How to improve laptop cooling

Written by annengo
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How to improve laptop cooling
Taking care of your laptop can extend its life. (taking a break image by Keith Frith from

Laptops are portable and very convenient to use whereever you may be. But compacting hard drives, CPU and other electronic components to work together in such a small and cramped area makes it easier for excessive heat to build up. Though getting rid of the heat is impossible, there are numerous ways you can help with the dispersal of the heat, which may ultimately lengthen the life of the battery and the laptop itself.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Can of compressed air
  • Cotton swabs

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  1. 1

    Click "Start," then "Control Panel." Select "Hardware and Sounds," then "Power Options."

  2. 2

    Select either the "Balanced" or the "Power Saver" plan.

  3. 3

    Click on "Power Setting" next to your desired plan and adjust the settings--in particular, lowering the brightness settings. According to Intel, laptop monitors use more energy than the rest of the electronic components inside laptops.

  1. 1

    Turn off the laptop and disconnect the AC adaptor cord.

  2. 2

    Wait about an hour for all interior components to cool down before you start cleaning.

  3. 3

    Locate the laptop's fan and air vent. According to HP technicians, you can confirm the fan's location by looking for copper or black fins inside the vents.

  4. 4

    Use a can of compressed air and spray in quick and short bursts of air inside the vent.

  5. 5

    Using cotton swabs, clean out any dust or dirt you may see surrounding the area of the vents.

Tips and warnings

  • Use the laptop on a desk or something solid; avoid soft surfaces such as beds, which can block the air vents.
  • If the air vent lies on the bottom of the laptop, find a way to elevate the machine. You can create and improvise a ramp station for your laptop, so there's room for the heat to escape. For instance, bottle caps or such books would work in this situation.
  • Dust will accumulate on or in the area of your fan, which may trap heat or make it hard for the heat to be released out of your laptop's system. Clean the fan regularly.
  • Consider investing in a laptop cooling pad that has fans to help disperse heat. Laptop cooling pads run on batteries or draw power through the laptop's USB port.
  • Another way to clean out a laptop's ventilation system is by opening the panels. However, taking your laptop apart is risky and may void its warranty.

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