The advancement of technology enables manufacturers to build slimmer gaming laptops with more power. With more processors and stronger graphics cards packed in a tight space, excess heat becomes a threat.

Overheating can cause a lot of problems, especially for gaming computers. When you play, your laptop will maximize its performance to give you the best gaming experience. However, if your device does not have an adequate cooling system, it will overheat. This will lead to slower performance, hardware failure, and even permanent damage.

However, just because your gaming equipment is hot to the touch, this does not mean that it is already overheating. There are telltale signs that show your laptop is overheating.

One is when the laptop’s fan is always running at maximum speed. Second, overheating will lead to slower performance. This happens because your CPU automatically cuts back its speed in an attempt to lower the heat pressure. Last is when your laptop suddenly shuts down. A fail-safe software will turn it off to prevent further hardware damage.

The Causes

There is only one reason why your computer or any device overheats—insufficient cooling. Although, your device is equipped with a cooling system, there are factors that prevent it from functioning well. This can happen when dust accumulates and blocks the intake grills and the exhaust ports. Dust and dirt can also clog up the fans and cause thermal grease between the CPU/GPU and the heat sink.

So how do you fix this? If you are not sure that you can open the lid of your laptop and apply a fresh thermal paste on, these simple fixes can help you.

  1. Clean It Out

Dust accumulation in the grills and exhaust ports is one of the most common reasons for overheating. To fix this, you can buy a can of compressed air which you can use to spray in the vents to take off those pesky dust bunnies. You can also use a cotton swab to wipe off the visible dust and use a computer vacuum to suck the remaining dust. Another way is to open the lid and carefully clean out the fans and other components.

  1. Use a Hard and Flat Surface

When you’re playing games, it is very important for the air to flow. Place your computer on a hard and flat surface, make sure that the vents are not covered, and try to play in a cool room. Don’t place your laptop under direct sunlight, and avoid putting any decorative stickers on the vents to promote proper air circulation.

  1. Fan It

Add another way to help cool your laptop. Placing a small desktop fan or a standing fan will add a cool breeze. Also, if your gaming laptop allows it, add another cooling fan or other coolers for your graphics card and hard drive for additional support.

  1. Adjust the Setting

This especially applies to gamers and people who enjoy high-definition movies. Don’t add more workload to your laptop’s space. This will force the hard drive to overwork and the temperature to rise.

Also, make sure to close idle apps to free up the CPU. Lastly, activate your laptop’s power management.

  1. Invest in a Cooling Pad

Cooling pads are invented to add more cooling to your laptop. However, you need to understand the airflow of your laptop before buying one. Remember, most laptops suck air from the bottom, so, getting a cooling pad that sucks air away from your laptop is counterproductive.

If the air vents or the grill of your gaming laptop is located at the bottom, buy a cooler that blows air into the laptop. Also, you can easily use a passive cooler that only absorbs heat and does not consume any power.

  1. Rest

Just like any other device, your gaming laptop needs great care to function properly. Avoid using the sleep, hibernate, and shutdown functions if you are going to use it right after. A laptop might not able to take this abuse as much as a desktop. Also, if you notice your laptop is getting hot and lagging, allow it to rest. Close all applications and turn it off.

Keep enjoying your games without the heat by applying these helpful steps. Remember—prevention is always better than cure. If your laptop still overheats after doing these tips, it is better to have it checked by a professional.