11 Different Ways On How To Keep Gaming Laptop Cool

By: Lorenzo  |  Updated: April 18, 2021

Every gamer wants to play the latest games in the best graphic settings.

But they could struggle with how to keep gaming laptop cool.

Keeping the laptop cool requires several hacks, and different hacks work for different situations.

You might just find your situation in this article.

It's quite disappointing to have a laptop that can't play games the way you want them to.

Sometimes you have to choose between playing the games at lower settings or having a dead laptop in your hands soon.

This dilemma is only the case if you're the one over-tasking the laptop.

Even If your laptop is capable of the games you're playing, you might somehow find it becoming uncomfortably hot.

Then, you have to check what's directly affecting the cooling system of your laptop — dust, or a faulty fan usually

Keeping your laptop cool could involve methods that interact with the internal or external parts.

Internally you will have to mess with your settings, whereas externally you will have to find some sort of cooling mechanism.

Cooling pads which are the most common external cooling device can also affect the temperature of your gaming laptop to a reasonable extent.

Even direct sunlight and room temperature can impact your laptop’s temperature and performance.

Reducing the surface temperature of the laptop will help the internal cooling system to better deal with the heat from within the laptop.

Regardless, the following tips will help you get your laptop to perform at cooler temperatures.

They help your laptop stay with you for longer and you won't also be experiencing burnt skin either.

If you also have questions on your mind concerning your overheating laptop, you just might find them here too.

Without any further ado let's check these effective ways to help your gaming laptop stay cool.

Why Is A Hot Laptop Bad?

A laptop with a high internal temperature will cause your laptop to under-perform and lead to a shorter shelf-life.

Laptops produce an immense amount of heat.

On average a high-end gaming laptop exerts up to 80°C of heat

If the temperature goes higher than 80°C, the laptop automatically drops performance to help control the heat.

We did an article explaining how to improve your gaming laptop performance if you want to prevent this from happening in the future.

The heat control is called thermal throttling.

So at very high performance, the max temperature your gaming laptop can attain is 80°C.

Apparently, if your laptop goes beyond this temperature it could cause some internal components to get damaged.

Way before your laptop even gets to 80°C, it would start to get uncomfortable especially if you place it close to your body.

Placing the laptop on the laps is very common, it's also a part of the body that is quite sensitive.

The heat will indeed be inconvenient for you and it could lead to your laptop becoming of age faster than it should.

TL;DR: How To Keep Gaming Laptop Cool

  1. Place your laptop on a flat surface
  2. Clean the vents and filters of your laptop
  3. Use laptop cooling pads
  4. Re-apply thermal paste to your CPU
  5. Underclock your laptop
  6. Undervolt your laptop
  7. Close any unnecessary programs
  8. Optimize your in-game settings
  9. Fix any faulty fans
  10. Keep your laptop out of hot environments
  11. Don't charge your laptop while you're using it

1. Place Your Laptop On A Flat Surface

Picture of laptop on flat surface. If you want to know how to keep a gaming laptop cool, keep it on a flat surface.

Where and how you place your laptop can impact the levels of heat that it generates.

It would also impact how effective its cooling system would be.

For instance, if you place your laptop on the bed, the uneven surface can clog the breathing space of the laptop.

This would prevent the ventilation system from taking in adequate air from the environment to cool the laptop.

Meanwhile, placing it on a hard and fast surface that is clutter-free would allow for proper air circulation in and out of the laptop.

2. Clean The Vents And Filters Of Your Laptop

Cleaning your laptop can help to improve its cooling.

As you use your laptop it gathers dust.

The dust gets into the vents and prevents proper ventilation.

Although your laptop will get dirty on the outside, most of the dust that will cause your laptop to heat up is within.

You can either open up your laptop to get the cleaning done or make use of compressed air.

Compressed air makes the best option because it prevents you from voiding your laptop’s warranty and causing damages.

3. Use Laptop Cooling Pads

If the fans are okay and there seems to be nothing to do about the heating laptop, you should consider getting a cooling pad.

But what are the situations that might require you to get cooling pads?

If your laptop is quite old, it might not be capable of cooling itself effectively.

It needs help. And cooling pads help cooling down the laptop externally.

A cooling pad is flat so that you can place your laptop on it. And they usually have two to three fans embedded to help with the cooling process.

They blow against the lower vents of your laptop to improve its thermal condition and prevent the laptop from overheating.

Even with a reasonable temperature, some laptop users get cooling pads to make sure that their laptops are working at even lower temperatures.

The lower your laptop's temperature, the better its performance.

