[Troubleshooting] Laptop Heats Up and Hangs Frequently

by Rohit Khurana on April 13, 2013


Computers, especially laptops with sleek form factor have a tendency to dissipate some heat which is directly proportional to the amount of computation being done by them. So under more CPU or GPU load, the computers tend to heat up more than usual. One of our readers asked us:

I have an HP Pavilion DV4 Series Notebook which is about 3 years old. Lately I have been having this issue (heating) whenever I play videos/movies on YouTube or on the VLC player or when I am just browsing.

In this article, I will share some of the common reasons behind such behavior and how to fix it.

Heating Of Laptop or Desktop Computer Because Of High CPU / GPU Usage

Computers dissipate more heat when they do more computation and use more computing power. It also applied to the GPU or graphic cards. At most of the times, such heating happens because of actual use of heavy applications which is normal, but sometimes it may happen because of bad software settings or CPU hogging by some bad software. So if you are not running any heavy application, say you are just working on an MS word document and have just a few small things but the CPU usage is high and laptop heats up too much, then there maybe some application running without your knowledge which maybe using too much CPU/GPU.

Follow the below steps to locate such CPU hogging software:

Step 1: Open task manager by press ALT+CTRL+DEL button or SHIFT+CTRL+ESC button.

Step 2: On task manager click on “Show processes from all users” option.

Laptop heating problem (2)

Step 3: Go to View > Select Columns and Select Description and click OK.

Laptop heating problem (5)



Laptop heating problem (6)

Step 4: Now Click on the CPU column on task manager to check which process is using maximum CPU. If it is System idle process, then its ok. If it is some other process which you are running, which you can check by looking at description, even then its ok. If the top CPU using process or software is something like a printer driver or any other device driver or service which you are not using at the moment, then it means that  that application or software is somewhere stuck and is hogging your CPU. Right click on it and select the option to end process for any such suspicious process. After your stop such process, you will realize that the laptop will start to cool down within a minute or two.

Laptop heating problem (1)

Hanging or Heating Of Laptop or Computer Because Of Dust

As computers get old, they tend to accumulate more and more dust on the cooling vents, fans and inside of the computer. It is advisable to keep the laptop / computer in a good air-flow in such a way that heat can go out easily. For old laptops, it is recommended to get it serviced by an authorized technician or repair person who can open it up and clean up the AC vents and fans for dust accumulation. Doing this will help solve the problem to a large extent. Also read- Does your Computer hang frequently? Fix it in two easy steps

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