How to Make Your Windows 10 Laptop Run Cooler

Make Your Windows PC or Laptop Run Cooler

Want a quiet PC that lives longer? Prefer not to be cooked by your laptop? Find here easy and effective ways you can make your Windows 10 laptop run cooler with just a few settings.

First, Cool as a Waterbee

Young bees need a constant temperature to flourish. When it’s too cold, hive bees shake to produce heat, and when it’s too hot, they have ways to get heat out of the hive.

One strategy they employ is one not foreign to our homes and gyms either: special foraging bees collect water from puddles and dew and canisters, then spit it strategically inside the hive for—evaporative cooling.

Because evaporation cooling is a tad hard with laptops (and does not work so well with white tea), how about not producing heat in the first place?

How to Make Your Windows 10 Laptop or PC Run Cooler

Time needed: 10 minutes

To keep a laptop or computer running cooler using Windows 10 with software measures alone:

  1. Select Settings on the Windows 10 Start menu.

    Windows keyboard shortcut: Press Windows I to open Settings quickly.

  2. Open the System category.

  3. Select Power & sleep.

  4. Click Additional power settings under Related settings.

  5. Now click Change plan settings for the selected power plan.

  6. Select Change advanced power settings.

  7. Expand Processor power management.

  8. Select passive for System cooling policy.

    Battery or plugged in: To have the laptop or computer running cooler all the time, apply the setting for both On battery: and Plugged in:; this applies to all settings under Processor power management.

  9. Enter 0% under Minimum processor state.

    How to edit: Click the blue percentage and type 0.

  10. Enter the maximum processor speed under Maximum processor state.

    What to pick: Experiment with low numbers and increase only if your computer becomes unusably slow.
    Suggested value: Try 15%, for instance.
    Use Windows 10 Advanced Power settings to keeep a PC or laptop running cooler

  11. Examine other settings.

    Graphics card: look for power saving options for your GPU in Power Options.
    A tool like MSI Afterburner lets you underclock the GPU and reduce its temperature limit.
    You can also set up Windows 10 to use an integrated graphics chip or the CPU for certain applications; see below.
    Wifi adapter: Under Wireless Adapter Settings, select Maximum Power Settings for Power Saving Mode.
    Other Energy efficiency settings: Other computer components may also have energy efficiency settings in Power Options; do set these to maximum energy savings to keep your laptop running cooler.

Important: You Are Trading Temperature for Speed (and Noise)

If you keep your Windows PC or laptop running cooler, you will also make it run more slowly.

Depending on what you do with your computer, this may be either barely noticeable or without much effect or crippling.

For example,

  • reading, writing, and browsing the web may be entirely unaffected while
  • compiling software and editing video may be impossible.

The Maximum processor state in particular lets you fine-tune speed vs. temperature.

Speaking of tradeoffs, keeping your laptop running cooler also means

  • less fan noise,
  • a cooler lap and
  • longer lifespan for computer components.
    Important: Do ensure computer components and, most importantly, the CPU are always cooled properly.

How to Optimize Graphics Usage for Running Cooler

To have Windows 10 optimize an app’s graphics settings for energy saving (instead of performance):

  1. Select Settings from the Windows Start menu.
    With the keyboard: Press WindowsI to open settings.
  2. Go to System.
  3. Open the Display category.
  4. Click Graphics settings.
  5. Pick an application for which to specify graphics chip usage:
    Apps from Microsoft Store: Select Microsoft Store app, then the app under Select an app.
    Other applications: Select Desktop app, click Browse and double-click the executable.
  6. Now click Options for the application.
  7. Select Power saving for having the software run cooler.
  8. Click Save.

How to Limit Apps Running in the Background and Notifications

To help make your PC or laptop run cooler, Windows 10 can restrict apps from running in the background and generating notifications across the board:

  1. Open Settings from the Windows Start menu.
  2. Go to the System category.
  3. Now pick Battery.
  4. Select Always under Turn battery saver on automatically at.
    Alternative: If you are on battery power, you can also turn On the Battery saver option manually.

How to Make Your Browser Use Fewer Resources

Some browsers include power-saving modes for battery use that put background tabs to sleep, for instance, and limit updates.

You can enable these modes also to save power and make your laptop or PC run cooler in any event:

How to Make Your Windows 10 PC or Laptop Run Cooler: FAQ

Can I also downclock the CPU in BIOS?


In addition to or instead of reducing energy usage, noise and heat using Windows options, you can also make your laptop or PC run cooler using the computer’s BIOS settings:

  1. Access your computer’s laptop.
    How to: Typically, you press a key during boot; keys frequently used include F2, F10 and Esc.
  2. Look for Frequency settings.
  3. Turn down the CPU clock speed.

(How to make your Windows 10 PC or laptop run cooler tested with Windows 10 Version 21H1; first published June 2021, last updated July 2023)

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