You might have noticed that your laptop overheating when playing games. If so, it is very likely then that you have an overheating problem.

In this article, I will explain to you why does my laptop overheating when playing games and easy ways to fix it all by yourself. These instructions will help you establish the exact cause of your overheating problem before spending plenty of cash at a repair shop.

Laptop Overheating When Playing Games

Gaming laptops really are something. They are (relatively) light-weight, portable, and pack a desktop’s worth of graphics processing power in a very compact, easy to handle frame. However, unfortunately, this very compactness is also their greatest weakness.

Even regular laptops will generate and trap copious amounts of heat. Place a powerful GPU inside it, and the situation gets abundant, much worse. After all, there is only such a lot that hardware manufacturers will physically do to keep such a cramped space cool.

However, do you keep your laptop overheating when playing games? luckily, there are a variety of things you will do to ensure that the cooling system they put in place is functioning properly, and you can even provide it an extra nudge as well!

Step 1: Proper Placement

Preferably, a laptop should be placed on a flat, solid surface once in use especially when it is under heavy load.

laptop overheating when playing games

When placed on a soft surface like a bed or your lap, some or all of the fan intake grilles on the underside are obstructed. Therefore blocking airflow and preventing the cooling system from functioning properly. Conversely, when placed on a hard surface, a laptop’s rubber feet elevate it slightly thus as to allow the fans to pull in a enough amount of cool air.

If there’s no convenient solid surface to place the laptop on, you can do one of the following:

  • Keep it on your lap while not blocking the fan intakes
  • Elevate it by using a book, a box or any similar solid object as a stand

Step 2: Cleaning

Seeing as air is constantly circulating through a laptop, an eventual dust build-up is inevitable. There is no way to stop this and the best you can do is clean your laptop regularly, preferably every three to six months.

  • Now, cleaning a laptop is quite easy, and here is the way to go about it:
  • Buy a can of compressed air. This is the only tool that you’ll have to clean your laptop without opening it.
  • Make sure that the laptop is not powered and completely cooled off before starting.
  • Hold the laptop on its side thus as to expose the intake fan grilles on the bottom.
  • Bring the can near the grille and spray. IMPORTANT: always ensure that the will is in an upright position, lest the
  • Liquid air may escape and damage the hardware.
  • Move and tilt the laptop around to clean out the intake totally from every angle. Continue doing this until you can not notice any dust coming out.
  • Repeat the above for every separate grille.

Step 3: Additional Cooling

Apart from merely taking measures to make sure that your laptop’s own internal cooling system is functioning properly. Did you recognize that you simply can also get a laptop cooler, or cooling pad, as they are sometimes referred to?


laptop overheating when playing games

This is a rather easy and relatively cheap accessory that can greatly help with any overheating issues you might be facing. As a matter of reality, it is almost indispensable in the case of gaming laptops.

The method that cooling pads functions are simple: you place them on a surface, then place your laptop on top of them, plug them into one in all the laptop’s USB ports, and let the fan(s) do their work. Ultimately, you will see considerably lower temperatures during long gaming sessions due to the increased airflow.

Additional Measures

If you have done all of the above yet your laptop overheating when playing games, then there is likely an underlying hardware or software issue that must be addressed.

Insufficiently Powerful Hardware

True, a dedicated GPU inevitably generates a fair amount of heat. However, if we are talking a few low-end GPU that is being pushed hard by modern games, then the temperatures may get out of control. The same goes for CPUs with integrated graphics chips (nearly each Intel CPU) or one of AMD’s A-series APUs.

laptop overheating when playing games

So, if you are seeing noticeable performance drops that accompany the heat increase, then meaning your graphics processor is reaching critical temperatures. In turn, this means that you just need to improve the cooling through either cleaning it or obtaining a cooling pad, preferably both.

If that does not help, there are two things that you just can do:

  1. Lower the in-game settings. Obviously, this can make the GPU work less hard and, of course, generate less heat. It is best to start with GPU-heavy features like ambient occlusion or anti-aliasing. Though lowering the display resolution is a surefire way to help a dated or underpowered GPU keep up with the times.
  2. Get an external GPU. These are a superb way to get desktop-level graphics in a laptop, all the whereas greatly reducing its internal heat generation.

Faulty Fans

Most modern laptops (especially those designed for gaming) have multiple internal fans that help keep the multiple components cool. If just one of those fans were to malfunction, the laptop’s cooling system would be inhibited significantly.

laptop overheating when playing games

The best way to check this without actually opening the laptop is just to use your ears. Simply put the system under heavy load so all the fans are spinning at high speeds and listen closely to every of the intake grilles. There are two giveaways to keep an eye or rather, ear out for:

  1. Rattling: A faulty fan is likely to provide various rattling, grinding, or heaving noises long before it breaks down fully. If your fan is making any noise that is not the usual steady humming of a spinning fan. There is an opportunity that it is not operating at peak capacity.
  2. Silence: obviously, no fan will be sitting idle whereas a laptop is overheating. If you notice that a fan is generating no noise and while the laptop is under heavy load. Then it is almost definitely broken and will get replaced.

Now, tinkering with a laptop is not as easy because it is with a desktop computer. It is best to have your laptop repaired by an authorized professional instead of attempting to do something yourself. As a matter of fact, never open your laptop if it is still coated by a warranty since doing this will definitely void the said warranty.


And there you have got it, all the important things to keep in mind if you would like to keep your laptop properly cooled while gaming. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below and that we will do our best to answer as quickly as possible.

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