Gaming laptops are trendy nowadays as they provide high-end PC gaming capabilities in a lighter and more portable package than ordinary desktop PCs.
The price tag of these laptops is also not as heavy as you would expect because they are primarily designed for gamers and professionals who can afford them and do not want to spend too much money on their primary computers.
Gaming laptops get hot when you play games on them, which is no surprise. Moreover, the heat causes reduced performance and sometimes crashes. If you do not know how to prevent your laptop from overheating while playing games, this article is for you.
Our laptops are getting more powerful every day, but one downside to these advancements is heated. Today’s modern laptops produce so much heat that they can quickly overheat while gaming, which not only affects the performance of your laptop but also poses a significant fire hazard.
This article will examine how overheating occurs in gaming laptops, what signs you should look for if you think your laptop is overheating, and finally give 16 ways to prevent it from happening.
How do you know if your laptop is overheating?
Even though an overheating gaming laptop can specifically damage your gaming hardware, you might find it challenging to understand the real problem if you are not that experienced in laptops. Here are some signs to look for when trying to determine whether or not your gaming laptop is overheating:
- A gamer laptop will get very hot while gaming. If you put your laptop on your lap, the laptop’s bottom will be extremely hot.
- If a gaming laptop is overheating, it will likely be deafening and noisy while gaming. A fan running at full speed can be very noticeable and annoying.
- There is a general decrease in gaming performance due to laptop overheating. It will take significantly longer to load games, especially graphics-heavy ones like Witcher 3, GTA 5, or Call of Duty.
- A laptop may shut down automatically if it overheats due to poor ventilation or increased internal heat (for example, during gaming). A flickering screen often accompanies this.
- If a gaming laptop overheats, the battery life will drastically decrease. A gaming laptop running on battery power will heat up much faster than one plugged into an outlet, so do not forget to take your laptop off the charger before gaming.
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What are the reasons for overheating laptops?
- The cooling system might have malfunctioned, causing the gaming laptop to overheat.
- Cooling vents are clogged with dirt or other debris
- Many gaming laptops have poorly designed cooling solutions, which make your laptop starts to overheat.
- Maybe your laptop is not powerful enough to handle gaming for extended periods.
- The laptop is placed on a soft surface like fabric or cushion, which does not allow the laptop to cool off properly.
- Maybe your laptop’s internal hardware is faulty.
- You are using your laptop in an environment with high temperatures.
- Defective laptop fans.
How to prevent laptop from overheating while playing games
There are several vital things you can do to prevent gaming laptops from overheating. You can try these 16 tips to prevent your laptop from overheating while playing games.
1. Restart your laptop
Sometimes laptops overheat just because of temporary problems with a gaming laptop. If your laptop overheats often restarting, it can fix the problem for now. It is usually a good idea to restart a gaming laptop every time you play a game.
Restarting your laptop can fix many laptop overheating problems caused by temporary glitches or bugs. You can restart your laptop in 3 different ways to prevent overheating and speed up performance.
a. Using the start button located on the screen
Click the “Start Button” in the taskbar or press the Windows key on your keyboard to open the menu. Then choose “Power” and select “Restart.”
b. Using Ctrl + Alt + Delete
To use this method, you only require the keyboard. Just hold the control key “Ctrl” with alternate “Alt” and delete “Del” key at the same time. Release the keys, and you can see a new menu appear. At the lower-right lower, you can use a “Power Icon.” Click on restart.
c. Using the power button
If your laptop or computer freeze entirely, then this method is best for restarting your laptop. You can find the power button on the left or right side of your laptop. Here is the step to restart your laptop using the power button.
- Press and hold the power button until your laptop shuts down
- Wait for some time, and you can hear the fans shut off
- Disconnect your charger and remove the battery
- Let your laptop cool down for 15-20 minutes
- Connect your charger and insert the battery
- Press and hold the power button again to start your laptop
2. Proper placement of a laptop
Many overheating happens when a laptop is placed on an uneven or soft surface, so make sure to put your laptop on a flat and hard surface to prevent overheating problems. If you use your laptop in bed, make sure blankets or pillows do not cover the fan intake. Also, make sure to use a laptop at an ideal room temperature.
3. Close unnecessary programs while gaming
Many programs are set to start up when your computer boots automatically. If you are gaming, chances are you do not need any of these programs to run in the background. You can disable them by closing or uninstalling unnecessary programs.
You can close unnecessary programs through the Windows Task Manager. To open the Windows Task Manager, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on the keyboard.
Note that full-screen programs like games, web browser, Spotify player, or other full-screen applications will prevent you from closing them by hiding Windows Task Manager behind their window.
To prevent this, you can find a menu called “Options” in the top menu bar. Select “Always on top,” and you are done. If you cannot find the menu click on “More Details” to see. Now, whenever you open Task Manager, it will always be on top of every program.
Now, in the Task Manager, click on the Processes tab at the top. See the “CPU” column and click once to order the column by CPU usage.
You can see which programs have high CPU usage. To close the program, right-click on it and select “End Task.” You can also find the “End Task” button in the lower-right corner.
You can also stop the programs from starting automatically because these also overheat your laptop. To disable the programs, go to “Startup” and see different programs that start automatically with their status and startup impact. To stop the programs, select a program, click the right mouse button for the options, and choose “Disable.” You can also find the “Disable” button in the lower-right corner.
