How to cool down a laptop that’s overheating

When you’re using a laptop to its maximum capacity, it’s only natural that it may end up overheating. The more programs you open, the harder your processor has to work to keep up.

And sometimes, the cooling fans that you’re using may not be able to keep your laptop at the temperature required. If you have a large screen laptop, then it’s going to use even more processing power.

There are a few things that you can do to cool your laptop down though, and make sure that it doesn’t end up getting hot. Here’s what the most likely cause of an overheating laptop is, as well as what you can do to prevent it even getting to that stage in the first place.

How to cool down a laptop that’s overheating

Okay, so if we’ve got a laptop that’s overheating, then we really need to work out the cause and why it’s happening. But first, you should probably be sure that your laptop is actually too hot for it to work, and that it even needs cooling down in the first place.

There are a whole host of reasons why your laptop fans may be on, and it doesn’t always mean your device is too hot. The most obvious sign that your laptop needs cooling down is that it’s physically getting hot.

If it’s too high in temperature to sit on your laptop comfortably, then clearly you need to do something about it. But, it’s not always that apparent.

Aside from this, the next major sign that your laptop is overheating is when you can start to hear the fans going into overdrive. The louder your fans get, the faster they’re working to try and bring the temperature of your device down. So, I’ll run through what you need to do with them in a minute.

You also may start to experience performance problems with the laptop too. It can begin to crash or freeze, or it may just begin working slower than normal. The good news is that you can almost always fix the problem, and here’s what you’re going to want to do.

Cleaning your laptop fans


As mentioned, one of the main ways you can tell that your laptop is getting hot is that you’ll begin to hear the sound of the cooling fan working overtime.

In a perfect world, they’d work without much hassle. But if you’ve owned your laptop for a fair while already, then there’s a good chance that quite a lot of dust has gathered in the fan itself. Sometimes, they can become unbearably loud, but that’s not always the case.

Just because you can’t hear your laptop’s fan, doesn’t mean that it’s not running. The fans in the newer Macbooks are very quiet, but they’ll still start operating when you start to open several big programs at the same time.

You can clean your laptop fans pretty easily by removing the bottom panel of your laptop. This is harder on some models than others, but with Windows laptops, you should be able to do this by finding the holding screws and loosening them. Make sure that the laptop’s off when you do this.

If you can’t remove the bottom of your laptop, then you may want to try using a can of compressed air through the vents in the side of your device. This is a quick and easy way to keep your laptop cool.

Whether you’re using a laptop or computer, it’s good practice to clean your fans out at least 3 or 4 times per year. In some countries, you may need to do it more than this, as dust will continue to gather as the fans become less and less effective.

Keep your laptop raised


If you use your laptop on your lap most of the time, then first, this can add up to a whole lot more dust getting caught in your cooling fan. When you use your laptop on a softer surface, then it conforms to the bottom of your device.

This can definitely have an effect on the air that flows through your laptop. With less air able to get to the bottom of it, the less chance is has of proper ventilation. Not only does this end up with more dust, but it can also restrict the amount of air allowed to flow through.

In an ideal world, you’ll use your laptop both on a flat surface, but also slightly raised off the desk too. This way, air will be allowed to travel freely through your device, which can help to stop it from overheating.

Invest in a laptop cooling pad


Instead of opting to go with a laptop stand or a set of feet, you could opt for get yourself a cooling pad. It will help reduce the temperature of both your CPU and GPU, which are two of the key components of a laptop.

Cooling pads generally work by putting some mesh metal beneath your device, which is already likely going to be much cooler than your lap. There are grills in the mesh, and a large fan underneath that works to help keep your laptop’s temperature down. They’re also generally pretty portable, which is important if you want something you can take with you anywhere.

For those that are having a lot of problems with an overheating laptop, they can be a great idea. They’re usually only necessary for gamers or those that use intensive editing software, but if you have an older laptop, then it could be worth looking for a cheap one of these to use with it.

Give your laptop a break


The easiest and quickest way for you to cool down your laptop in a short amount of time is to give it a rest.

When you start running multiple processes on your laptop, it can begin to struggle with the amount of work you’re giving it to do. It can only process so many things at the same time, and when you start to give it more and more things to do, the processor will begin to heat up.

And if there isn’t an adequate cooling process in place, then it’ll start to overheat. But to be fair, even laptops with a good cooling fan can still begin to get too hot when you’re using a lot of processing power.

The simplest fix? Well, just closing down some of the programs and apps that you’re using on your device is a great start. Having a lot of tabs in your web browser open is a key one, especially if you’re on a website that has a lot of graphically demanding ads running on the page.

If you’re using a specific software that can eat up your CPU capacity, then try closing this down and see if things improve. For a long term fix, you could take a look at the power settings of your laptop too. You may be able to make some small tweaks, like reducing the brightness of your screen, that can stop your device from overheating in the first place.


There are a few different ways that we can cool our laptop down, both quickly and by investing in some extra equipment. Making sure that dust and fluff doesn’t end up getting lodged in the cooling fan is key if you want to ensure that your laptop has a long lifespan.

In the long term, it’s a good idea for you to run regular monthly maintenance on your laptop. That means deleting any unnecessary programs you don’t use, as well as having a good antivirus software installed too.

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About Nathan

Hello! I'm Nate. I work for an internet company during the week, so you'll probably see me on here jabbering about the internet and building websites, which is my main side hobby.

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