As the cooling fan inside your laptop circulates air through the processor heat sink, bits of dust gradually build up inside the system. After several months or a year, this dust can get so thick it prevents air from circulating over your processor, causing the processor to overheat and shut down. Most newer laptops have removable covers on the bottom that give users access to the processor and heat sink area. You can use an air compressor or can of compressed air to periodically blow out your laptop.
Things You'll Need
- Compressed air
Turn off the laptop and remove the battery and all cables.
Turn the laptop over and look for a removable heat sink cover. Check your manual to identify the correct panel. It usually is located near the vents that allow air in and out of the case. If your laptop does not have a removable heat sink cover, you will have to disassemble the case. You should not attempt to remove this cover unless you know what you are doing, because most laptop cases are not user friendly.
Remove the heat sink cover using a screwdriver. Many brands will require a Torx screwdriver that is shaped like a six-sided star.
Blow out all the built up dust and lint from the heat sink and fans using compressed air. If you use canned air, make sure the label says it is safe for use on computer components.
Replace the heat sink cover or reassemble the case.
Blow out any lint that may have landed inside the keyboard.
Tips & Warnings
- While periodically blowing the dust out of your laptop can help maintain peak performance, do not overdo it or you may harm your fans or other components. Blowing out dust about once for every six months of use should take care of most problems.
- Photo Credit Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
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