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Despite their name, some laptops on the market get so hot that putting them on your lap can feel like putting a hot plate on your thighs. But no matter what laptop you have, there are ways to reduce the heat it generates.

reduce load

One of the main reasons your laptop gets hot is because it is working hard. So if you want him to relax, reduce his workload in some way. For example, you could:

Of course, if you need every ounce of performance your laptop has available, reducing the load on the computer isn’t really an option. There are still more things you can try that still allow you to make full use of your resources.

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Do not block vents

Woman sitting on a bed with a laptop in front of her.
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Almost all laptops use fans for active cooling, drawing in cool air from outside and pushing hot air out, carrying away any residual heat. There are vents strategically placed on the laptop’s chassis that allow proper airflow to deal with the heat. If you block any of those vents, the temperature will rise!

The best practice is to use your laptop on a hard, flat surface that allows air to move freely rather than a blanket, pillow, or clothing that only insulates. If you want to use your laptop on your lap, using a good lap desk is a good idea.

Clean vents and fans

Even if you are using your laptop on a hard, flat surface, the vent may be blocked internally. Over time, dust gets into the cooling system and if it accumulates enough it will reduce or block airflow. Gently vacuuming the vents with an electronic vacuum cleaner is usually sufficient.

Some people swear by cans of compressed air, but if you don’t use them correctly, they can cause water condensation inside your laptop, which is bad news!

You can also use a soft brush to clear blocked vents, but vacuuming will actually remove dust rather than move it around.

Use a cooling pad

Laptop cooling pads often generate debate as not everyone agrees that they are effective. However, if the specific tablet and laptop you use are well matched, there is no doubt that you can lower your overall system temperature by a few degrees.

Not only do these pads lift the bottom of your laptop off your desk, they can also have built-in fans that remove heat even more. These pads tend to be inexpensive and have the added benefit of acting as laptop risers, offering ergonomic benefits.

Best cooling pads for laptops

Great for most people

Gaming Laptop Cooling Pad, 4500 RPM Laptop Cooling Pad, Most Powerful Turbo Fan Cooling Pads for 14-17.3 Inch Laptop, with 2 USB Ports, Colorful Lights, Adjustable Height, Temperature Drops 20-30 degrees
easy on the wallet

TopMate C302 Laptop Cooling Pad Ultra Slim Notebook Cooler, Laptop Fan Cooling Stand with 2 Quiet Big Fans Blue LED Light, Chill Mat with Built-in Plug and Play USB Cable, for 10-15.6 Inch Laptops
premium choice

Havit RGB Laptop Cooling Pad for 15.6-17 inch Laptop with 3 Silent Fans and Touch Control, Pure Metal Panel Portable Cooler (Black+Blue)
another good option

Pccooler Laptop Cooling Pad, Laptop Cooler with 5 Silent Red LED Fans for 12-17.3 Inch Laptop, Dual USB 2.0 Ports, 6 Angles Adjustable Portable Gaming Laptop Stand (PC-R5)

Switch to power saving mode

Modern laptops are powerful computers that can handle just about any job, but do you really need all that performance to browse the web or watch YouTube? While automatic power management does a great job of slowing things down when loads are light, you can set your laptop to be more aggressive about conserving power by switching to the Power Saver plan.

With lower power limits, you will have less heat because there is a direct relationship between power and heat output. Your computer won’t perform as well as it does on higher power plans, but it should still be more than enough for light daily tasks where heat and noise are less welcome.

Increase fan speed

If you need a cooler laptop, but don’t want to decrease its performance, then your best option is to increase your cooling level. We mentioned using cooler pads earlier, but increasing your laptop’s internal fans is another option.

How you can do this will differ depending on the make and model of laptop you’re using. Most gaming laptops come with a branding utility that allows you to select the fan profile and decide whether to prioritize temperature or noise. There may be dedicated shortcuts on your keyboard that allow you to increase your fans, or you can open the computer’s BIOS or UEFI and find the fan settings there.

You can also try your luck with third-party fan speed control apps like SpeedFan or Argus Monitor. Depending on how the laptop manufacturer implemented their fan controls, there may be more compatibility issues than with a desktop. But it’s worth a try if you don’t have an out-of-the-box solution.

Low voltage your laptop

As we mentioned earlier, watts are converted to heat. The more power your laptop uses, the more heat it will produce. Wattage is the product of voltage and amperage, so if you reduce either of these, you will also reduce the total wattage.

It is possible to “underflip” your laptop’s CPU and in some cases the GPU. The voltage that these components are officially rated for is conservative, with a significant percentage of chips in each batch able to run on lower voltages without a problem. Not only will this cool down your laptop, but it can also extend battery life and improve peak performance. Undervolting doesn’t have any serious risks either, other than needing a BIOS reset if you push things too far.

Wait until it loads

Laptop with a charged battery on the screen.
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If you’re charging your laptop, additional heat is pumped into the system as a byproduct. So if you want to do some heavy lifting while plugged in, you might want to wait until your laptop is fully charged first.

On some laptops, you can set a maximum charge level for the battery, which is a great option to extend your battery life if you use your laptop plugged in, and reduces the time extra heat from active charging is pumped out to the laptop. .

Work in a cool environment

A commonly overlooked factor in laptop temperature is ambient heat. If the air entering your laptop is already quite hot, it has a reduced ability to absorb heat from its components. turning up the air conditioning or lowering the room temperature can drop everything by a few degrees. Similarly, if there is direct sunlight on your laptop, heat can build up quickly, so you may want to draw those curtains or sit in the shade until the sun has moved into a more computer-friendly position. .

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Does it still run hot? Consider a new laptop

It’s a harsh reality that technology is advancing rapidly, and if your laptop is getting older, it’s probably hot because it’s using older technology that generates more heat. With each generation of laptop technology, they become more energy efficient, so heat and noise will decrease, especially for everyday tasks.

Then there are laptops like Apple Silicon MacBooks with M1 or M2 processors. These machines run so well that the MacBook Air (ironically) doesn’t have a fan at all!