Top 4 Tips to Stop Your Laptop Overheating

It is amazing the number of people I visit that have problems with laptops overheating. We put them on beds we put them on sofas, on a cushion, on our knees, in our bags and expect the laptop to continue functioning to its best even though we give them a rough time.

I must visit 2 or 3 people every single week that are having problems with their laptop that I can trace back to overheating. I have even had a number of customer’s says they have found marks on cushions or bedding where the laptop has been or have smelt a burning smell and never thought it could be their laptop.

Signs something is heating up!

  1. Any type of burning smells coming from the laptop are obviously a sign something is not quite right
  2. Are there marks under the laptop such as on cushions, bedding, even on grass
  3. A laptop tends to shut down when it gets too hot to protect itself.
  4. You are also likely to notice your computer running very slow as it struggles to cope with even the most basic tasks
  5. Blue screens can also appear when overheating quickly followed by an automatic reboot.

Oh no it’s overheating – what can I do?

Don’t put the laptop of soft furnishings

The first thing people fail to realise is that a lot of the vents on a laptop are underneath the laptop and therefore the laptop does need to be raised slightly hence the stubby little legs on most laptops.

When a laptop is rested on some soft furnishing such as a cushion, a sofa or on top of your bed you are effectively stopping the laptop from breathing. The fans bring air in to cool down the inside of the laptop and then blow the hot air out of the vent on the side. If the vents are covered then it cannot get the cold air in and eventually gets too hot. Resting it on soft furnishing can also be a fire hazard so it is highly recommended you don’t rest it on ANY soft furnishing.

Use a tray or a solid surface

We have some cheap £3 trays scattered around our house that we rest our laptops on. This means we don’t have to put the laptop on soft furnishings and it allows the laptop to be raised and breath. It also makes it easier to hold to be honest and with a big enough tray you can even get a mouse on there too should you need one.

Clean out the fans and vents regularly

This is something I personal do on a monthly basis and if you ever use you laptop on soft furnishings (a big no no see point 1) then I would recommend you do it more often.

Laptop fans and heat sinks pick up an awful lot of dust, pet hair, pretty much anything. I was once surprised to find upon opening a laptop that was overheating a 2cm piece of biscuit blocking the fan!! If you have kids you will know they will shove their food anywhere including in your computer.

Pick up a can of compressed air (You can buy these almost anywhere including amazon) and spray it into all the vents on your laptop. Try to spray so the dust comes out of another vent. Pay particular attention to the heat sink area (metal bit on the side generally)

Use a cooling pad for your laptop

These are relatively cheap (type laptop cooling into Google or amazon). These are basically a device that your laptop sits on that has fans attached to the bottom to cool your laptop and get rid of heat quickly. They also have the added advantage of slightly raising your laptop to make it easier to use.

Author Bio

Craig is a computer repair technician and author of offering a variety of advice, tutorials and general help such as his recent post is your computer running very slow.