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How to Keep Your Laptop From Overheating

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It’s no fun having your computer burst into flames on your lap.

My room growing up didn’t have the best ventilation. This became more of a problem as I got bigger and better computers, because the longer I left them on, the higher the room’s ambient temperature got. Once, when I was playing a game too strenuous for my computer, it got so hot that it crashed. To make sure you don’t do any boneheaded things like that, here’s a few tips to keep your laptop operating at an optimal temperature.

First and foremost, keep those vents open. Laptops usually have vents on their backs and bottoms, and they need to stay clear to vent out hot air. This means no setting the laptop down on a soft surface like a pillow or blanket. Soft stuff will conform to the laptop’s shape and cover the vents.

Secondly, don’t leave your laptop on if you’re not using it. I know it’s tempting to leave it on or in sleep mode overnight so you can get right back to what you were doing, but constantly being on is going to wear on it. Shut it down all the way every night, and if you’re going to be away from your desk during the day, shut down then, or at least put it in hibernate. Also, make sure nothing is between the screen and keyboard when the laptop is closed. If it doesn’t close all the way, it might flit between turning on and off, which’ll really generate a lot of heat.

Finally, keep your laptop clean. If it’s sitting in one place for a long time, then obviously it’s going to accumulate some dust on and inside itself. If dust clumps together and makes dust bunnies, they can gum up the laptop’s vents and fans. Wipe your keyboard and screen with a microfiber cloth and use a compressed air can to clean out the vents on a regular basis. You’ll be glad you did when your laptop doesn’t burst into flames in three years.