How to Keep Your Chromebook from Overheating (Keep it Cool)

So, your Chromebook is overheating and you’re looking for tips on keeping it cool.

Chromebooks get hot. It’s normal and due to their passive cooling.

But when it gets so hot that it overheats and shuts down, that’s a problem.

In this article, we’ll talk about:

  • Why your Chromebook gets hot
  • How to keep it running cool
  • How to fix common technical problems due to heat
  • Best practices to cool it down
  • And more

These tips and tricks should help you get more out of your device, whether you’re playing games or working.

They should keep your device running longer and optimal temperatures so you can keep doing your thing.

Sound good? Let’s keep your Chromebook running cool.

Do Chromebooks get hot?

Yes, of course, Chromebooks get hot, just like any other laptop.

When you power it on and use it, you’ll start to feel the radiating heat coming from the bottom panel, keyboard, and screen.

Depending on what you’re doing on your device, this determines how much heat is output. More intensive programs, apps, and games will require more system resources, which requires more power.

This, in turn, generates more heat output.

Chromebooks have no fans are and are passively cooled, so you’ll feel the heat come out of the vents. No system is heat-proof unless it works 100% efficiently (which doesn’t exist).

Is it normal for Chromebook to get hot?

If your Chromebook gets hot when you use it, that’s normal.

But what’s not normal is excessive heat to the point that your system starts to freeze, stutter, or even overheat and shut down.

If this happens, it means a variety of different reasons:

  • You’re putting a lot of stress on the system and the passive cooling can’t keep up
  • You have a defective Chromebook
  • The system is poorly designed
  • The vents aren’t facilitating air flow
  • The heat is trapped or blocked
  • Ambient temperature is too high
  • Battery is being charged during usage and contributing to heat

It’s usually one or the other. Or perhaps the system was just poorly designed and doesn’t dissipate heat effectively. Thus, crashing your Chromebook or making it lag.

When you use your Chromebook, monitor what you’re doing and how much heat it generates. If you do the same tasks on it every day (check social media, play games, watch videos, do homework, etc., you should notice how much or little heat it outputs.

If you suddenly notice that it produces a lot more heat than usual, there could be something at play.

A part could be failing or a vent could be blocked with dust- that makes it a lot less efficient at keeping your device cool.

Note that any change can make your Chromebook work harder- even an app update from the developer can be poorly coded, which then requires more resources from your system.

Does that make sense?

You can’t determine whether or not it’s considered to be “normal” or not until you’re used to seeing the heat output it produces regularly.

Do Chromebooks have cooling fans?

Chromebook overheating meme.
Don’t try this at home. (Via QuickMeme.)

Chromebooks don’t have any active cooling systems. They’re passively cooled by heat dissipation through built-in vents around the bottom panel.

Because of this, they can’t cool down under high resource usage.

The thought process behind this was likely the following:

Chromebooks are made for simple, everyday tasks.

The majority of users are students who use them in the classroom for learning and classwork. This doesn’t demand strain on the CPU/RAM/GPU, so therefore passive cooling should keep it running at an operable temperature.

But then you have power users who want to do more with their Chromebooks- play games, stream on Twitch, or run Windows programs through Linux.

This obviously increases strain on the system and demands more resource usage. More resource usage means more CPU cycles. More CPU cycles mean more power draw.

And more power draw means more heat to all the internal working parts. This then leads to overall increased heat dissipation throughout the motherboard and other components.

If they were equipped with active cooling, such as fans that spin up in RPM when the system hits a temperature threshold, overheating wouldn’t be a problem.

Not that this design is bad because most Chromebook users don’t have any problems with their system overheating. But some do. And it’s because of this thought process.

Thus, we need to resort to other ways to keep your Chromebook running cool.

Why does my Chromebook keep overheating?

There is a multitude of reasons why your Chromebook overheats.

Anything that puts demand on the system resources contributes to increased heat output:

  • Playing games
  • Running too many tabs in Chrome
  • Running too many apps at the same time
  • Stressing the CPU/GPU (playing music, games, apps, and other online apps simultaneously)
  • Very hot ambient temperatures
  • Poor heat dissipation (blocked vents)
  • Putting the Chromebook on a soft surface (bed, sofa, couch) which disrupts heat flow
  • Defective system

How to keep your Chromebook cool

First World Problems - Chromebook heat.
If this is you, you should skip this section. Or this entire guide. (Via ImgFlip.)

