• Laptops overheat fast due to their small profile. It's very important to place them on a hard surface so that the fan can operate properly. Placing it on a soft surface like your bed or lap may cause it to overheat and shut down.
  • Check the performance (ctl-alt-del). A while back I installed a program from a disk I got with my printer/fax/copier that was for burning dvds and organizing media. There was a background program that ran to search for new media or something like that. It ran and stopped and ran and stopped. When I checked the performance and saw it was using 99% of the power when it was running, and saw that usage, I popped over to applications (or processes) I could see what was running when that happened. I uninstalled that program and didn't have the fan running problem after that. Hope this helps.
  • Looking at your task manager is the best place to start. If it's an older laptop, you might want to take it into a shop to have them clean out any dust that may be clogging the ventilation. That won't cost much.. maybe $25 or so, unless you feel brave enough to do it yourself (then it might cost a lot more if you break something ;-) Files (such as video or pictures) stored on disk will not cause the computer to heat up more. Disk space is "passive storage" and doesn't require any power to maintain. If you access the files often, though, the disk drive will heat up somewhat, and the processor will come into use to process the files into viewable pictures. But as long as you aren't viewing videos or manipulating the pictures (in photoshop, for example), there won't be any additional heating from those files.
  • First off, let me dispel a couple of myths/misconceptions that I've seen perpetuated time and time and time and time and time again. 1) Filling up the hard drive WILL NOT overheat a system. The heat is generated by the CPU and GPU chips, not the hard drive. 2) Deleting stuff from your hard drive free up memory for the same reason that cleaning out your bedroom closet won't help the clutter on your kitchen counter. 3) Computers are NOT maintenance-free. Part of that maintenance involved keeping the heatsinks clean. 4) Fans exist to move air. Cooling fans move air to cool things. Blocking the vents prevents fans from doing their job. Blocking the vents of a cooling fan makes things get hot. The reason I mention tis is that many people can't seem to figure out why their stuff gets SO hot when they put it on a soft surface (bed, sofa...). Okay, now that I have those off my chest, I am going to tie it all in to your particular problem, Melanie. If you've had your system for a while, chances are that you have dust-bunnies clogging your heat sinks. I am a cat owner so I know what a clogged heat sink looks like.[UNSET].jpg?imgmax=800 Those fans generally either only come on at a certain temperature or are always on slowly/quietly/unnoticeably but get faster/louder/more noticeable at high temperatures. Blowing out the heat sinks should help you.
    • mushroom
      I second dust, especially if the air blowing out is very hot. Look for some air slots where outside air is pulled in and use a can of dust-off to blow through there. If you see a cloud of dust and a hearty Hi-ho Silver blow away, then you've hit it.

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