Stop & prevent laptop overheating easily with Howly

Updated: June 20, 2023
6 min read
Stop & prevent laptop overheating easily with Howly
by Oliver Maslou
Tech Expert & Writer
Checked by
Quality Control team

Continuous overheating is like a slow poison for your laptop. Even if the problem seems insignificant to you, it actually leads to dire consequences. Operation at elevated temperatures decreases device performance, reduces battery power, causes failures of hardware components (processor unit, motherboard, RAM modules, video cards, and many others), and reduces the overall life of your laptop. That's why it's crucial to know how to cool down your device as soon as possible and prevent the laptop from overheating in the future. Howly experts are your reliable assistants in tech matters, so our guide will help you handle excess heat and ensure better functionality of your device. Learn the causes and signs of the problem and explore the best methods to stop laptop overheating!

Before we start

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Howly techs know how to fix an overheating laptop of any brand and model. Reach out to a qualified specialist at any convenient time and get an instant solution to your issue. Ask limitless questions, enjoy easy troubleshooting, and save your device in minutes!

The privileges you’ll get troubleshooting your laptop overheating issue with Howly experts:

  • Qualified help with an overheating laptop
  • Quick advice right in your device 24/7/365
  • Expert reply within 60 seconds
  • Clear step-by-step guidance
  • Limitless number of follow-up questions
  • Understanding and empathetic help till your laptop overheating problem is fully resolved
  • All answers you need in one place

Why do laptops get hot?

Wondering “Why is my laptop overheating?” You’re not alone – plenty of people come to Howly with the same question. Indeed, excess laptop heating is one of the most widespread technical issues users are struggling with. But what triggers the problem? In fact, the list of causes is truly extensive, at the same time, they cover both software and hardware issues. Let’s puzzle out what causes a laptop to overheat, chances are the reason for your problem is indicated below as well.

  • too many programs launched at the same time;
  • demanding apps/heavy games;
  • drivers are either outdated or faulty;
  • sharp changes in Windows OS;
  • GPU/CPU cooler or air vents are full of dust;
  • too many registry files, unnecessary apps, and other junk on your laptop;
  • thermal paste require replacement;
  • broken fans cease spinning;
  • obstructed air vents;
  • usage of an incompatible charger;
  • direct sunlight;
  • viruses/malware.

Have trouble identifying why your laptop gets hot? Or perhaps you just don’t want to spend time checking each of the above causes? Entrust this task to Howly tech experts and get a solution immediately!

Signs of laptop overheating

The laptop heating up process is hardly controllable. Indeed, all devices get hotter when they work, and it’s absolutely natural. But laptops are especially prone to thermal stress due to their compactness. Unlike desktop PCs, their hardware components are packed more tightly, limiting the space for air passage. So, you have nothing to worry about if your device feels warm, but how to determine that the temperature goes off-scale? These are the signs that your laptop is overheating:

  • Increase in the internal temperature. If you’re doing nothing more than working with a Word document or watching a video in the browser, the CPU temperature should range between 40-50°C (100-120°F). In case you’re playing a game or running a couple of programs at once, the figure may increase to 60-70°C (140-160°F). But if the internal temperature exceeds 80°C (or 175°F) for prolonged periods, that’s a clear sign that your laptop is getting too hot.
  • Deterioration of laptop performance. Another sign of a too hot laptop is massively degraded system performance. Indeed, your device may start functioning like it’s from 2007 – apps and games begin to crash and lag severely, the web browser takes forever to load, and even the mouse pointer moves leisurely. It’s all about self-preservation as your laptop limits the operation of its hardware in an attempt to bring the temperature back to normal. If you aren’t going to help your device, the temperature will only rise, resulting in lasting damage.
  • Fans sound louder. It’s pretty ironic that while your laptop decelerates system performance, it starts screaming like a racing car speeding down the track. That’s because the device is commanding the fans to run faster to eliminate excess heat as soon as possible. However, it also happens that a laptop runs hot quietly, for example, due to fan malfunctions or breakage. Hence, you won’t hear any sound at all.
  • Laptop shutdowns. This is what typically happens if a laptop gets really hot. Your device just turns off as if you have drained the battery. One moment you’re doing something interesting, and the next you’re already staring at a black screen in bewilderment. The reason is the same as in the case of performance deterioration – your laptop struggles to survive when things are getting tough. The point is that most laptops have special warning mechanisms that switch on when the internal heat temperature overreaches a certain threshold, so the system turns off to avert damage to the hardware.

How to stop laptop from overheating

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So you’ve determined your laptop is hot, overly hot. What to do? First of all, keep cool, the situation is serious but it’s not hopeless. We’ve prepared a list of DIY fixes for you to try out. These solutions on how to stop a laptop from overheating must serve you well. Otherwise, Howly professionals will come to the rescue!

