Laptop computers are becoming smaller, lighter and more powerful, all of which contribute to increased heat generation.
As technology advances, laptops are becoming smaller in size. The demands of users however stay pretty constant. Everyone demands the best for the cheapest possible price.
Smaller laptops have less space for components than that of their larger competitors leading to poor ventilation and air flow. This in turn will negatively contribute to heat generation and poor dissipation.
There are however a few ways that we can show you to help prevent laptops from becoming too hot.
How to Prevent Laptops Overheating
1. Laptop Placement
Always ensure that your laptop is on a flat, hard surface. Heat will usually escape through vents underneath the laptop or from the sides.
Using your laptop on surfaces such as carpets, beds and laps will restrict airflow and the heat will not be able to escape, increasing the temperature of the laptop further.
The heat from your laptop can be especially dangerous when using the device on your lap and can lead to infertility in men.
Processors within laptops are usually programmed to switch off automatically when they reach 95 degrees to prevent damage to hardware but unfortunately, at this temperature, severe burns to legs can also happen. Always ensure your laptop is free from obstruction.
If you do not have a flat surface or are using your laptop in bed, I would recommend that you invest in a laptop heat dissipation mat. There are a number of different brands available and they are extremely cheap too. The Targus Laptop Mat is a good choice and is suitable for laptops up to 17″.
2. Cleaning Your Laptop Fan
Inside your laptop is a processor, and a graphics chip, both of which can become extremely hot. These components are usually fitted with a fan to dissipate heat from within. Unless you’re an experienced computer engineer or electrician, I do not recommend opening up your laptop to clean your fans. It’s very time consuming and can be very fiddly!
Fans work by drawing in cool air to blow out the hotter air inside. Unfortunately dust and other particles are drawn into your laptop which sit on your expensive equipment and most importantly, the fan. When a fan is covered in dust, it’s cooling performance is diminished, resulting in a much poorer airflow.
If you have a laptop that is overheating, you will probably notice that the fan is making a lot of noise. This is because the aerodynamics of the fan have changed and also because the fan has to work harder to cool the computer because it’s clogged with dust.
The easiest way to clean your laptop computer is to purchase an air duster. These cans of air blast out highly pressurised air into your laptop and dust is then blown out of the vents, increasing airflow which of course decreases the temperature of the laptop when it’s running. This is a very inexpensive way to clean your laptop from dust and the improvement is highly significant.
Links to Retailers Selling Air Dusters
3. Change The Power Setting on Your Laptop.
By changing the power setting on your laptop, you can place the machine into a lower power mode that will run at a slightly slower speed for an improvement in both battery life and heat generation. Power settings can be found in control panel on a PC or within System Preferences on an Apple device.
4. Check Running Processes.
Sometimes, a program may be running abnormally that causes the laptop to dedicate all its processing power to that application. This means that your laptop will become very slow and the CPU (processor) will be running at 100%. When a processor runs at 100%, it generates the most heat.
To check whether there are any issues with abnormal programs, Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE and then click Task Manager. Then click the button that says “Show processes from all users”. Next, order by CPU by clicking the word CPU in the CPU column. The processes with the highest number are those that are taking the highest percentage of your laptops speed and generating the most heat.
You can then use Google to find out what the process does and whether it is safe to end the process. If you have a slow computer, you can of course call us to look at your machine remotely to resolve any problems.
note: System Idle Process is not a concern. If it’s running at 97%, it means your PC is 97% Idle (ie: Not doing Anything)
5. Run a Spyware Scan
There is a very good chance that overheating is caused by a nasty virus running your laptop into the ground. Chances are you have a very slow machine if this is the case, but not always!
The following programs are useful checking for such nasties.
SuperAntiSpyware claims to remove ALL spyware. We ran a few tests using this software and it’s very user friendly. It detected and removed over 180 spyware items that our antivirus software did not pick up. This software is
MalwareBytes is the most efficient program for cleaning up internet spyware. Although this product is not free, it is highly recommended. A full scan generally takes around 30 minutes to complete on most modern systems. We ran the scan on our own machines and were very surprised at what was found and we have Anti-Virus software on all our computers. As with most products on the market today, it’s better to not rely on one piece of software and instead, a wider view to protection should be encouraged. The benefit of this software is that its relatively cheap and you don’t pay for it each year, it’s a one off cost and then it’s yours forever.