Here are some ways you can get rid of the heat from your Chromebook and help cool it down quickly.

Sometimes the passive cooling just ain’t enough and we need to do some extra work to keep it running cool.

Use a laptop cooler

This is the best way to keep your Chromebook cool. Laptop coolers are made for serving one purpose- keeping your system running smoothly by dissipating heat from it.

There are dozens upon dozens of coolers on the market- but they all work the same way fundamentally.

Some use fans and others use cooling surfaces. Whatever the case, all you need to worry about is finding one that’s within your budget, works well, and is compatible with Chrome OS.

Check out this list of the best laptop coolers for Chromebooks. They work by plugging directly into your Chromebook’s USB port and don’t need an external power supply.

What’s the best way to keep my Chromebook cool?

Here are some proven ways to cool your Chromebook so you can make it stay on longer without overheating.

Keep it running at optimal temperatures so you can game, browse, or even work for extended periods and not let it set you back.

Depending on what you’re using it for, the amount of laptop cooling you’ll need varies.

Extensive gaming will need a constant cooling source, whereas basic multitasking only needs it when you multitask and strain your system for resources.

Don’t leave it plugged in while you use it

There’s a significant portion of people who prefer to leave their Chromebook plugged in and charging when they use it.

While there’s evidence that this isn’t optimal for battery life, there’s also a contribution to heat generation.

When you charge the battery, it generates heat as a byproduct. But when you use your laptop AND charge it at the same time, your device will generate even more.

The moral of the story is to unplug your device when you use it unless you need it plugged in (low battery, high drain, or you need the extra performance).

If the battery is enough, there’s no need to charge while you use your Chromebook. This would help eliminate some heat production to keep it cool.

Use it in a cool area

Chromebooks have no fans so they work by dissipating heat to the ambient environment. If the room you’re in is a lot cooler than the Chromebook, the heat diffuses a lot more efficiently since molecules move from high to low concentrations.

The cooler the area you’re in, the faster the Chromebook cools and stays cool. I don’t mean to use a walk in the freezer.

But avoid using it in the sun, car, public transportation, or other hot areas. Use it in a cool area out of direct light.

Minimize multitasking

This is the best thing you can do to keep temperatures low.

Your Chromebook heats up because of system strain from trying to juggle multiple apps, tabs, games, and whatever else at the same time. If you focus on a single task rather than 20 different ones, your system will require fewer resources and run smoother (and cooler).

Besides, research shows that humans work most efficiently when we DON’T multitask.

So you’ll get more done, be more focused, and have a speedier system.

Keep your system lean

Junk files that sit in your Downloads folder take up space, make indexing take longer, and searching for files more inefficient.

Delete all the useless files, pictures, videos, webcam selfies, and other junk you don’t need. Remove all Chrome web extensions you don’t use. Uninstall any Play Store apps you rarely launch.

Do some regular system maintenance and you’ll bump the speed, performance, and battery life over time. This will help your system run at optimal temps.

Place it on a flat surface

The passive cooling vents on the bottom panel of your Chromebook are the only dedicated source of heat exhaust. If you use your device on a surface that blocks the vents, you’re contributing to the heat buildup inside the Chromebook.

That’s why you need to place it on a flat, smooth surface like a table, desk, or a laptop desk for Chromebooks. Cooler surfaces like laminate table tops work best. Stainless steel is king.

But then again, not everyone has a steel desk to work with. Wood surfaces work OK, just make sure it’s flat.

Avoid using your Chromebook on soft or fluffy surfaces like your bed, blankets, sofa, or shag carpeting. These fibers block the vent and also absorb heat so they get warm to the touch (which can be very uncomfortable the next time you sit on them).

Don’t use it on the carpet either- the carpet blocks the heat vents and makes your system dusty.

Double negative. So avoid.

