KNOWHOW guide to preventing your laptop from overheating

KNOWHOW guide to preventing your laptop from overheating

Some simple steps to prevent your laptop from overheating, and a guide to getting it running again if it does

If your laptop switches off for no reason, the likely cause is overheating. You should be able to tell if this is the case by touching the bottom of the machine. If it feels very hot, here are the steps to follow to get it running again. It should take you about thirty minutes. You'll need a Philips head screwdriver, a flat-head screwdriver and a soft brush.      

The first step to avoid overheating in the future is to ensure that the vents underneath the laptop are not blocked. You should keep it on a hard, flat surface or worktop. In spite of its name, it's never a good idea to use your laptop on your lap, or on the bed or sofa. If you want to use it like this, you can buy a laptop support or stand that provides a flat surface for it to rest on and allows air to circulate underneath it and keep it ventilated.

If your laptop has already overheated, you'll need to clean the fans inside.

Note: Opening your laptop voids the manufacturer's guarantee. Please do so at your own risk. If you have insurance or your laptop is still under warranty, please contact the manufacturer or return it to the shop you bought it from for further help.

The inside of your laptop can get very dusty, so it will need a clean from time to time. To clean your laptop, follow these steps:

1. Unfasten the screws and open the back of the laptop.

2. Be careful to avoid touching anything in the laptop other than the fans.

3. Using a cotton swab or small soft brush, gently wipe away any dust caught in the fans.

4. Once you're finished, place the cover back on and fasten the screws again.

Watching DVDs or having lots of programs open at once can consume more processing power –which can lead to overheating. If this is the case, you should change your laptop's power settings so it's not running on full performance. This can be done in Control Panel > Power Options.

Viruses and Spyware running in the background can also take up a hefty amount of power. To ensure your laptop is clean and not overheating for this reason, run a full anti-virus scan.

Leaving the problem can damage your laptop, which can include corrupting your hard drive. If your laptop is overheating, make sure you take the correct steps in fixing it or if you're unsure of what to do, contact the manufacturer for help.