How to Keep Gaming Laptop Cool: 7 Laptop Cooling Solutions

The latest Razer gaming laptops and many other brands are becoming more popular as technology advances. The most immersive gaming experience is now available, but one issue often arises: how to keep gaming laptop cool while gaming. So stop wasting energy worrying about your laptop overheating and spend more time on the things that matter most, gaming!

In this blog post, we will share some tips of the best laptop cooling solutions to help reduce your laptop’s temperature, ones that won’t break the bank either. Besides, why spend $1000’s on your laptops and not take the time to keep your laptop cool? It is also worth pointing out, having a cooler laptop will also improve your laptops performance, so there’s a reason in itself.

So without further ado, let’s dive in.

Why Gaming Laptops Get Hot

Why Do Gaming Laptops Overheat?

Gaming laptops can overheat for the same reason gaming consoles do – they’re designed to run graphic-intensive games for long periods. The high performance required for these games puts a strain on the hardware, which then causes the laptop’s fans to work harder. And if the cooling system isn’t able to dissipate heat fast enough. It will lead to high temperatures or even burnout.

Although some gaming laptops run cooler than others. Some are not designed with proper airflow in mind. The result? They can run hot and easily overheat because they have a much more difficult time dissipating heat! 

But there are other reasons for overheating, like having too many programmes running simultaneously. If the graphic settings are set too high, this will also increase the temperature of your GPU. Not to mention, gamers need to keep their laptops plugged in when playing games. This will also generate more heat.

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Step 1: One of the Best Laptop Cooling Solutions

The first tip to help keep your gaming laptop cool while gaming is to invest in a laptop cooler. Purchasing a laptop stand can be one of the most effective laptop cooling solutions and won’t break the bank either. However, laptop coolers will only reduce your temperatures by a few degrees, enough to notice and makes the investment worthwhile.

How do I know, you ask? Because I tested a laptop cooler with the HP OMEN 15. It reduced the CPU and GPU temps by as much as 5°C while gaming. As much as 10°C running Adobe Photoshop. I know, nothing too crazy, but it’s a reduction nonetheless.

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A laptop stand is also useful in other ways, like helping elevate your laptop, allowing for warm air to escape and also offering a comfortable angle for typing. These are just a few reasons that make them one of the best laptop cooling solutions. Besides, it is a small price to pay. And well worth the investment if it cools your laptop.


Step 2: Cleaning Will Help Prevent Your Laptop Overheating

Cleaning your laptop with cotton swabs is one of the most effective ways to help keep your gaming laptop cool while gaming and also prevent it from overheating. Dust and dirt can quickly build up inside and block air vents, causing the fans to work harder.

By regularly cleaning using cotton swabs in the worse hit areas, airflow will remain unrestricted. However, it’s not generally recommended to clean the inside of a laptop unless there is something specifically wrong. If you decide to clean it inside, there’s a high chance you could do more harm than good. So make sure you know what you’re doing.

It can be done effectively without opening up your laptop, and it is easy to do. You will need a can of compressed air, some isopropyl alcohol solution, and a soft cloth. If you have just used your gaming laptop? Give it time to cool down.

Steps To Clean Gaming Laptop:

  1. Turn off your laptop and unplug your power adapter.
  2. Make sure you give the laptop time to cool down after use.
  3. Disconnect all external devices such as headsets and mice.
  4. Using a soft cloth, or cotton swabs and wet with the isopropyl solution.
  5. Wipe the surface of your laptop, but do not press down too hard.
  6. Hold your laptop upside down to expose the intake fan grilles.
  7. Use compressed air to blow off dust from under the keycaps, through the grilles and the side vents. 
  8. Finish by wiping down your screen. Best to use a proper screen cleaner
  9. Wipe down the laptop again. Plus, clean the surface of your desk.

Cleaning your laptop this way should be done at least once a month to ensure you keep dust at bay. That said, it’s impossible to eradicate dust altogether. Unless you live inside a bubble. But you can try.


