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Gaming laptops are powerful machines that can play the latest games and still have enough hard drive space left over for your other apps. As you play, you will likely feel the heat from the vents. Find out why your gaming laptop runs so hot and what you can do to cool it down.

AdobeStock_145147798 Young gamer playing video game wearing headphone

Is it OK for a Gaming Laptop to Get Hot?

Gaming laptops generally run hotter than standard laptops. Laptops have built-in fans that keep the temperature low and reduce the risk of overheating.

Also, laptop cases are around the same size and don’t have much room for extra fans. A gaming laptop will usually have the same number of fans as a normal laptop does.

As it does more work, it gets hotter, but the fans cannot keep up. It causes the heat to come through the vents. Your GPU can keep up with high temperatures without causing any serious damage to the components.

What Happens if My Gaming Laptop Overheats?

You might wonder what to do when your laptop overheats. It’s valid because you want to protect your investment.

Both Sony and Dell recalled laptops in the past because of issues. While Dell had an issue of their laptop batteries exploding, Sony’s was a potential fire hazard.

When your gaming laptop overheats, it can get hot enough to fry the internal components. Not only will you lose progress in all of your games, but you’ll also lose any files saved on your hard drive.

Some laptops also become a fire hazard, like the Sony models. When it gets too hot, the laptop can burn your skin and any surface you set it on, causing a fire to break out.

Is 80 or 90 Degrees Celsius Hot for a Gaming Laptop?

Keeping an eye on the temperature is the best way to know when to shut off your laptop. Though temperatures in the 80 to 90  range seem high, they are usually safe.

You only need to worry when the temperature hits 90° degrees or higher. Most gamers want laptops that run at 80 to 85℃. Even if your laptop reaches 90°, you can cool it down.

Most gaming models can run at this temperature for a short period without damage. If the laptop reaches 95 to 100° and remains there, you need to shut it down.

Signs of an Overheating Gaming Laptop

Taking action at the first sign of an overheating gaming laptop is the best way to protect it and ensure that you don’t damage it any further. One of the common signs is that the fans run more often than they normally do.

This lets you know that the laptop needs to cool itself down because the temperature keeps rising. You’ll also find that quite a lot of hot air comes out of the vents and that the keyboard or other parts feel hot to the touch.

Some of the other signs that indicate an overheating laptop include:

  • You hear the sounds of your fans running, even if you don’t feel any hot air coming out.
  • The laptop has a hard time performing functions or opening apps and programs.
  • When you try to use your gaming computer, it keeps freezing, especially in the middle of playing a game.
  • The computer shuts itself down because it runs too hot to perform as it should.
  • You notice that the laptop runs hotter than it usually does when you do certain things.

When the graphics card gets too hot, it has a hard time keeping up with your game. Even if you stopped playing, you might see some lines across your screen because of the affected card.

If your laptop overheats constantly, it can interrupt other functions to reduce the temperature. In most cases, you’ll lose your internet connection. Keep an eye out for a laptop that runs slow or has problems using certain apps or loading games.

How Come My Gaming Laptop is So Hot? (5 Reasons)

Gamers often want to know why their laptops run so hot and what to do about the high temperatures. The biggest reason is that the laptop has a lot of specialized parts that produce heat. Go over all the reasons why your gaming laptop runs hot before looking at some possible solutions for the problem.

1. Debris Accumulation

A common reason why a gaming laptop runs slow is debris accumulation. The chances are that you never open your case and clean the inside. Anything in your home that touches your skin can get inside your vents and build up on the fans.

Dust is one of the more common types of debris. Though it sounds disgusting, laptop fans can also have accumulation caused by dead skin cells and hair. Their hair and dander can also get inside your laptop if you have pets. That buildup will keep the fans from moving and running as they should.

2. Broken or Damaged Fans

Some cheaper laptops have just a single fan, which isn’t efficient enough to keep them cool. If you use an older or cheaper laptop for gaming, you can expect problems as the fan can’t keep up with the heat it produces as you play.

Most of the laptops designed for gaming have a minimum of two fans, and some models have even more. Those fans come on automatically as the temperature rises to keep the laptop cool and prevent it from overheating.

Any damage to those fans will affect your computer. A random piece of metal like a paperclip, might fall into one of your vents and stick to the fan. You might spill a drink near the laptop and find that some liquid damages the fan, too.

3. Thermal Throttling

Thermal throttling occurs when your laptop needs to use too many resources at the same time. Your laptop essentially tries to slow things down as a way to save some of those resources and keep itself from overheating.

If you recently downloaded a new game and found your laptop running hot, it’s likely because of the amount of power and resources the game needs. Your laptop may slow down the game and other apps to keep up with the game’s overall demands.

4. Background Apps

If you use your gaming laptop for more than just gaming, your background apps may relate to your temperature problems. Your computer only has a finite amount of resources it can use at any given time.

Many systems have apps running in the background that usually do not cause any problems but can cause the temperature to rise when they run simultaneously. You may also have one or more apps that begin running and using resources as soon as you turn on your laptop.

5. Malware

One danger of downloading games from the web is that some contain malware. They come in different forms and wreak havoc to your computer:

  • Spyware gives another user remote access to your computer. They can then look through all of your files and folders.
  • Adware is less dangerous but often causes ads to appear when you try to do anything with your laptop.
  • Ransomware allows another person to take control of the entire system.

Many malware can slow down your gaming laptop and cause it to overheat as you play.

