Computer Is Overheating Warning Signs

Last Reviewed: 04-Dec-2017
Article ID: 000005791


Intel® Processors have built-in thermal protection. If the processor gets too hot, the built-in protection shuts down the processor. If your computer is not over-clocked, and is running under the design specifications, the built-in protection can help prevent damage to your system. What do I do if my computer is overheating?

Computer overheating warning signs

Click or the topic for details:

Unusual fan soundsMost computers have two fans, one fan that cools the power supply, and one that cools the processor. If a fan starts to make unusual whirring, clicking, clunking, or a musical sound or beep, the fan might be failing. If the fan is the problem, always replace, never repair.
Blue screenIf a fan does fail, the computer might boot up properly but then start to overheat. The most common result is a blue screen. If you keep getting a Windows* error and a blue screen, check the cooling fan and the air flow coming or going from your computer.
Constantly reboots or shuts downTo prevent damage to components, the computer shuts down or reboots if it senses an overheating issue. The system might reboot every few minutes until the problem is resolved. This often occurs if your system CPU is over-clocked (sped up past the recommended speed limits). The BIOS usually reports if a thermal event has occurred.
Non-fan-based CPU overheating

Under normal working conditions, if all fans are functioning and a CPU still overheats, replace the thermal interface material (TIM) between the heatsink and processor. The TIM eventually hardens on most systems.

See a computer technician, or purchase professional grade TIM and replace it yourself. Carefully follow all instructions and warnings. See How to apply Thermal Interface Material (TIM).

High temperatureIf you use a third party software to measure the temperature or the BIOS readings, contact the software vendor to ensure the software is validated to work with your processor.
If you purchased your computer from a computer manufacturer such as Gateway* or Dell*, you might void your warranty by opening your computer case. Contact your system manufacturer if you are experiencing any of the warning signs listed above.
Related topics
Processor Installation Center
Processor operation temperature FAQ
Intel® Processor Diagnostic Tool
Intel Warranty Guide for Processors video