If your laptop runs fast for a while and then starts slowing down significantly, then your laptop is most likely overheating. It’s ideal to know how to cool a laptop, to keep yours at peak performance and to keep its hardware safe from damage. In this article, we’ll tell you about some effective ways to do that, so that you can keep your laptop healthy.
Importance Of Cooling your Laptop
Now, before we get on to the actual steps to cooling, we’ll talk about how cooling is especially important for a laptop. Overheating is a bad thing for any computer type, but it’s more of a problem with laptops. That’s because unlike desktop computers, laptops have much less space inside them, meaning that there’s a lot less airflow. As such, everything heats up much faster.
Once the laptop’s temperature reaches a certain point, its processor will start throttling the performance. In other words, it will reduce your laptop’s performance to cool it down and prevent any damage. If it doesn’t, the laptop has the possibility of reaching a very high temperature and causing massive system instability.
Aside from the obvious dent in overall performance, you also have to face a much shorter battery life, as it wears out faster like the other components. Not only that, but there’s also a chance that the hardware might get permanently damaged. As you can see, keeping the laptop cool is incredibly important, even if you’re not bothered by reduced performance.
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Steps to Make your Laptop Cooler
If you follow each of these steps, you should be able to get your laptop down to a consistent and reasonable temperature at one point.
1. Pre-Purchase Decisions
If a laptop has a bad design, it can overheat inevitably. If you’ve got such a laptop, it might be a good idea to replace it. It’s also a good idea to ensure the following things if you’re just about to purchase a new laptop when you don’t have one.
For a start, a laptop’s appearance matters a significant amount. If the laptop doesn’t have good air ventilation, it won’t stay cool no matter how good its internal cooling equipment is. A good laptop will have multiple air vents under it. Generally, the more air vents are present and the bigger they are, the better. There are no substantial problems with more air vents, so a laptop that doesn’t have many air vents isn’t reliable in and of itself.
You can also read the product description to see if the manufacturer has added any unique cooling facilities. For instance, ASUS has a cooling technology called IceCool technology. It’s where a Dual-Sided Motherboard keeps the hot components on the underside, where they’re closer to the vents and away from the user’s palms. There are also additional heat-pipes and vents included to maximise the cooling potential of the design.
Lastly, you can also check the number of fans inside the laptop and how well they run to get an idea of the laptop’s cooling abilities.
2. Software Optimisations
This step is the easiest. You don’t need to open your laptop up or buy new components. You just need to reduce some of the general resource-intensive aspects of the laptop. Also, you can do a lot of things in this regard, so we’ll talk about some of the more significant optimisations.
You can take the brightness down, to begin with. High brightness can be very taxing on a laptop’s hardware, especially on a big display. So, unless you’re under strong sunlight, it would be best if you kept the brightness at medium or low. In fact, it would also be incredibly handy to keep the laptop’s screen off entirely when it’s in an idle state.
If you’re on Windows, there is a function you can use to decide what the laptop does when you fold its screen. If you search Power Options on the start menu, you can get into the Power Options window and use the “Choose What Closing The Lid Does” option. The default option varies on the manufacturer, but you can set it to Hibernate to get the most out of it. The Hibernate mode puts all processes to a full stop and saves them along with all open documents to the memory before shutting off completely.
When the laptop is turned on afterwards, everything will resume exactly from where you left off. As you can see, this mode stops the laptop from using any power at all, while keeping your things ready to be used again and without closing them, unlike the general Shut Down mode.
There’s also the Sleep Mode. Unlike the Hibernate Mode, it doesn’t actually shut the laptop down. Instead, all the processes are turned off, and documents are put into memory without shutting the laptop down entirely. It’s essentially a low power mode where you can’t interact with anything until you put the laptop back to normal power. If you’re going to use the laptop again after a few minutes, this is a good way to go.
Trying to improve the laptop’s performance, in general, can also help. However, you must be cautious about what exactly you’re doing. It’s good to reduce the laptop’s load to increase performance, and also reduce overheating. If you make it run at more power than it’s running, instead, then you’ll end up facing even more heating issues.
Performance optimisations like Overclocking or using the “High Performance” plan in Power Options can cause such issues. If you want to get a quick performance boost, you can use IOBit’s Advanced SystemCare to scan the system for performance issues and fix them with one click.
The application also has a Performance Monitor feature, which can help you monitor different components’ temperature. Knowing the laptop’s temperature realtime can be incredibly handy for cooling, as you’ll know when you need to give your laptop some time to cool down, instead of letting it reach levels of heat that take a long time to cool down. Sometimes not using heavy applications for five minutes is enough to cool a laptop down.
3. Cooling Accessories
Now, there are things you can do externally to enhance the laptop’s cooling capabilities. There are dedicated laptop cooling accessories that can significantly reduce overheating. Besides helping you cool laptops in general, having these accessories is essentially a must during hotter seasons.
These accessories are called Cooling Pads. They aren’t very expensive and are very easy to use. To start using a Cooling Pad, you can place it on a surface, place your laptop on top of it and then connect its USB to your laptop’s port. Afterwards, the fan inside the Pad will do the rest of the work, while your laptop stays on it.
You can also buy stands, which can help out a lot too. The next step ties in with it.
4. Ensure Correct Placement
If you place your laptop on a bed or your lap when you use it, you can cause it to heat up faster. That’s because the air vents end up being blocked, stopping the laptop from pulling sufficient air. If you place it on a hard and flat surface instead, it can take air in better. That’s because a laptop generally has some rubber feet that elevate it slightly to give it enough space to pull in air.