Close unneeded programs and apps

The harder you load the CPU, the more heat your laptop generates. And numerous applications and programs you launch and use alongside impose even greater stress on your processor, so the internal temperature may skyrocket. Even if the app is running in the background it’s still causing load on your laptop’s hardware, so try to close unnecessary programs instead of minimizing them. Moreover, make it a habit to keep the laptop from overheating each time you use it. Howly shares an easy way to detect and close the apps that make your device hot:

  1. Access Task Manager by tapping Esc + Ctrl + Shift at once (or Alt + Ctrl + Delete and picking Task Manager from the list).
  2. Review the CPU column and determine what apps have the greatest load on the processor.
  3. Right-click on the heavy app and hit End task.
prevent laptop overheating

Update drivers

Keeping your drivers updated has many performance benefits, allows your device to run faster, and can also help you prevent a laptop from overheating. Even though you can update all the drivers manually, there’s a faster and more convenient way to handle the task:

  1. Tap Start and move to Settings.
  2. Access the Windows Update tab.
  3. Hit Check for updates.
  4. In case Windows offers you any updates, tap Download and Install.
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Improve airflow

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One of the surest methods to fix an overheating laptop is to clean its internal components responsible for proper airflow. Indeed, fans, exhaust ports, and air vents tend to build up dust and grime in the course of time which blocks the passage of air and causes overheating. Take a look at the manufacturer manual to find out how to open your laptop’s case and access these parts. This is what you should do before the cleaning:

  1. Look for the exhaust port – unlike intake vents, the port releases hot air, so you’ll spot it easily.
  2. Shut down your laptop.
  3. Remove all external drives and cables.
  4. Take off the battery (if it’s removable).

Once you’re done, proceed to the very cleaning:

  1. Locate the CPU and GPU fans and carefully clean them with a cotton swab moistened with isopropanol (isopropyl alcohol). You can also use compressed air to complete the procedure.
  2. Spot the exhaust port on the side of a laptop or on the back of its case and clean the grills with canned (compressed) air.
  3. Move to the intake vents (at the bottom part of the laptop’s case), which are intended to draw cooler air inside, and clean them as well.
  4. Check the quality of the thermal paste on the CPU unit and apply a new layer if the current one is dried or damaged. Ask Howly techs for help if you don’t know how to apply the paste correctly.
prevent laptop overheating

Change fan speed

Is your laptop getting hot after completing the above steps? Adjusting the fan speed may be your option to remedy the situation. A faster fan provides better air circulation, preventing the device from overheating. Keep in mind that this method will be little effective if the fans or vents are dirty, so we recommend starting with cleaning.

  1. Reboot the system, and when your device boots up, tap F12 or Delete (check the manufacturer manual to know what key will work for you to open BIOS).
  2. Head to the H/W Monitor tab and look through the fan settings. If the Fan Speed Control option is available – tap on it.
  3. The list of options typically varies depending on the laptop model, and not all devices allow adjusting fan settings. If you’re lucky to have such an opportunity, set the optimal speed based on the performance of your device. Normal CPU fan speed fluctuates between 600 RPM - 3000 RPM, set it to the maximum level to stop your laptop from overheating. Note that the battery consumption will increase as well.
prevent laptop overheating

Be mindful about proper laptop positioning

If you feel uncomfortably hot, your laptop is probably struggling with the same problem. Thus, never locate your device in direct sunlight or too close to the heater. A flow of fresh air from the open window or an ordinary portable fan can make a great difference. Moreover, avoid placing your laptop on blankets, pillows, and soft furniture as uneven surfaces obstruct the air vents, causing the internal temperature to rise quickly. Positioning on flat surfaces is a great option to prevent laptops from overheating. You can also take advantage of special laptop stands and desks.

prevent laptop overheating

Consider purchasing a cooling pad

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Cooling pads have always been a great solution to keep a laptop from overheating. Such devices vary in type and typically have from 1 to 4 fans. Place the pad under your laptop, and it’ll push cool air directly into the grills, helping you to keep the internal temperature at an acceptable level. This option works especially well for avid gamers who play on their laptops for hours on end.

prevent laptop overheating


Why does my laptop keep overheating if I place it on a cooling pad?

Cooling pads fail to work in case the fans and air vents are dirty. Make sure you clean these components thoughtfully before placing your device on the cooling pad.

How to check my CPU temperature in case my laptop gets very hot?

Shut down your laptop and run it again. During the startup, tap F12, Delete, or another key suitable for your device model to open BIOS. You’ll see your CPU temperature directly on the main screen.

I have Asus overheating issues. Is there a way to ensure the fans are working well?

Type MyAsus in the search bar and run the application. Look through the Hardware diagnostic section and mark the box near Fan -> hit Checkup. After the end of the diagnostic, tap Results to see if there’s any problem with your hardware.


Keep the internal temperature of your laptop under constant control, and it’ll help you avoid a large repair bill in the future. Overheating won’t harm your device if you solve the problem in time, so follow the presented tips to fix the situation as soon as possible. Keep in mind that no matter what laptop overheating issue you encounter, Howly specialists can provide you with a quick and effective solution – just ask for help, and we’ll save your device!

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