4. Keep your laptop clean
Sometimes overheating problems might be caused by dust, dirt, or hair blocking cooling fans from spinning correctly. Dust and other particles can quickly accumulate inside your laptop, which will cause overheating problems.
If this is the case, you can use a can of compressed air or tweezers to remove any foreign objects that might be obstructing the proper function of your laptop’s cooling system. Also, make sure to check the air vent because it can also cause a laptop overheating problem.
5. Apply fresh thermal paste
Thermal paste is essential to ensure the processor is adequately cooled; without the thermal paste, your laptop causes overheating. Before applying a new thermal paste, you must remove the old paste from the CPU and heat sink.
Scrap the solid thermal paste by using a plastic spudger, or you can use your credit card. Take some isopropyl alcohol on a cotton or coffee filter or any other soft cloth and gently wipe off the old thermal paste.
After removing the thermal paste, take more isopropyl alcohol and clean the surface. Now you can apply the new thermal paste.
6. Repair bad or faulty fan
One of the most common causes of laptop overheating is bad fans or faulty fans. If your laptop’s fan is not working, then the laptop may shut down automatically. You can hear the fan when it is working correctly.
If your laptop is silent and you do not hear the fan running or any airflow, then the fan may be broken. If your fan is noisy, then it does not mean it is broken or damaged. Fans get noisy or loud when your laptop generates much heat, or fans get obstructed.
Replace the fans with high-quality fans. If you do not feel qualified to replace the fan yourself, ask a professional to do it for you.
7. Use laptop cooling pad
If you want to use your gaming laptop on a flat surface, you can extend its life by purchasing a cooling pad. A cooling pad is like an extension of the laptop’s cooling system. It is the best way to reduce overheating on a laptop. Here are some of Amazon’s best deals on laptop cooling pads.
8. Update device drivers
Device drivers are the programs that allow your computer to communicate with your device. If you have not updated your device drivers in a long time, they may be no longer compatible with new software. This can cause overheating problems and prevent your laptop from communicating correctly with certain games.
One of the easy ways to update all of your drivers at once is by Using Driver Easy, Driver Booster, DriversCloud, etc. I recommend Driver Booster.
Driver Booster is designed to update all of the drivers on your laptop for better compatibility with games and other software. It can scan your computer for outdated drivers and update them all with one click.
Driver Booster has many valuable features like Game Boost, which stop unnecessary apps and services for a better gaming experience. You can also fix common problems like device error, no sound error, network failure, and lousy resolution with the available tools.
9. Update the BIOS
A computer’s BIOS is the most critical piece of software on your system. Think of it as a mini operating system, but for your hardware components instead of your internal memory. If you have not updated your BIOS in a while, you might want to consider updating it.
10. Change your power settings
All laptops come with power-saving modes to help extend their battery life. If these power-saving settings are not selected properly, they can cause your computer to overheat by using too much or too little energy.
You can change the power options by opening the Control Panel and going to “Power Options.” This can be done by opening Settings, clicking on Control Panel, and selecting Power Options.
If you do not see a Control Panel, open the search bar using Windows + S and search for ‘Control Panel.’ Click on it when it appears.
In Power Options, click on the “change plan settings” next to the active power plan and then “Change advanced power settings.”
A new window pops up, expand “Processor power management,” and then expand “Maximum processor state.” Now reduce the “On battery” and “Plugged in” to a lower processor state such as 85-95%.
As a result, the CPU temperature reduces by 10-20° C and a slight drop in the performance.
11. Using integrated graphics instead of dedicated
Consider using an integrated graphics card if you want to play on your laptop but are concerned about overheating and wearing and tearing a dedicated GPU. Integrated GPU reduces the load placed on your CPU compared to a discrete graphics card. This will help reduce heat if you decide to use your laptop instead of playing with an external GPU.
12. Connect your laptop to the charger
This seems like an obvious fix for most, but some people tend to forget or rush. Make sure that your laptop is constantly being fed with energy through the power supply cord when gaming. Overheating can also occur when you are using resource-hungry programs like graphics editing or video rendering.
By plugging your laptop into the wall, you can ensure that it has all the energy it needs to function correctly without overheating.
13. Replace your charger
If you have tried everything outlined in this article and your laptop is still overheating, the problem might be with your charger. If a fuse blows or a connection becomes loose, the charger will no longer work properly and could cause overheating issues when charging your laptop.
14. Try limiting your FPS
This method can be used on any laptop or gaming system to help limit the FPS of a game and reduce the load placed on your hardware. Reducing frame rate, in turn, reduces heat, which can help you play for more extended periods without overheating.
15. Underclock your graphics card
If you have a dedicated graphics card and are still experiencing computer crashes or overheating issues, try underclocking your GPU. It will reduce the load placed on both the CPU and GPU by reducing the work being done. Set the clock value back to default.
16. Turn it off
If you are not using your laptop, turn it off. Leaving your computer on when you are not around wastes energy and leads to an overheating issue. By turning off your computer or putting it into sleep mode when you can, you can reduce the amount of work that your laptop fan needs to do and reduce the chances of overheating.
The following 16 tips will help you prevent your laptop from overheating problem while gaming. If these steps are not enough to solve the problem, upgrading or replacing your current hardware may be time.
Importantly, do not ignore any warning signs that something is wrong with your system and if possible, visit a specialist before attempting any of the above solutions on your own. When in doubt, always consult an expert.
If you have any thoughts regarding the article, please comment below – I would love to hear from you.