep options under On battery and Plugged in sections, respectively. Go for a lower time limit, especially under the On battery section.
- When done, click on Change advanced power settings.
- From the pop-up window, hover over the options to know more, then customize as you wish; please remember the goal is to balance power usage with computer power.
- When done, click on Apply, then hit Ok.
6. Dust the Vents
Specks of dust are arguably the #1 cause of overheating in laptops because they block out the vent and clog the fan. So, if you are looking for how to keep your laptop cooler, you should periodically dust it.
You may believe your house is free of dust, well statistics claim that the average home holds at least 40 pounds of dust every year, imagine how much of it is stuck in your laptop, worse if you have pets around.
One of the most innovative ways to get rid of dust is by using a can of compressed air. Short burst sprayed into the vents could help, ensure your power off and unplug your laptop.
Be gentle with the compressed air though.
You could grab a computer vacuum or make use of a cotton swab. Another walk around is to open your laptop’s panel and directly clean the fan.
Note, opening your laptop’s panel would void your warranty, so it’s best you call the manufacturer to look at your device and don’t forget to remind them to clean the card slots, ports, heat sinks, CD/DVD drives, and other places prone to dust.
7. Remove from Direct Sunlight
Keeping your laptop at a reasonable temperature is ideal. Avoid using your system where it would deal with direct sunlight as this would increase its temperature quicker than usual.
If under the sun for long, you are directly reducing the performance and lifespans of specific components.
It is best if you didn’t leave your laptop in a hot car or in the sun for too long.
8. Add a Fan
One of the best ways to keep a laptop cool is by pointing a fan into its ventilation outlets or openings. Simple, affordable but effective.
9. Check your Laptop Fan
If your system is overheating, you should check if the fan is working. You would feel a bit of constant vibration when you place your palm under your laptop or at the fan’s ventilation.
If you can’t feel anything or can’t hear even a little sound, then something might be wrong with your system’s fan. Visit a repairer for replacement.
How to Stop Your Laptop from Overheating?
Heating in laptops is simple “cause and effect”; while we can’t completely stop our laptop from getting hot, we can, however, prevent it from turning into molten magma by considering any of the options below.
1. Check Ambient Temperature
The first thing to consider when looking for how to cool down a laptop is the temperature surrounding your laptop. A hot room keeps out cool air which in turn affects your computer. Therefore, ensure the room is adequately ventilated or has a good room ventilation system.
On the other hand, the moisture in an overly cold room could cause condensation, which in turn brings about a short circuit, voids your warranty, and affect other electrical components; therefore, the best temperature for your laptop is 50 – 95 ℉ or 10 – 35 °C.
2. Carry out Periodic Maintenance
If you are looking for how to keep the laptop cool, you should consider periodic maintenance. Like every other electronic device, there’s a lifespan for many components in your laptop. So, dusting your laptop is an ideal way to maintain it.
Also, if the overheating issue started recently despite maintaining your routine activities, you should consider checking your fan.
You know a fan is faulty from the noise it makes; grinding and rattling are apparent sounds. On the other hand, you should be worried, too, if the fan makes no sound; this indicates that the fan isn’t spinning at all or too slow.
If possible, you can add an extra fan to assist your laptop’s fan.
Case fans are available too; they are pretty small and won’t need too much knowledge to install. Typically, it would be best if you went for two, one to remove warm air out of your laptop and the other to bring in cool air.
While most laptops don’t have rooms for CPU fans but offer a heat sink, you should try upgrading your CPU fan if your laptop has room for it.
The CPU is arguably the essential part of your computer and does much work, making it prone to overheating; a CPU fan upgrade would go a long way.
3. Scan and Get Rid of Viruses and Malware
Malware and viruses often act independently. They usually run processes or actions in the background and don’t consider your laptop’s capabilities when in action.
These resource-intensive activities cause overheating amongst many other havocs. So, get a good antivirus and carry out periodic scans and get rid of viruses and malware.
4. Check your System BIOS Settings
Your BIOS is one integral part of your computer; without it, your computer can’t run.
With your BIOS, you can do so much, including controlling your fan speed. Follow these steps to see if there’s any setting blocking or affecting your fan speed.
- Restart your laptop then at the sign of the first Power-On Self-Test startup screen, press the BIOS button; it varies with manufacturers (Del, Esc, F12 or F10).
- Use the direction keys on your keyboard to navigate to Monitor or Status (or something in line with these).
- Select Fan Speed Control option. Select a fan and increase or reduce as you wish. Then, follow suit for other fans there.
Also, if, after carrying out a recent BIOS update, the heating issues started, you should revert.
5. Avoid Overcharging or Using it while Charging
Overcharging your laptop isn’t ideal; also, try to reduce how often you use your laptop while charging.
Both activities would affect your laptop’s battery life. Every battery has a limited life span; the more you charge, overcharge, or discharge it, the quicker its lifespan drops.
6. Monitor Temperature
Having a birds-eye view of the conditions of things would better prepare you for overheating issues. A good number of software applications can both control fan speed and give you temperature reports.
Some of these applications allow you to customize specific fan speeds to particular temperatures.
7. Use Compatible Hardware
You will be setting your system up for failure if you use a modern operating system or program with an old computer model or hardware.
Your CPU would be tasked to execute this process simultaneously, consuming much power, which would lead to overheating and crashing if made to do this for long. If this is the case, your best resolve is to get a new laptop.
These are the best ways how to cool down your laptop.
We recommend using a laptop cooling pad, even more so if you’re into gaming or graphics rendering and other CPU/GPU-intensive tasks. Proper maintenance and dusting can do wonders as well!