How to Keep Your Laptop Cool? [Explained with Steps]

A laptop is a handy device capable of performing the lightest of tasks to the heftiest of processes. Laptops with the proper capabilities and specifications allow its users to run a wide variety of software you can use for home, school, and jobs. In addition to this, their portability is a great advantage over the desktop computer and makes it a perfect partner for computer-related tasks. 

But as with all electronic devices and components that generate heat when working, your laptop is no exception. This is a common effect, but too much heat will severely damage the internal components of your device, to the point where it cannot be fixed. 

Reasons Your Laptop Overheats

There are many causes of laptop heating, but there are two significant reasons why these portable variants heat faster than desktops. 

A laptop is smaller

As such, the components are more tightly packed inside. Since there is little space between the covering and the parts, there is little room for heat to disperse. 

More demanding processes 

The progress of modern technology gives way for more powerful processors, and more of that processing power is required to run operating systems, which are becoming more and more complex. Because the processors are working more, more heat is generated. 

Laptop manufacturers know of these problems, so they put safeguards in place. Heat sinks, vents, fans, and cooling systems work to lower a laptop’s temperature while it is in operation. But sometimes, it is just not enough. Here are other reasons why a laptop overheats: 


A laptop has exhaust vents somewhere on its body to let the heat diffuse. Over time, these vents may get blocked because of dust, limiting the heat escaping from the laptop. 

Temperature of surroundings 

The temperature of where the laptop is situated affects the heat emitted by a laptop. 

Hardware Problems 

A malfunctioning laptop fan will make it harder for your laptop to emit heat, especially if it is the only means to cool it down. Upgrading some parts of the motherboard, such as its RAM or sound card, may cause heating because it might use more resources to function correctly. If your laptop has a heat sink and it somehow dislodged, it will also cause heating problems.

Effects of an Overheating Laptop

  • A laptop too warm to the touch can harm by scalding you. There have been instances of product recalls because of possible burn hazards, such as Sony with its VAIO laptop. 
  • Overheating laptops will cause permanent hardware damage on video cards, drives, memory modules, motherboards, and even its battery. 
  • A hot laptop poses fire hazards. Laptops with faulty cooling have started fires that burned down houses. 

Ways to Keep Your Laptop Cool 

Keeping a laptop cool does not need to involve expensive hardware or complicated methods. Make your laptop work reliably and lengthen its life through these simple methods. 

Adjust your power settings. 

Tweak your high-performance settings. Adjust it from “high-performance” to a lower setting, such as “power-saving” or “balanced” mode. Doing this lets the system use only the power needed to run the applications, instead of always using the maximum. 

When doing intensive work or running demanding software, you can set the setting to the maximum again. 

Clean the vents. 

A can of compressed air will do the trick when dust blocks your laptop’s vents. Turn off your computer and spray at the vent to remove unwanted dust particles. 

Keep the environment cool. 

Computers work better in cool environments, usually at an ideal temperature of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (about 21 degrees Celsius). The cold air from the outside balances the temperature inside the laptop, helping counteract the heating. 

Use a cooling pad. 

For substantial cooling requirements, a fan is the best go-to. Laptop cooling pads are trays with fans where you can put your laptop on. Keep the air flowing around the computer itself so heat will not build up. 

Check the software. 

An application may be running in the background, demanding more resources, even if not used. Open the task manager so you can see the list of programs using your CPU and RAM. If you see an app hogging the resources for itself, then it may be worth it to shut it down and see if your laptop’s temperature is back to normal. 

Also, spyware and viruses can inhibit the performance of your device, and as a result, will require more processing power to run, and more heat. Take advantage of many paid and free malware scans and protection to protect your laptop from viruses. 

Install a heat sink. 

Setting up a heat sink, such as air and liquid cooling, can be quite challenging and costly, but it is one direct solution in dissipating laptop heat. A heat sink absorbs heat and transfers it to a fluid medium such as air or a liquid coolant, and disperses it out through regular ventilation channels. Consider this if you will run labor-intensive programs and tasks. 

Don’t put it on your lap. 

This may seem counter-intuitive as “lap” is literally in the name, but you should not put a laptop on your lap if you don’t want it to overheat. Any soft surface impedes the flow of air out the vents and may cause heat to build up and get caught underneath the laptop, leading to burns on your laps. 

It is better to use a laptop stand or mat to put some distance between the surface and the laptop so heat will escape freely. 

Pay attention. 

There is also a benefit in paying attention to your laptop’s exterior heat. If it feels like it is hotter than average, then turn it off and give it a rest, especially if you are not using the laptop for anything. 

Heat is a laptop’s, and electronics’, downer; too many units have deteriorated because heat destroyed its internal components. These simple steps will lower the risk of your laptop overheating and damaging its interiors. Keep in mind, though, that the heat characteristics, patterns, and signature of your device are affected by its power consumption, age, and environment. Be aware of how different situations increase the temperature of your laptop.

Eugene Peter
Eugene is a self-professed laptop enthusiast, writer, and entrepreneur. Born in London, Eugene grew up with an entrepreneurial spirit that was nurtured by his parents' business. He has always been fascinated by the latest technology and how it can be used to make life easier for people like him who are constantly on the go.