We’ve ALL been there. You’re working away on that big monthly report for work and all of a sudden you start to hear what sounds like a fan going into overdrive. Panicked, you pick up your laptop and it’s super hot to the touch! Your computer starts working slower than usual and you even get the dreaded ‘spinning wheel of death’.
Laptop overheating is a very common issue these days, especially considering how many things we now use our computers for. Work, study, online shopping and even binge watching TV shows and movies – it’s no wonder our laptops get hot! Good news is that there’s a lot you can do to make sure your laptop stays as cool as a cucumber (not literally, of course!).
Why do laptops overheat?
It’s pretty simple: laptops overheat due to a lack of airflow to the machine. An older model laptop might overheat because it’s trying to run too many programs at once, but most newer laptops start building heat simply because their vents are covered or something is blocking the internal fan.
Another cause of laptop overheating is a dying battery. We know this sounds dramatic, but many PC style laptops and older Macbooks have removable lithium batteries that can overheat. A key tip here is to always use the battery until it has almost no charge left, then recharged it. Keeping it plugged into power isn’t great for its longevity and can also attract unwanted heat.
How to check if a laptop is overheating
If you notice the bottom of the laptop heating up, place your hand by the vents and check for hot air. If it’s warm to hot, chances are it’s overheating. If it’s cool or neutral, it’s likely to be working as normal. However, if there’s very little air or none at all (and your computer is running slower than normal) there might be dust clogging the fan or it might’ve stopped altogether.
Cleaning the fan in your laptop is a tricky task, especially if you haven’t done it before. We don’t recommend you fix this issue yourself unless you know what you’re doing, so give us a call and we can get on the case!
How to fix an overheating laptop
There’s one sure fire way to fix an overheating laptop: cool it down. It seems simple enough, but your computer won’t necessarily get damaged if it overheats (unless it continues to stay hot). One of the easiest ways to stop a laptop overheating is to keep it on a hard and flat surface. That way, air can continue to flow underneath your laptop and reach the vents.
Another tactic is to invest in a laptop cooler or cooling pad. These handy stands help keep the air flowing while you’re using your laptop, but make sure you get the right one for your computer otherwise it might make the problem worse.
Ways to reduce laptop heat
As the saying goes, ‘prevention is better than a cure’, so let’s take a look at a few ways you can stop your laptop overheating before it can start.
Keep your laptop out of the heat
That’s right, keep your laptop away from any sources of heat, including direct sunlight. Your laptop is likely made of a combination of metal and plastic, both of which absorb heat easily. Save yourself the headache and stay in the shade!
Use a portable lap desk
If you like to use your laptop in bed or while kicking back on the couch, invest in a lap desk. They’re great because they often have a cushioned base and a hard surface top, perfect for keeping your laptop away from the heat of your body and that air circulating in and around it.
Laptop stands, or even a book, underneath your computer can do wonders for reducing overheating. Any object, like the cooling pads mentioned above, that can put some space underneath the laptop is going to help immensely.
Get the fan checked out
It might not be anything you’re doing by using the laptop that’s causing the heat: it might be something inside the computer. If it’s overheating regularly and you’ve followed the steps above, give our Geeks a call and book your computer in for a checkup. We can take a look at the fan, clean it and make sure there’s nothing else funky going on in there.
Is your laptop too hot to handle? We can help!
We’re seasoned experts in laptop computer repairs, including internet problems and hardware upgrades. Give us a call on 1300 642 213 and our Geeks will get you back on track in a flash.