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Here’s how to lower CPU temperature using 8 methods

Here's how to reduce your CPU's temp!
Last Updated on April 22, 2024
Close-up of an intel CPU installed on a motherboard with visible RAM slots, components labeled in detail, and tips on how to lower CPU temp.
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If you want to learn how to lower your CPU temperature, then we have a handful of methods that can help keep things cool.

Making sure your CPU stays cool is essential for keeping your computer running smoothly. When your CPU gets too hot, it can slow down your system and even cause long-term damage. But what should you do if the temperatures are always too high? Should you get a new CPU? Or are there ways to bring the temperature down?

In this guide, we’ll explore different methods for keeping the CPU cool so it can continue operating smoothly.

Quick Answer

Cleaning your PC, replacing the thermal paste, improving the airflow, and upgrading your cooler can help lower the CPU temperature.

How to reduce CPU temperature

If your CPU temps are higher than normal, you can use these methods to bring them down.



Get rid of dust

Dust is your PC’s biggest enemy, and if you don’t make a habit of cleaning it regularly, you’re bound to run into issues such as high CPU temperatures. Dust buildup can have a negative effect on all components, especially the CPU and case fans, preventing them from spinning at their full potential, which leads to poor airflow and increased temperatures.

To get rid of the dust, unplug the power cable, open your PC case, and use an air duster or compressed air and a soft brush to clean all components, including fans and vents.

A person using a handheld air blower to clean the interior of a desktop computer with visible components like RAM and a GPU, as part of how to lower CPU temp.
Cleaning dust inside a PC using an Air Duster – Image taken by PCGuide.com



Improve the airflow

While cleaning the PC can improve airflow, you need to follow some other steps to further enhance it. The first thing you need to do is improve cable management because messy cables can ruin the airflow and cause temperatures to rise. Next, ensure that your PC is placed in a well-ventilated area, where its vents are not blocked by the walls.

Interior of a computer case showcasing good cable management
Example of good cable management – Image taken by PCGuide.com

Another way to enhance airflow is by adding new case fans. However, ensure you check the size of the vents before purchasing the fans, as you may run into compatibility issues otherwise.



Replace the thermal paste

Over time, thermal paste can dry out, losing its ability to effectively dissipate heat from the CPU. That’s why it’s advisable to replace the thermal paste annually. Even if you use a high-quality thermal paste, we still recommend replacing it after a year, especially if your processor is frequently under heavy load.

A tube of thermal paste being applied to a CPU on a motherboard to fix overheating.
Replacing the thermal paste – Image taken by PCGuide.com



Adjust your CPU cooler’s fan speed

Another method to improve temperatures is by adjusting your CPU cooler’s fan speed. This can be accomplished directly from the BIOS or with a third-party application like Fan Control. However, it’s crucial to note that you can only adjust the speed of fans with a 4-pin connector. Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that not all motherboards support third-party applications like Fan Control.



Stop overclocking

If you’ve overclocked your CPU to enhance its performance, you’ll need to disable it to reduce temperatures. Overclocking is a common cause of overheating because it pushes the CPU to operate faster than its standard speed.



Undervolt your CPU

Undervolting your CPU involves reducing its operating voltage to decrease power consumption and heat output without sacrificing performance. In some cases, undervolting also ends up improving the performance and can get rid of issues like thermal throttling. When your CPU draws less power, it also generates less heat, resulting in decreased temperatures.



Upgrade your CPU cooler

If you’re using a standard CPU cooler, then you should consider upgrading to a more efficient model. You have the option to choose between air coolers, which utilize heatsinks and fans, or liquid coolers (AIO or custom loops) for superior thermal performance. Either way, investing in a better cooling system will definitely help with reducing the CPU temperatures. Just make sure to get a cooler from a reputable brand, as a quality cooler should last for several years unless it encounters technical issues or damage.

Black liquid CPU cooler with two fans and Corsair logo, designed to lower CPU temp, set against a blurred background with colorful lighting.
Corsair H115i CPU cooler – Image taken by PCGuide.com



Use an AC

In certain countries, ambient temperatures can soar, leaving you with no choice but to rely on air conditioning to alleviate the heat. Though not the most cost-effective solution, it remains the only effective way to combat excessively high ambient temperatures.

Is your CPU cooler working properly?

If you’re seeing sudden spikes in the CPU temperature, it may be because your CPU cooler is either old or damaged. Either way, you need to invest in a new one immediately. If you’re unable to find the right one, here are some options that we think would be a solid choice. We also recommend checking out some of the best airflow PC cases and the best PC case fans, as these can also help keep the overall system cool.


High temperatures can negatively impact the overall performance and lifespan of your processor. However, with the help of our guide, you will hopefully be able to reduce the temperature effectively. If none of the solutions work, there might be an underlying issue with your processor. In such a case, it’s best to take it to a repair shop where experts can check it out for you.

Abdul is a tech writer and Editor for PC Guide, specializing in all things tech, gaming, and hardware.