A gaming laptop cooling pads are usually powered by USB or separate power source asides from your laptop.

4. Re-Apply Thermal Paste To Your CPU

Even laptops that aren't too hot to handle are actually generating a lot of heat.

And many things go into making this thermal condition of any laptop stay in line.

One of these things is thermal paste.

It is usually made of zinc oxide and silicone. But there are actually three types of thermal paste.

  • Ceramic based
  • Metal-based
  • Silicon-based

Manufacturers apply thermal paste between the CPUs and heatsinks. to cover for the imperfections of the heat sink.

The heat sink should be perfectly flat against the CPU.

However, there are no perfect ones yet.

Hence, there are air traps between the CPU and heatsink always.

The thermal paste fills this space.

This helps to transfer heat effectively from the processor to the heatsink.

You can check out this guide on how to reapply your thermal paste:

Be sure to follow the instructions carefully.

If you're not confident about doing this, then I would suggest trying the other steps first before messing with your laptop's hardware.

7. Underclock Your Laptop

Underclocking is a term used for when you're modifying your system processors to run at a lower clock rate than the manufacturer's specification.

Sometimes your laptop can be using more resources than necessary even when no additional apps are running, this tends to heat up your laptop and drains its battery quicker.

When this happens to your laptop, your best bet is under-clocking it.

To put underclocking into perspective, you wouldn't be hooning your car on high revs every time you're accelerating.

That's a surefire way to lose gas quickly and break your car down faster.

The same concept applies to underclocking, you will keep your laptop running from working as hard, to match the number of apps you're using.

Everyone will have different settings to go through when underclocking due to each motherboard having a different user interface when you're in the BIOS settings.

You can learn more about underclocking through this guide here.

6. Undervolt Your Laptop

Undervolting is the process in which you lower the voltage of your laptop.

A lower voltage allows your laptop to run cooler, with your fans running slower and overall increasing performance.

Undervolting goes hand-in-hand with underclocking, and re-applying thermal paste and can significantly reduce your laptop's heating issues.

The downside to these 3 steps alone (re-applying thermal paste, undervolting, and underclocking) need you to play around with the hardware and software.

You need to keep tweaking the settings until you get it just right.

It does take time, but if you have overheating issues, it is well worth it.

To undervolt your laptop you can follow this guide by The Tech Chap:

7. Close Any Unnecessary Programs

Having apps you're not using run on your laptop can cause the laptop to become hot such that it becomes uncomfortable.

Running unnecessary apps while gaming means that your laptop would be using excess resources.

And the more power you use, the hotter it becomes.

Ensure Your Hardware Drivers Are Up To Date

Since the hardware drivers help your laptop to function optimally, it is best to have the latest versions.

Outdated or wrong drivers can negatively affect performance and cause a laptop to overheat.

This is especially true when it comes to your GPU drivers.

If you are using any sort of program which utilizes your GPU (like editing videos or playing video games)...

Then having updated graphics drivers should give you a little boost in performance.

8. Optimize Your In-Game Settings

Many game lovers enjoy the game better when the settings are put to the max.

It makes the game look more realistic and enjoyable.

However, this may not be the case if your graphics card isn't capable of performing optimally at max settings.

The games will lag. And on top of that, the laptop will get hot and unbearable.

You can find the game setting on almost every game these days. However, each game differs in where to find them.

It's only a matter of playing around for a while to figure out where they are.

While you try to improve your game graphics with these settings be careful not to turn it all to the max.

Increase your most preferred settings first and observe how your laptop responds to an extra workload.

9. Fix Any Faulty Fans

Don't sweat it. Check your laptop fans too.

If your laptop is overheating there's a possibility that the fans are not working.

Perhaps a wire is cut or touchy. Without something to cool the hardworking processor, your laptop will become unbearable to touch.

Faulty fans are easier to check by dismantling the laptop till you can get a good view of the fan components.

This way you'll be able to decipher what really went wrong.

10. Keep Your Laptop Out Of Hot Environments

You have to be careful to avoid using your laptop on a bed and other muffling surfaces.

Similarly, you should beware of the environment you're using your laptop in.

If the atmosphere is hot and not well ventilated try not to use your laptop there.

Imagine yourself in a stuffy room, soon you'll need all your focus to stay on your feet.

The same thing applies to your PC.

At higher temperatures, your Laptop and PC will hardly be able to handle the task you’re putting it through and become too hot to handle.

11. Don't Charge Your Laptop While You're Using It

When playing a game on your laptop, lots of resources are required.

Your laptop needs a lot of power, so the battery runs out fast.

