There are tell-tale signs that your laptop is overheating. The most obvious sign is when it’s actually on your lap and you can feel the burn! But if your laptop’s fan is unusually loud it may be screaming at you to cool things down to perform whole system at its best level.

Those new to PC gaming will find that desktops are more cost effective to run but laptops give you the convenience to be able to play almost anywhere. This convenience means the specs of your laptop need to be lean more on the high-end side.

Related: Which Laptop Brand is Best to Buy?

Gamers can spend up to 4 hours online in uninterrupted sessions at a time on their laptops and it’s usually the graphics card and the hard drive that takes most of the heat. The longer you play the more heated things get. After 4-hours you’ll usually see little blips – distortion in the graphics.

Fix Overheating Laptop

Overheating laptops are especially annoying when you’re in the zone and creaming your online opponents. But here are a few quick and easy ways to cool your laptop down.

1. Find the Right Spot

Where you are placing your laptop while gaming is crucial. It may be comfortable to rest it on a soft surface like a bed or between your lap and a pillow while you’re lying down. But you’re asking for trouble. Rather opt for a flat, hard surface like a desk because this will help to maintain good airflow. The floor is not a great space either because your laptop will collect dust particles more easily. While they’re called laptops your lap isn’t really the best place to keep it. Be sure not to block the vents with stickers or other accessories. Have your gaming sessions in a cool, well-ventilated room and don’t place your laptop in direct sunlight or keep it in a car.

2. Clean it Out

As mentioned earlier, dust can be the cause of excessively hot laptops. There are a few ways to keep the dust out. The simplest and cheapest way is to buy a can of compressed air and spray quick, short sprays into the vents. But make sure your laptop is powered off and unplugged before doing so. You can also use a cotton swab to clean out any visible dust or suck it out using a vacuum cleaner. Some serious gamers open up their laptop’s panels and access its fans directly – although this isn’t advisable as it may mess with your warranty. Most manufacturers warn that opening up the machine will put paid to the warranty and warn against opening panels at home instead of it being done by a pro. Rather let the professionals, preferably the manufacturer, do it. While they’re at it, let them clean out the card slots, CD/DVD drive and other areas that attract dust.

3. Get a Stand

Being slumped over a laptop for hours while gaming isn’t doing anything for your posture. It will literally give you a pain in the neck! So invest in a stand that is ergonomically designed to improve your posture while keeping your laptop cool. Some even come with fans or cooler plates to extract heat and some allow the user to stand up while using their machine. Do your homework and find the solution that suits you best before rushing out and buying the first stand you find.

4. Know Your Laptop’s Specs

If you’re a gamer you’ll know that your laptop needs to be able to handle a heavy graphics load. But if your software works fine with the existing specs, don’t update it unnecessarily as this can prove costly. You need to think about reducing your laptop’s workload so if your settings were recently updated and your fans give you those loud, tell-tale signs or they’re acting up you may want to restore the original settings. Lowering the screen’s brightness, unplugging USB-powered devices and closing unused apps running in the background – which use unnecessary CPU time – will also assist in cooling things down. Lastly, make sure your power-management settings are being optimally used.

5. Check the Temperature

When you’re running a fever you use a thermometer to check your temperature. So do the same for your laptop. There are apps you can download and install that can help you monitor your laptop CPU’s temperature. These apps range in price from very cheap for basic monitoring to pricey for more detailed stats keeping.

6. Fans Do the Trick

You can set up a standing fan near your laptop to help keep constant cool air blowing onto your machines. But the serious gamer should consider having additional fans and coolers installed, especially for the graphics card and hard drive.

7. Speak to the Pros too

Different laptop brands use different fans. Yours could simply be louder than others so don’t assume that your more vocal one is a sign of an overheating laptop. Other tell-tale symptoms of an overheating laptop are when it freezes or crashes regularly. These are often warning signs of a more serious problem with your laptop.

8. Take a Break

If you have the luxury of being able to do your gaming on both a laptop and a desktop then divide your gaming time between the two and share the workload. Also, try not to sleep or shutdown your machine all the time. If you’ve just fired up your machine to check an email, rather leave it on than to turn it off after a few minutes – especially if you’re likely to use the laptop later that same day again. And remember, laptops are more delicate than a desktop and should be treated as such. Desktops can take more of a beating but treat both with care.

While these tips are meant to alleviate overheating on your laptop computer it is always best to consult the professionals. There’s a range of gaming laptops and they offer a great customer experience where no challenge is too big or small.

This article is written by David Giltner who is a Senior Content Marketing Specialist at PCExpress. His long experience has a blogger made him an expert on different niches like technology.