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How to tell if your computer is overheating and what to do about it

How to tell if your computer is overheating and what to do about it

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How to tell if your computer is overheating and what to do about it

Computers often have multiple fans to keep air circulating through the case and prevent overheating. The temperature of your computer’s processor, or CPU, is the most important consideration when determining if your computer is overheating. If a CPU is exposed to high temperatures, permanent damage could occur to the CPU and your motherboard. Many computers are equipped with case thermometers or other internal heat warnings to alert you when the system is running too hot.

Watch for unexplained computer reboots or blue screen errors. A computer will often shut down in attempt to protect an overheating processor.

Listen for warning beeps from within your computer’s case. Many computers have a built-in temperature alarm that will emit a beep or warning sound to alert you to overheating issues.

Listen to the sound of your computer’s CPU fan. When a computer is overheating, the fan usually blows harder for a longer time in an effort to increase airflow and lower the temperature. Likewise, listen for loud or unusual sounds that may indicate the fan is failing.

Download and install a free CPU temperature monitor program such as SpeedFan, Core Temp or CPU Thermometer if your computer does not have a built-in case thermometer. These programs display your CPU’s temperature as a number. The maximum temperature will vary depending on the type of CPU, but typically, 50 to 80 degrees C is the maximum your computer should reach. The temperature should be much cooler when the computer is sitting idle and not running programs.

Electricity, by its nature, heats things up. And heat, by its nature, can damage electrical circuits. Everyone with a computer has to work within that paradox.

I’ve written about overheated PCs in the past, but that was in the context of PCs that overheat so badly they shut down. But heat can cause problems before the crucial stage. Too much heat can reduce the CPU’s efficiency and wear out components faster than necessary.

So it’s best to keep an occasional eye on the temperature, especially if the PC feels hot to the touch, or if the fan seems to be working overtime.

[Have a tech question? Ask PCWorld Contributing Editor Lincoln Spector. Send your query to [email protected].]

If you suspect your PC is overheating, download Priform’s Speccy. The free version will probably be sufficient; it’s the one I use. There’s also a free portable version.

The main Speccy window provides plenty of information about your hardware. Temperatures stand out in bright yellow or—if it’s on the high side—deep orange text.

If you select View > Options, you’ll be able to switch the temperature display from Celsius (Metric) to Fahrenheit (Imperial).

How to tell if your computer is overheating and what to do about it

The System Tray tab allows you to make temperature information always available in the notification area.

But an orange-text temperature only implies that you might have a problem. To get the real information, you’ll need to know the make a model number of your CPU and internal drive (be it a hard drive or SSD). Don’t fret, you can get them easily off of Speccy.

To find out how much heat is too much for your CPU, go to CPU World and search for your processor. Search for your processor’s general brand name—for instance, i5 instead of Intel Core i5 2520M @ 2.50GHz. Once you’re on the right page, scroll down to find your particular CPU. Click on it. Search the resulting page for temperature.

The heat level isn’t all that big a problem with hard drives. A Google report on drive failures determined that “temperature and activity levels were much less correlated with drive failures than previously reported.” But any drive, whether spinning disks or solid-state, can be damaged by heat, so it’s good to be safe

You can almost certainly find your drive’s manual online. Once you’ve got it, search the PDF for the word temperature. You’ll find the right numbers.

If your computer is running hot, see the instructions from my previous article.

The answer to this question can come in two different ways, which is Yes and No. Here is the reason. Normally when using a laptop, there is no how it won’t heat, but overheating can be caused by what you are actually using your computer.

Maybe when you are playing a game, you feel the temperature of the machine is really high. Also, you can hear the laptop fan overdoing itself.

This is when you most worry about your laptop overheating. Taking precaution in any of your gadgets is the better way because it can damage the device.

What is a Laptop overheating?

Laptop overheating is not new, in fact, most laptop users experienced it, and the problem can be due to internal hardware that many people may not be able to fix.

But the major cause is the lack of adequate airflow within the machine.

If the laptop temperature is kept within the normal range, then it won’t damage your laptop.

From the information we gathered, it was revealed that you don’t have to worry or be more concerned unless your laptop starts freezing up on hot days or when cooling would appear to be stressed.

Why you should worry about laptop overheating

It would be best if you worried because a laptop that overheats causes damage to the internal components. And the laptop should attempt to shut itself down.

Battery explosion, accidental fire, and in some cases melting of the battery can be the effect of overheating.

Focusing on your laptop can help you a lot to avoid encountering any unforeseen damage to your laptop.

If you take it to an outdoor job site, mind that you keep it out of weather extremes.

