5 Tips for Making a Hot Laptop Cooler

Prevent laptop damage by keeping it cool

Laptops naturally run warm because of their shape and size. If they stay hot for prolonged periods of time, however, 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 should follow these simple and inexpensive precautions below to keep your laptop cool and working properly.

The Energy Saver dialog box.

5 Ways to Keep a Laptop Cool

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 problem but which nevertheless can adversely affect your laptop. Perhaps the most significant contributor to temporary overheating is putting the laptop in your lap, cushioned by insulators like blankets that both trap heat and block fans.

Power Settings

Change your laptop's power settings from High Performance to a Balanced or Power Saver plan. This tweak will tell the system to only 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 needed.

Compressed Air

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

Laptop Cooling Pad

Use a laptop cooling pad that has fans. Laptop pads that have vents but no fans can also increase the airflow around your laptop but for stronger cooling needs, a fan is the best way to go. The Belkin F5L055 can be found for less than $30 and is a reliable solution, but there are many other options available.

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. Most server rooms or data centers operate at 70 degrees Fahrenheit or less, according to Server Fault, and that seems like an ideal temperature recommendation for home offices as well.

Power Down

Shut down your computer when it's not in use, and 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.