The Basics of Overheating Laptops

How Do You Know Your Laptop Is Overheating?

Normally, when working with our laptops, it gets hot. But just because your laptop seems hot doesn’t mean it’s overheating.

So how do you know when your laptop is overheating.

Due to technological advancement, and if you make use of a more recent laptop, you can easily tell when your laptop starts overheating because there are software’s that monitors the temperature of your system. Once the system exceed the average temperature, it gives a warning sign to the user or it shuts down the system in other to prevent damage.

But if your laptop doesn’t have this features, you don’t need to worry. All you need to do is to monitor the behavior of your system. A laptops is overheating is when the fan is always running at maximum speed. There may also be a reduction in performance because an overheating CPU cuts back its clock speed to escape heat pressure. The system temperature it self will be above normal.

Moreover, the fail-safe software may trigger a sudden shut down to prevent hardware damage.

What Causes Overheating?

Overheating can be caused by different reasons which includes:

  • Insufficient cooling.
  • Prolonged usage
  • Running multiple programs at a time.

Insufficient Cooling

When your laptop is not getting enough cooling, it can lead to an overheating laptop. Some reasons why most laptop don’t get enough cooling is because of dust blocking intake grills or exhaust ports, a clogged up fan, or a degenerated thermal grease (aka thermal compound) between the heat sink and the CPU or GPU.

To fix this, check the air vents and remove any blockage. If you have a blower or compressed air, use it to blow out every dust particles found on the PC.

You probably might not be able to apply the thermal least your self because it might require you to disassemble the system. If you can, that would be fine but if not, give it to a professional technician.

Prolonged Usage

overheating laptop

Using your laptop for a very long period of time without shutting it down can cause overheating. Especially when being use in a hot environment.

For best use, occasionally shutdown your laptop when not in use. This will enable the laptop last longer than expected

Running Multiple program at a time

overheating laptop

Although computers are machines but they are built to handle different amount of task respectively.

Running multiple program on a laptop with a low memory will only decrease the speed of the laptop and eventually cause overheating.

Also, if you trying to use a business laptop as a gaming laptop, it will cause overheating due to the amount of energy required to run a gaming software.

An overheating laptop is mostly hardware related. So to prevent an overheating laptop, follow these tips

1. Check and Fix the Internal Cooling System

The most important thing you need to check when you want to fix an overheating laptop is the cooling fan(s) that provide(s) cooling to the CPU and graphics card. Over time, they build up layers of dust and dirt that slow them down and block airflow. Read your laptop’s manual to find out how to open the laptop to access and clean those parts.

Before you attempt to do any cleaning, it’s important you follow these safety rules

  • Turn off your laptop
  • Remove the battery
  • Unplug the power strips
  • Stay isolated
overheating laptop

2. Keep the Laptop on a Hard and Flat Surface

By all means, avoid using your laptop in an uneven surfaces, like a blanket, pillow, or your lap, as they might obstruct your laptop’s airflow.

Instead use them on a flat surface where the air vent is not blocked and can easily flow.

To avoid overheating of this nature, Amway keep the laptop on a hard and flat surface. You can use something as simple as a tray or get a special laptop holder or lap stand.

3. Invest in a Laptop Cooler or Cooling Pad

overheating laptop

Laptop coolers are meant to provide additional cooling. However, getting the wrong cooler can actually make the problem worse. Before you purchase a cooler, you need to understand the flow of air into and out of your laptop.

As mentioned above, most laptops suck in air for cooling from the bottom. This makes sense because warm air rises upwards. However, a cooler that sits underneath the laptop and sucks air away from it, does not contribute to laptop cooling and rather increase overheating.

If your laptop has intake grills at its bottom, get a cooler that blows cool air upwards, i.e. into the laptop. You can also get a passive cooler that dose not take much power and merely absorbs heat.

If you’re handy, you can build your own laptop cooler or cooling pad. We even found a solution that will cost you under five bucks!

What Are Potential Software Fixes?

If after trying the above fix and none of the hardware fixes result in lasting improvements, you can also try some software fixes that address the performance and power usage of your laptop. However, addressing excessive heat with a software fix means you give up performance in favor of preserving the hardware. To do this,

You can either reduce the brightness of your screen or reduce the CPU clock speed. In Windows, underclocking or undervolting is done in the BIOS environment, but can also be controlled through software tools.p

Protect Your Laptop From Overheating

Even if you have a device that doesn’t exhibit any clear evidence of overheating, it’s a good idea to regularly clean its vents and fans to prevent dust buildup. Also, always place your laptop on a firm and even surface.

If you use a laptop pillow while surfing on the sofa, you’ll not only ensure a good airflow, you’ll also reduce the amount of dust that enters and blocks vents and fans.

Finally, I believe you now know how to fix an overheating laptop and what causes it to overheat. You can also use this idea to troubleshoot other devices like iPhone and iPad when they overheat.

How do I know if laptop fan is working?

Depending on the type of laptop you have, you should be able to tell where a cooling fan is located and where it blows the hot air out. Place your ear or hand up to that point in the body of your laptop and listen for a fan. If it is running, you should be able to hear it. If not, then it’s off.