Create Custom Power Plan

One of the most effective ways how to keep a gaming laptop cool while gaming is by creating a custom power plan. Then enable Processor Performance Boost Mode. Done right, this option can reduce your processor temperatures by as much as 30°C. I was able to do just that with the HP Omen 15. So pay attention if you want to enjoy optimal performance.


Gaming laptops often have power plans set by manufacturers more aggressively than other laptops. And this helps balance performance with energy consumption. But, you’re limited to what you can change in the advanced power settings tab. 

By enabling extra fields which are not there by default. You can increase or reduce the processor using boost mode. Which will help reduce CPU temperatures. This in turn, will keep your laptop cooler while gaming. And why it is one of the most effective laptop cooling solutions you can do. 

How To Check Power Options

  • Press “Windows Key”
  • Type “Edit Power Plan”, then “Enter”
  • Select your custom power plan
  • Click “Change Advanced Settings”
  • Click “Processor Power Management”
  • Processor Boost Mode will not be there
  • If not, don’t worry we will create it

Processor Power Options

Windows 10 processor power management settings

How to Create a Custom Power Plan in Windows 10?

First step is to create your custom power plan. It’s wise to keep the default power plan, so you have something to fall back on later. Use that plan for everyday use, watching movies etc and your new custom power plan for gaming.

The next step after creating your plan is to enable processor boost mode option. As I said before, you can choose to either disable boost mode to limit the amount of power the processor can consume. Or choose to reduce boost mode from Aggressive to something like Enabled. Or Efficient Aggressive. However, it would be advisable to test each mode to find which works best for you.

Step 1: Creating a Power Plan

  • Press “Windows + X Key “
  • Click on “Power Options”
  • Related Settings, Click “Additional Power Settings”
  • Click On “Create Power Plan”
  • Select “High Performance” & “Name Your Plan”
  • Click “Next”Nice Work!

Please Note: Reducing the processor boost mode may result in a small loss in performance. But it will be worth it, especially if your gaming laptop is overheating.

Step 1: Enable Processor Boost Mode

  • Press “Windows Key”, type “Registry Editor”, Press “Enter”
  • Select “Yes” to Make Changes to your Device
  • Click the folder “HKey Local Machine”
  • Then the folders “System” and then “Current Control Set”
  • Now Click “Control”, Scroll Down and Click “Power”
  • Then “Power Settings”

You should see the same sheet below

Windows 10 Registry
  • Next, Click on the folder starting with “54533251-82be-4824”
  • Now find the folder starting with “be337238-od82”
  • Look on the right panel see “Attributes” double click this option
  • And change the file data from “1” to “2” and Click “OK”
Change Attribute to 2 in Windows Registry

When you’ve clicked OK, shut down all the sheets and follow the steps below to get back to the custom plan you previously created.

  • Press “Windows Key”, type “Edit Power Plan”
  • Select your Custom Plan “Change Plan Settings”
  • Then “Change Advanced Settings”
  • Click on “Processor Power Management”

If you have completed the procedure above. Processor Performance Mode should be visible. Disabling processor boost mode is a very effective cooling solution. Especially if your laptop has inadequate cooling. Or the temperature’s are too high.

Power Settings I Use

  • Min Processor State: Both on 5%
  • Max Processor State: Both 95%
  • Processor Performance Mode: Disabled
  • Switch back to the default plan when you not gaming, and test the different options to see what works best for you.
These settings increase laptop cooling

Step 3: Reduce In-Game Settings To Help With Cooling

If you’re experiencing excessive laptop temperatures during gameplay. Which are much higher than normal. It could be because your graphics settings are set too high. By reducing in-game graphics settings, you will reduce your laptop’s temperature when gaming.

Despite this, hot gaming laptops are part and parcel of portable gaming. You’re never going to get the perfect laptop temperature. But, with a tweak here and a tweak there, you can at least get some way towards optimal temperatures.

What Graphics Settings Should You Change?

If your laptop has a dedicated NVidia GPU, go to the NVidia control panel. There you’ll find many settings you can change to help cool your laptop while gaming.