If the room you’re in doesn’t have any easy to access hard surfaces, then the earlier mentioned stands can be very useful. You can either buy a cheap stand or make one yourself, to prop the laptop up a little. That way, the fans will stay unobstructed, and in certain situations, you’ll be able to have a more comfortable posture while using the laptop as well.
If you really need to keep the laptop on your lap while you use it, you’d best make sure you don’t block up the vents.
Dust inside the laptop is a certainty as air is always passing through the laptop. There’s nothing you can do to stop that from happening. However, you can still clean that off quite easily. It would be best if you did that as often as possible, at least every three months. If the laptop can’t circulate air through itself, it’s going to reach very high temperatures.
You don’t even have to open the laptop to clean up the most important parts. Although, opening it up and getting the internal fans cleaned can also help. You can get that done by a qualified technician, as the laptop’s internals are more sensitive and complicated than a desktop’s.
To clean the laptop without opening it, you need to get a can of compressed air. Once you have that, you can get the cleaning done this way; First of all, ensure that the laptop is powered off and at a cool temperature before starting. Once you’ve made sure of that, hold the laptop up, so the air vents on the bottom are visible. You can then spray them with the can.
There’s also something extremely important you have to keep in mind. Hold the can up in a way so that the liquid air inside the can doesn’t come into the vents. An upright position should work the best. If the air does manage to touch the vents and the hardware inside, then your laptop might get damaged.
Once you start spraying, you can nudge the laptop around to ensure that the spray goes in through different angles. Keep spraying until the dust is no longer flowing out of the laptop. Do this through every vent the laptop has to ensure maximum effectiveness.
6. Faulty Components
There are two cooling components you need to check up on every once in a while. The first component to look out for is the fan. Many high-end laptops come with multiple fans to ensure that the laptop can run cool without heating up the high-power components.
If any of these fans stop working properly, the laptop can have a significant rise in temperatures. You don’t need to open the laptop to check on the fans inside. You can just gauge their condition through the sound. Before you start listening, make sure to put the laptop under some form of heavy load so that the fans start working actively.
The first sound that gives away a bad fan is rattling. A fan starts making strange noises when it’s about to malfunction or is already malfunctioning. If you hear grinding or rattling over the smoother hum of a spinning fan, then the fan is more than likely out of condition.
While strange noises are obvious giveaways, no noise is also a sign that the fan isn’t working right. There’s no way a fan would remain silent when it’s running at full power to counter the heavy load that the laptop is under. So, you should likely get it checked and replace it if needed.
The other cooling component that you can get checked is the thermal paste on the laptop’s heatsink. Doing so should be your very last resort though, as the thermal paste that’s supposed to enhance the cooling doesn’t wear off so easily in laptops. It would be best if you also got it checked by a technician, as it involves moving around some vital hardware.
7. Upgraded Hardware
This isn’t much of an issue in an average laptop, but if you have an expensive laptop, you might bump into problems. The latter laptops have a lot of upgrade potential. Among all the upgrades, a lot of them support adding new dedicated GPUs.
If you add in a strong GPU on a laptop where the rest of the specifications are average and not meant for heavy work, the other components won’t be able to handle the stronger GPU well enough. In such cases, you can look to get more cooling accessories for the laptop.
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How to Cool A Laptop – Frequently asked questions
1. Does a loud fan mean overheating?
If the laptop fan is running loudly but has the sound of a regular spinning fan, then there’s no issue with it. For the most part, the fan will just be running at high power to compensate for any heavy tasks. If the sound distracts or annoys you, you can add external coolers to stop the fans from doing all the work, as the laptop will remain cooler.
2. Is there any difference in heating with different versions of Windows?
In fact, there is a significant difference between heating caused by Windows 7 and Windows 10. Windows 10 causes less heating because it has better energy management. It’s smarter and efficiently handles all CPU Cores. It moves the cores back to idle at the right times. Extra CPU usage causes heat to rise, so Windows being able to reduce that keeps the heat to a much smaller amount.
3. Can I get a laptop with good cooling under Rs. 50k?
Not really. Most laptops under this price come with really basic cooling, while the ones that cost the least come with little to no cooling at all. If you can’t go for the budget, you can try the best laptops under Rs. 30000 or best laptops under Rs. 40000, they don’t have incredible cooling, but what they have will be more than enough if you use the laptop with care.
4. What’s a normal and healthy temperature to maintain in the laptop?
Generally, it’s good to keep the laptop at a steady temperature between 15-35° C. Anything above, then you may need to work on cooling the laptop.
5. Can I use a regular fan to cool a laptop?
Yes, you can use a normal table fan to cool your laptop. A Cooling Pad works better, but regular fans are just a step behind. Similarly, you can also cool your laptop down effectively if you put it in an air-conditioned room.
6. Can I open my laptop up to clean it instead of using a compressed air can?
You can, but by doing so, you run the risk of breaking some of the more sensitive hardware pieces. Additionally, you might also potentially void your laptop’s warranty. That happens with some laptops, where the warranty goes void as soon as the laptop is opened by anyone other than someone working for the brand. That’s the sole reason most of our tips are centred around trying to fix the laptop without touching any internals.
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That’s all the essentials you need to know about how to cool laptops. All these methods are effective and go a great way towards keeping your laptop healthy and making it last a few more years. If the laptop still overheats significantly, then you might want to consider buying an entirely new laptop.
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