If you find your laptop overheating frequently, it’s no small problem. It’s important to recognize the signs of computer overheating before some serious damage is done.
Laptops are full of tiny, fragile internal components that can’t hold up to high heat. It’s essential to keep your laptop running cool so it doesn’t burn out.
To learn about the effects of laptop overheating and five simple ways to cool your computer, read on.
The Dangers of Laptop Overheating
Laptops are compact machines that often run as many processes as an ordinary desktop computer. With processors running and a battery delivering electricity, things can heat up quickly.
A laptop’s components will be in close proximity. Because everything is packed in tight, ventilation can be a major issue. While laptops usually have vents and fans, sometimes these can become obstructed or are just not enough to handle the heat load.
When a laptop overheats, you could be facing:
- Poor performance, crashes, and slower processing speeds
- Ruined hardware components such as motherboards, hard drives, and video cards
- A decreased lifespan for your laptop
- A fire hazard
- Personal injuries, such as scalding and burns
Luckily, these problems can be prevented. You need to know what to look for and how to fix the overheating issues.
Signs of an Overheated Laptop
Do you find yourself wondering, “Why is my laptop so hot?” You probably want to know if your laptop’s temperature is normal or potentially dangerous.
The most obvious sign is excessive heat coming from the bottom of the laptop. If there are places where your RAM, fan, or battery are located that are too hot to comfortably touch, you probably have an issue.
When a laptop is overheating, its cooling fan can be a good indicator. If you notice that your fan is running constantly and loudly, it may be trying to keep up with heat it can’t manage.
Performance and Appearance Issues
Laptop overheating can cause many performance issues when the machine is running. These include:
- System freezes
- Slow responses to commands
- Basic tasks take a long time for the laptop to perform
- Error messages pop up randomly
- Laptop shuts down suddenly on its own
- Lines appearing on the laptop screen as the video card overheats
- You get the Blue Screen of Death
All of the signs of overheating are noticeable and distressing. They require immediate attention to prevent permanent damage.
Quick Fixes for Laptop Overheating
You don’t have to be an expert to help your laptop out a bit. If you’ve experienced any of the above signs, it’s time to take steps to keep your computer cool.
1. Be Aware of Your Vents
All laptop computers have vents to keep air moving through. The problem may not be with your computer. It may be with the way you’re using it.
Laptops allow us to go mobile with our work and browsing. This is convenient, but it can pose problems when it comes to laptop ventilation.
This is especially true when laptops are used in bed, on your lap, on the couch, or on any soft surface. These surfaces tend to cover the vent and prevent air flow, quickly leading to an overheated computer.
Check your laptop’s vent locations. Some are on the bottom, while others are on the back or sides. If you use your laptop on a soft surface, make sure the vent is open.
Care should still be taken if you’ve checked the vents as soft surfaces can hold heat just like insulation. If you still want to use your laptop this way, invest in a cooling pad.
Cooling pads provide space for airflow between the laptop and the pad. Some are even powered.
Powered pads have bigger fans that cool the bottom of the laptop and usually plug into a USB port.
2. Check Your Processing Load
Your laptop may be running hot because it’s got too much going on. Managing its processes may help it run more efficiently.
You can easily open the Task Manager to get an idea of what is using your CPU. You may be able to control which applications start up automatically or change the order of necessary startup processes. Sometimes this is enough to help your computer processor handle its load.
Also, consider cleaning up your cache and history. Get rid of programs or files that you no longer need. Freeing up space in other areas will improve the efficiency of your operating system.
3. Check Your Battery
This one is simple to check and easy to fix. As laptop batteries age, they become much less efficient. As their efficiency drops, their heat increases.
If you’ve noticed that your battery isn’t lasting as long as it used to and your laptop is getting hot, your battery might be on its way out.
4. Use a Gel Icepack
In a pinch and your laptop feels like an iron? A flat gel icepack placed under the computer is an easy solution that will quickly and comfortably cool you and your laptop.
Use a gel pack that is approximately the same size as the bottom of your computer.
5. Try Compressed Air
Canned, compressed air comes in handy for all sorts of computer maintenance, from cleaning out the keyboard to dusting small components. If your laptop is running hot, it may just need the vents blown clean.
Canned air can blow out dust and lint that can clog up vent screens. It may also dislodge dust from the laptop’s fan, helping it spin more freely. This works especially well if you can easily access your laptop’s fan.
Cool Your Computer for Optimal Performance and Safety
With a little vigilance, laptop overheating can be managed, saving your device from heat damage.
For more helpful tips on laptop maintenance or to find a professional for laptop repair, explore our website or contact us today!