Causes and Solutions to Laptop Overheating

Causes and Solutions to Laptop Overheating


Owning a laptop and having to deal with overheating is quite annoying. For one thing, there is a sense of anxiety, and you cannot help but think how much time the computer actually has left before it breaks down. 

Add the fact that overheating causes the internal fans to overwork and cause loud and distracting noises, and you have a serious problem on your hands.

Thankfully, there are multiple methods to counteract the issue. If you cannot use your laptop anymore because of overheating, consider the ideas below.

Vent Blockage

Blocking vents is the first potential cause mentioned in this article. You might be preventing the air circulation inside your laptop without realizing it.

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For example, you have the laptop on your lap and are blocking the vents with your body. Placing a laptop on a pillow or another similar surface could also be a vent blockage source. 

It would be better to invest in a laptop stand or find a space that you can keep your laptop on without worrying about vent blockage.

Dust Inside

Whether you like it or not, the dust inside your laptop will accumulate. The problem becomes even more prominent if you have pets that hang around the laptop and leave their hair around it for the computer to absorb. Not cleaning the room does not help either.

Removing the dust inside a laptop is a bit tricky because you cannot do the task thoroughly without taking the device apart.

Nevertheless, it is still something you will need to do. And if you are reluctant to clean the dust yourself because it is risky, ask someone with experience for help.

Room Temperature

If you are stuck in a poorly ventilated room, it is no surprise to see issues with the laptop’s overheating. Sometimes, you cannot help having to use the computer for work or studies even if the weather is too hot. 

Opening a window and letting some fresh air in might not cut it either, which means that you will likely have to get an AC or a fan for your room.

Cluttered Drive

According to this post, resetting SMC settings and decluttering the drive could help with the loud fan noise problem for MacBook users. With the latter suggestion, it is worth noting that drive clutter is a common problem among laptop users.

Laptops do not offer that much storage in the first place, particularly if you compare them to desktop computers. The differences in hardware are quite noticeable. 

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To free up laptop storage, you can get rid of temporary system clutter, old applications, downloads, attachments, localization files, and duplicate files. Removing unnecessary data permanently should make a difference.

Sticking to external storage solutions is also a good piece of advice. You do not need to keep all the files on the laptop’s drive, thanks to Dropbox, iCloud, and other cloud storage services. An external hard drive and a USB flash drive could come in handy as well. 

Resource-Heavy Processes

If you have a laptop with pretty lackluster hardware, do not expect to have a good experience while running resource-heavy applications. 

When software requires a lot from the system, it will overburden it and consume most of the memory, CPU, GPU, and other resources.

Internet browsers and video games are good examples. While some games are not that resource-heavy, AAA titles would take a lot, and some gaming laptops with solid hardware struggle to keep up with the demands.

As for internet browsers, you might add too many extensions or fail to clear the cache which results in higher resource consumption. 

The struggle causes the internal fans to overwork. Despite the overwork, they still cannot accommodate the laptop hardware’s needs, which leads to overheating.

When you can, avoid running demanding processes. The less burden you put on the computer, the better performance you can expect from it.

Lack of Thermal Paste

Changing thermal paste is a thing that many computer owners do not bother with despite having old devices. Keep in mind that this applies to both desktop computers and laptops.

Before you change the thermal paste on the laptop, make sure to know what you are doing. The process is tricky and requires attention, particularly if this is the first time for you.

In fact, it would be better to leave the work to someone with experience. There should be a local computer service store that can change your laptop’s thermal paste.


Leaving the laptop charging overnight might be convenient, but such a habit is not good for long-term computer health. Overcharging is another cause of overheating.

Instead of plugging the charger for the night, be more practical and keep tabs on how long the charger has been plugged during the day. If you cannot help it, so be it. Charging the laptop for the night once or twice is not too bad.

However, if this becomes too common, you will start to notice that the computer starts giving you problems, and not just the ones that lead to overheating.

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