What mostly generate heat in a laptop

High electricity does cause laptop heat because laptop components need the power to function. And the volume of the electricity needed by each component varies based on the operations it is performing. But some components always produce higher temperature output.

Let’s quickly list out some of the things that caused laptop overheating, this includes.

This means the Central Processing Unit and is the core of a computer. The work is base on basic logic, arithmetic, controlling, and input/output (I/O) operations specified by the instructions.

During the time it functions, then it will surely produce a large volume of heats.

Means Graphics Processing Unit. It is a specialized electronic circuit that is meant to designed and manipulate and alter memory to accelerate the creation of images in a frame intended for output to a display device.

You will notice that your laptop gets a higher temperature when playing games, which is because gaming requires the GPU to carry out complicated calculations, generating heat. GPU can cause more heat than CPU in this situation.

Hard Disk Drive

Without harddisk, your laptop is not complete, as it is also an integral part of your computer. It makes your laptop to save different kinds of files. It also adds to heat generation when working because its temperature is much higher.

Optical Disc Drive

This also can bring the heat when playing a DVD or CD. The reason is that it forces the disc to spin and read the contents using a laser.

Other laptop components can also generate heat, but they generate little heats that can be ignored.

The solution to laptop overheating

How to tell if your computer is overheating and what to do about it

Be sure to keep your laptop away from dust that settles in. It can be the reason why your laptop fan not working properly.

Please do not keep your laptop zipped inside its case without properly shutting it down.

Always use laptop accessories like a cooling pad and laptop stand to avoid damage and ensure a free flow of air and heat from the laptop.

How to tell if your computer is overheating and what to do about it

There are many factors that can make a laptop overheats. But one thing for sure, it is not going to be good for the laptop. When you notice that your laptop is constantly turning off by itself or the fan exudes unusually loud sound, it is a sign that your laptop overheats. Overheating will reduce the performance of the laptop so it is crucial to solving this issue before it gets worse. To make sure this problem will not get in the way of your work, here are some tips to fix and prevent overheating issue on a laptop.

Use a Cooling Pad

Using a laptop cooling pad is the easiest way to prevent a laptop from overheating. It is very easy to use and can solve the problem in an instant. Simply put the laptop on top of the cooling pad, plug it into the USB port of the laptop, and the fan will start blowing cool air into the laptop. However, it is important to choose the cooling pad carefully. Please confirm the dimension and location of the fan on your laptop first to make sure the fan can work optimally.

Clean the Internal Fan

There are times when laptop cooling pad fails to fix the overheating issue. It mostly happens because the internal fan of the laptop is clogged up by dust. If you plan to clean the internal fan, make sure to do it carefully because it involves opening up your laptop’s panel.

To clean the internal fan, firstly make sure to shut down the computer, unplug the power and take the battery out. After that, take a look at your laptop’s manual and follow the instruction there on how to open the laptop and reach the fan.

Clean the fan from the dust using alcohol and cotton swab. You also can use canned air and even vacuum cleaner with the lowest power to clean the fan. Wait until the fan completely dries before closing the laptop and turning it on again.

Tweak the Setting

The setting of your laptop also can make the temperature rises. So, when you notice the usual sign of overheating, try to tweak the laptop setting. To stop the laptop from overheating, you basically need to reduce the workload of the machine. It can be done by simple steps like lowering the brightness or closing unused programs. Furthermore, don’t forget to install temperature monitoring program. This way, you can take action before the laptop starts lagging due to overheating.

Put the Laptop on Hard Cold Surface and Elevate the Position

Just because it is called a laptop, it doesn’t mean your lap is the best place to put the laptop. To control the temperature of the laptop, it is best to put it on the hard cold surface. Do not put it on a blanket, pillow or other soft surfaces because dust can easily enter the fan and increase the temperature. Furthermore, it is best to put the laptop in the elevated position so that the fan under the laptop is not blocked. It is necessary to improve

All major PCs/Macs have an automatic shutdown feature if temperatures reach past 70C-100C. This will vary based on the manufacturer and it doesn’t necessarily protect your computer from damage. A computer overheating will usually give off enough heat to change the room temp too.

A hot computer is a handicapped computer. There’s a number of reasons why a computer may overheat, but if it has only recently started happening, it’s usually user-error. That means you have the ability to fix it before real damage happens.

Keep your cool by learning why your computer is overheating and how to fix it.

6 Signs of a Computer Overheating

If you don’t physically feel the heat pouring out of your computer, then you’ll need to do some investigating. Avid computer techies who test the limits of their computer will look for these signs when overclocking. Are you experiencing any of these signs under normal usage?

