CPU Throttling & Increased Temperatures on a Laptop: Top-4 Ways to Fix It

Gaming Solved issue

Question asked by:

Annicka L.

Issue:

How do I fix my laptop from thermal throttling?

Hello,

My laptop is overheating, and entering CPUI throttling mode. How can I fix this?
Won't it hurt my computer?

Thank you.
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Ensuring efficient cooling is vital to obtain the best performance from your laptop, especially during high-demand activities. However, when adequate cooling isn’t maintained, the laptop takes measures to protect itself from potential damage, which can impact its performance.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through some methods to counteract CPU throttling and enhance your laptop’s speed.

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Understanding CPU Throttling: Why Does It Happen?

The primary culprit behind CPU throttling is elevated temperatures. Intensive operations can cause your machine’s hardware components to produce increased heat. To safeguard against potential damage due to overheating, your system might decrease your CPU’s performance. Although this action ensures stability, it compromises your PC speed which none of us want.
In some cases, your PC might even experience an unexpected shutdown.

How Do I Tackle High CPU Temperatures?

The processor usually emits most to the heat in the PC/laptop. It’s wise to utilize a CPU monitoring tool to gauge the system’s temperature. If you observe higher-than-normal readings, consider cleaning the air vents using compressed air and or vacuum cleaner. 

For those who have devices out of warranty, you can also open up the device to remove dust and debris from the heatsink. Additionally, for the technically adept, consider reapplying the thermal paste on the CPU. However, this procedure demands precision. If unsure, it’s best to consult a technician.

4 Easy Soft-side Steps to Counter CPU Throttling on a Laptop:

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#1. Tweak the Power Settings to Max

Switching the Power Mode:

  1. Hit Windows Key + S, type “power plan”, and select “Choose a power plan” from the results.
  2. In the subsequent window, opt for the “High performance” power plan. Note: This will consume the battery more rapidly.

Modifying Advanced Power Settings:

  1. Press Windows Key + S, search for “power plan”, and select “Choose a power plan”.
  2. Find your active power plan and opt for “Change plan settings”.
  3. Navigate to “Change advanced power settings”.
  4. Expand the “Processor power management” category.
  5. Set both “Minimum processor state” and “Maximum processor state” to 100% for both “On battery” and “Plugged in”. Adjusting the processor state to 99% has also worked for some, so give that a try if needed.

#2. Use the Group Policy Editor to Edit Throttling Settings

  1. Press Windows Key + R, type “gpedit.msc”, and hit Enter.
  2. In the left sidebar, expand “Administrative Templates” under “Computer Configuration”. Then, choose “System”, move to “Power Management”, and then opt for “Power Throttling Settings”. On the right, double-click “Turn off Power Throttling” and activate it. Save your changes.

#3. Edit the Registry

Engage the Registry Editor
  1. Hit Windows Key + R, input “regedit”, and press Enter.
  2. In the left sidebar, navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Power
  3. Right-click the “Power” key, hover over “New”, and select “Key”. Name this new key “PowerThrottling”.
  4. With the “PowerThrottling” key selected, right-click in the main pane, hover over “New”, and opt for “DWORD (32-bit) Value”. Name this new DWORD “PowerThrottlingOff” and then double-click it to modify its settings. Assign the Value data as “1” and save.

#4. Ensure Your Laptop is Ventilated Enough

Often, laptops are placed on surfaces that don’t allow for optimal airflow, which can lead to overheating. Placing your laptop on a flat, hard surface ensures better ventilation. Soft surfaces like beds or couches can block the laptop’s vents, leading to increased temperatures.

Steps to ensure adequate ventilation:

  1. Check Vent Locations: Familiarize yourself with the location of the vents on your laptop. These are usually located on the sides, bottom, or back of the device.
  2. Elevate the Rear: Slightly elevating the rear end of your laptop can promote better airflow. You can use a purpose-made stand or improvise with household items.
  3. Regular Cleaning: Over time, dust and debris can accumulate inside the vents, obstructing airflow. Use compressed air to gently clean the vents every few months.
  4. Consider a Cooling Pad: Cooling pads are designed to provide additional airflow to the bottom of your laptop. They come with built-in fans and can be especially helpful if you frequently run resource-intensive tasks.

How to Identify Throttled Processes?

  1. Use the combination Ctrl + Shift + Esc to initiate Task Manager.
  2. Go to the “Details” tab. Right-click on a column header, select “Select columns”, check “Power Throttling”, and save.

What’s an Acceptable Temperature for Laptops?

Laptops are engineered to tolerate elevated temperatures. CPU readings below 60 C (140 F) are considered normal. For demanding tasks, figures up to 70 C (160 F) are expected. As for the GPU, 45 C (110 F) is typical under standard operations, but it can reach up to 80 C (175 F) under intense load. If overheating persists, a laptop cooling pad might be beneficial.

CPU throttling can hinder performance. However, with the aforementioned solutions, you can quite easily alleviate this problem.
If your laptop experiences shutdowns due to overheating, it’s very important to check its temperature and resolve the causes (dust, debris, vent blockages, etc.).

For addressing CPU throttling issues automatically, we also recommend installing the software listed below to automatically optimize your laptop’s performance, settings, and remove redundant junk.

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If your CPU overheating & throttling errors are still not fixed — feel free to reach out to us via email and share your problem.

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About the author
Iggy Shells
Iggy Shells - IT & PC repair expert

Iggy is the founder of WindowsGuided.com. He’s been involved in custom IT and security solutions for more than a decade.

Now he and his team are sharing their knowledge with the world by helping casual users solve a myriad of different computer issues, system errors, and virus/malware infections.