Troubleshoot A Laptop That Overheats When Playing Games

The compact design of a laptop is good for mobility, but bad for ventilation.

Overheating is a common problem with laptops. The compact nature of their design causes problems with ventilation and limits the power and size of the CPU fan that is used to cool them. The more a computer’s resources are taxed, the more likely overheating will be an issue. Many computer games put a lot of stress on the CPU and cause it to heat up. This doesn’t necessarily mean you will never be able to play games on your laptop, but you will need to take steps to ensure that your laptop can remain cool.


1. Read the computer game’s system requirements. This information is usually on the packaging the game came in, and can also be found on the developer’s website.

2. If your laptop meets the system requirements easily, then the problem is likely due to poor ventilation, the area you’re playing in, or running too many programs at once. If your computer doesn’t meet, or is on the low end of the system requirements, the game is stressing your CPU more than it can handle. The former can be alleviated pretty easily, while the latter may require a hardware upgrade.

3. Clear out dust from the laptop’s vents by using a can of compressed air to blow air through the openings.

4. Place your laptop on a flat, clear surface when playing. A large enough dinner tray or table should suffice. Avoid areas that are in direct sunlight, or soft surfaces such as a mattress.

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5. Play in a cooler room, or run the air conditioning while you’re playing video games so that the air surrounding the laptop is cool.