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HP Notebook PCs - Reducing Heat Inside the Laptop to Prevent Overheating

This document is for HP Notebook PCs.
When temperatures inside the computer rise above 35º C (95º F), the risk of damage to important internal components increases.
You can help prevent overheating by making sure there is adequate ventilation around the computer, the fan vents are cleaned regularly, and the BIOS is up-to-date. For more information, go to Protecting and Caring for your HP Notebook PC.
You might experience the following issues when the computer overheats:
  • After pressing the buttonpower , the computer freezes on a black screen and Windows does not start, or Windows starts but does not respond.
  • Basic tasks or applications take more time to complete than usual.
  • Windows does not respond, suddenly restarts, or displays an error message while in use.
  • Games stop responding during play.
  • Fans inside the computer become louder as they start spinning faster to remove excess heat.
  • The mouse and keyboard stop responding.
There are many reasons your computer might overheat, but the most common reason is dust buildup on the fans which can trap heat. Reduce the heat inside the computer to prevent any damage to its internal components.

Step 1: Clean the vents and inspect the fans

Dust and debris can accumulate in and around the air vents over time, obstructing the airflow and causing the fans to work harder than normal to remove the heat.
note:
It is not necessary to open the notebook (laptop) to clean the vents.
  1. Turn off the computer, and then disconnect the power cord.
  2. Move any objects near the computer.
  3. Find the vents on your laptop. They are usually underneath and on the sides of the computer.
    note:
    Some HP laptops do not have vents. Skip to the next step if you cannot find any vents.
    Location of the vents on an HP Notebook PC
  4. Use canned air to remove the dust from the vents to improve airflow.
    Blowing the  bottom vent with compressed canned air
  5. Wait five to ten minutes to allow the computer to cool down.
  6. Reconnect the power cord, and then turn on the computer.
  7. Listen to the fans.
    • If the fans seem to be working correctly, place the laptop on a hard, level surface, such as a desk or table, and then continue to the next step.
        caution:
      Placing the computer on a cloth surface, such as your lap, a bed, or a couch cushion, can restrict or completely block the airflow. Prolonged air restriction causes overheating and potential damage.
    • If a fan is making a loud growling noise or not moving, there is an issue with a fan. Go to Fan is Noisy and Spins Constantly (Windows) for more information.
        caution:
      Do not continue to use the computer when a fan is not working correctly. Over time, exposure to consistently high temperatures can damage other important internal components.

Step 2: Increase the efficiency to reduce heat

The computer works harder and generates more heat when multiple applications are open at the same time or while playing graphically intense video games.
Use the following tips to improve computer efficiency:
  • Change which applications run when Windows starts by using the Startup tab in Task Manager.
  • Close applications when you are done using them.
  • Close the internet browser when you are not using it.
  • Lower the game resolution and decrease the graphics settings if the computer becomes warmer than usual while playing.
If the issue persists, continue to the next step.

Step 3: Make sure there is adequate ventilation

To decrease the likelihood of overheating problems, make sure the fans on your laptop are able to ventilate properly. Proper ventilation for the system is important for laptop operation.
Follow these guidelines to ensure adequate ventilation:
  • Keep the laptop upright and on a sturdy, level surface.
  • Provide at least 15.25 cm (6 in) of clearance around each vent.
  • If the computer is being used at high altitudes, above 1500 m (5000 ft), take extra care to keep the computer cool. When moving the computer to a higher altitude, the temperature inside the computer decreases by approximately 1º C ( 34º F) every 300 m (1000 ft) of altitude.

Step 4: Place the laptop in a cooler room

Move the computer to a cooler room in the house or office. A small difference in temperature might be all that is needed to prevent a component from failing.
If this is not an option or the issue persists, continue to the next step.

Step 5: Use HP software to manage internal temperature

On select HP computers, you can use HP software to help manage the temperature inside the computer. Read each section and determine if your computer has HP CoolSense or HP Command Center.
If your computer does not support either feature or the issue persists, continue to the next step.

Step 6: Change the system performance settings (HP Spectre only)

If your laptop is an HP Spectre 13 or x360, adjust the PC system performance to decrease power consumption, which can reduce strain on the fans and help decrease the internal temperature.
  1. In Windows, search for and open Control Panel.
  2. In the Control Panel search field, type cool control.
    • If HP Cool Control displays in the list, select it, and then click On in the pop-up menu. If the issue persists, continue to the next step.
      Click On in the HP Cool Control popup menu
    • If HP Cool Control does not display in the list, the application is not available on your laptop. Turn off the computer, and then continue with these steps.
  3. Turn the computer on, and then repeatedly press F10 to open the BIOS.
  4. On the BIOS menu, navigate to the System Configuration tab, and then select System Power Scheme.
    System configuration tab in BIOS with System Power Scheme selected
  5. Select Balance, and then press F10 to save and exit the BIOS.
    System Power Scheme with Balance selected
If the issue persists, continue to the next step.

Step 7: Update the BIOS

The computer BIOS might be out-of-date. Check for a BIOS update from HP.
  caution:
Make sure you install the BIOS update for your specific computer model. Installing the wrong update can result in losing all computer functionality.
  1. Go to HP Software and Drivers Downloads, and then navigate to the product page for your computer.
  2. Locate BIOS in the list.
    • If the BIOS option is not available, the BIOS is up-to-date.
    • If the BIOS option is available, click BIOS, and then click Download next to the update. Follow the on-screen prompts, and then restart the computer. For more information, go to Updating the BIOS (Basic Input Output System).
If the BIOS is up-to-date or the issue persists, continue to the next step.

Step 8: Test for hardware failures

Test the computer for any hardware failures, such as the memory, processor, or graphics hardware. Most HP laptop computers come with diagnostic software to confirm hardware failures. For more information, go to Testing for Hardware Failures .
If hardware has failed, either replace the bad component or continue to the next step.

Step 9: Contact HP Customer Support

If all preceding steps did not resolve the issue, contact HP Customer Support for warranty and service options.

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