- Make sure the fan is running. "If it didn't run hot at first, and it's running hot now," says Silverman, "put your hand near the fan grille and feel for vibration, to see if the fan is working." If your fan is broken, then it won't dissipate that heat. You'll need to contact a professional who can replace it.
- Blow out the dust. "Dust bunnies, debris, and food fragments can find their way through ducts and magnify the situation," says Silverman. He recommends grabbing a can of compressed air and using it to clean out the fan grille. "Try to angle the nozzle so you're blowing air out of the laptop." Cleaning out the gunk will allow the fan to run freely once more.
- Check your surroundings. If something is blocking the airflow around your laptop, that could be causing your problem. "Don't put it on a bed—that's the worst thing you can do," says Silverman. "The blankets just stifle the airway. Put it on a flat desk, or on top of a flat book so air can flow." Some clamshell cases also stifle airflow, so if you have a case on the bottom of your laptop, try removing it. Other surroundings also matter: If the weather is hotter than 95°F, don't use your computer outside of the air conditioning.
- Stick to a genuine battery and AC adapter. "If you replace your battery with a secondhand battery from Ebay or Amazon, you're going to have issues," says Silverman. "They aren't packaged the same way as the originals, so the heat tends to run hotter on the contacts. Don't skimp on the battery. Bad things will happen."
- Update your software. This is rare, but occasionally, software and firmware issues can cause overheating. In fact, this just happened with Apple's latest MacBooks: They thermal throttled under seemingly-normal conditions until a recent software update fixed the issue.