1. Sluggish Performance

There are a number of things that cause a computer to slow down, but heat is commonly overlooked. This is especially true with laptops. Because there is very little room for air to pass through, dust is a common culprit.

As components get hotter, they become less effective and drop in performance.

2. Random Shutdowns

If this happens, your computer has essentially “hard crashed”. As we mentioned at the beginning, CPUs are made to automatically shut down when a temperature threshold is reached. This is the CPU’s last resort to prevent the chip from melting.

3. The Fan(s) is Too Loud

This is another early sign of a computer overheating that is noticeable in laptops. If there isn’t proper airflow, the fans will run at full speed in an attempt to push heat out. The loud whirling usually becomes the thing that forces many users to visit a repair shop to fix or purchase a new computer.

4. Glitches and Errors

When the CPU gets too hot, it will encounter a higher rate of errors. That means you’ll see more funky program glitches and processing errors. The cursor may disappear, your sound may hiccup, or clicks will fail to register.

5. Texture Artifacts

As a gamer, a hot computer will start displaying weird technical glitches that only show up in 3D environments. This can also happen when only one region of the computer is overheating (i.e. the GPU is hot, but the case temp isn’t). These artifacts appear as missing textures, blocks of colors, twisted and missing polygons and etc.

6. Your Room Has a New Heater

The difference between a computer running at around 55C and 80C is like moving to Florida from Tennessee. It’s still warm, but when it gets hotter, you feel it. Gamers can also attest to the ambient room temperature impact that a computer can bring.

A computer can actually make your light bill increase based on heat alone.

Prevent and Correct Overheating

If you don’t want to haul your computer to the repair shop yet, you can do some things to reduce or eliminating heating. This will depend on the type and severity of the problem, but you can try the following:

Elevate, Clear Vents

Do you use a laptop? Are you setting it on the floor, bed, or directly on your lap? Always check to see where your vents are located and if you are accidentally covering them.

Some laptops have very quiet fans, so you might not even have the early warning sign of this problem. Try to sit the laptop on a flat surface to provide an easy exit for hot air. For desktop computers, don’t surround the backs with 3-4 walled surfaces.

Open and Clean It

Regular maintenance of your computer’s case, fans, and vents are essential. No one is immune to the collection of dust inside your computer’s surfaces. Well, maybe quarantined medical or science labs.

If you can’t or don’t know how to take apart your computer, you’ll have to skip to the next section. There’s a way to measure your computer’s temperature that you can then use to find a professional to clean and fix the problem. Otherwise, invest in a nice microfiber cloth, some canned air, and an anti-static wristband.

Checking the Temperature Inside

Your computer may feel hot if you stick your hand over the fan. Is it hot enough to qualify as overheating? That’s something you really can’t tell unless you get readings from inside the components themselves.

You can do that one of two ways. Modern computers have internal thermometers for the CPU and usually two other spots on the motherboard and any fans with sensors. To find these readings, you’ll need to access the computer’s BIOS.

PC users can access the BIOS by holding down the delete key as the computer is turning on. Then, you’ll navigate the menus until you see a section for hardware sensors or monitoring. If you can’t find it or access the BIOS, you can download a great program called SpeedFan.

It’s free, it’s legit, and a powerful tool for monitoring temperature, adjusting fan speeds, and more.

Dangers of an Overheated Computer

Ultimately, if you suspect that your computer is overheating, you shouldn’t procrastinate or ignore it. Even if this problem doesn’t immediately translate into on-screen symptoms, it will eventually. A slow rise in hot temps will do more harm than a sudden spike to a computer.

Your computer might be sitting just outside the processor’s auto-shutoff point. That means everything is cooking and degrading over time. Heat is the biggest killer for electronics longevity.

Call the Professionals

Save your computer before components start to fail. Gamers, if you own a computer that has been overclocked, you should get a second opinion on its settings. Techville is a great place to go if you want experienced advice and high-quality repairs.

For those looking for an alternative to the outrageous expensive Apple repairs, take any Apple device in for repair. We promise unbeatable prices for an unbeatable service. Ask us about our PC and Mac Repairs today and how we can help with your computer overheating.

You're hard at work on your laptop when suddenly it starts to heat up, slow down, and maybe even stall. Is your laptop overheating? We've all been there.

Laptops can get too hot—and suffer long-term damage—when they run multiple applications at the same time. And with so many of us working and learning from home, it's more important than ever to make sure your device is running at its best and protected from damage.

At Asurion, our experts help millions of customers get the most out of their favorite tech, from diagnosing your device's problems to resolving them as quickly as possible. Here are their tips for identifying and fixing an overheating laptop.

