Laptop Overheating? Try These 5 Ways to Cool It Down

Prevent laptop damage by keeping it cool

Laptops naturally run warm because of their shape and size. However, if they stay hot for prolonged periods, they can overheat, slow down, or become permanently damaged. Whether or not you're experiencing the warning signs and dangers of an overheated laptop, you can follow these simple and inexpensive precautions below to keep your computer cool and in working condition.

Keeping Your Laptop Cool

The Energy Saver dialog box.

We've found the following steps can bring down the internal temperature of an old and dangerously hot laptop from 181° Fahrenheit (83° Celsius) to 106° F (41° C)—a difference of 41 percent after one hour of using the active laptop cooling pad and bringing the room temperature down to 68 degrees.

Beyond these approaches, watch for in-the-moment problems that aren't indicative of an environmental issue but which nevertheless can adversely affect your laptop. Perhaps the most significant contributor to temporary overheating is putting the computer in your lap, cushioned by insulators like blankets that both trap heat and block fans.

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Power Settings

Change your laptop's power settings from High Performance to a Balanced or Power Saver plan. This tweak will tell the system only to use the power required to run your applications rather than always using the maximum processor speed. If you need to play games or other intensive work, you can switch back to the high-performance plan as required.

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Compressed Air

Use dust remover spray to clean the laptop's vents. Dust accumulates in the laptop's fan vents—a problem quickly solved with a can of compressed air, usually less than $10. Turn off your computer and spray the vent to remove the dust.

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Laptop Cooling Pad

Use a laptop cooling pad that has fans. Laptop pads have vents that can increase the airflow around your laptop, but a fan is the best way to go for more substantial cooling needs. The Belkin F5L055 can be found for less than $30 and is a reliable solution, but many other options are available.

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Room Temperature

Keep your working environment or computer room as comfortably cool as possible. Computers, like most people, work much better in air-conditioned environments. According to Server Fault, most server rooms or data centers operate at 70 degrees Fahrenheit or less, and that seems like an ideal temperature recommendation for home offices as well.

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Power Down

Shut down your computer when it's not in use, especially when you are not at home. The last thing you need when you get home is to find out your laptop is a fire hazard—one of the dangers of overheating laptops.

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