Laptops trade a lot of desktop PC’s traits for mobility. Besides the obviously reduced hardware capabilities, the cooling system is the most common shortcoming a laptop user will encounter over the years of use. And you’ll know when the overheating becomes an issue, as the laptop will suddenly shut down in order to prevent the critical damage to hardware components. This was the case on older devices and it’s still the case on the laptops running Windows 10.
In order to address this common issue which can cause a lot of major problems if neglected, we prepared a list of few, so to say, tips which should help you address it. Therefore, in case you’re having an overheating issue on your Windows 10 laptop, make sure to check the steps we provided below.
How to address laptop overheating in Windows 10
- Check hardware and clean the laptop
- Use a cooling pad
- Limit high-intensity processes
- Track CPU temperature in real-time
1: Check hardware and clean the laptop
First things first. In the sea of the interconnected issues which are affected by both software and hardware, overheating is almost solely a hardware issue. It’s simple to determine whether your laptop overheats or something else is in question. If laptop suddenly shutdowns in the middle of a very intensive gaming session and it won’t power on for 10 or so minutes — it’s overheating. If its bottom is very hot on touch — it’s overheating.
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Once you’re certain that the overheating is the issue at hand, we recommend checking the related hardware. If you don’t have tools for a job (a properly sized screwdriver is basically everything you need), make sure to take your laptop to service. The extensive exposure to high working temperatures can completely destroy multiple components, starting with HDD and motherboard. And replacing those isn’t as cheap as on the desktop systems. Also, don’t forget about the data loss which is, for the majority, even bigger price to pay.
If you indeed have a proper screwdriver, shut down your PC and remove the back casing. Remove the cooling fan and clean it gently. You can use a wet cloth to clean all the dust and debris. From inside-out, use a compressed air to clean the protective grid. After that, you can remove gently the cooling pipe and clean it, as well. Finally, if you can get a hold of some thermal paste, do so. Apply it gently (only a grain of rice should suffice) and apply it to the CPU upper surface evenly. You can use a bank card to do so.
After that, you should be good to go. However, there are some alternative ways to reduce the overheating on a laptop.
2: Use a cooling pad
Don’t let anyone trick you into thinking that this is the solution for the overheating. Cooling pads are cool (sorry for the pun), but they’ll just there for the sake of upgrading the integrated cooling system. Since you can’t add the interior fans on laptops, the external will come in just fine. However, don’t skip the aforementioned steps, as the cooling pad is as functional as the integrated cooling system is.
There are a lot of different cooling systems, with differences in power and design. Nonetheless, whatever cooling pad you choose, it should reduce the temperature of the laptop for a few degrees, decreasing the overheating probability in the process. Just make sure not to close the laptop’s heat sink on the bottom. If you can’t afford a cooling pad, you can place anything below it (a book is a good example) to allow the free air intake on the bottom.
3: Limit high-intensity processes
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Some laptops are specially designed for gaming, and some are not. The gaming laptops have a bigger and better cooling system implemented. Their hardware is much better suited for gaming, as the laptops are not, in their original form, well-established gaming platforms. So, even though you can play one or two games on your non-gaming laptop, make sure to do so for a limited period of time.
When you see temperature changes (physical touch should give you a good idea) or the game starts freezing, make sure to take a break. The same goes for all intensive and demanding processes.
In order to address the software part of the problem, you can limit the background processes, especially if you decide to enjoy yourself a round of Call of Duty. To do so in Windows 10, follow the instructions below:
- Right-click on the Taskbar and open Task Manager.
- Select the Startup tab.
- Disable all unnecessary programs in order to prevent them starting with the system.
- Restart your PC and look for changes in the CPU/RAM activity in Task Manager.
4: Track CPU temperature in real-time
Finally, even though there’s a good chance you won’t be able to track a GPU temperature, you can at least track the CPU readings. In order to do so, you’ll be needing one of the third-party programs, like Speed Fan. Once installed, this application will give you a precise insight into the CPU temperature, which should be enough to know when to let your PC rest. Also, you won’t be able to control the cooler speed, as those are mostly configured by the built-in resources and out of the user’s touch.
Besides the Speed Fan, you can use various different tools, and we made sure to enlist them in this article. So it’s worth taking a look. Once you obtain the proper temperature monitoring tool, you’ll have an easy time to determine when to leave your laptop be and let it cool down a bit.
That should do it. In case you’re still having issues, we recommend contacting the responsible support (if your laptop is still under warranty) or taking it for a repair. Either way, don’t use it if it keeps shutting down, as this is the certain shortcut to much bigger issues.
Don’t forget to share your thoughts on the subject or ask a question or two in the comments section below. We’ll be glad to help you.
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