Does your computer sound like it’s about to blast off into oblivion any moment now? Not to worry, the problem probably isn’t as serious as it sounds. Most of the times these dramatic sounds occur, it has to do with your laptop overexerting itself without being able to cool down. Keeping the internal components in your computer at their intended temperatures is crucial to ensuring your device is performing at its best.
Unfortunately, you can’t spritz your laptop with water or sunscreen, not even in the heat of summer. But here are 4 ways you can keep your PC laptop running at optimal performance—while also keeping it cool.
Why does my laptop get so hot?
Laptops have different capabilities and performance levels, so it’s hard to say what exactly is causing your computer to run warmer than usual. Here are some common reasons your laptop may be overheating:
- The dust has accumulated inside the vents in your laptop
- Your laptop is running in a hot environment (ie. directly in sunlight)
- Too many complex programs are running at once
- Your laptop is not resting on a flat surface, restricting airflow from the fans
1) Get a fan
One of the most common scenarios we see with overheated computers is when PC gamers are running intense games without a CPU cooler installed. Most modern PC games have a lot going on—from professional level audio to complex graphics rendering. These features make the gaming experience, but they can also trick your computer into over-processing and as a result, overheating.
A CPU cooler supplies ventilation and airflow directly to the processor to keep it cool while it’s working hard to process the interface and applications you work with. Gamers, designers, and other PC users that depend on sizable software are all great candidates for adding a CPU cooler to their computer.
2) Move out of the hot seat
If you work best while lounging on the couch, in front of the TV with your laptop on your lap— you may want to reconfigure your workspace. When you rest your laptop on an uneven surface, like your legs, the vents become blocked, preventing cool air from regulating your computer’s temperature.
Next time your computer feels like it’s warming up—or sounds like it’s going to spontaneously combust—try using a lap desk instead. This can promote airflow and prevent the extra heat from being transferred to your legs—ouch! In addition, you should also try to store your laptop only on cool, flat surfaces like a desk or table. Keeping it on the carpet, couch, or your bed could cause your computer to collect dust particles which could in turn, block airflow. Do your best to avoid using and storing your laptop in direct sunlight as this can also increase your computer’s internal temperature.
3) Do some summer cleaning
As we just mentioned, dust accumulation is another common reason your computer might be overheating. Dust and debris can block vents and limit the airflow that helps cool your device off when it’s working hard to process your commands. Use a canless air system cleaner to remove dust from your computer’s vents and ports.
4) Take a vacation
You’ve cleaned out dust buildup, stored your computer on a cool, flat surface, and you’ve physically fanned your computer with palm fronds like true royalty—but your computer is still overheating on a regular basis. This could mean it’s time for a little vacation. No, we’re not saying your trusty tech needs to retire just yet, but it could be time for a well-deserved break.
Try closing out each and every open tab, application, and software program. Then, shut your computer down, unplug the charger, and let it be. Sometimes your computer is simply overwhelmed by the amount of tasks and processes it’s been commanded to follow, and all it needs is a few moments to relax. Wait at least 15 minutes before you power your device on, and make sure you open programs one at a time, rather than all at once. Limit the applications you have open and running when you can.
An overheated computer sounds a lot scarier than it actually is. Use these simple computer fixes to cool off your device and ensure it’s always performing at its best.