How To Prevent Your Laptop From Overheating [Windows 7]

A few months back, I bought a new Core i3 laptop, hoping to run more resource intensive applications and games with better performance. While most of the applications seem to run without any issues, I have been dealing with a few thermal heating issues while playing games or running encoding tasks. For some odd reason, even reducing the affinity of the application or the game, does not eliminate the heating problem. I even bought a cooling pad, and tried switching to lower graphic options, but that, too, has resulted in minimum heat reduction. After going through many methods of reducing system heat up, it appears that there is only one true method that may be more effective than others (courtesy of our former editor, Ghaus Iftikhar), i.e., to reduce the maximum processor state from the laptop’s power settings. In this post, we will tell you how to prevent your system from heating up by adjusting the power options for your processor state.

This tip might come in handy not just for gamers and people who wish to run resource intensive application in the wake of overheating laptops, but also if, for some reason, you are unable to return a laptop with a heating issues (perhaps due to warranty constraints), or are dealing with an old laptop, which won’t take the brunt any more.

Before explaining the method of reducing the maximum processor state, let us take a look at the logic behind reducing the maximum processor state to prevent overheating of your laptop. Reducing the maximum processor state for your laptop (both when it is on battery or when the power cable is plugged in), reduces the processor’s performance a notch (depending on your settings) and prevents it from being used at optimum potential by an application or game, which will reduce thermal heating. For example, if you are playing a game that is consuming 100% of your processor’s capacity, then it may also result in heating up your system, whereas reducing the battery power state to, say 80%, can resolve this problem, and also result in battery power conservation.

To change these settings, go to Power Options from the Control Panel or the system tray menu.

Power options

Now go to Change Plan Settings –> Change Advanced Power Settings.


In the new window that pops-up, expand Processor Power management –> Maximum processor state, and reduce the on battery and plugged in power settings. The settings you keep will depend on your preferences and the capability of your system.

Based on our experience, we have noticed that that the laptop overheats when the processor is running at 100% processor state. Reducing the processor state by a few notches results in the reduction of temperate by 10-20 C, which results in a minor performance dip. We used Speccy to check for temperate during testing, based on which the processor running on 95% processor state gave the same performance (barely noticeable dip), with a drop of 10-20 C. You can keep an even lower processor state (such as 80-85%) to make sure that your laptop heats up even less.

The above mentioned tip should easily prevent your laptop from heating up; however, make sure that the processor state is not reduced very low in order to prevent reducing your processor’s performance to an undesirably low level.

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  • Stanley

    Thanks! That helped.

  • Saman SarKo

    Thank You , I was having the same problem after i bought dell core i7 sandy bridge laptop and the same heating problem , but this i did this by reducing it to 99% and the situation is better now, i’ll try your’s and decrease it to 95%, as i read by doing this you are disabling the turbo boost technology that comes with intel proccer which make it over heating ..

    Best Regafs

  • Umair

    just great…… I think Dell laptops are not very excellent…. I am using Corei5 and it shuts down after over heating….

    and on the other side… I and my many other friend are using HP’s Pro Book laptops and simple home based laptops…… But it runs very nicely… No over heating problem…… and the prices are same…

    Spending money to buy Dell’s Home User Laptop has no worth… :(

    I am very disappointed :(

    • http://www.addictivetips.com/ Ghaus Iftikhar

      It is not a DELL or HP specific problem, this problem can arise in any laptop. I have a HP Pavilion dv6 Laptop with Core i7 processor and it used to overheat a lot until I applied this small tweak.

  • http://www.addictivetips.com Aatif Khan

    Glad it helped. Keep reading, stay addicted!

  • Alex

    does this work on WinXP?

    • http://www.addictivetips.com/ Ghaus Iftikhar

      No. Sorry. This method is only for Windows 7 users.

  • Conrad

    I hate to say this, but the best solution is to get a laptop that doesn’t overheat. This it not normal behavior. Computer, including laptops, are supposed to be designed for constant operation without these problems.

    In my experience, the worst offenders for overheating laptops is Toshiba and HP/Compaq. The business class Dells are good, as are Asus, Lenovo and Acer.

    • Barrie McNaught

      The issue isn’t the manufacturer or whether the laptop is run 24/7 it is running them at maximum performance for extended periods of time that is the issue. You could run at 95% forever and it probably wouldn’t get too hot where as running at 100% for extended periods requires a lot of cooling

      • Conrad

        Wrong. Computers are designed to be able to run at maximum performance. Obviously neglecting regular maintenance can be detrimental, but the brand does matter. As a network administrator for over 15 years, I have worked with literally thousands of desktop and laptop PCs. There is a definite pattern as to which brands of computers are more likely to prematurely fail.

