3 ways To Diagnose And Fix Overheating Laptop

We are all well familiar with that, anything that works produces heat as an output. Similar is the case with laptops. They run and, in return, produce heat. And we are all no strangers to the fact that overheating is actually a huge problem when it comes to gadgets, especially expensive and valuable ones like laptops.

The main cause is mainly due to how a laptop is built. The modern-day laptop is getting slimmer by the day, and that is why even the slightest raise in the CPU temperature is of significant concern to the consumer.

Laptops today are more powerful than ever to constantly meet the needs and demands of the revolutionizing world. So, this means that CPUs are even more potent than ever and with that being said, GPU overheating is a huge and major threat to your laptop. This can be easily avoided if you follow a few simple steps, but if you fail to fix this problem, you can be looking at a handful of issues such as hardware failure, blue screen of death and even data loss. This would prove to be brutal, not just for you, but for your wallet also.

That is why we have composed this article for you today in which we will explain as simply as we can how you can avoid the problems faced by many of us noobs and even long-time experienced users. So, stay tuned! But first, let us turn to the basics.


What Causes Laptop Overheating?

Now, we know how much we hate dust for all of us clean freaks out there. I mean, don’t you just hate seeing dust on a surface that you keep cleaning? It is the ultimate enemy, and the same goes for your laptop. Dust is your laptop’s primary and ultimate enemy and is a major no-no.

With time, if you don’t clean your laptop daily, dust starts to accumulate along with other debris in crucial areas of your laptop, such as the air vents, exhaust port and even the fans. This causes a significant decrease in the airflow leading to compromised cooling and louder noise production, which no one enjoys.

Less airflow means less heat being taken out, which means an overheated product. Apart from dust, your GPU also plays a role in overheating. Especially if you enjoy long hours on the computer or are into gaming or just anything in general.

The dried thermal paste could also be the reason why your laptop is heating up. Over time, thermal paste degenerates, and you have to reapply it. Over time, it will dry out and cause your CPU to overheat faster than usual. To fix this, all you have to do is reapply thermal paste when needed. Invest in a high-quality one, so it lasts you longer.

How To Diagnose An Overheating Laptop?

To find out the source or culprit, you have to follow the following steps.

Locate The Heat Source

AIRFLOW AND HEAT TRANSFER: The first and most crucial step is finding out where the heat is actually being dissipated from. Laptops need a proper exit route to expel hot air being generated. If there is a compromised airflow, there will be no heat transfer, and hence it will lead to an overheated laptop.

The first thing you want to do is locate the air vents. The majority of the air vents are on at the bottom of the laptop. Some might even have them on their back. They can either be intake or outflow vents. Run your laptop, preferable with a heavy app and pay heed to the vents. Check to see if hot air is being blown out.

You also want to check the intake vents to ensure that air is being let in. If you sense a decreased airflow, there is dust accumulation. Turn the laptop upside down and inspect it. You can try blowing the dust away with a can of compressed air. Another method could be trying to remove the fans and blowing the dustout.

DYING BATTERIES: We all know that batteries are not meant to be stored at 100% or 0% capacity. Many people purchase laptops and always leave them plugged in, even when they are fully charged. This causes a significant reduction in the battery’s lifespan. So, the less efficient they get, the more heat they start to produce with time.

A good solution is to replace the old battery with a new one. For that, you need to know the model of your computer and the battery.

Reduce The Load

If you have ruled out dusty air vents and a dying battery as your problem, then your laptop might be under a lot of strain. Go to Windows Task Manager and locate what is using your CPU to such a huge extent. It will help you limit apps that start automatically and limit the usage of such apps.

Apart from this, clear your cache and history and trash from time to time. Again, lots of great apps and software are available for this.

Be Vigilant About Any Behavior Changes

Many of us enjoy getting cosy in bed and placing our laptops in our laps or on top of blankets. Unfortunately, this can cause your air vents to block and result in overheating. You might want to invest in a laptop cooling pad. If not, you can simply use a stand or anything that keeps your laptop elevated, and the air vents remain unblocked.

How To Fix Overheating Laptop?

Finally, this is the section you were all waiting for. Before doing this, keep a backup of all your files, just in case. And keep the following tools with you to help in the process:

  1. Screw holder
  2. Thermal paste
  3. Screwdrivers
  4. Cotton swabs
  5. Wooden tongue depressor
  6. Alcohol wipes
  • So, if step one mentioned above was the source of overheating, use a can of compressed air or an air blower to get rid of any trapped dust and debris.
  • If you can remove your fans, use a screwdriver to unscrew the panels and take the fan out. Blow away the dust and make sure to clean the area where the fan is fitted into as well.
  • To avoid excessive noise, use a drop or either machine oil or contact lens solution. This significantly reduces noise production.
  • In case of a dying battery, buy a new one.
  • Remove old thermal paste using rubbing alcohol. Let it sit for a while. Then with the help of alcohol wipes or an earbud soaked in isopropyl alcohol, remove the thermal paste. Reapply the thermal paste. You need a minimal amount.
  • If the problem still persists, try cleaning your hardware. Clean other parts of your laptop as well.
  • Lightening the load on your laptop will also help. Run Windows Task Manager to see what apps are using higher CPU memory. Apart from this, you can also run process explorer to see which files are open. Frequently clean and clear cache and trash.
  • Never put your laptop on the bed or in your lap or any place which will block the air vents. You can also use a cooling pad.


Can you fix an overheating laptop?

Yes. It is very much fixable. First, locate the cause of overheating. If it is due to dust, use a can of compressed air to get rid of it. Try cleaning the fans as well. If your thermal paste has degenerated, reapply thermal paste. Try cleaning your hardware. Avoid running heavy apps. And keep your laptops in well-ventilated areas.

How do I troubleshoot my computer from overheating?

Clean your laptop. Make sure there is good airflow. Check the fans. Reapply thermal paste if needed. Close programs and heavy apps. Shut your laptop down for a while.

How do I know if my laptop is damaged from overheating?

Your fan will constantly run and make a loud noise. Your computer will fail to perform essential functions, and you might even receive unexpected error messages. Sometimes, lines will appear on your screen, and your system will freeze. You can even face BSOD.

Nick Miller

It's Nick Miller a 25 year old tech enthusiast and senior editor at Flexgate, i try to make tech simple for the everyday person. You will find review about tech, tools and Computer hardware here.

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