What to do if your laptop starts overheating?


If you’ve ever experienced a laptop that runs hot, then you know how uncomfortable it can be. Not only is it difficult to work on a laptop if it’s too hot, but the internal components are at risk of damage due to excessive heat. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the signs of laptop overheating and what you can do to prevent further damage and restore your laptop’s performance. 

Signs of Overheating 

The first step in fixing an overheating issue is being able to identify it. Some common signs that your laptop may be overheating are as follows: 

  • High fan noise or a loud whirring sound coming from the fan. 
  • Excessive heat coming from the bottom of the laptop or near the processor fan. 
  • A decrease in performance—your computer may become slow or freeze up frequently when performing tasks like gaming or streaming videos. 
  • The CPU usage is consistently high even with minimal applications open. 
  • Abnormal shutdowns or blue screen errors caused by thermal events (overheating).    
  • This list is not comprehensive; however, these are some symptoms that could indicate an overheating issue with your laptop.  

Causes of Overheating 

The main causes of laptop overheating are inadequate cooling fans and dust buildup inside the computer. Cooling fans help circulate air around various components inside the laptop to keep temperatures regulated; however, over time they can become clogged with dust, which impedes their ability to cool the system properly.

Additionally, laptops tend to have smaller fans than desktops, meaning they are less efficient at cooling down powerful components such as processors and graphics cards.    

Drawbacks of Overheating

Heat is one of the leading causes of hardware failure in laptops—it’s essential that users take steps to address any potential overheating issues before they become permanent problems and cause expensive repairs. By keeping an eye out for symptoms like high fan noise and excessive heat coming from specific areas on your machine, you can quickly identify potential issues and address them before further damage occurs. 

How to Troubleshoot an Overheating Laptop?

It can be frustrating when your laptop starts overheating. If your laptop is running too hot, it can cause a range of issues such as poor performance, slow loading times, and even physical damage. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to help troubleshoot an overheating laptop. Let’s take a look at what steps you should take if your laptop starts to overheat. 

Check Your Laptop’s Fan and Vents 

The first thing you’ll want to do is check the fan and vents on your laptop for any signs of blockage or dust buildup. Make sure that air is able to flow freely through the vents without any obstructions. If there is dust buildup blocking the vents, use compressed air or a vacuum cleaner to get rid of it. You should also make sure that the fan is working properly by listening for any strange noises or grinding sounds coming from it. If there is something wrong with the fan, you may need to replace it. 

Lower Your Laptop’s Power Settings 

Another step you can take to help prevent your laptop from overheating is lowering its power settings so that it’s not running at maximum capacity all the time. This will help reduce stress on the components and keep them from getting too hot during extended periods of use. To lower your power settings, go into the “Power Options” menu in Windows or macOS and select a lower power setting such as “balanced” or “power saver”. This will decrease the amount of energy used by your laptop while still allowing you to complete day-to-day tasks such as web browsing and word processing. 

Invest in Cooling Pads and External Fans 

If lowering your power settings isn’t enough to keep your laptop cool, you may want to invest in cooling pads and external fans which can help draw heat away from your laptop when it’s in use. Cooling pads are designed specifically for laptops and come in various shapes and sizes depending on what type of laptop you have. Many cooling pads also feature adjustable stands so that they can be used either flat on a desk or tilted up at an angle for comfortable viewing while using the laptop on one’s lap. Additionally, external cooling fans can be used alongside cooling pads for maximum effect; these fans draw hot air away from laptops when placed underneath them during use, helping keep temperatures low even during heavy usage sessions like gaming or video editing activities. 


Overall, overheating laptops are never fun—but they don’t have to be devastating either! By taking some simple precautions such as checking your fan and vents for blockages, lowering your power settings in Windows or macOS, investing in cooling pads and/or external fans, you should be able to prevent further damage caused by overheating laptops while still being able to enjoy all its features without worrying about things getting too hot! With these tips in mind, hopefully now you know how best to troubleshoot an overheating laptop if ever faced with this issue again in future! Good luck!

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...