Top Causes of overheating in Laptop Computers

An overheating laptop can not only damage the laptop and its internal components, leading to costly repairs, but in extreme cases, it can even cause burns and other safety concerns. For these reasons, it is a good idea to take a few precautions to keep your laptop or notebook running as cool as possible. Here are a few of the top causes of overheating in laptop computers, and a few ways to prevent or resolve them.


When a laptop overheats, it is most likely caused by dust or other obstructions preventing air from flowing in and out of the laptop. Laptops generally have a cooling system that relies on a fan circulating air into and out of the laptop, and taking heat with it. When there is dust, dirt, or another obstruction blocking the vents, the heat can collect and cause the machine to overheat. Use a can of compressed air to gently blow the dust out of any vents you have access to, or have a repair shop clean out your laptop professionally to resolve this issue.

Malfunctioning Fan

As mentioned above, the fan is responsible for circulating cool air into the laptop, and blowing hot air out. If the fan starts to malfunction, heat can collect and cause the laptop to overheat. If you suspect your fan is malfunctioning, search for a replacement part and instructions online, or take it to a professional repair shop to have the fan replaced before it causes more damage to your laptop.

Poor Heat Sink

In many cases, the heat sink for the CPU of the laptop can become dislodged, no longer providing adequate cooling. In other cases, poor design provides inadequate cooling for the laptop. If you suspect your CPU is overheating, check with the manufacturer as many have implemented recalls of laptops due to design defects which caused overheating. You may be eligible for a free repair or replacement.

Taking a few moments to prevent overheating in your laptop can save you costly repairs and downtime in the future. By following the suggestions above, you can help your laptop to run cooler and more efficient for many years to come.