How to prevent laptop overheating!

The joys of laptop computers!

Easy to carry when traveling, convenient, light weight, versatile machines that we just can’t get enough of.  Laptops are becoming extremely popular and for good reason; however, the cost of maintaining and repairing laptop problems is  more expensive than desktop computers.

Today, we will discuss the biggest disadvantage that laptop computers have, when compared to desktop computers….OVERHEATING !!

Many people have problems with their laptop computers shutting down unexpectedly, restarting randomly, “Blue Screening” (BSOD), becoming extremely hot to touch and more.  When people experience those symptoms, many mistake them for:  spyware, driver problems, viruses and more.  The GOOD thing is, we will teach you how to prevent your laptop from overheating, so if you ever experience any of the aforementioned problems, you know that HEAT won’t be the cause!

Laptops are smaller than desktops, thus have much less room for cooling. The cooling fans are usually located near the middle bottom of the laptop, which causes heat from the cooling fans to be blown out of the bottom of the computer.

This explains why your lap gets “warm” or “hot” when sitting a laptop on it for long periods of time. That actually contributes to your laptop overheating.  Sitting your laptop on any “cloth” surface such as bed covers, clothing, carpet, etc; can cause insufficient heat dissipation and can cause your laptop to overheat. Once again, an overheating laptop can shut down, restart randomly, Blue Screen and/or cause permanent and expensive hardware damage.


Here are some suggestions to prevent overheating:

1.) Use a “Laptop Cooling Pad.”

These small devices attach to your laptop via USB, and contain fans that aim upward into your laptop vents, helping to cool the CPU down.  They also work very well for keeping your lap cool!


2.) Buy a can of “Compressed Air.”

These cans can be found in virtually any big chain store; Walmart, Target, Radio Shack, etc.  Attach the “straw” to the can.  Next, flip your laptop upside down and blow the compressed air into the cooling vents.

Continue to press the nozzle for the air to escape, while moving the can around in circular motions to clean any dust, debris, lent, or any other foreign object that may be obstructing the flow of air or cooling process.   Do this regularly, at least once every 1-2 months.


3.) Remove your laptop battery when it’s plugged into a power outlet.

This will help preserve your battery’s life, and prevent excessive heat buildup that occurs while continuing to charge your laptop battery after it has been fully charged.  Since the battery is a conductor of heat, it helps to remove it when it is fully charged.


4.) Avoid exposing your laptop to direct sunlight – in high temperatures for long periods of time.

Remember this statement if nothing else:  “When it comes to computer components, heat KILLS!”


5.) Ensure your cooling fan works at all times!

If it is “obstructed”, or makes “strange and unusual” noises, get it checked out immediately.  The cooling fan(s) cool down the CPU and blow the heat away from your computer. The picture on the left shows a cooling fan assembly exposed, after the laptop has been “taken apart.” This is necessary when replacing or servicing a laptop fan.  The CPU must remain cool at all times.  Without a CPU, your computer is nothing more than a lap anchor!


Well I hope this post will help end your overheating laptop frustration! If you have a new or newer computer and it works like it’s new, this will help keep it working that way. Stay tuned for more posts and until next time.

Happy Computing!

Raymond Mackie – TekTime IT Consulting & Computer Repair


If you appreciated this post, you may enjoy these related posts as well:

Revive a Dead Laptop Battery, With These Tips

How To Troubleshoot Laptop Problems

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