CPU Overheating: A Guide to Figure Out the Temperature Rise

CPU overheating is caused by an increase in temperatures that can occur due to a plethora of reasons. This article will put all those reasons in front of you so that you can figure out the one that is important in your case.

CPU Overheating

For your ease, there will be potential solutions discussed here as well that you can follow to fix your overheating problem.

Continue reading to know more about the problem that is bothering you. 

Why Is Your CPU Overheating?

Your CPU is overheating as a result of certain reasons:

  • Demanding applications running.
  • Multiple browser tabs open on your system.
  • The system is getting overclocked.
  • Various sorts of failure with the fans and blockage in the air vents. 
  • Viruses and other forms of malware.
  • Outdated software running.

– Demanding Applications Running on Your System

Demanding applications require high CPU-intensive processing and can raise the temperatures massively. Even though systems often become hotter as they age, new ones can get overheated as well, with their processors getting overwhelmed by memory-intensive tasks.

Such applications can include video editing programs, games, and certain antivirus software that can heat a CPU during its usage. In this way, they exhaust the capacity and push the performance of the CPU to extreme limits.

– Multiple Browser Tabs and Programs Open on Your System

Multitasking can also cause overheating as it involves multiple open browser tabs and programs. Their active processing, along with unused programs as well can increase the temperatures. They consume disk space and increase background processes that cause overheating in the system.

Multiple Browser Tabs and Programs

The resources of your CPU are especially drained due to a lot of browser tabs open.

– Overclocked System

The cooling mechanism installed in a system can often get overwhelmed by its overclocked hardware. Overheating is majorly caused by the inability of that mechanism to effectively ventilate the heat generated by the processing of system components. In this way, overclocking can increase the temperatures as it also involves pushing the performance to its limits. The operating voltage of a system has to be increased so that the stability of its components can be maintained.

Like a chain reaction, the more power is consumed by the CPU, the more its temperatures are raised. This often causes many system manufacturers to dissolve their warranties if the corresponding systems are overclocked. Constant overclocking of the system is bound to permanently increase the temperatures to dangerous levels.

– Failures of Fans in the CPU

There can be certain hardware problems with the fans of the CPU as well that can result in overheating. Such problems can negatively affect their proper functioning in regulating the heat generated by the system. Due to their mechanical structure, their motion may be either static or highly irregular. The fan speed can further cause an unusual and constant loud noise that signifies complications in their structure.

– Blockage in the Air Vents

Any sort of blockage or obstruction in the air vents can also result in the accumulation of heat within a CPU as it cannot be dissipated properly. This can increase the temperatures even with a steady and cool circulation of fresh air from the fans. 

The blockage can build up in the air vents of a CPU if the side panels or additional parts of its casing have been removed for some time. This changes the pressure and degrades the maintenance of normal airflow within a CPU. As a result, the amounts of fluff, dust, and even junk can increase, that only add to the blockage in the air vents.

– Viruses, Malware and Outdated Software

If your CPU is overheating due to no apparent reason, there may be certain viruses or any other forms of malware present in your system. They can easily run in the background without you noticing and consume intensive processing. In this way, they can massively engage the resources of your CPU and increase its temperatures to the point of overheating.

In addition, there is certain outdated software of the operating systems as well that are full of bugs and with an outsized energy impact. It means that the optimization of those operating systems is insufficient for the intensive processing required by demanding applications and programs. As a result, outdated software cannot ensure their smooth run, although it does unnecessarily cause overheating in the CPU.

How To Fix CPU’s Overheating Problem?

The problem of an overheating CPU can be fixed with if followed the following:

  • Deleting demanding applications.
  • Closing less important browser tabs.
  • Reducing the overclocking sessions.
  • Upgrading a liquid cooling system. 
  • Using a coated heat sink.
  • Manually cleaning potential blockage in the air vents. 
  • Installing antivirus software and other tools.
  • Updating the operating system.

– Deleting Certain Demanding Applications on Your System

You can check the Task Manager on your system to find out about those applications that require high processing and overload your system. These applications utilize most of the resources of your CPU, therefore you must decide to permanently delete some of them that aren’t used frequently or aren’t important enough. However, this is not ideal in some cases, like antivirus software which is an important component of any system, and deleting it may cause more harm than good. 

Deleting Certain Demanding Applications

Still, there are some less intensive alternatives as well that are just as much efficient. In this way, you can manage to reduce the load on your CPU so that any of the intensive programs run smoothly without the usage of others. This eliminates the possibility of any strain on your system and simultaneously solves the problem of motherboard overheating.

– Closing Less Important Open Browser Tabs

The active processing must be minimized, and the unused programs must be completely shut down to keep the system temperature level within the normal range. Whereas unimportant applications and programs that uselessly run overloading your computer can be uninstalled and removed to free up disk space

In addition, browser tabs can also be closed that are not used actively but are still open. You can bookmark those tabs that may be needed again later and even use certain built-in tools of some browsers. These tools are used for the identification of those tabs that are involved in high consumption of memory and power so that they can be closed.

– Reducing Overclocking Sessions and Liquid Cooling System

The CPU temperature must always be monitored in cases of overclocking so that the system components are not affected or damaged forever as a result of overheating. You should avoid overclocking sessions if the temperatures are high before you start. In the case of necessary overclocking, you can take certain actions to make it safer, like maintaining a constant voltage. 

Taking this to the next level, you can make a one-time investment by upgrading to a high-quality fan or a better cooling system. Although it may seem like an additional expanse, it will prevent you from investing in buying a new device. 

Liquid cooling systems are one of the ideal ones as they comprise water-filled tubes. These tubes run through the entire system, and the water in them absorbs the heat generated by its components. The tubes come in kits, therefore their installation must be conducted by a professional. In this way, you can prevent CPU overheating issues from an overclocked system.