Chromebook gets hot when playing Android games

This is the main reason why Chromebooks overheat. If you haven’t been following Chrome OS developments, Chromebooks can run Android apps now (news flash).

This means they can also play your favorite Android games. Smartphones are much more powerful than Chromebooks, relatively speaking.

So when you try to run these games on Chrome OS, it stresses the system and utilizes a lot of resources. This then puts demand on the CPU/GPU/RAM and draws more power and creates more heat.

And that’s why your Chromebook is prone to overheating when you game.

There are a few ways you can try to fix this issue:

  • Turn down the video or graphic settings to minimum
  • Use a laptop cooling pad
  • Play in windowed mode
  • Reduce resolution, remove particle effects, lower draw distance if applicable
  • Update the game to the newest version
  • Make sure Chrome OS is up to date
  • Play in a cool area
  • Don’t leave the charger plugged in while gaming
  • Shut down all other apps, tabs, and programs while you play

There isn’t much you can do to minimize the impact of gaming. It is what it is.

Use an external cooling pad if you need to play for long periods and your Chromebook gets hot. That’s my suggestion.

Overheating on shutdown

When your Chromebook overheats, it’ll shut down.

There are some common signals that you’ll see when this happens, but the most obvious one is a black screen with no input response (completely frozen Chromebook).

Your Chromebook will automatically shut down when it reaches a critical temperature so it can cool down on its own- passively. If you try to turn it back on or use it, you’ll see the lights turn on (status indicators), but nothing on the screen.

You need to wait for it to cool down to a specific stable temperature before you can use it again. This problem should resolve itself.

Some Chromebooks have been prone to overheating more so than others:

  • Various ASUS models
  • Acer R11
  • Google PixelBook
  • HP 11 G4
  • HP G6ee
  • HP X2
  • HP 14

Regardless of which one you have, the process to fix the problem is the same.

However, if it constantly overheats to the point where you can’t even use it to do basic tasks, this may be a defect in the system. You’ll want to contact the manufacturer to get it replaced or repaired under warranty.

Or get in touch with the retailer you bought it from.

Why is my ASUS, HP, PixelBook, or Dell Chromebook overheating?

These Chromebook models have had more reports than other ones, and it could be due to a design flaw.

Or they’re just pushing a lot of power when the laptop shell doesn’t vent efficiently. If you happen to own one of these models, try the tips outlined in this tutorial and see if you can keep it running cooler. If not, consider returning or exchanging it. You can contact the manufacturer if it’s under warranty.

Though, an identical model probably will result in the same problem.

So you’re better off getting your money back and buying a proven Chromebook that’s not prone to overheating.

Stick with these:

Note that sometimes brands put out “new and improved” versions later on, which does fix a lot of prior problems. If there’s a newer revision out (like a 2020 model), you may be able to exchange it for the newer one.

You’ll have to contact them to find out.

Common overheating problems

Chromebook runs hot philosoraptor.

Here are some common symptoms of what it’s like when a Chromebook overheats.

You may have seen some of these already if your Chromebook’s always running hot.

Regardless, follow the steps to resolve the issue.

A lot of them can be fixed by external cooling, such as a cooling pad.

You may also be able to fix the heating problems by not overworking your device, leaving the power cable unplugged (don’t charge your Chromebook when you use it), and working in a cool area.

Minimizing the number of apps you have running simultaneously also helps.

Battery damage

The damage to the battery is irreversible from heat.

This is a critical component of any laptop. Constant heat that fails to exhaust properly will cause extensive damage to the battery on your Chromebook.

Not only is the battery my main concern when I use my machine, but it’s also the most significant one in terms of what the end-user (you) will notice.

Over time, your battery starts to degrade in performance. You’ll notice these symptoms of a battery that needs to be replaced:

  • Your Chromebook doesn’t hold a charge
  • Slow charging or fast charging that’s not consistent
  • Random drops in battery percentage remaining
  • A hot battery
  • Fast draining battery percentage
  • Uncalibrated battery performance

Whether or not you keep your Chromebook running cool, battery performance degrades over time.

Things like proper storage, reducing CPU load, partial charging, and best practices to preserve the battery all help.