AdobeStock_316363230 Close up woman hands using laptop computer are working or play game with red light LED backlit keyboard.

What Are Some Solutions to an Overheating Gaming Laptop? (12 Fixes)

Is there anything worse than sitting down to play your favorite game and finding your laptop so hot you can’t even sit it on your lap? Once you look at all the reasons gaming laptops get so hot and can overheat, look at the top solutions to keep this from happening.

1. Use it on a Flat Surface

Many people use laptops on their laps without thinking about what this does to the computer. Many gaming models have vents on both the sides and the bottom.

When you use one on your lap, you block some vents and restrict airflow. You should always use the laptop on a flat surface such as your kitchen table or a desk in your bedroom.

If you want to use the laptop in bed or on the couch, place a thick book beneath it to lift it off your lap.

2. Get Rid of Dust and Other Accumulation

As explained above, debris accumulation on your fans will keep them from running and cause your computer to get hot. Removing that dust can help.

Use cotton swabs to carefully remove as much dust from the edges of the fan as possible. If you have the right tools, open the case and check each fan.

Never attempt to clean a gaming laptop on your own unless you have experience. Check with a PC repair shop in your area. They can usually open the laptop and clean the fans within a few hours. Compressed air can also help you remove some of that buildup.

3. Adjust the Laptop

When your gaming laptop gets too hot, pause the action and look at your vents. Simply removing the dust and buildup you see isn’t enough to fix your overheating problems because there is a good chance that you blocked one or more of those vents.

If you use your computer on a desk or table, look for nearby objects that can block the airflow, such as a stack of books or some knick-knacks. When you use the laptop on your lap, look for ways to adjust the position to keep the vents free.

4. Replace Broken Cables

Though not as common as some other issues, broken or damaged cables can cause your computer to run too hot. This is especially true of your charging cable. Check for any signs of wear and tear.

You can also touch the cables and see if they are hot, which tells you that they affect the laptop’s temperature. Contact the laptop manufacturer to order a new cable or buy one online. Do not use a third-party charger or adapter, as there is no guarantee that they are safe to use with your laptop. Those adapters and cables can affect the internal temperature, too.

5. Update the BIOS

Every laptop has a BIOS that keeps it running properly. One of its primary functions is to monitor your computer for temperature changes and take steps to keep it from overheating.

Update your BIOS regularly and check for any new updates. Those updates can tell BIOS to shut down apps that use your resources and make your fans come on faster when the temperature rises. You can also customize your settings to better protect your laptop.

6. Turn Off Apps

As mentioned, your gaming laptop can run hot because you have too many background apps running simultaneously. Turning off those apps can help drop the temperature immediately and keep it low.

Open your Task Manager or go into your Settings. Click Startup to view all the apps that automatically start when you turn on your computer. Each app will have a slider button to the right that shows whether it is on or off. Slide the button to the left on each app to keep them from turning on automatically.

7. Close Active Tabs and Windows

Modern web browsers allow you to open multiple tabs or windows. Then, you can go back and forth between multiple tabs easily. When you play games after using the web and find that your laptop is hot, check if you have any open tabs or windows.

If you don’t want to lose them, bookmark those pages before you close them. This will free up some of the resources that your game needs.

8. Use a Cooling Pad or Mat

Cooling pads and mats give you an easy way to cool down your laptop. The mat sits under your laptop and pulls some of the heat it produces away from it.

Some adjustable legs allow you to use the computer in the best position. Make sure you look at your laptop’s model number and compare it to the product description.

Cooling mats come in different sizes and designs that work with various models and brands. If you buy one that doesn’t fit your laptop, it can do more harm.

9. Install Anti-Virus Software

Though many people know about the dangers of malware, they don’t take the time to protect their computers. You don’t need to spend much on a new anti-virus software package. There are tons of free tools and programs that work just as well.

Scan your gaming laptop at least once a week with this software. A full scan searches every folder and file on your system to find any malware.

It quarantines the malware and tells you how to safely remove it. If your laptop runs hot and you notice other problems, scan your system to see if malware is the cause.

10. Cool Down the Room

Have you ever used a gaming laptop on a hot day and found that it ran even hotter than usual? The room’s temperature plays a key role in your laptop’s temperature.

When the room gets too hot, the laptop and its fans must work harder to stay cool. You can try a few remedies to cool down the room and your computer, such as moving a fan closer to your desk or opening a window.

Consider turning the computer off for a few minutes and letting it cool down while you adjust the angle of your AC or any fans in the room before you try to use it again.

11. Add Thermal Paste

All types of computers use thermal paste, but the paste that comes already installed will not last for the entire life of your laptop.

Gaming laptops run hot enough to melt or wear through the paste. You should replace or add more thermal paste if you have an older laptop.

It can also help with a newer laptop you use for gaming. A repair tech can handle the job for you if you don’t feel comfortable handling it yourself.

12. Shut Down Your Computer

While this isn’t a permanent solution to your problem, shutting down your laptop can help. As soon as you feel it running hot, save any open apps or programs and shut them down.

You should also turn off your game. Use the Start menu to turn off or shut down your laptop. Once you close it, move the computer to a place away from heat and hazards. Let the laptop sit for 30 minutes to an hour or until it no longer feels hot to the touch.


While gaming laptops tend to run hot, you must ensure that yours stays below 90 degrees Celsius to extend its life. Make sure that you know some of the reasons your computer runs so hot and how you can cool it down fast. These tips can make your gaming laptop last for thousands of hours of gameplay.