Tricks to Cool Your Laptop

An overheating laptop can soon turn into a dead laptop. To avoid such a disaster happening to you, apply the following tricks for cooling your laptop.

1. Clean Your Laptop’s Fan: Your laptop has a fan inside whose job is to help keep your laptop cool. However, over time, dust, dirt, lint, and other particulate matter can get caked on the fan, clogging its mechanism and causing it to function poorly. Worse, that accumulation of dust, dirt, and lint could heat itself and exacerbate the problem, causing your laptop to overheat even quicker! To clean the fan, just pick up an inexpensive can of compressed air.

2. Supplement Your Laptop’s Fan: So your laptop has an internal fan. Obviously, personal experience has no doubt shown you that that’s not always enough–such as when you need to work on your laptop for a considerable length of time or when you’re using it in a hot, sunny environment. For these occasions (and others like them) placing an external laptop fan or a laptop cooling mat beneath your laptop can help keep it cool, even in hotter climes.

3. Keep Your Laptop Flat: More to the point, keep your laptop flat on a solid surface. The name “laptop” is a misnomer in that in confuses people into thinking it’s okay to use their laptop on their laps. The problem is, the underside of your laptop has vents that help air it out and keep its insides cool. When you sit with your laptop on your lap (without some other hard surface beneath it) you obstruct those airways. If you look on the bottom of your laptop, you’ll notice that near the four corners it has little protrusions, like little legs, forming a built-in miniature laptop stand of sorts. All you need to do to avail yourself of this convenient (and potentially computer-saving) feature, just be sure to always use your laptop on a hard, flat surface, thereby allowing for a small bit (like a quarter-inch) of space beneath your laptop for air to flow, so it can “breathe” through its now-unobstructed vents.

4. Use A Laptop Stand: A quarter-inch of space beneath your laptop is nice, but an inch more is even better. Think of the space your laptop maker gave you beneath the device (when its properly placed on a hard, flat surface) as the bare minimum of space your laptop actually needs to keep cool. Lifting it a bit higher into the air with a laptop stand that lets you raise the device an inch or several will give your overheating computer something to sigh with relief about. Different laptop stands keep your laptop cool in different ways–for example one may use aluminum as a cooling surface with excellent thermal conductivity; another may provide a simple frame you set your laptop into that allows the bottom of the laptop to remain open and free.

5. Unplug Your Laptop: It’s not only advisable to unplug your laptop when not in use (for a host of other reasons, such as a power surge), but it’s also advisable to unplug your while you’re using it, if at all possible. As long as your battery life will allow, you can keep your laptop running a lot cooler when it’s not plugged into an electrical outlet. This is because the electricity that’s being sent to the laptop to recharge it while you’re using it sends a lot of heat into the device. But if you only plug it in when necessary, and handle most of your recharging needs when the computer is asleep or shut down, all other factors being equal, then you won’t heat it up nearly as much.

6. Adjust Your Power Settings: When you have your power settings set for Best Performance, you’re running your laptop at its hottest. But with a Balanced setting, your performance should be nearly as good (unless you’re placing heavy demands on your laptop at the moment), and it’ll run a lot cooler throughout.