Science and Tech


Should You Be Concerned If Your Computer Is Running Hot?

Extreme temperatures can damage almost any computer, but there are some steps you can take to make sure things are running the way they should.
Posted at 5:35 PM, Oct 29, 2015

Here's a question: Do I need to worry about how hot my computer is getting?

It's really not good for any electronic device to get extremely hot or extremely cold. So the short answer is maybe.

Normally any gadget will likely shut itself off if it gets overheated to avoid being damaged. 

If your machine isn't shutting itself off and still feels pretty hot, here are a few things you can check out: 

There are programs that will check a computer's temperature for all operating systems. Like SpeedFan on Windows or TG Pro on Mac. 

Now, depending on a range of factors — internal components, what programs you're running and more — computers' CPUs will risk overheating at different temperatures. If you want to know what's considered "too hot," check the manual.

Generally speaking, laptops tend to run hotter than desktops because the hardware is in a confined space. But these precautionary steps are true for either setup: 

Make sure your computer is ventilated. If your fan is blowing hot air straight onto your lap or the wall, that’s probably not good for the computer.

Use compressed air to blow out dust that's accumulated inside the computer. Or, if you feel comfortable, you can even open up the machine for a thorough cleaning. (Video via YouTube / Shannon Brooks)

Beyond just giving your machine a break to let it cool down, you might also try testing another charger to see if that's causing the meltdown. Because even a faulty charger can make things heat up.