Why Does My Laptop Get so Hot?


Quick Answer

A laptop gets hot when airflow is restricted, the fan is dirty or intense processes are running. When intense processes are running, the CPU has to work extra hard, creating excess heat that the laptop has to try to remove.

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Full Answer

The most common cause of laptops getting hot is restricted airflow. All laptops have air intake ports, usually located on their bottoms. This is where the laptop brings in fresh air to blow across the CPU to keep it cool. Once the air comes into contact with the hot CPU, it heats up and is blown out of laptop by the fan. This is why the air coming out the side of a laptop feels warm. If the intake port is blocked, the laptop is unable to bring in fresh air, reducing its ability to cool itself. The best way to prevent this is to lift the laptop off the ground using a lap pad.

A broken fan could also cause a laptop to get hot or to overheat. When a computer starts to feel hot, the user should put his hand next to the computer's fan vent. If there is hot air being blown out, this means that the fan is working. However, if no air can be felt, or it's only blowing slightly, there is a chance that the fan is either broken or clogged.

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