Many people attempt to solve this by plugging in while they work.

Charging your laptop while using it will increase the temperature considerably. So try not to use your laptop while charging for long periods.

What happens when your charging is this:

It's not the charging that directly affects the temperature of the laptop but the battery.

The battery gets warmer as you charge it.

The Exception To This Rule

Although charging your laptop will increase your battery's temperature, if you are gaming you will want to have your charger plugged in.

This is because plugging in your charger will ensure your laptop is being run by the electricity from your wall socket rather than your actual battery.

In many cases, this will help your laptop's performance, but as a side effect, increase your internal temperature.

If you feel a difference in performance, but still want to keep your laptop cool, consider trying any of the previous 8 steps first.

Laptop Cooling Methods To Avoid

There is some misinformation out there in regards to cooling down your laptop.

In theory, these may work, but at the cost of lowering your laptop's shelf life.

If you want to prolong your laptop's life for as long as you can, then avoid the following methods:

Cooling A Laptop With Ice Packs

You should never use ice packs to bring your laptop's temperature down.

The ice pack will condense and produce moisture.

Your laptop fan will blow the moisture into your laptop and it will get damaged.

Cooling A Laptop Without A Fan

If the fan that cools your laptop on the inside isn't functioning, you must get a replacement.

Never use your laptop without the fan inside your laptop. Also, you can't replace the internal fan with a cooling pad.

The processor always needs a fan to cool it directly.

Recommended Laptop Cooling Tools

TopMate Gaming Cooling Pad

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As stated in our article, cooling pads are an external device that can help cool down your laptop.

We recommend getting TopMate's Gaming Cooling Pad - even if you don't game.

The laptop cooler also acts as a laptop cooling stand and includes an adjustable ergonomic tilt to relieve neck and back pain.

And it includes 5 cooling fans - 1x big fan in the middle with 4x surrounding fans.

The fan speed is adjustable with different wind speed settings.

Better yet, the laptop cooler is compatible with more than just a laptop.

If you find your other electronic devices (like your router, or gaming console) get hot, you can chuck those on top of the laptop cooler too.

Simple and easy to use, straight out of the box, we would recommend getting this laptop cooler if you need additional cooling.

MECO High-Pressure Compressed Air Blower

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With the electricity-powered high-pressure compared air device you'll never need to open your Laptop.

The compressed air allows you to easily clean your laptop dust filters and get read of all the dirt in every nook and cranny.

It's perfectly suited for cleaning your whole gaming setup, or your laptop specifically.

A must-have for anyone who takes pride in being clean.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Keep My Laptop Cool While Gaming?

The best way to keep your laptop cool while playing games is to use cooling pads.

Most gamers need to keep their laptop plugged in while they play.

This is necessary to keep playing for long hours without interruptions.

Do Cooling Pads Help Gaming Laptops?

Another variant of this query is, ‘Do laptop cooling pads work?’ Short answer — Yes.

Several tests have been conducted to determine whether cooling pads do reduce the heat of laptops.

And the results are usually positive.

Cooling pads can help reduce CPU and GPU temperature by about 6°C.

Is It Okay For A Gaming Laptop To Get Hot?

Yes, Gaming laptops are very powerful so it's not strange for them to get hot.

That doesn't exempt the fact they should be maintained to work at the coolest temperature possible.

How Do I Keep My Laptop Cool Overall?

The best way to keep your laptop cool overall is to keep it free from dust periodically and change the thermal paste when it dries up.

You can go the extra mile by getting cooling pads to ensure your laptop is running at the lowest possible temperature.

Conclusion

By now you should have been able to significantly lower your laptop's temperature.

The list here is important because it takes into consideration external and internal factors that cause overheating in gaming laptops.

Some methods will take longer and more effort than others, but if you want to prolong the life of your laptop, then the effort will be well worth it.

We know the frustrations of having a laptop underperform to its fullest extent, and if you have exhausted all of the options here and didn't see any improvements...

Then it may be time for an upgrade.

We reviewed the best gaming laptops for under $1,500, so if you have exhausted all your options, we would recommend these laptops as an alternative.

If you come across any issues that you need help with, feel free to comment down below and let us know what your problem is!

Or if you were able to lower your laptop's internal temperature by using some of the tips in this guide, feel free to share our guide with others.

Since the age of 6, Lorenzo has enjoyed gaming on computers. Having grown up in the digital age, the technology revolves around him. He enjoyed growing up gaming throughout his high school years and is now a young adult who does most of his work on his computer. Lorenzo's mission is to make buying products and building PC's an easy and fun experience for all.
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