How to Keep a Gaming Laptop Cool?
How to Keep a Gaming Laptop Cool?

If you are a fervent gamer, your laptop is bound to overheat, this article will give you great tips and measures on how to keep a gaming laptop cool. 
There is a lot to love in gaming laptops, they are light, portable and all the hardware is packed into an easy-to-handle frame, but this is also their greatest weakness. Even non-gaming laptops can trap a lot of hot air inside them, so when you add a powerful GPU to the mix, things can get out of hand. It is important to note that this issue isn’t always the manufacturer’s fault, because there is only so much that they can do to keep this physically packed space cool. So it’s up to you as a user to make sure the cooling system is functioning properly. 

Is my laptop overheating?

If your laptop is demonstrating one or more of the below signs then it is overheating:

  • Your laptop is getting warmer and your fans are spinning faster and making a louder sound than usual
  • Loss of performance, the regular device hangs, and a drop in FPS 
  • Increased power consumption to compensate for the high temperature 
  • Use tools such as HWinfo or HWmonitor to check your laptop stats and temperature 

How hot is too hot for my gaming laptop?

Your laptop temperature usually depends on the device. For a gaming laptop, the GPU average temperature would be 45 C in normal operations and 80 C under heavy load. 

Guide to keeping my gaming laptop cool 

1- Proper surface and placement 

The main culprit when it comes to overheating laptops is improper placement and surfaces. A gaming laptop needs to be placed on a flat, solid surface, especially when it’s under heavy load. If a gaming laptop is placed on a soft surface such as a bed or your lap, you are likely blocking some or all of the intake vents on the underside of your laptop, which means that the laptop can’t draw in cool air. On the other hand, when a laptop is placed on a solid and flat surface, the rubber feet slightly lift the laptop off the surface, allowing the fans to circulate the cool air and function properly. 

What if you can’t locate a flat surface? 

In that case, you can do one of the following options:

  • After locating the fan, you can place the laptop on your lap making sure that you are not blocking the fan intakes. 
  • Use a box, book, or any flat object as a stand to slightly elevate 

2- Cleaning and Dust Build up 

Because there is constant airflow through the laptop, your laptop will inevitably suffer from dust build-up. Although there is no way to completely avoid dust build-up, the best thing to do is clean your laptop regularly. If you are an ardent gamer, we recommend cleaning your laptop at least once every three month

Believe it or not, there is a simple way of cleaning your laptop that doesn’t require opening your laptop. Here is how you can easily clean your laptop using compressed air:

  • Before you start, make sure you power off your laptop to give it ample time to cool off. 
  • Turn the laptop to its underside so that you can see the intake fan grills
  • Using a can of compressed air, closely spray the fan grills (it is important to hold the can in an upright position to avoid liquid air escaping and causing damage to the hardware)
  • Make sure that you move the laptop around in different directions until you can no longer see dust escaping the vent. 

3- Buy a Cooling Pad for your gaming laptop 

Having made sure your laptop’s cooling system is working optimally, you can consider looking into buying a cooling pad to prevent it from overheating. A cooling pad is considered a simple and relatively inexpensive accessory and can surely help with your laptop heating. Although they are recommended for non-gaming laptops, they are essential for gaming laptops. If you are a gamer you should look towards investing in a cooling pad with 4-5 fan pads which usually cost between $30 to $40.

How to use a cooling pad for your gaming laptop?

  • Set your laptop on the cooling pad 
  • Plug the cooling pad into your laptop’s USB port
  • The fans in the cooling pad will start working and help draw away the heat that the laptop generates
  • Eventually, you will notice lower temperatures during longer gaming sessions due to the increased airflow from the cooling pad. 

What else could it be?

If you have adopted the above measures and your laptop is still overheating, there may be a software or hardware malfunction that needs to be taken care of. 

4- Check for Hardware Malfunction 

The most likely scenario is that the hardware probably isn’t powerful enough to keep up with what’s being thrown it’s way. It is undeniable that even a dedicated GPU generates a fair amount of heat, however, if we are talking about the lowest series GPU that is being exploited by modern games, your laptop will inevitably experience overheating. Similarly, a CPU with integrated graphic chips that are overworked by games will also cause your laptop temperature to rise. 

Therefore, if you notice low performance alongside a heat increase, that indicates that your graphic card is overheating. In that case, you should try the measure mentioned above; cleaning your laptop fan and using a cooling pad. 

In case this doesn’t work, then you are dealing with an underpowered GPU and you could try one of the below methods:

  • Lower the in-game settings: Reducing GPU heavy game features such as anti-aliasing and ambient conclusion will lower the GPU power needs. Also, lowering the game display resolution is the best way to help an underpowered GPU to keep up with the work.
  • Invest in an external GPU: if you plan on only gaming using your laptop, investing in an external GPU will be worthwhile. An external GPU is the best way to reach desktop-level graphics on a laptop while maintaining the temperature and heat of the laptop itself. Just make sure that your CPU could handle the external GPU that you are planning on purchasing. 

5- Check for Faulty Fans 

Lastly, if your laptop is still overheating despite trying everything else mentioned so far, then the fault may very well be a faulty fan. Most Modern Gaming laptops have internal fans to avoid temperature rising in all components. If one of these fans breaks down the entire cooling system would be compromised. 

How do you check if you are dealing with a faulty fan?

The fan is fitted inside the laptop and is enclosed within the chassis, but before opening the cover there are still a few easy ways you can try to check if your fan is functioning properly. Make sure to turn your laptop on and heavy load the system, then you can check using the below procedures: 

1- Try moving your laptop to a quiet location and start listening closely to sounds. A properly functioning fan will make a whirring sound. The fan normally sounds so smooth, so if you hear a rough or irregular sound, the fan is probably broken or has accumulated dust. 

Note:  Don’t be alarmed if you can’t hear any sound just immediately after you turn your laptop on. The fans usually stay off while the machine is still in rest mode, and only start working when you put the system under heavy load.  

2- Try feeling the air coming out of the vents. Place a piece of paper or cloth in front of the vents, if your fan is functioning properly you will notice a slight movement in it because that means the air is blasting out through the vents.

3- Try using different applications that show your system’s hardware stats. You can run a check on your hardware compliments including the fan and the temperature system. 

Final thoughts

 Make sure to check first that your laptop is actually overheating and if you notice that it is, follow our guided steps above in order to ensure your gaming laptop stays cool. Following these preventative measures will hopefully be sufficient. 

If you have followed our guide, yet are still facing difficulties with your laptop it is recommended that you send your laptop and have it repaired by a professional rather than attempting to fix it yourself by opening it up. 

Make sure that you do not unscrew your laptop up if it is covered by warranty as this will void your warranty! 

We hope our guide has been useful in helping you keep your gaming laptop cool. Please feel free to leave any questions or comments you may have below. We will be happy to assist you. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

1-How do I know if my gaming laptop is overheating?

If your laptop is overheating check for high temperature, high fan sounds, loss of performance, high power consumption, and device hangs. You may download Hardware analysis tools to check for stats and malfunctions.

2- Why is my gaming laptop overheating?

Gaming laptops’ temperature rises because they have high-performance processors and dedicated graphics cards that generate a lot of heat when under load. These components are crammed into a very small chassis which restricts airflow and cause heat to build up in the laptop’s interior

3- Does overheating cause my laptop to shut down?

Yes, Overheating is one of many causes that can shut your laptop. The laptop shut itself off to avoid malfunctioning.