How To Keep Your Laptop From Overheating – Laptop Running Hot

Lightspeeds PC Repair Augusta GA

Heat build up in every laptop is a problem. With current laptops being built with Duo, Triple and Quad core processors they should not be called “laptops” anymore.  For they are to hot for using on your laptop. Actually laptops should NOT be used on your laptop, for this blocks off the cool air intake vent on the bottom of laptop.

HP dv2000 fan

HP dv2000 fan

Heat is the ultimate death in all electronics, more so in laptops. Follow these simple tips to keep your laptops cool, and prolong the life of the laptop & hard drive in general.
The main cause of overheating in laptops, is what you see here in photo to the right >>>>
Laptop Overheating Symptoms:

  • Keyboard, Bottom Base Of Laptop Extremely Hot
  • Laptop Randomly Shuts Down On It’s Own

If it is shutting down on it’s own, DO NOT try and run this laptop, you need to get it checked out and repaired!

The automatic shutdown is a built in thermal protection feature, in protecting the laptops CPU & Motherboard from damage.
Other than fixing the main cause for the overheat or hot laptop, following the below list will help you keep laptop cooling system clean and running good temperatures:

Purchase a USB cooling fan pad for your laptop – GREAT INVESTMENT! This elevates the laptop for air flow under the laptop. The usb fans circulate cool air towards the bottom where the heat source is at, and also towards the intake vents.  Make sure to get one that blows air towards bottom of laptop. Cost approx $20-$40. Take a look at those very small rubber “feet” these manufactures put under the laptop. Over time these feet wear down or fall off completely, which then bring the laptop closer to the table or desk.  No air room under laptop for ANY air to circulate to the cool air intake vents. Keeping the laptop elevated on a USB cooling fan pad is the best. Another solution is to prop the back of the laptop up with a small book, or deck of cards for example. This will elevate the back so the intake vents can breathe on most laptops, and angle the laptop for better typing to!

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Keep a can of compressed air can around, you can find these almost anywhere, usually in the electronics department of most stores for about $5. With your laptop OFF, blast the bottom, rear, side vents of your laptop with this can of compressed air OFTEN! At least once every 2 months if not sooner. Picture above shows a completely blocked heatsink exhaust from the inside of the laptop. I find this in every laptop I have to take apart! This you cannot see this build up from the outside of laptop! Once this exhaust vent blocks, the laptop cannot cool the cpu or gpu unit down = OVERHEAT, random shut downs.

DO NOT use your laptop on your lap, bed, carpeting or couch. Best on hard flat surface. These “no-no’s”will suffocate the laptop from breathing, and overheat the laptop. The bed, blankets etc conform to the base of laptop, blocking all air vents off. Using on your lap is not advised either, your legs block the vents off. Overtime, the laptops very small rubber feet on bottom wear down OR fall off completely, when this happens the laptop then sits closer to the table (hard surface), cutting off air flow under the laptop also.
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Ambient room temperature is a factor on how hot the laptop heats up also. Summer, warmer months your laptop will operate a few degrees warmer.

DO NOT leave your laptop on 24 hours per day. Use standby mode or shut the laptop off when not in use.

Take the battery out when fully charged and running on power cord.The laptop does not need to be producing ANY extra heat, following this will also prolong the life of your battery to!
Make sure you shut your laptop down completely before packing away in laptop bag. I’ve seen people allow them to go into Hibernation and pack them away in their carry bags and then wonder why the CPU gets cooked as they think that the unit is turned off when its actually still running.

Gateway Overheated Laptop

Gateway Overheated Laptop

What I find in many laptops that I dis-assemble is the internal heatsink fan exhaust grill becomes blocked by dust, hair etc build up. (see photos).

From the outside the vents look clear, from the inside is a much different story. This build up happens with ALL laptops.  Once this happens the laptop cannot exhaust the heat, cannot cool down the way the laptops heatsink is designed for. And internal temperature WILL increase leading to mainboard failure.

Heat is the ultimate death sentence for laptops! When this blockage builds up thick, blowing the vents from the outside usually will not do any good. It becomes so hot, this dust build up bakes onto the heatsink internal exhaust grill fins, and cannot be simply “blown out” from the outside of laptop. If the build up does blow off, it has no where to go but back into the fan, and exhaust grill again. The dust build up can jam the fan up completely.
It takes a brush from the inside to completely clean & clear the blocked exhaust. So it is very important to keep a compressed air can around, to blow out all exhaust vents on a scheduled routine periodic basis. The correct way is to dis-assemble laptop to clean, or take it in for service maybe once per year, to have the cooling system thoroughly cleaned internally.
Lightspeeds PC Repair Augusta GA charges $65 for full “tear-down” and internal cleaning which includes: complete dis-assembly of laptop, internal cleaning of heatsink, fan, system board and a fresh application of Arctic Cooling Mx-2 Thermal compound.

By following these general tips you will prolong the life of the laptop, AND the laptops hard drive. YES, your important data. Hard drives do not like heat. Hard drives fail in laptops at a very high rate, due the heat within the laptop and the convenience of mobility. Sudden drops or “bumps” especially when the hard drive is spinning (Sata Drive) can knock a hard drive out quickly. Very important to keep your important data backed up at all times.
Quick Summary:

  • Elevate / Ventilate Bottom Of Laptop For Air Flow
  • Keep All Vents On Laptop Clean & Clear


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How To Keep Your Laptop From Overheating


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5 thoughts on “How To Keep Your Laptop From Overheating – Laptop Running Hot

  1. Anna Watson May 4, 2011 at 12:20 pm Reply

    My system has a problem with getting heated up and then goes off, but thanks for sharing your post. It was helpful in understanding the process well.

  2. […] How To Keep Your Laptop From Overheating […]

  3. varindia May 26, 2012 at 7:50 am Reply

    I just like desktop instead of laptop because its long duration work and low maintenance cost. Thanks for the info. and methods for laptop.

  4. jmkaep May 4, 2016 at 3:29 pm Reply

    I use an old rectangular metal serving tray as a base when I put the laptop on my lap or blanket etc.

  5. Sandeep July 6, 2017 at 6:14 am Reply

    Great quality and most important all above mentioned point very useful actionable advice!

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