Most modern laptops are compact models designed for high performance. It means all the hardware components need to be packed inside a thin metal case. This can easily lead to overheating of internal components especially when you are not handling the laptop properly. Overheating can cause your system to slow down, shut down unexpectedly, or even make your laptop’s fan noisy. In this article, we will discuss all the methods to fix overheating of Windows laptops to improve performance and increase the life span.
Fix Overheating of Windows Laptops
Though occasional heating of laptop is common, you should act when the laptop is frequently heating up without any reason. It is important to fix the overheating issue immediately before it damages the components permanently. In addition, it can also hurt you when you keep the laptop on your lap and work for long time. There are several ways to fix overheating of Windows laptops. If you face the problem with a new laptop, we recommend following basic steps first before fine tuning other settings. However, if you have old laptop with limited RAM, then you may need to adjust your usage in addition to optimize the settings.
1. Clean Vents and Fans
On Windows desktop computers, you can easily see the cooling fan backside of the CPU box. Modern laptops still have a cooling fan built internally to dissipate the generated heat out. Over period, the cooling fan may collect lot of dust in the blades. This may block the airflow preventing the cooling system to function properly. To fix this issue, take a thin brush and gently clean up the dust on the cooling fan blades. Cleaning vents and fans improve the airflow and keep the temperature of the components under control.
Remember, you need to remove the screws on the backside case of the laptop to access the cooling fan. Make sure to do this carefully without scratching the case and affecting other components.
2. Check Windows Power Settings
Another way to fix the overheating of the laptop is to check the power settings. Laptops on “Power Saver” or “Battery Saver” mode can cause the components to run at a lower speed, leading to overheating.
- Click on the “Start menu” button and type “Control Panel” in the search box.
- Find and open Control Panel app from the search results.
- Click the “View by” option and arrange the items by “Large icons”.
- Now click on “Power Options” link.
- Next to the “Balanced” option choose “Change plan settings”.
- Click on “Change advanced power settings” link showing at bottom of the page.
- This will open “Power Options” dialog box and find the “Processor power management” among the options. Click on the + sign next to it to expand the options.
- You will see two options, click on “Minimum processor state” and reduce it to 1-2%. Similarly, click “Maximum processor state” and reduce it to 70-80% or even less depending upon your processor condition.
- After reducing the processor rate now click on “Apply” and hit the “OK” button.
Restart your laptop and check for if the overheating problem is resolved. If the heating remains high, you need to check for other possible causes.
3. Close Unnecessary Open and Startup Programs
If you work with plenty of open apps then you need to close unused apps. Unnecessary programs running in the background continue to consume CPU and RAM. When these components work harder, they generate more heat which causes the temperature to rise.
- Press the “Ctrl + Shift + Esc” shortcut keys together to open the “Task Manager” app.
- In Task Manager, you can see all the apps and programs that are running currently. Look for the programs that you are not using and select “End task” to close them. Repeat the same process to close all the unnecessary apps and programs.
- You can also use Task Manager to find high resource consuming apps and check if you can replace those apps with other lighter apps.
If you notice the laptop is heating up on the startup, then you can try to disable unnecessary apps that are loading while booting the system. Learn more on how to disable startup apps in Windows.
4. Update Graphics Card Driver
Each hardware component in Windows laptop needs correct driver files to work properly. When drivers are outdated and do not work properly, they can cause the components to overheat. Updating these drivers can fix overheating of Windows laptops. If you have upgraded Windows or reinstalled afresh, make sure to verify the drivers especially graphic card drivers are updated.
- Go to the “Start menu” and type “Device Manager” in the search bar to find and open that app.
- Find the “Display adapter” device and click on the arrow at the left side to expand.
- Right-click on the graphic card and click on “Update drivers”. And then click on “Search automatically for drivers” option.
Windows will search for the latest drivers online and install them automatically. To get the best result to repeat the process for other components in the “Display adapters” list. After updating the drivers, restart your computer and check if that helped to fix overheating problem.
5. Check for Malware
Malware and virus infected laptops overheat without reasons even though you do not work with any resource intensive programs. Since malware triggers hidden processes randomly, your laptop will suddenly start consuming more CPU and GPU resources, thus increasing the temperature. If your laptop is already infected with malware, it is of no use to again scan with the default Windows Security app. You need to scan the system with third-party antivirus possibly installed on a USB. For example, below is how to run a complete system scan using McAfee app.
- Open the app and click “Open” button showing below the “Antivirus Protection” option.
- You will see a list of options and click on “Antivirus”.
- The scanning process starts automatically and takes a few minutes to complete. If any threats are found, it will let you know. Just delete the malfunctioned app or program and see if the system cools down.
You may have any other professional antivirus on your laptop, that has different interfaces and options. Select the full scan option to find malware and check the issues is fixed after restarting your system.
6. Fix Power Problems with Power Troubleshooter
Power troubleshooter is a built-in Windows utility that automatically diagnoses and fixes power-related issues. It can also help to fix the overheating issue by optimizing the power settings and power plans.
- Press the “Windows + I” keys and open “Settings” app.
- Scroll down and select “Troubleshoot” option under “System” section.
- Now click on “Other troubleshooters” option.
- Scroll down and click on the “Run” button in front of the “Power” option.
- If any power issues are found, system will fix them automatically and let you know. Hit the “Close” button to finish the process.
Upon completion, restart your laptop and check the overheating issue is fixed.
If all the above methods fail to fix the overheating problem, then check the followings:
- Try changing the high ambient temperature of the room. Sometimes you are using the laptop in a hot environment which can cause the temperature of components to rise quickly.
- Change the clock speed of the CPU and GPU back to default values to fix overheating.
- Use the cooling pad beneath the laptop to keep the temperature down.
We hope the above-listed methods can help you solve the problem. By correctly applying them, your laptop will no longer trouble you with overheating.