Laptop overheating?

Inside view of cooling assembly

A laptop will overheat if it cannot cool itself…. believe it or not!

But why would a laptop not be able to cool itself? well the majority of time this may be due to a buildup of dust in a part located inside of your laptop called the heat sink… the heat sink is normally a square copper unit about the size of a matchbox and has a number of closely placed copper fins inside. The heat sink is then connected to different heat producing parts in your computer mainly your processor and then to a fan unit, so as you happily use your laptop watching YouTube and checking out Facebook the processor is getting nice and hot while doing its job. The heat created by the processor is then transferred to the heat sink and in turn the fan unit will then suck in cool outside air and blow it thru the heat sink in turn cooling it and everyone’s happy!

All laptop’s will have an air inlet and also and exhaust port. If you look at the side or the back of your laptop you may notice fins and if you look inside you may see the copper fins, this is your heatsink and also exaust area of your laptop.  The inlet is typically a round unit on the bottom.

Inside View of Heat sink

One thing I cannot understand still to this day is why so many laptop manufactures are putting the inlet on the bottom on the laptop! This is such bad design practice. Your laptop is like a mini Hoover sucking up the dirt and dust from your cloths, bed, desk ect and also may be completely blocked off depending on what you put it on. The best design is a side inlet and a rear outlet.


Manufacturers know that overheating issues WILL SHORTEN THE LIFE OF YOUR LAPTOP yet they still use poor cooling designs.

If your laptop is hot and making excessive noise, check that you can feel hot air being blown out of the exhaust port. If not its likely your heat sink is blocked.

What can you do to fix it? you could try use a Hoover to suck out the dust from the exhaust port but chances are this will not work as you probably have a blanket of dusk across the back of the heat sink. Some people try use compressed air to blow thru the dust but this can be dangerous as blowing a thick blanket of dust backwards into your laptop can prevent your fan unit spinning and you really don’t want that! Prevention is better than cure as they say and the two previous methods can be effective before the buildup happens. The best way to resolve this issue is to completely disassemble the laptop and remove the entire heat sink unit and properly clean it. After removing the heat sink unit from your laptop it you will also need to clean off the old thermal paste as applied in the factory and apply a fresh amount as per the manufactures specifications.

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