But overheating your device doesn’t. So minimize this at all times.

Chromebooks do have replaceable batteries and the process is pretty easy.

You may want to recruit the help of a licensed technician or contact your manufacturer if you think the battery is defective and covered under warranty.

Regardless, keep your Chromebook running cool to keep the battery running under optimal conditions.

My Chromebook gets hot and the battery only lasts for a short time

This is a common symptom of a battery that needs to be replaced soon.

All batteries degrade slowly over time. Poor battery preservation habits speed up the degradation (such as using your Chromebook when it’s hot, leaving it plugged in all the time, and not doing a full drain every once in a while).

If you use your device extensively under conditions that make it run hot, this further degrades the battery. As the battery gets damaged, it holds less of a charge, which makes it last only for a short time.

It’s both the heat generated from use and poor battery habits that contribute to this problem.

The result?

The battery holds less charge and runs out quickly while displacing a lot of heat loss as inefficiency. Batteries used in electronics are usually lithium ions, which are prone to degradation when hot. The battery then only runs for a short time before needing to be charged again.

This is a side effect of poor battery preservation.

You can fix it by replacing the battery. Or use the other best practices to keep your Chromebook cool on this guide.

Next time, keep your battery in good shape and make it last longer by making some basic changes. You don’t have to rearrange your routine over this. They’re very simple and will more than save your battery from common mistakes Chromebook owners make.

Don’t be one of them and be kind to your battery!

The screen turns black and freezes

When your screen freezes up and is completely solid black, this is a good sign that your Chromebook has overheated. Let it cool down to room temperature and then try to power it on again.

This is the only way to bypass the automatic shutdown process built in to the OS.

After it turns back on, ask yourself what you did that overheated it.

Find ways to solve the problem so that it doesn’t keep occurring. Was it a specific game that made it run hot?

Consider playing on another device or using a laptop cooler.

Or maybe even adjusting the video/graphic settings to the lowest possible so that it doesn’t require so much system resources.

Were you just running too many things at one time?

Consider closing out tabs that you no longer need (or getting a tab suspender).

Or do you just have too much junk on your system and it’s slowing down?

Consider deleting all the unnecessary data, files, games, apps, pictures, videos, and Chrome extensions you don’t use to speed up your system by freeing up resources.

What does it mean when my Chromebook won’t turn on?

When your device doesn’t turn on, heat COULD be one of the possible reasons.

But there’s more to it than that. Chromebooks may fail to start up due to a variety of different causes:

  • Low battery
  • Corrupted software
  • Loose connectors
  • Hibernate mode
  • Damaged or worn parts inside the system
  • Low power drain mode (this is a separate state that puts the machine into a unique state)
  • Overheating
  • Brightness setting turned all the way down
  • Loose battery cable
  • Chrome Web Store app freezing the system
  • Android app freezing the system
  • Other hardware defects

I’ve written about this topic before and people chimed in stating their Chromebook freezes or simply doesn’t turn on, even though the status LED indicators to light up.

It could be as simple as adjusting the brightness setting to something as complicated as messing around with the battery connector.

If you’re handy, you can try to troubleshoot why your Chromebook doesn’t turn on.

Otherwise, send it to the manufacturer if you’re still covered under warranty after trying all the solutions.

Now you know how to keep your Chromebook cool

Chromebook running hot meme.
Stay cool, friends. (Via ImgFlip.)

With the tips outlined here, you should have a good foundation of knowledge to cool down your Chromebook and stop overheating.

Not only is heat bad for the electrical components, but it’s also damaging to the battery and will wear it down over time (leading to faster discharge cycles).

Keep your device running at optimal temperature and game on!

If you have any questions, drop me a comment below. Or if you found this page helpful, let me know as well!

Consider telling a friend who may be also having similar heat problems with their Chromebook.

Thanks for reading. Now go and enjoy your “cool” laptop!

About Andy Z.

Andy is a casual-hardcore Chrome OS fan and contributes to the site regularly. He likes computers, tech, sports cars, videogames, and of course, Chromebooks. Thinker. Introvert. Geek. You can find him on Twitter (@platytech), or send him an email (check the "Contact Us" page).

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