How to Reduce Laptop Heat (Prevent Laptop Overheating)

Knowing how to reduce laptop heat will keep your laptop lasting longer. Keeping the internal components of a laptop cool helps the longevity of the components and keeps it performing at its best.

To reduce laptop heat, ensure the balanced power plan is selected, and avoid operating the laptop in the sun or on a soft surface restricting airflow. Also, check that the laptop’s fans work, the cooling system is clean, and the thermal paste isn’t too old.

A laptop has many components sitting close to each other, making laptops more expensive to produce. This means that if one of them overheats, it’s very likely that the surrounding parts will become affected too.

Ways to keep your laptop cooler

By following these recommendations, you can lower the heat inside your laptop and extend its lifespan.

1. Ensure your laptop is only used on a flat hard surface

laptop on a flat surface to reduce heat

Hotter areas under the laptop can cool down better when it’s surrounded by air rather than blankets or clothing.

Keeping your laptop on a flat hard surface helps air flow through the cooling intakes and outlets.

The cooling system usually relies on a blower-style fan(s) that draws air in through a vent, then cools a heatsink, with the hot air exiting the outlet or exhaust vent.

If either of those vents is obstructed, it will impact the cooling capability dramatically.

2. Use a laptop cooling pad to prevent overheating

laptop cooler to reduce heat

This is a very effective way to keep your laptop cool for a low-cost product.

If you are using your laptop for gaming, you will want a cooler that performs well. It will most likely contain multiple cooling fans.

Laptop coolers available can cope well with being used on a bed.

This way, you aren’t restricted to using your laptop on a hard flat surface.

With most laptop cooling pads, you can choose whether or not to run the cooling fans depending on your usage level.

If it’s a hot day or you choose to game on your laptop, enabling the cooling fans helps keep your laptop cooler.

I would say that it is almost a must-have for laptop owners.

3. Make sure the air pathways and fan(s) are clean to prevent overheating

clean laptop cooling system to reduce heat

Over a period of months, dust starts to accumulate in the cooling system. It’s simply the nature of cooling in general. Desktop computers also need to be cleaned, and preventative steps can be implemented to keep dust out.

But with a laptop, you are pretty much stuck with the cooling system’s design, and adding filters isn’t an option.

The only thing left to do is to ensure that your laptop is either serviced by a professional every year, or you can try to clean the cooling system yourself.

If you are keen on the second option, you will either need an air compressor or a can of compressed air.

Blow air into any vents you can see until no more dust comes out of the holes or vents.

Although it is recommended that you have it done professionally, this method can be effective enough to keep your laptop from overheating from clogged vents, fans, or heatsinks.

4. Try to avoid direct sunlight on it to prevent excessive heat

Whether using it or not, keep your laptop out of direct sunlight.

Small plastic parts inside can become warped from too much heat.

If you are using your laptop in the sun, it will raise its internal temperature.

If it continues to run for hours this way, it can shorten the lifespan of certain parts inside.

Storing your laptop in a hot car can also cause some damage if certain plastic components warp.

5. Make sure the laptop’s fan(s) are working

replace laptops fans

If you are using your laptop and notice absolute silence (no fan noise), shut it off and have a professional take a look at it.

This means that the cooling fan is either damaged or some other malfunction is causing your fan not to spin up.

This can cause damage to your laptop, and it should be looked at as soon as possible.

If you hear rattling sounds coming from your fan(s), it means that the fan(s) are worn out and need replacing.

Because of the delicate and compact nature of all the internal parts, unless you’ve had laptop repair experience, have a professional replace them.

To know more about when laptop fans should turn on, please read my article on how often should a laptop fan come on.

6. Use software to monitor temperatures and fans

By installing software that can inform you about the temperatures of components in your laptop, you can easily keep an eye on crucial component temperatures.

There are several software packages that control fan speeds as well as provide you with temperature information.

On some applications, you can set up fan speed profiles based on the temperatures of hardware components.

This way, you can also ensure your fan(s) are doing their job by observing increased fan speed as your internal hardware gets hotter.

7. Is the hardware capable enough?

Having old hardware with a modern operating system and software can be a problem.

If the laptop hardware is old, it will be flat-out trying to perform basic tasks. This will inevitably raise the laptop’s temperature.

The CPU will be working hard to keep up and will also be using lots of power from the battery to sustain its operation.

At this point, there aren’t any tricks to get around the problem. A new laptop is the only way out.

I have been down the path many times installing lightweight Linux operating systems to get extra time out of the laptop.

Truthfully, it simply isn’t worth it, and I’ve always ended up replacing it anyway.

An external graphics card is an option for gamers whose internal GPU isn’t up to spec.

Although, depending on your situation, it may be worth it to simply replace the laptop, seeing as portability will be affected and considering the cost of an external graphics card setup.

YouTube video

8. Check the BIOS settings to decrease laptop heat

Make sure there are no settings that are keeping your fan from performing the way it should.

Check that any fan control settings aren’t set too conservatively, which can keep your laptop running at a much higher temperature than it should.

9. Don’t overload laptops with too many programs at once

Try and keep the number of programs running down to a minimum.

If you are working on an application and completed a task, consider closing it instead of minimizing it.

This will also free up your laptop’s resources to deliver better performance to something you currently use instead.

Keep the number of tabs open in your browser down to a minimum. It will use less memory and keep your laptop able to deal with other things a bit easier.

10. Laptop overheating from power settings

In Windows, a couple of power management settings can help keep your laptop cooler.

  • Change the power plan settings to Balanced.
  • Change the System cooling policy from Plugged in to Active.

This will help keep your laptop cooler by reducing power to certain internal components when they aren’t being used to a higher potential.

Conclusion to fix laptop overheating

I hope some of these tips have helped you in some way to keep your laptop cooler.

If you can’t get it to run cooler after trying these suggestions, hand it over to a professional to take a look at it.

It could save the lifespan of your laptop, and it will be money well spent.

From here, if you are having issues with your laptop shutting off when you unplug the charger, I recommend that you go and read my other blog post showing how to resolve the issue.