How not to Overheat Your Laptop: 10 Tips to Keep It Cool

Laptops can get hot to the touch, especially when you’re performing intensive tasks like editing videos or playing high-end games. Overheating isn’t just uncomfortable, though; it can permanently damage your laptop, especially if the heat isn’t dissipated properly. Use these tips to keep your laptop cool while you work and play.

Stop using laptop on soft surfaces

use these type of hard surface covers to avoid overheating issues

Placing your laptop on a soft surface like a bed or couch for long periods of time increases its temperature. The material underneath doesn’t absorb heat as well, and it can easily build up. Placing your laptop on hard surfaces helps maintain your computer’s internal temperature. When you work with your laptop, use an external keyboard and mouse. Heat produced by peripherals can add to overheating issues if they are in direct contact with your device. Stand up straight while working: Sitting at 90-degree angles prevents air from circulating through key areas where heat is generated, causing your computer to overheat.

Close apps in the background

In the search bar simply type background and disable the toggle. You’re done.

Many apps, like Microsoft Office or Google Chrome, are active in memory even after you’ve moved on to another task. So if you want your computer to run smoothly and avoid overheating—or at least prolong its life a bit—it’s important to close out of unnecessary apps before you shut down for the day. Try Alt-Tabbing through your open windows, or simply clicking on an app and hitting Ctrl-Shift-Escape (on Windows). This will bring up a task manager that lets you quickly kill off any lingering apps. For faster results, try installing third-party task managers. Our favorite is Process Explorer from Sysinternals . We recommend keeping multiple browsers open instead of letting them run in tabs; it’ll help keep things running smoother as well.

Don’t keep it plugged in all day

image source: cnet

A common misconception is that leaving your laptop plugged in all day will give it a boost of energy when you need it. In fact, your laptop expends most of its energy while it’s running on battery power. If you’re not actively using your laptop, don’t keep it plugged in just for convenience. Instead, unplug and allow for some time for your battery to run down. Recharge only when necessary—and at an appropriate time (not in advance). A fully charged battery is less likely to overheat than one that isn’t fully charged; and charging right before you use your computer is better than letting it get overly hot before plugging in again.

Clean your fans regularly

Don’t wait until your laptop overheats. Cleaning your fans on a regular basis will ensure that air can move through your computer without restriction. Before you go about cleaning up, shut down your laptop completely and let it cool off for at least half an hour. When it’s safe to touch, remove any screws from underneath and take out any peripherals such as USBs or hard drives so they don’t accidentally get bumped during cleaning. If you can see dust or dirt in there, use a compressed air canister (available at most electronic stores) to blow out all of the fans in your computer.

Use cooler mouses

You might not think about it but your mouse is one of the biggest heat sources in front of your laptop. Try using a wireless mouse or a rollerball for most of your work and keep mousing to a minimum. It’s also important that you get up and move around every once in awhile so that blood can circulate through your body, keeping you cool. Just standing at your desk can help lower room temperature by several degrees. If nothing else, make sure you take regular breaks and get up from your desk every 20 minutes or so. You’ll be more productive with increased movement and if you feel like taking a stroll outside in some fresh air, it won’t hurt either! These small changes can add up big time when it comes to how cool your laptop stays!

Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight

laptop use in sunlight

Exposing your laptop to direct sunlight is a sure way of making it overheat. Try using it in a well-ventilated area and use a fan when possible. Also, don’t put it on your lap or on an overly warm surface as laptops heat up quickly and will cause overheating. Avoid running too many high-performance applications at once: This can make your laptop overheat very quickly. If you do need to run several apps at once, be sure they are lightweight applications that won’t demand much from your machine. Use an anti-virus scanner as opposed to downloading virus protection software (for now): Antivirus scanners only run while you are online whereas virus protection software runs all of the time.

Use a cooling pad

You may not think a laptop needs cooling, but there’s a lot of stuff going on inside those slim bodies. The bottom gets pretty hot and when you add in gaming or movie-watching with headphones, it can get really warm. A cooling pad will keep your device from overheating, which is especially important for high-end gaming laptops where tons of tech is crammed into a small space. If you use your laptop on your lap regularly, make sure it’s also comfortable with temperatures as well.

Turn down brightness and use dimmer colors on screen
Brightness on screens and displays is a big factor in making your laptop overheat. In order to decrease brightness, open your settings menu (usually found by right-clicking on an empty space) and then search for brightness or screen. From there, you can choose to decrease brightness as much as possible before it begins hurting your eyes. Dimming colors on screen may also help reduce heat—for example, darker blues instead of black backgrounds.

Reduce the CPU usage

Close the internet programs such as chrome or any third party app that uses most part of your CPU.

The most effective way to lower your laptop’s temperature is to reduce how much CPU it has to use. If you’re not doing anything with your computer and you’re still not seeing a reduction in temperature, then you could possibly be dealing with a hardware issue. But before going that route, take a look at these simple tips first. You might find that one or more of them are already what you need to do.

Daniel Azree
Daniel is the founder CEO of Laptopsea and other Gaming Websites. A website that provides buying guides and information on pc components. He has a passion for writing, and he loves to write about anything related to pc components.