Just, right-click on your desktop and select NVidia Control panel. One of the most effective settings to change is the Power Management Mode. Set this to Optimal Performance. This will provide the most efficient idle power savings and will also improve your gaming performance. 

Gamers, however, recommend enabling Max Performance because it keeps the GPU running at its peak performance regardless of GPU usage. However, this will generate the most heat. If your laptop temps are high, an optimal performance setting would be advisable but if you are not having issues with heat, Max Performance is best.

For more information about this setting you should read this review here: thefpsreview.com. They show that the optimal setting is best. Especially if your GPU temps are hitting max levels.

Change Nvidia Graphic Settings to keep laptop cooler

Reduce Display Resolution

If you are suffering from high laptop temperatures? Reducing the resolution is a great way to bring them down. Lowering the display resolution in-game will help reduce the load on your GPU. But, your games may look the most attractive.

Reduce Textures And Details

Reducing texture settings in-game can have a huge impact on bringing down temperatures. Scaling textures as much as possible without affecting your gameplay is a very effective way to cool a laptop. There are other graphically intensive settings like Ambient Occlusion and Anti-Aliasing that you can reduce. Reducing these will only affect the way your gaming laptop renders images, but will help with cooling.


Step 4: Use MSI Afterburner to Reduce Laptop Temperatures?

The MSI Afterburner software is helpful to improve performance on your laptop. Done right, this can be an excellent cooling solution and it is suitable for both AMD and NVidia dedicated GPUs. It works by overclocking the hardware in real-time by changing the GPU clock and memory speeds.

The first step is to download the software from the MSI official website. Then, follow the steps MSI provided. But be extremely careful using software. But don’t worry too much. Your laptop should automatically shut down if you have tweaked the GPU too far. For all other graphics chips, you are best to further research the possibilities.

MSI Afterburner

What Does It Do?

MSI Afterburner lets you check all sorts of information about your graphics card. Such as temperature and speed. It also allows you to adjust the settings on the fly. This process involves adjusting the clock speed, voltage, and in some cases, fan speed.

Afterburner works by increasing/decreasing the clock speed by increments of 10MHz and apply the settings but you must pay attention as things can go easily wrong. Once you are happy with the changes you should run the benchmarking software Unique Heaven for about 10-15 mins. If everything seems fine, continue to change the clock until you feel you are happy.


Step 5: Reduce Process To Keep Gaming Laptop Cool?

Another great way how to cool down your laptop while gaming is by reducing unnecessary programs. Doing this will also contribute a lot to improving your laptop’s performance. Because the more programmes you have running at one time, the harder your processor would need to work. Thus, the hotter your gaming laptop will get.

To do this, you can use the Windows Task Manager and see what programs are running. Once you have opened the task manager sheet, scroll down the list of processors and decide which ones you need or do not need. Then, right-click and click to end the task

Another effective cooling solution is disabling unnecessary programs running on start-up. Using the same Task Manager Sheet, select the Start-Up Tab. And scroll down the list of programmes and Right-Click and disable the ones you do not need. Doing this will also speed up the boot process.

End Windows 10 Processors

  • Click Windows Key
  • Type Task Manager, then Enter
  • Look at the Processors tab
  • Right Click the process End Task
  • This will free up CPU resources
Windows 10 Task manager

Step 6: Elevate Your Laptop To Keep It Cool While Gaming

Learning how to Keep a gaming laptop cool while gaming is key to enjoying the most optimal performance. The setup of your laptop is vital to achieve this. First and foremost, your gaming laptop should not be sat on a flat surface. It must have some kind of elevation to allow for proper airflow and allow the warm air to escape.

Your must not place your gaming laptop on soft material like your bed or couch because this can be a nightmare for collecting dust, hairs, and other debris. You laptop will definitely run hot if the warm air cannot escape due to blocked vents etc.

You may be surprised at how easily your fans, intakes can collect dust and dirt. The kind of stuff that will quickly reduce the lifespan of your laptop. However, most gaming laptops now come with rubber feet. And in some cases, a strip of rubber across the base, front and rear. This does help with elevation. But that alone is not enough.

