“I have recently started getting a “CPU over temperature” error, and I don’t understand why.” This is what a Reddit user was facing after using his PC for six months.

With no apparent reason, the computer started acting up. We can all agree that this can be frustrating. However, there’s almost always a reason why the CPU temperature error happens. After all, it’s a machine.

The cause of this problem may stem from malware infection, bad ventilation, degraded thermal paste, and many more. Luckily, this is a common issue many users face. In other words, it’s easily fixable. Keep reading to learn how to fix “CPU over temperature” errors!

What Does “CPU Over Temperature Error” Mean?

The “CPU over temp” error happens when the central processing unit becomes too hot for the cooler to disperse the heat generated.

Sometimes, the issue could be coming from a faulty cooler or heat sink not mounted properly. You can open the system case and confirm if that is where the problem originates.

But what if it’s not the heat sink? Other factors could be at play. We’ll dive into them in the next section.

Causes of “CPU Over Temperature Error”

Let’s briefly go over the causes of the error:

  • CPU overclocking. Increasing the clock speed of your CPU can boost system performance. But it comes at a cost—increased heat generation. If you don’t have a good cooling system, it can result in a CPU temperature error.
  • Thermal paste is dried out. If the thermal paste is old or degraded, it makes it difficult to remove heat effectively, and that can cause the error. 
  • The cooling system is faulty. If your cooling installation has an issue, it can lead to overheating and trigger the temp error. 

Related: How to Clean the Water Cooling System on Your PC 


  • The airflow is not sufficient. If the airflow can circulate freely due to lots of dust in the fans or obstructions in the case, the heat generated can increase the system’s temperature, leading to the error. 
  • The computer is infected with malware. Malicious software can worm its way into your system and run intensive processes in the background, causing the CPU’s temperature to rise. The end result of that is the “CPU over temp” error. 

These are usually the causes of “CPU over temperature error” in Asus, Dell, Lenovo, and other brands. You can learn more about why your computer is overheating

Following this, we’ll show you how to fix the problem permanently.

How to Fix the “CPU Over Temperature” Error

Go through the solutions and implement any or all the methods to fix the error:

  • Solution 1: Check the heat sink

Is the heat sink securely connected to the CPU? You could be experiencing the “CPU over temperature” error if it’s loose and not working correctly.

What you need to do is unscrew the system case, navigate to the CPU, and confirm if it’s tightly held in place. If the heat sink is in the right position, skip to the next solution.

  • Solution 2: Put in a new thermal paste

Sometimes, it may not be from the heat sink but the thermal paste. So, remove the heatsink and put in the correct amount of the CPU paste.

Use rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab to remove the old thermal paste. After letting it dry, put a small amount (a pea-sized drop) of the new paste in the center of the CPU. 

After everything, check to see if the “CPU over temp” error is fixed. Do you regularly take care of your PC? Don’t forget to clean your laptop, mouse, and keyboard

  • Solution 3: Check the CPU cooler fan and clean it if dirty

Dust accumulating in your computer case is normal, and there’s no absolute way to prevent this from happening.

However, if you don’t regularly clean the dust, it can gather over time and prevent the air from flowing freely, and that can end in the “CPU over temperature” issue. 

To correct this problem, open the PC case and gently clean the fan with a soft brush or compressed air.

The ways for cooling your system are different for laptops. Check out this guide for an in-depth analysis of how to cool down your laptop.
  • Solution 4: Troubleshoot the CPU cooler fan

Did cleaning the fan not solve the “CPU over temperature” error? Try checking the fan itself. Verify if the fan is securely connected and that it’s running as it should.

Furthermore, look for any signs of wear or damage and make the necessary replacements, if any. Another way is to adjust the fan speed if there are no indications of damage to improve the cooling performance. 

You can refer to this article on controlling CPU fan speed for in-depth guidance.

PRO TIP
Did you know you can use the Windows Registry to cool down your CPU? This guide gives you all the details you need to know: How to Cool Down Your CPU Through the Windows Registry.
  • Solution 5: Upgrade your CPU cooler

Sometimes, the default’s system cooler is just not enough to keep CPU’s temperature under control, especially if you play high demanding games

The best way to fix this problem is to upgrade to more efficient CPU coolers. This can help you maintain a balanced temperature even when the PC is under an intense load. 

Check out this guide on how to keep your laptop cool while gaming, especially if you’re a gamer!

  • Solution 6: Stop the CPU from overclocking

As I mentioned earlier, it’s okay to overclock the CPU, as it can help enhance the performance of the computer. However, it consumes more energy and generates more heat.

To fix the “CPU over temperature” error in Asus, Dell, HP, etc., stop overclocking and check if the temp has stabilized.

  • Solution 7: Run a malware scan

You can use Windows Defender or your preferred antivirus program to check your PC for any malware infections. 

However, if you want dedicated software specifically designed to identify and eliminate malware, I highly recommend Auslogics Anti-Malware

This program is excellent at catching malicious items your antivirus may have missed. Plus, it doesn’t conflict with your main antivirus, no matter the brand! 

Want to know more about Anti-Malware? Check out the features and reviews on Auslogics Anti-Malware.

  • Solution 8: Update your PC to reduce the strain on the CPU

If the “CPU over temperature” error persists, it could be that your CPU is working harder to run your computer efficiently.

  • Update your drivers, software, and Windows OS on a consistent basis. 
  • Run CPU-intensive programs only when necessary. I know that it depends on the type of CPU you use; the more powerful, the better. 

However, generally, you shouldn’t run lots of software that requires too many resources at the same time. 

Note
That could also be the reason why your laptop battery keeps draining fast. So close the apps and check if the problem has been resolved. 

“CPU Over Temperature Error”: Fixed

The methods we’ve outlined in this guide should help you correct the “CPU over temperature” error. However, if you’ve exhausted all the options, you may need to contact an expert.

The professional may be able to diagnose and fix the problem. That said, I’m confident that the steps outlined in this article can resolve the issue.

FAQ

When is “CPU over temperature error” dangerous or not severe?
In some cases, the problem isn’t serious. A good example is when dust and other debris prevent heat from dissipating. Or the system heats up because of high temps in the summer. However, if you get the “CPU over temperature” problem even when you’re not playing games that are resource-intensive, this can be dangerous. So, if you get the error when you’re streaming or just watching a video, it could be severe; you should resolve the issue immediately.
How hot is too hot for a CPU?
The processors on the market now are designed to handle temperatures up to 80°C without affecting system performance. Anything above this is, well, consider it a red flag. However, you must not exceed 90°C because that can reduce the CPU’s life or cause instant damage. Ideally, you should maintain a temperature range of 35°C to 45°C on a regular day. 60°C to 70°C is a good range under load. Keep in mind that temp thresholds are different depending on the processor. So, you’ll have to know the normal temperature range for your particular CPU to make accurate readings.
How can I check my CPU temperature?
The simplest way is to download and install Core Temp. You can check the temperature for each CPU core you have under Temperature Readings. Check out our detailed guide on how to check and monitor your CPU temperature. You’ll find everything you need to know there!
What happens if the CPU goes over the max temp?
Most modern CPUs reduce their clock speeds (throttling) to prevent overheating if the temperature gets to 90°C and above. It’ll shut down automatically if it exceeds 100°C to avoid permanent damage.