How to Find out Laptop Temperature

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CPUID Hardware Monitor

This is software that is installed on the laptop and gets information from thermal sensors on the logic board.

You need to look into the first column and if the measurements are not above 60 degrees Celsius there is nothing to worry about. However, this software checks not only temperature, but the state of the battery too. It shows how much the battery has worn out.

Place Your Hand Underneath the Laptop

This is probably the easiest way to check the temperature. As a laptop is very compact there are very small distances between inside components and the chassis plastic. This is why we get hot plastic underneath when the laptop has a heavy load.

Where should you place your hand? There will be ventilation openings that look like an array of holes. That part usually covers the processor heat sink and a fan so it is almost the warmest place of the laptop. Place your hand there and if it feels like you can’t keep it there for long then the laptop is overheating. The normal temperature should be just about warm.

Open the Laptop Lid Underneath and Check the Temperature with Fingers

This is probably the scariest method for some, but actually there is no danger at all. The laptop does not get a high voltage and if you checked with a hand underneath the laptop and it is not hot then most likely it will be not burning hot and your fingers will stay safe.

Sometimes you can encounter a design that does not follow traditions and the heat sink is piping hot despite the outside of the laptop only being warm. However, this would only be in some rare cases.

What would you check with your fingers? There is a heat sink that sits directly on the processor and for this reason it would be as hot as the processor. It usually looks like a piece of aluminum with a copper pipe running through it.

Now tap your fingers very briefly and if you don’t feel anything hot, hold them for longer. Depending on the load there will be about 40 degrees to 60 degrees Celsius, so you should feel that it is warm but not piping hot. If it gets piping hot, say you cannot keep your finger on it for long, then there is something wrong with it. Usually, with those high temperatures a fan should kick in.

Thermocouple and a Multimeter

This method requires obtaining a thermal sensor, which is a thermocouple and a multimeter that can measure temperature using this thermocouple.

I will use duct tape to tape it to the heat sink. Regular tape also can be used if it is of a high quality and sticks to the surface well. What I am going to do is tape the sensor to the heat sink, power on the laptop and monitor the temperature when watching a YouTube video.

Handheld Digital Thermometer

There are handheld digital thermometers that can measure the temperature with less contact. They are convenient but not that accurate.

I have here a handheld thermometer that I bought off eBay for a few bucks. Here is a quick instruction on how to use it. Power it on and point to the surface. It works best from a distance of 20 cm.

Here are Some Symptoms that Will Indicate an Overheating Laptop

Laptop fan is spinning very loudly. This is most likely related to the laptop processor or graphics chip overheating, although there are other instances when a laptop fan would spin loudly. For example, when the motherboard is faulty and there is no picture on the screen. But in other cases this is related to overheating.

The laptop is slow, sluggish and sometimes powers down itself. This is a very good example of an overheating problem. Inside the processor there is a thermal sensor that tells its temperature. If it is too high the logic board will slow down the processor, and if this does not help it will power down the laptop.

Sometimes it is not the laptop itself overheating, but something that is connected to it. If you connect a USB flash drive made by SanDisk model Ultra Fit you will notice that it gets very hot when transferring the data to or from it. I had a laptop where it even disconnected when transferring the data or watching a movie from it.


All laptops have some sort of software tools that will show the temperature readings from sensors in the processor, logic board and hard drive.

Probably the best indication that a laptop is overheating is a very loud fan noise.

An overheating problem is sometimes related to heat sink plates clogged with dust.

There are even digital multimeters that come with thermal sensors. You can attach these sensors to a component that you want to know the temperature of.

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