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How to Fix an Overheating Laptop or PC

Arsen Karapetyan

Does your computer overheat for no reason when you play games or just do regular work? Here is a guide on how to fix an overheating laptop or a PC that rins of Windows.

An overheating computer is no fun. When your computer overheats, it will normally either slow down significantly, it will freeze, randomly reboot and many other abnormal things will happen to your PC.

Here are two very easy ways how you can diagnose and fix an overheating computer or laptop that runs on Windows 7, 8 or Windows 10.

Install a CPU Fan Speed Utility

  1. Install a tility called Speed Fan.
  2. After you install it, run it
  3. When you open Speed Fan, it will allow you to see how fast do your CPU and chasis fans run
  4. If you feel like your CPU fan runs too slow, you increase its speed
  5. If you feel like your chasis fans are not running fast enough, you can increase the chasis fan speed

The utility looks as follows:

It will make it very easy for your to control your fan speeds, which can instantly fix the computer overheating issues that you are having.

Clean Up Your Air Vents

Alternatively, when you have an overheating computer or a laptop, don't forget to first clean out your computer, as this might also signisicantly decrease your computer's or laptop's ability to cool itself down.

Check Air Intake and Exhaust Fans

Also, ensure that, if you have a laptop, your intake and output holes are not covered with anything. Same applies to a desctop PC, where your intake or exhaust fans could be blocked, not working or not spinningn fast enough to take out the heat from the case.

Reapply CPU Thermal Compound

After a while, your thermal paste (compound), that serves as an interface between your CPU and the CPU cooler, loses its effectiveness. This makes your computer or the lapop start to overheat. Besides the the thermal compound getting old, the thermal compound could have not been properly applied to your CPU/GPU.

In order to fix the overheating computer or laptop CPU issue, you need to remove the CPU cooler and the fan and reaply the thermal compound. Here's how you do it:

  1. Remove the CPU fan by unscrewing it from the mainbord
  2. Clean out the old thermal compound from the CPU heat spreader (the metal part and the CPU radiator
  3. Apply a new thermal compound to your CPU by placing a pea sized amount onto the middle of the CPU
  4. Place the headsink back onto the CPU and screw it back on
  5. Done! This should help you fix an overheating CPU issue

Underclock Your CPU / Limit Maximum CPU Speed

If you have tried everything to fix an overheating computer and nothing has worked, try limiting the maximum CPU speed. You can do it by either downloading the Intel Extreme Tuning Utility or by simply limiting the CPU speed in your Windows Power plan.

How to Limit Maximum CPU Speed in Windows

  1. In the Windows Search bar type Power Plan
  2. Click on Edit Power Plan
  3. Click on Change Advanced Power Settings
  4. At the top dropdown Pick Your Power Plan
  5. Click on Processor Power Management
  6. Set the Minimum Processor State to a value of 5%
  7. Set the Maximum Processor State to 70%

This will reduce the maximum processor speed to 70% of its full capacity and make your computer run slower, but much cooler.


Remember, when your computer overheats, this means your CPU overheats. When your CPU overheats, it not only causes issues and will last much less before breaking, but it will also throttle your computer speed.

CPU speed throttling, because of overheating, could be the main reason why your computer is running slow. Even if you reduce your maximum CPU speed to 70%, your might not feel the difference much, because your CPU could have been throtting already.

Throttling is when your CPU intentionally slows itself down to run cooler and prevent overheating. CPU overheaing is bad for the CPU. This is why modern CPUs are programmed to automatically throttle their maximum speed to prevent damage.

If you have learned something from this article and still have a slow computer, check out these 15 trick on how to make your computer faster, how to make your computer boot faster and what to do if your Windows 10 all of a sudden became slow.