Just like an engine in a vehicle, a laptop also gets hot when you use it. So, if your laptop is slightly warm to touch when it is running, there’s nothing wrong with it. However, the temperature of your laptop should not go too high. If the laptop overheats, it could cause a number of problems including slower performance, reduced battery backup, and being too uncomfortable to touch. The laptop overheating issue could either be related to the software or the hardware of the device. Most of the issues causing the laptop to overheat can be solved at home easily.
Today we are gonna discuss exactly that—the common reasons behind laptop overheating and the solutions to those problems that you can try at home.
Why Is My Laptop Overheating?
- Too many tasks running simultaneously for your laptop to handle comfortably.
- Drivers are either faulty or have not been updated to the latest version.
- One of the settings in Windows has been changed.
- Too much junk is causing the processor to run harder, and therefore, hotter.
- Air vents and/or CPU/GPU cooler has been clogged with dust.
- The thermal paste on the CPU/GPU has dried up.
- Fans are not spinning.
- You are charging the laptop with an incompatible charger.
- You are using the laptop in a warm environment.
Laptop Overheating? Here’s How You Can Fix It at Home Easily
We have listed down the solutions to all the common reasons that might be causing laptop overheating. Work your way from top to bottom. We hope that one of these solutions will solve your problem.
1. Close Unwanted Programs Consuming Excessive Resources
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Too many applications or programs running simultaneously may lead to increased stress on your CPU and GPU, causing them to overheat. To fix the issue, all you have to do is close the applications you are not using actively.
There could also be some apps that are not optimised for your laptop, which might be taking too many resources to run, causing your laptop to overheat. To identify such apps, open the Task Manager, look for applications that are using CPU, GPU, Memory, Disk, or Network excessively, and close them. That should fix the problem.
Sometimes antivirus software could also take significant resources from your laptop for scanning the device for viruses. So, if you have one installed on your laptop, try closing it and checking if the laptop is still overheating.
2. Update Your Drivers
The drivers that come pre-installed with a laptop can sometimes be faulty, which may cause the laptop to overheat. So, it is likely that your laptop is overheating because of faulty drivers. Manufacturers are usually quick to fix this issue by offering updated drivers.
To update the drivers to the latest version, go to Start > Settings > Windows Update and click on Check for updates. If there are updates available for the drivers, they will be shown to you. All you have to do now is click on Download and Install. Once the installation is complete, restart your computer and check if the problem still persists.
While not updating the drivers to the latest version can usually cause a laptop to overheat, it is also possible that the laptop is running fine but it starts overheating after installing the latest drivers. That happens because the latest drivers, instead of improving your laptop, have caused it to overheat because they are faulty. In that case, you have to uninstall the current driver, hunt the internet for the older version of the driver, and install those to fix the issue.
3. Consider Re-Installing Windows On Your Laptop
The Microsoft Windows operating system has a ton of features and options to customise the laptop according to your needs. With so many features and options, the OS has a lot of working parts, and there is a possibility that a specific program/driver that you have installed has caused an issue with one of the components of the operating system. Usually, it is very hard to track what has gone wrong with the OS.
In such cases, we recommend you uninstall the operating system, perform a complete wipe of the HDD/SSD, and install the OS once again (go through this guide from Microsoft to perform a clean install of the OS). If there was any issue with one of the components of Windows, reinstalling it will solve the problem.
4. Clear All the Junk From Your Computer
Too much junk on your laptop, particularly unnecessary apps, cache files, and registry files may slow down the computer. To compensate, the laptop works harder, producing a significantly higher amount of heat, which may lead to overheating.
In such a situation, you might try utilising freeware like CCleaner to clean out the trash on your computer. This programme will assist you in removing unwanted files, trackers, and registries. We also recommend that you also perform Disk Defragmentation once along with removing unnecessary photos, videos, and documents. Cleaning up the computer takes away the unnecessary load off the CPU/memory/storage, and allows it to run cooler.
5. Check Ventilation And Air Flow
Most laptops have a fan to cool the internal components. The fan takes in the fresh air and pushes out the hot air using the air vents. Over time, dust accumulates on the fan as well as in the air vents blocking the airflow which causes the laptop to overheat.
To clear out the dust, open your laptop’s back plate and clean the fan and the air vents with a brush. To know how to open your laptop’s back panel, you can search for the model number on YouTube and go through one of the teardown videos.
If you’re not comfortable accessing the internal components of your laptop, we recommend hiring specialists like OnSiteGo for laptop-related services. OnSiteGo provides expert laptop cleaning and servicing at your home or business, eliminating the need for you to transport your laptop to be serviced.
6. Re-Apply Thermal Paste On Your Overheating Laptop’s CPU
A thermal paste is a compound that is applied between the CPU and the CPU to promote the heat transfer rate from the CPU to the CPU cooler. While your laptop’s CPU comes with pre-applied thermal paste, it can dry out over time, resulting in inadequate cooling and hence heating. To resolve this, you may either remove the back panel, disconnect the CPU/GPU cooler, clean away old thermal paste, and apply new thermal paste, or call specialists in the industry like Onsitego for service at your door. For detailed information on how to reapply the thermal paste, you can refer to help guides on YouTube.
7. Look For Malfunctioning Hardware Components
Like we said earlier, modern laptops have fans to keep the machine’s internal component temperatures under control. If your laptop’s fans aren’t spinning, it might cause the laptop to overheat. When your fans aren’t spinning, the first thing to do is open up the laptop’s back panel and check the connections between the fans and the motherboard. If the connections are good but the fan continues to not spin, the fan may need to be replaced. You can always call OnSiteGo if you need more assistance servicing the laptop.
8. Check Battery and Charging Adapter
After a certain period of time, one or more of the cells inside the battery pack degenerate to the point where they cannot be regenerated, and the entire pack loses its function. As a result, the battery may produce significant temperatures within the laptop, causing the device to overheat. The only solution to this problem is replacing the battery which you can do at an authorised service centre or by contacting Onsitego.
On a similar note, always use chargers from the manufacturer and avoid chargers that do not satisfy the laptop’s standards. The laptop’s particular charging needs may be found on its specifications page. You may check the wattage of the charging adapter on the charging brick.
9. Try Positioning The Laptop In A Better Environment
When seeking a solution to a problem, we frequently ignore little nuances. In our situation, a simple repositioning of the laptop might result in improved airflow and ventilation. You may have put the laptop in such a way that the airflow vents were obstructed, preventing hot air from venting out. Avoid placing the laptop on carpeted surfaces and attempt to position it at an upward angle for efficient cooling. This simple fix can keep the laptop temperature under control.
When working on intensive activities, you can operate in a cooler atmosphere to keep the laptop cool, preferably away from direct sunlight. You can also consider purchasing a laptop cooler or cooling pad to enhance airflow through the laptop’s vents.