Easy Ways to Fix Laptop Overheating

By Kim Linton

Due to their small size and lack of ventilation, laptops tend to overheat more than desktop computers. A noisy cooling fan that runs continuously is one sign that your laptop is overheating. Laptop overheating can also cause a loss of performance, system crashes, and even permanent damage to components. The goal is to make sure your laptop has proper ventilation and is kept as cool as possible.

Things You'll Need

  • Aerosol air duster
  • Vacuum cleaner with crevice tool
  • Laptop cooler pad
  • Laptop owner's manual

Step 1

Always use your laptop on a tray, desktop, or other cool surface. If you use it on your lap, make sure clothes, upholstery or bedding are not blocking the case vents. Blocked vents are the number one cause of laptop overheating.

Step 2

Use an aerosol air duster, or can of compressed air, to blow dust from the air intake vents. Air intake vents are a set of slots on the side or bottom of the case that allow cool air to flow into the laptop.

Step 3

Clean the cooling fan exhaust system. The cooling or CPU fan is located on the side or back of the case. A clogged CPU fan vent keeps hot air trapped inside the case. Use an aerosol air duster to loosen the debris, then use a vacuum cleaner with crevice tool to vacuum out the dust and dirt.

Step 4

Use a commercial laptop cooler. A laptop cooler pad is an external USB powered fan that serves as a base for your laptop. If your laptop generates a lot of heat, even with a clean cooling system, a laptop cooler will extend the life of your laptop.

Step 5

Adjust your BIOS settings. Most laptops have features built into the system BIOS that allow fan speed, CPU temperature alarms, and other settings to be adjusted. Read your owner's manual to learn how to enter the BIOS and change the settings for your particular laptop model.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never leave a running laptop on a bed, carpet or cushion. Laptops left on a surface that holds the heat in can be permanently damaged. Some laptops produce enough heat to even melt plastic case components.