4 Causes of Overheating in Laptops

Despite smartphones taking over, laptops still remain the most used portable computing device in the market, and for a good reason. They come in various shapes and sizes, are more powerful than smartphones and tablets, making them suitable for heavy tasks, and still are portable enough not to be an encumbrance.

But despite all these advantages, laptops sometimes have one major drawback – overheating. If you’re a laptop user and wonder why my new computer is so slow, then there’s a good chance overheating is the culprit. If you want to avoid this issue, here’s a rundown of the four most common causes of overheating in laptops and how to avoid them.

  • Laptop Air Vents Are Blocked

The most common reason most laptops start overheating is a blockage in the air vents. Unlike desktop CPUs that come with very airtight casings, laptops have a lot of openings on the sides to facilitate airflow. However, this also means dust, dirt, small fabrics, and grease have an easy time clogging the numerous small air vents.

The best way to avoid this problem is to keep all the openings on the sides and bottom of the laptop clean. Always use your laptop in a dust-free environment and ensure there isn’t any liquid around it. Also, don’t touch your laptop with greasy fingers, as it’s one of the key reasons grease and grime accumulate and clog air vents over time.

Another common reason for overheating is fan damage. Unlike desktop cooling fans which are durable and have a better power source to draw power from, laptop fans are small and comparatively flimsy. Fortunately, replacing a damaged laptop fan is quite easy and not that expensive. All you have to do is check in to a nearby service center and have the old fan swapped out for a new one.

  • Dried Laptop Thermal Paste

Therm pastes are one of the key internal components in any laptop that prevents overheating. Thermal pastes are used in both laptops and desktops and are primarily applied to the processor to prevent it from overheating. The cooling fan alone is not good enough to keep the temperature within limits which is where the thermal paste becomes effective.

However, thermal paste does have the tendency to wear off after a couple of years of use which necessitates reapplication of thermal paste on the processor. Applying thermal paste is quite easy, and you yourself can do it by simply buying a thermal paste pen and watching a tutorial video on YouTube. 

  • Hardware Problem

One of the key advantages desktop computers have over laptops is hardware durability. Laptops are basically a watered-down version of desktops made of smaller-sized components. This decrease in size also means that laptop parts tend to wear down quickly, often leading to overheating. A defective laptop battery can expand and swell and will often start generating extra heat when it does.

Faulty RAM sticks can cause overheating, and the solution is to replace them. If you find out during a professional checkup that more than one part has gone defective, it’s usually a good idea to get a new one instead of spending money replacing old parts. To maximize hardware life on laptops, try to use them in air-conditioned environments.

  • Laptop Memory Full

Your laptop can also overheat if the RAM drive memory is full instead of simply breaking down. Each app or software you run on your laptop uses up a percentage of your RAM memory, and the overheating starts when all of the RAM gets used up. Your PC can get really slow if there are too many apps running at the start.

Thankfully there is a multitude of ways you can clear up RAM memory and return things to normal. The first thing you should definitely do is disable unnecessary apps on startup and uninstall ones that are not in use or unnecessary. The same also goes for your web browser extensions. And finally, don’t forget to clear your memory cache and reboot your device. 

Keeping Things Simple

Laptop overheating will continue affecting everyday users until some radical shift in hardware technology happens. But until then, preventing your laptop from overheating in the first place is the best way to increase its longevity. So keep the above-mentioned tips and tricks in mind and continue using your beloved device for years to come.

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