How to repair an overheating laptop?


Another common question that I get asked is ‘How to repair an overheating laptop?’. We suggest replacing fans and getting it serviced.

This article will teach you how to diagnose and repair common problems associated with overheating laptops. Laptops tend to overheat during use because their compact design often prevents them from properly expelling heat. Fortunately performing repairs on your laptop isn’t too difficult if you know that there’s an issue in the first place. Plus it’s worth noting that sometimes the cause of the problem could simply be something as simple as dust build-up due to improper maintenance.

Why does a laptop overheat?

There are many components that can contribute to the cause of a laptop overheating such as, fan failure, poor ventilation, and dust accumulation.

Fan Failure: A faulty fan isn’t going to spin properly and this will cause the laptop’s internal parts to get hot much faster than normal. If your fans aren’t spinning properly it’s best to turn off your laptop and take it in for repair as soon as possible.

Poor Ventilation: This goes hand-in-hand with having improper airflow inside of your laptop. If you’re using your computer on the couch or bed then there is an increased chance that you will experience overheating because there probably won’t be proper ventilation. When your laptop is overheating it’s best to take a break and allow it to cool down for at least 10 minutes before using it again.

Dust Accumulation: Dust accumulation can cause your computer components (including the fan) to not work as efficiently as they should which will result in overheating. It’s recommended that you clean out the dust on a fairly regular basis so this doesn’t become an issue for you and your laptop.

If you experience these issues with your laptop then there is most likely an internal problem with either the fan or some other component such as motherboard, graphics card, or processor chip. This isn’t something that most consumers can fix themselves because of how complicated it could be, but it may be something that you can have a laptop professional fix for you.

Symptoms of an overheating laptop

The easiest way to determine if your computer is suffering from an overheating problem is through proper observation while it is running. Is the laptop shutting down on its own? Do you hear unusual noises coming from the unit? Or does it feel unusually warm to the touch? If you answered yes to any of these questions then your computer may be suffering from an overheating issue.

There are several potential reasons for overheating laptops, but typically hardware problems are caused by either a faulty fan or thermal compound. The fan helps cool the inside of the computer while the thermal compound facilitates better heat dispersion between internal hardware components and the laptop’s cooling system. Replacing these two components requires little more than basic computer know-how and can save you hundreds compared to having repairs done by a professional or buying a new laptop! Before beginning this repair we suggest unplugging the laptop from any power sources and removing the battery.

How to repair an overheating laptop?

Replacing a faulty fan

Replacing a faulty fan will require you to open up the case of a laptop before proceeding with repairs. Make sure you have all the necessary tools at hand before beginning this repair: a Phillips-head screwdriver, a plastic opening tool or credit card, an anti-static wrist band, tweezers, and a thermal compound. You can source most of these items from eBay.

Please note that it can get a bit technical from here so its best to get a professional who does laptop cleaning service around you.

The fan is located on the bottom of your laptop underneath where the battery sits. It will be covered with a label marking it as “heat sink”, “fans” or something similar. Unscrew and remove this label to reveal two screws holding the fan in place by its corners. Using a Phillips-head screwdriver, remove these screws while using a credit card or other plastic tool to pry the fan’s metal grill off of its hinges.


Remove screws

Once you have removed these two screws, pull up gently on both sides of the fans wire mesh grill until it pops off, revealing the blade and wire attached to it. You can usually do this without pulling too hard or risk breaking since they are usually very cheap and the wires are usually very thin.

Once you have removed the blade and wire, you will see an oblong black box with two small fans attached to it (this is something like a laptop’s heatsink). Unscrew both screws on each side of this box. You should be able to do this with your fingers or by using another plastic tool, but make sure not to break any other pieces here since they are usually very important pieces. Once unscrewed, pry open until it pops off, revealing what appears to be a piece of steel folded in half onto itself many times over.

This is actually composed of many layers of heat-conducting metal all pressed together as one solid piece for maximum efficiency at transferring heat from the central processing unit (CPU) to the box with small fans. The reason this is now broken maybe because of a faulty fan or because dust and other fine particles such as sand has clogged up the air passageways, which hinders movement within it.

Clean out the debris

The best idea would be to clean out all the dust and debris from this heatsink if possible by spraying canned air into it and then wiping it off with a cloth or cotton swabs until it’s no longer able to suck in any more dust. If you’re not able to do so using only your hands, try using a plastic tool so as not to scratch anything on here since scratches will decrease heat-conducting efficiency. This makes the entire laptop overheat again, even if this was the only source of overheating.

To avoid all of this, try to keep the vents clear by placing your laptop on a flat and not carpeted surface while it’s turned on and in use. Avoid obstructing small air vents with papers or other objects such as books since it cuts off airflow and will make your laptop overheat right away (you’ll feel it because the air blowing out of the vent will be hot unlike normal). Be sure to let your laptop cool down too before using it again after you’ve been using it for a while since heat buildup is another reason why laptops overheat.

Doing all these steps properly should prolong the life of your computer by preventing overheating issues from persisting over time. If you need help with any of these steps, feel free to contact a professional (such as an engineer) and they will gladly assist you. Do note that if your computer has been overheating for months or even years it may be time to replace your laptop.

The fan in your computer trying to cool down the processor doesn’t work anymore. If this is the case then chances are your motherboard needs replacing too since they both have interconnected components… Try all methods before considering replacements. It works sometimes but most times it won’t. But again it’s worth a shot so don’t hesitate to try everything detailed in this article before throwing away a good laptop.

Desktops vs Laptops

It’s not just laptops that experience these kinds of issues, desktop computers are also prone to this problem and will need the same kind of repairs if the components become damaged or broken in some way. Many times it’s easy to take apart the desktop computer and then put all the parts back together again after they’ve been cleaned out and repaired, though other times it might be more trouble than it’s worth and you should simply buy a replacement component instead.

This is why it’s important to ask around to your friends and family members beforehand so that you know what kind of problems others have experienced with their computer so that you don’t fall into the same trap yourself.