– Checking Fans and Upgrading to Heat Sinks

You can check if the fans in your CPU are working correctly for the maintenance of its temperatures. Their whirring into motion can be first heard when the system is turned on. The vibration of fans can also be felt by placing a hand next to them on the grill of the CPU. You can also point a flashlight toward the fans and look for their movement through that grill to confirm that they are running.

Checking Fans and Upgrading to Heat Sinks

In the case of constant loud noise, you may want to replace those fans with heat sinks. This upgrade can ensure that excess heat is soaked up to prevent its buildup in the CPU. Moreover, an external cooler can also be placed beside the system so that the CPU temperatures undergo regulation from an external source as well. In this way, they can be managed with a normal outflow of heat that is an inevitable product of processing for a system.

– Usage of a Heat Sink

A heat sink is an additional component that can be used, instead of fans, for the regulation of temperature around other components of a CPU. It has to be properly attached to the CPU with a new thermal paste to ensure that the temperatures do not rise and result in overheating. Placement of the heat sink in an incorrect place and the application of an inaccurate amount of paste is possible if you have a self-built PC. 

It can also happen if the paste has been changed before, although its reapplication is not that difficult. However, skill and knowledge are important prerequisites for its proper application that avoids spills in all spaces. As a result, it is recommended that this process be conducted by a professional if you are not familiar with the internal structure of a system. You may cause more harm and damage your system forever without a chance to recover it if you don’t know what you are doing.  

– Application of Thermal Paste

As an intensively conductive material, it is applied as a coat on the internal components of the system. Its application enables an efficient dissipation of heat and prevents a rise in temperatures within a CPU, allowing it to work more efficiently. It is accompanied by a removal kit that removes all the old compounds on the surface before its application to facilitate the cooling system. The usage of silicon-based types of paste is preferred over the liquid-based types to prevent short-circuiting if it is spilled.

Before the application, you should ensure the removal of every cable to unplug the PC with the inclusion of the connectivity cables as well as the power cord. The side panels of the CPU casing have to be removed in this process as well so that its cooling fans can be located. After this, the fans have to be carefully unscrewed with the motherboard cables disconnected. Then, you can completely clean the old paste with the usage of a microfiber cloth that is dampened by rubbing alcohol on it.

Step by Step Procedure to Reapply Thermal Paste

First, you have to very gently reapply the paste on the heat sink such that its entire surface is covered without any spillage on the screws. Be very cautious not to spill the whole paste and damage your system.

You merely have to place drops and leave them, or they can even be gently spread across the surface, although that is not mandatory. After this, you can set the heat sink back into the CPU and leave it there so that the drops of the paste are dried completely. With this, you can continue to put all the screws back so that the cables are connected.

– Clearing the Blockage in the Air Vents

You can prevent the buildup of blockage for your PC by placing it on a hard and flat surface and protecting it on every side. The method of prevention is the same for laptops with their internal components tightly placed together. Their maintenance of airflow is difficult as their vents are placed on the very bottom side. The placement of laptops directly above sofas or blankets is bound to prevent proper airflow. 

Laptops should be placed above a hard and flat surface without certain protective cases for smooth ventilation and efficient usage. It is also recommended that they should not be exposed to direct sunlight, and their usage should be avoided in a hot environment. A cooling pad can be involved to blow cool air in an upward direction for laptops if their usage is not possible in air-conditioned and shaded areas. You can manually clean your PC to prevent the accumulation of dust and dirt in its air vents.

– Manually Cleaning a PC

By manually cleaning your PC, you can ensure that its air vents do not get clogged and prevent the reduction of airflow and, in turn, ram overheating. First of all, have everything that you will need under your hand. You will need a lot of cotton swabs along with a can of compressed air that will be involved in cleaning the internal components of the system.

Your PC has to be turned off with all of its cables and cords unplugged from the power supply. It should be placed in a flat and clean space with sufficient light so that the smallest components of the system are also visible.

Manually Cleaning a PC

The casing of your CPU has to be carefully removed for all of its components to be within touching distance from you. After that, you can use the can of compressed air to remove any sort of debris or dirt from those components, especially ducts and fans.

The cotton swabs should be saved for certain tight spaces within the CPU in which different blockages remain even after the usage of the can. The swabs must be gently rubbed against the surface of those tight spaces to clean the remaining blockages. 

– Antiviruses, Updating System Software and Operating System

The impact of viruses can be prevented with the installation of an effective antivirus that has the potential to remove any kind of infection. Such antivirus software can detect the hidden infected files and delete them before they intensively overheat the CPU. In addition, there are tools available that are solely responsible for the detection and removal of malware. Such tools can identify any malicious software in the system and then remove them.

Every software in the system must be updated with its latest edition as it ensures full optimization and efficient functioning. The operating system should also be updated with the latest drivers as this solves issues related to security and performance as well as prevent overheating. Keep in mind that these new updates enable a fast and smooth performance of your system by fixing potential inefficiencies and bugs. In addition, you can also install a driver updater tool that is dedicated to conducting an automatic scan and fix of outdated software.


This article analyzed the reasons for CPU overheating and the steps that can be taken to solve it.

Here are the important takeaway points from you:

  • Demanding applications require high processing from the CPU and intensively consume its memory which simultaneously raises the temperatures.
  • The cooling mechanism of a system normally contains fans and air vents that can undergo mechanical failures and face blockage, respectively to cause overheating.
  • Unimportant demanding applications can be deleted to free up memory and reduce the processing drain on the CPU.
  • Fans can be replaced with heat sinks coated with thermal paste, and the blockage in air vents can be cleared by blowing compressed air.

These reasons and solutions for CPU overheating are always here for you to figure out what to do when you face it.

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