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Laptop Overheating: 13 Great Tips To Keep It Cool In Summers

Laptops are portable computers that can be carried everywhere we go. A laptop’s design is so compact that it is not easy to clean or upgrade [except RAM and HDD]. Laptops are more vulnerable to overheating due to less space. The entire cooling mechanism in a laptop relies on the internal fan and heatsink. So, one should ensure proper functioning of the internal fan.

Today we rely on our laptops for sending emails, downloading files, communicating with friends and using high-end IDEs for software developments. In this situation a laptop can be left to run continuously for more than 8-10 hours without breaks. This can overheat any laptop if not handled properly. In the 6th Generation of processors, Intel used the 14nm die size with Skylake architecture.

Due to this smaller die size mobile processors are now running hotter than their predecessors. You may see the idle temperature of a 6th Gen Intel i7 6700 HQ CPU as 40-50 degrees. But this is not a problem because this processor has high junction temperature so 40-50 degrees is normal for this CPU. You may also think of using laptop cooling fans or cooling pads, but they provide little to no help in cooling. It is also possible to keep your laptops cool without using cooling fans because it is not convenient to carry them everywhere. There is a reason why laptops run hotter than desktops which is that laptop processors have less surface area for a heat sink. A desktop CPU has a larger surface area which spreads heat evenly and easily transfer to the heat sink. Desktop CPUs come with metal caps which work as a heat spreader. In mobile processors this heat spreader is missing.

This tutorial is applicable for any laptop computer that is running Microsoft Windows. You can even apply this on your Macbook or smaller notebooks.

Laptop Overheating: 13 Great Tips To Keep It Cool In Summers

1. Internal Cooling Fan: The internal cooling fan is the most important part of a laptop because its the only thing which protects your laptop from getting damaged due to overheating. Many times it may happen that the internal fan stops working. If this happens then the laptop will start overheating because the heat will not be thrown out which is generated by the CPU and GPU chips. To prevent this situation you have to Read Laptop Internal Cooling Fan Not Working.

2. Thermal Compound: Every laptop’s processor uses a thermal interface material which is applied between top of the processor and the heatsink to enhance heat transfer from the processor to copper heatsink. The heat transferred to this copper metal heatsink is thrown out of the laptop via fan. You should consider it replacing every 3 years if your laptop starts overheating due to heavy usage. Arctic Silver 5 is currently the best thermal paste for Intel processor. Read How to apply arctic silver 5 thermal paste.

3. Power Saving Mode: If you are using Microsoft Windows then you can enable ‘Power Saving’ mode while doing casual works like typing, browsing etc. Power saving mode limits the CPU performance which also prevents overheating.

4. Use Laptop On Clean Surface: Dust is the ultimate enemy of our computers. So always make sure that your machine is placed on a clean surface which is free from dust. Also do not use a cooling fan on a dusty surface. Never use a cooling fan which is covered in dust otherwise it will blow more dust inside laptop than air. Clean the fan thoroughly before using.

5. Do Not Use It On Your Lap: Laptop means that a portable computer that can be put on your lap while using it. But this is wrong. Actually these machines are not designed to be used while being put on your lap. This will entirely block the air vents and fresh air can’t get inside your laptop. A laptop fan maintains air flow with help of air vents, if air vents are blocked then half of this air flow mechanism gets destroyed which raises the CPU temperature. You also should not place your laptop on cushions, pillows or sofas.

6. Lift your Laptop: The bottom of your laptop has 4 rubber stoppers. These rubber stoppers help the laptop to stay at a place so it can’t move here and there while using. You can put a tiny cardboard square (L x B x H = 2 inches x 2 inches x 0.5 inch) below these stoppers to lift your laptop a little bit which will help more air to pass through the bottom of the laptop. More fresh air helps in maintaining optimal temperature. You can also use a cheap laptop stand.

7. Keep Room Temperature Low: Laptops are designed to function normally within room temperature (24 degrees celcius). If the room is hot in summers then do not use your laptop without air conditioning. Air conditioning will also help to reduce the laptop's internal temperature greatly.

8. Avoid Sleep Mode In The Laptop Bags: Never put a laptop inside its carry bag when it is in sleep mode. Sleep mode doesn't turn off the laptop but keeps it at lower power so that you can resume your work. If you put it in the laptop bag then heat from the fan will trap inside the bag which make the laptop even hotter. If you want to keep it in a bag for carrying and don't want to lose your work then use the 'Hibernate' mode instead of 'Sleep' mode.

9. Cleaning The Laptop: Most laptops are very easy to clean like the HPs. They are easy to open and provide direct access to the internal fan by just removing the plastic panel. You can directly clean the internal fan by using a soft brush. However, it is not applicable to all laptops because newer ones are more slimmer than their predecessors. If you want to clean then you may need to open the entire laptop. See the image below which shows different access to laptop's internal parts. This design was found in older laptop computers but now a day they come as a whole unit.

10. Run Laptop Without Battery: Laptops are not that diligent as you think of them. Using a laptop for continuously 8-10 hours is not recommended. I personally suggest shutting your laptop for 10-15 minutes every 2-3 hours to give it a break. If you work daily for 8 hours then I suggest you to remove the battery and run the laptop on AC adapter only to prevent excess heat. When you remove the battery then there will be no charging and the laptop adapter will stay cool. Use a UPS for power backup. Running a laptop on a UPS is safe.

11. Uninstall Unwanted Programs: You should uninstall unwanted software from your laptop. These programs can run in background to waste CPU cycles. High CPU usage means high temperature. Uninstalling these useless programs ensure lower CPU usage. The CPU usage doesn't go above 25% while browsing in chrome in just one tab.

12. Use Antivirus Software: Keeping your laptop virus free will prevent high CPU usage. Use a paid antivirus software like the Avast premier or Avast internet security to regularly check for viruses.

13. Avoid Gaming: Laptops are not meant for gaming. Gaming on a laptop can increase the temperature up to 65 degrees Celcius. If you are gaming on it then make sure to sit in an air conditioned room and use a cooling fan. Don't play games for long hours. A lot of heat is generated during gaming so avoid longer game play. Regular gaming for long hour will dry out the thermal compound soon and you may need to replace it if overheating at idling is seen. Basically if a laptop temperature is 55-60 degrees at idle then it is overheating. If you own a gaming laptop then you don't need to worry much.

These were 13 tips to keep your laptop cool in summers. If you liked the article then please share it.

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