How to Keep Your Laptop from Overheating

Three Methods:ElevationKeeping it coolPC's setting

Many laptops overheat because the fan on the bottom is blocked, and the hard drive then quickly fails. By using one (or all) of these methods, you can keep your laptop cooler and running efficiently.

Method 1

  1. Image titled Keep Your Laptop from Overheating Step 1
    Elevate the laptop. Put a small book or item (like the docking station for your iPod) under your computer's battery when sitting at your desk. This slight tilt allows a lot more air to flow under the laptop, keeping it significantly cooler. Ensure that the book is not blocking the bottom fan hole.
    • If a book doesn't help, you can try something more uneven. Try sticking four sockets from an egg tray on four corners of your laptop. Either you can stick them with a sticky tape/masking tape or use hook and loop tape for flexible design.
      Image titled Keep Your Laptop from Overheating Step 2

Method 2
Keeping it cool

  1. Image titled Keep Your Laptop from Overheating Step 3
    Buy a laptop cooling mat. There are many brands to choose from (Thermaltake, Xion, Targus) and are available at computer stores like Best Buy or online from Newegg. You can even buy risers, or computer stands, that have ventilation.
    • If you can't afford/find cooling mat, always prefer something hard under the laptop rather than something soft. For example, use a plastic casing, a lap desk, tray table or even a wooden cutting board to provide a solid, flat surface to allow proper airflow.
    • Don't use your laptop on soft surfaces such as a sofa, carpeting, folded quilt or pillow. Any vents located on the bottom of your laptop will be blocked and airflow will be reduced, causing it to overheat. It may even overheat enough to catch on fire.
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    Maintain a cool environment.Try keeping your laptop in an air-conditioned or cool area to allow your system to cool down and prevent it from overheating.
  3. 3
    Consider using a heat sink. Use a steel flat bar as an external heat sink. It works because your computer has to heat up more mass before it overheats. This also means, that the larger the bar, the longer it will take for it to overheat. It will only work if your laptop has a metal case, and it feels hot.

Method 3
PC's setting

  1. 1
    Get a program to keep track of your temperature. Several are available.
  2. 2
    Stop overclocking. If you overclock your computer, it will be hotter than usual. If you didn't do it, you don't need to underclock since that will make your computer lag.
  3. 3
    Lower the Maximum Processor states. Note, this is for Windows only. You might be able to do this on Mac but Windows is easier. Click the battery, choose more power option. Change plan settings for the one you use, then click Advanced power settings. Click processor power management, then maximum, processor states. Set both to around 70-90%. (80% is recommended).
  4. 4
    Lower the brightness. This works well!


  • Use a can of compressed air on your fan once in a month so that any dust or unwanted particles get cleared for the smooth functioning of the fan. Using a vacuum may cause ESD and damage the components to your laptop.
  • Be sure to clean out your laptop thoroughly once in while to avoid dust particles entering in places they are not needed.
  • If you've had your laptop for a while, consider replacing its battery.
  • Simply add the spare wire grill tray from your toaster oven or even your regular oven. Balance is perfect and air circulation is just as perfect.
  • SMC fan control allows you to set up different fan speeds depending on what the Mac is doing; it will keep the temperature around 40 degrees, so consider using it to keep your laptop cool.
  • Try to reduce the time you spend on your laptop.
  • If you can't find a cooling pad, try putting a baking sheet upside down on top of frozen vegetables and wrapping a towel around everything.
  • Even though laptops have a word "lap" in their name, don't put them on your lap for a longer period of time because fabrics will block the airflow, the dust and hair will be soaked up by the fan and it might overheat.


  • Never block the fan for your laptop.
  • Do not block the ventilation under the laptop with the tape.
  • Don't put your laptop on your lap if it's overheating.

Article Info

Categories: Laptop Maintenance and Repair