        TDP ensure a maximum temperature if components have proper cooling. The amount of cooling should never change, regardless of whether the system is run at 100% for long periods of time. The maximum temps are the maximum temps.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004078943834 Richard Hernandez

          so which brand would u recommend?

          • nyxalinth

            Notice he never had an answer to that…

  • TV

    If the laptop in question is being used as a desktop replacement you’d be better off getting a notebook cooling stand rather than sacrifice the performance. I was pleasantly surprised how much difference mine made.
    I’m running a laptop with an i7 720QM processor so it gets a bit warm when under load!

  • Pingback: Tweak & Manage Laptop Hardware Settings With Notebook Hardware Control

  • Akshay

    Awesome man great work it helped me…..!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/chatterjee.ankit Ankit Chatterjee

    Awesome Mann….. Saved me from a lotta Headache….Great Post ;)

  • Ritesh25185

    can i keep plugged in upto 85% because my laptop(sony vaio i3) is heating very very much…

    • Echo

      i have the same problem with a amd dual core sony viao. i think its the ventilation holes for the processors, they are in the wrong spot for proper heat control.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=841265384 Joseph Snodgrass

    best advice ever and a reason to have 7 or 8 windows install

  • eddy

    it worke on my hp pavilion .so perfect .thanks so much

  • Girauder

    I’ve got an Alienware M15x and it used to go to temperatures as high as 80 C on normal daily use (viewing videos, facebook, etc) and i lowered the CPU to 70% and got temps from 60-72 C, can i lower it even more? how much can i lower it for this regular use, I’ll use the high performance plan with 100 CPU when i play VG but in the meanwhile?

    • Girauder

      by the way i have an i7

    • Girauder

      by the way i have an i7

  • SPARRi

    WOW!!! Great tip! Saved my laptop a lot of energy from running its fan to cool the processor. I don’t think its about the laptop product really but the processor itself and that said, I think Intel needs to work on their iCores… Thanks for the tip and this is coming all the way from Africa.

    • FBI

      Perhaps you should not use your laptop for fraud either.

  • LiberalRepublican3six

    Will this turn-off turbo boost? If so, will setting the max at 99% do the trick?

  • http://www.facebook.com/shri.ram.988 Shri Ram

    i have sony i5 i did all those whch are on internet to stop overheating laptop but useless(((( my fan sound is veri irritating any suggestion ??????????

  • Deron Wagner

    Thanks for the helpful tip. That fixed my overheating problem that was leading to shutdowns.

  • jake robert Licup

    still overheats im using hp 430

  • yolo

    thanks!

  • Ankit

    it worked like magic…..

  • Question

    My battery’s dead and my laptop (Toshiba L300) has started overheating. Don’t have the money to get a new battery yet. What do you recommend. Thanks in advance.

  • deskita

    The setting won’t appear for me :(

    • http://www.facebook.com/alex.kotanidis1 Alex Kotanidis

      when your press “change plan settings” there should be advanced settings/options somewhere

  • appi

    nice conceptual,logical,scientific solution. thanks.

  • Anurag Rane

    Thnx for the advice .It really worked excellent the overheating problem totally disappeared.

  • neoyoung

    Thank you so much

  • zack

    im a gammer.. btw its look like awesome,thnks alot.. my fan sound dissapear. look like it’s work :)

  • Jura

    man I am so thankful for this!!!I was having overheating problems with my toshiba satellite and thought that if it continues it will quickly be permanently damaged,and I looked everywhere for the solution,this is the first that has been helpful,THANKS!

  • garfield

    I have an HP Pavilion DM1. The keyboard and touch pad freezes when it heats up. This article helped. Thanks a lot!

  • http://www.p30yar.com/

    thanks alot ..it really worked

  • Koutsianikoulis

    still hitting 80s when i am playing starcraft.. :S

  • Phillip, UK student

    Wow this is wonderful advice! I was extremely frustrated and looking for solutions everything. Thank you so much! I haven’t even noticed the performance sacrifice yet on my Gateway. :)

  • Aine

    Brilliant – helped both my overheating laptops. Thank you!

  • coolmanx1000

    thanks you are a life saver i have an hp i3 laptop it is great but keeps hibernating when i play games

  • carlos

    lol i just bought an hp core i7 and even having my processor max state at 30%, it shuts down for overheating, i dont know why they build a laptop designed for gamers (nvidia geforce 630m 2gb) that overheats with anything… hp sucks

  • Happy

    Thanks a million. My computer was getting dangerously hot, and I was afraid it may ruin the hardware. Hope others who are having this issue come across this solution, whether on this site or another!

  • Jahnab Kumar Deka

    will it work on windows 8?

  • Vimal

    thanks a lot for sharing this…

  • Matt

    when I open the processor power management thing I only get system cooling policy…nothing else :( help please

  • 5HADOWA55A5IN

    THANKS BRO

  • abdullah

    it really works