Why is my laptop overheating?

Compared to a desktop computer, laptops are compact and have little space for all their components. So when you try and complete tasks that require a lot of computing power—such as loading a video game or streaming TV shows—the temperature of your device can rise significantly. Internal fans will try to cool everything down, but your laptop can still get too hot and start to malfunction.

Here are a few other reasons why a laptop might overheat:

  • The air vents are covered. This can happen when you place your laptop on a soft or uneven surface, like a bed, pillow, or your lap, that reduces air flow.
  • Dust, dirt, hair, and grime can hinder your laptop's fan, causing it to struggle to cool the device down.
  • There are problems with internal hardware, such as an old battery or decaying thermal paste, a substance that helps prevent your computer from overheating.

How do I know if my laptop is overheating?

The temperature of a laptop isn't supposed to exceed 95 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Hampshire College. So when you feel it getting hot, act quickly. If you don't, your computer may not only suffer permanent damage but also start a fire or burn you.

Other signs of overheating include the following:

  • Your laptop takes longer than usual to perform basic tasks.
  • Applications and programs freeze.
  • Laptop accessories like your mouse or keyboard stop responding.
  • Your laptop suddenly shuts down and fails to turn back on for several minutes.
  • Unexpected error messages appear warning that the laptop is overheating.

Why is my laptop fan so loud?

A loud laptop fan is a sign your machine is going into overdrive trying to cool down. The causes can vary – it could be due to a build-up of dust in the fan, or it could be due to the air vents being covered, like if you have your laptop sitting on your lap or a soft surface like your bed. It could also simply be due to how you're using your computer. If you have software that's constantly running in the background or software that draws a lot of your system's energy, like a video game or video editing software, that could also cause fans to start spinning loudly.

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How to fix an overheating laptop

Once you've determined that your laptop isn't working, there are a few ways to get it back up and running.

  1. Turn off your laptop, unplug the cords, and remove the battery (if possible). You should take a break from using it until it has completely cooled down.
  2. Inspect the vents and fan for dirt or other signs of blockage. These components are usually underneath or on the sides of your laptop.
  3. Use compressed air to clean your laptop's vents. If your fan continues to struggle, make noises, or run at maximum speed, it may need to be checked for other issues.
  4. Change your system's fan control settings. If you have a Windows model, you can do this in the BIOS menu. There are also third-party power management apps that allow users to access their fan settings.

If you're still dealing with overheating issues after trying out these steps, don't worry: we're here to help. Stop by the nearest uBreakiFix by Asurion store for fast, reliable computer repair.

How to prevent laptops from overheating

It can be difficult to know what to do when your laptop overheats, but making sure your device is properly ventilated is a great place to start. Here's how:

  • Keep your vents uncovered and remove objects that are too close to your laptop.
  • Always position your laptop on a sturdy, flat surface like a desk or table. If this isn't possible, try placing a book or solid object underneath it.
  • Clean your vents immediately if you notice any dust, dirt, or hair.
  • Work in a cooler room.
  • Use a cooling pad that raises your laptop above whatever surface it's resting on and has built-in fans to increase airflow.

Make sure your laptop is protected

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*The Asurion® trademarks and logos are the property of Asurion, LLC. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Asurion is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by any of the respective owners of the other trademarks appearing herein.*

How to tell if your computer is overheating and what to do about it

Multiple factors can cause GPU overheating that will trigger various issues. This is confusing. Hence, it is necessary to learn how to tell if GPU is overheating. Then you can take corresponding actions. Explore more details with MiniTool now!

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The overheating GPU drops the performance of your video card down. In turn, the performance of your computer will be affected too. If the GPU keeps overheating, your graphics card may get permanent damages.

What Causes GPU Overheating

Various elements can result in GPU overheating like the cleanliness of your case, as well as the position of the graphics card and fans and the efficiency of heatsinks. The GPU overheating issue can also be triggered because of heavy load and graphics processing.

Generally speaking, modern GPUs can work under heavy load, run for long hours, and deliver 100% performance. The case is different if your card is not a high-performance graphics card.

On the contrary, the GPU can get overheating easily. You need to note that if the cooling system is faulty, inadequate or getting old, the GPU overheating issue is inevitable no matter what card you have.

How to Tell If GPU Is Overheating

If you often find that video games or video rendering are stopping, slow, or stalled and the GPU temperature keeps rising, you should take some steps to diagnose the GPU.

How to Cool Down the Overheating GPU

Method 1: Clean GPU Fan

If the GPU fan is dirty, the graphics processor will get overheating as the air to distribute the heat is not enough. You may encounter various errors on the PC depending on the kind of dust and dirt in your environment.

