How to Cool Down Your Computer

As summer heats up, you might want to take this easy step to cool down your computer.

This article will go through the general process of what it takes to make your computer run more efficiently and give some helpful tips on how you can avoid overheating problems. One thing is that when it’s really hot outside, have your fans on in your house, or if possible outside so that the air can circulate throughout the house. Put a desktop fan next to your computer and physical movement around the home will help with cooling too. If you’re in an area where A/C isn’t available, open windows and doors for natural circulation or buy a small fan for $5 at any convenience store.

This article is a general guide and if you feel that something is wrong or missing, please send me a message.

How to cool down your computer

Note: Disassembling a PC is dangeurous, please always think about safety first and do these steps only after you have assured that no one is and will be in danger! Also the hardware parts could be damaged if the fan-replacement is done without special care. Extra tip: take a picture from the inside of your computer so it will be easier to assemble it again!


Power off your computer, unplug the power cord, and set your computer down on a table. A cool place where it will not get knocked around Might help too. Keep in mind that the CPU fan will make some noise when it’s not running. Don’t be alarmed if it gets louder when the fan is running since as soon as it’s plugged in, you’ll hear the sound of the fans actually start to spin up again. The cooling system is the one that makes noise.


With a flathead screwdriver, remove the screws holding in your computer case.


When opening your computer, you’ll need to be careful of the microchips that are connected to the motherboard. Make sure you have a firm grip on your computer while lifting the motherboard with both hands, since those microchips can be delicate and it’s much easier to damage them if they’re bumped around too much or if there’s too much pressure on them. Once you lift your motherboard out of the case, put it down on an area that won’t get bumped around a lot or has a lot of strong vibrations from other items being moved in your house. Just follow this guide: Have a firm grip on the motherboard while lifting it up so this microchip does not fall off.


Unplug the power cord, and remove the screws that hold your power supply in place. Be careful of these cables and their connection points with your motherboard. Take them out one at a time and set them aside to be replaced later on when you can safely handle them.


Disconnect all of your hard drives, sound card, optical drive, and any other cables that you plan to replace during this step. Simply because they’re only being used for cooling purposes doesn’t mean you have to do anything else with them if you don’t want to.


Start disassembling the outside case of your computer. Be careful not to let any screws fall into your keyboard, since that could result in a big mess. If you have a desktop tower computer, this step might be more tricky than it needs to be if you’re not familiar using screwdrivers.


In order to replace or clean up the fan, you have to remove the power supply that was mentioned earlier in this section. That being said, it’s best to just pull out all of the cables so there aren’t as many connections later on when you’re trying to replace them.


Unscrew the fan from both the power supply and the motherboard. This will show you how the fan is attached. The ends of the two fans are directly connected to each other, so when you remove the fan, there should still be enough oxygen to go through it. There’s also a cable that connects the CPU to the motherboard; make sure it’s not plugged in when you’re installing your new fan.


Now that your computer is completely opened up, find a replacement fan that has a similar size and shape as the one that is currently attached to your laptop or desktop. It’s best if this fan has a grip on it so you don’t have to worry about dropping it while installing or removing it from its spot. Also, make sure the new fan is a little bit bigger than the old one, since you don’t want it to get too close to the heat in your computer or too far away. The fan has to work efficiently at drawing cool air across your CPU and exhausting heat out the back of your computer.


Finally, place the fan on top of your computer. Since you’ll have to put screws back in place when you’re sitting down at your computer and having a normal day again, put them back into the correct holes so they don’t keep falling out during normal use. Make sure that they’re tight enough that they won’t be able to move around anymore.


Now you can start putting everything back in place. Reconnect every cable by putting it back into its original port. Make sure your hard drives are lined up right and that each of them has a screw that is screwed down tightly enough to keep them from moving around inside your computer.


Put the power supply back in place and make sure it’s connected to the motherboard and to all of the cables for your other devices that you won’t be replacing.


Place the motherboard back in and make sure all of its components are lined up correctly with its corresponding ports on the case. Screw everything back in. Finally, put all of the screwdrivers back into their respective places and tighten them up tightly so nothing will come loose.


Put everything back together with the screws that you took out before. Make sure all of your cables are reconnected properly and that each one still has a tight connection with its corresponding computer port on your desktop or laptop.


Put the screws back in place, and close your computer up in its original place so that you can use it without fear again. If you still have any problems getting everything to work properly again, check out the picture you have taken of the inside of your PC before you have disassembled it so you can make sure everything is in its correct place.


Installing a new fan to your computer may not be the most thrilling or exciting part of upgrading, but it’s an important step in the process. You want to make sure that your computer is running at its best level with your most crucial components being cooled down properly.

And once you get everything up and running, you’re good to go! You can finally start having fun in your old PC once again. There are many other things that you can do to make sure the performance of your computer is good as new, and we’ll show you how in some other articles. Just look out for our next article, where we’ll show you how to take care of your computer like a pro! And don’t forget to leave any questions or comments below!

For more, check out PC Ocular magazine.

Benkő Attila is a Hungarian senior software developer, independent researcher and author of many computer science related papers.

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