Elevated Gaming laptop

Staining Without Proper Elevation

If you look at the image below, it is clear dust and dirt is getting trapped in the vents. And this accumulated in four weeks of use. The best thing to use for elevation is a laptop cooler. These are ideally suited to helping to raise your laptop up to allow for more airflow. Additionally, they can also make typing more comfortable due to the angle. All while keeping your gaming laptop cooler. Not to mention, they won’t break the bank either.

Dust On Laptop Vent

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Step 7: Apply New Thermal Paste to Help With Cooling

Our final tip on our how to keep a gaming laptop cool guide, is by re-applying thermal paste onto the processor. Thermal paste can dry out over time and become less effective. So if your laptop is overheating or getting too hot, it might be a wise idea to reapply the thermal paste. This will help improve heat transfer and hopefully keep your laptops cooler. However, I recommend using a high quality thermal paste like Arctic Silver 5 or better. Just make sure to follow the instructions on how to apply it.

Applying Thermal Paste

  1. First make sure you shut down your laptop and remove the battery (if you can).
  2. Unscrew the screws on the back of your laptop that hold on the cover.
  3. Gently pull off the cover and set it aside in a safe place.
  4. Locate the CPU and locate the thermal paste pads surrounding it.
  5. Use a credit card or something similar to scrape away any old thermal paste.
  6. Apply a pea-sized amount of new thermal paste to each pad and use the card to spread it around evenly.
  7. Replace the cover and screws, reattach the battery, and start up your laptop.

How To Keep Gaming Laptop Cool: FAQs

Do Gaming Laptops Need Cooling Pads?

Unfortunately, laptops designed for gaming always generate more heat than everyday laptops because they are designed to run demanding games and applications. And that is why most gaming laptops have two or more fans inside to keep the system cool.
However, when playing graphics-intensive AAA games or running your gaming notebook for an extended period. You will benefit from the use of a laptop stand. This will help to keep it from getting too hot and will help to prolong its lifespan. It will also help elevate your laptop. For these reasons laptop coolers are one of the best accessories for gaming laptops that your can buy.

Is It Okay For Gaming Laptop To Get Hot?

Laptops designed for gaming in general do get hot when they are being used too much. In order to avoid damaging the laptop’s components, it would be advisable to prevent the laptop from overheating. However, GPUs and CPUs are built to shut down if things are getting too hot.
They are also designed to work very hard to deliver high frame rates and extreme playability. And why most manufacturers include a second fan. But I would suggest a cooling pad or a cooling mat if this bothers you too much. The worst that could happen is a shorter lifespan for your laptop.

How Do I Keep My Laptop Cool?

It’s imperative to keep your laptop cool in order to avoid damage and prolong its life. Here are a few tips on how to do so:

– Invest in a stand or laptop cooling pads
– Make sure there’s nothing blocking the vents
– Avoid using your laptop on soft surfaces
– Don’t run too many programs at simultaneously
– Reduced in-game graphics and other settings
– Clean your laptop regularly with cotton swabs


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Conclusion..

Hopefully our guide on how to keep a gaming laptop cool has paid off. Just to recap, cleaning on a regular basis with cotton swabs will make a big difference in how hot your laptops run.

Secondly, investing in a laptop cooling pad will help keep your laptop cool. So will enabling processor boost mode, this can be a very effective way to keep your gaming laptop temperatures down. Don’t forget to disable unnecessary apps and programs running in the background. 

Just remember to follow these simple steps, and your laptops will stay cool while gaming. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more helpful tips like these. Drop a comment below if you managed to cool down your laptop.

Thanks for reading, Cya Next Time!

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James, Editor for Jimmtech. An avid tech lover since the days of the Sega MasterSystem. Purchased my first gaming laptop in 2006 and have owned many since, including models from MSI, HP, Razer, and Dell. In addition, I have 4 years of experience managing IT and 5 years in Digital Marketing. Until I decided to share my love for gaming. Jimmtech was born.

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