In this case, you should clean your GPU fan including the interior of the computer case and air filters.

Method 2: Put the PC to a Place with Enough Airflow

If your computer is put in a place without enough room for air to circulate, try putting the PC to a place with adequate airflow. It is also likely that fans are not placed properly. The fans should be installed in a way that their airflow complements each other don’t create hindrance.

You are recommended to check the position of fans and ensure that the hot air of one is not blowing at the hot air of another. Besides, make sure there is enough space within the PC case so that the air can flow freely.

How to tell if your computer is overheating and what to do about it

Why do you need to change power mode settings? How to do that on Windows 11? This post will focus on these questions and explore the answers.

Method 3: Overclocking

Though overclocking GPU can improve the performance, it brings pressure to the system too. To be specific, overclocking makes the system work harder causing GPU overheating.

Note: Before taking any actions, you should check that if you are running an overclocked GPU and the overheating is caused by overclocking.

In this case, you can either revert back to the original clock speed or underclock to reduce GPU temperatures. However, you need to note that you will sacrifice some performance like display quality, framerate, and settings by doing that.

Method 4: Replace Thermal Paste

The dried out thermal paste is also responsible for GPU overheating. Lacking of thermal paste results in poor contact between the processor and the heat sink. If so, the GPU can’t get the full advantage of the cooling system.

Under this circumstance, replacing the thermal paste on the video card. Be careful while performing that operation.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Position: Columnist

Having writing articles about computer tech for a long time, I am rather experienced especially on the aspect of computer optimization, PC enhancement, as well as tech terms explanation. The habit of looking through tech forums makes me a great computer issues collector. And then, many articles related to these issues are released, which benefit plenty of users. Professional, effective, and innovative are always the pursuit of an editing worker.

Sometimes when you wake up in a beautiful and a sunny day and try to turn on your computer to get some work done suddenly it won’t turn on or it’ll turn on for a few seconds and then shuts down.

You go crazy and start suspecting each and every component of your PC, the first step is to calm down and think before making any wrong assumptions.

Before you make any move read this first to properly diagnose this problem and see if your CPU is really dead or not.

Table of Contents

How to tell if your CPU is dead?

There are many ways to do this, I recommend you use the first method because it’s easier and faster.

The easiest way

The first obvious way to make sure if your CPU is really dead or not is to test it on another computer, I know I know you don’t have another computer or a friend nearby to ask, we’ll get to this later.

I really recommend you try this first because you’ll find out right away if it’s the processor that’s failed or something else.

Warning : if you can’t this by yourself ask a friend or a professional technician to do it for you, if your computer is still under warranty don’t open it up, doing so may void your warranty so all you have to do now is to take it to the nearest support center.

Another easy solution

Have you done anything lately before this problem happened? If so, whatever you did undo it, just relax and try to remember what you did, this could save a lot of time and headache.

Take it out

While you are at it, search for any cracks, broken pins or burns on the processor, this might tell you immediately that the CPU really is the problem.

Check the motherboard

Have you ever thought that the motherboard might be the cause? Well! Go ahead and start checking the motherboard in order to find any unusual stuff like not connected or improperly connected pins or cables or broken parts.

That brings us to another point, if you’ve built the computer by yourself and didn’t turn on I recommend that you rebuild it again.

Reset and reseat

If you don’t have a second computer and the chances you are, then you’ll have to do a lot of troubleshooting to find out if the processor is dead or not, reset the BIOS settings by reseating the CMOS battery for 5 minutes, also reseat the RAM especially if you hear a beep, the beep usually means that there’s something wrong with the RAM and reseating it sometimes solves the problem.

Also, consider replacing the RAM or testing it on another computer to make sure it’s working properly.

Why and how your CPU fails/dies

Overheating

Do you like fried chicken? Sorry for asking this but it came to mind when I was writing about frying the processor (overheating), the CPU is the most important component in a computer, thus, computer designers try to protect it by making it durable and providing it with the best cooling options available.

A bad cooling fan may kill your processor, the thermal paste is very important too, it transfers the heat effectively from the processor to the heatsink, so check this one out too to make sure it’s there.

High voltage

A high surge of power or a bad PSU (power supply unit) may kill not only the processor but everything else I suppose.

Choosing a very good type of PSU is an important step so don’t skip it and pick something cheap.

How to tell if your computer is overheating and what to do about it

Hey, It’s Shawky from ShawkyTech, I’m an Electrical Engineering student who happens to be crazy about technology, I hope you enjoy my tiny world, and PLEASE! Have a nice day 😀