How to fix CPU over temperature error? Step by step guide - Reedablez

A CPU (Central Processing Unit) is the brain of your computer, responsible for executing instructions and carrying out complex calculations. However, it generates heat as it works, and maintaining the right temperature is crucial for optimal performance and the longevity of your CPU. If you've encountered a CPU over-temperature error, it signals that your CPU is running too hot.

To resolve a CPU over-temperature error, follow these essential steps. First, power down your computer and unplug it for safety. Next, open the computer case and inspect the CPU cooler for proper seating, mounting hardware, and thermal paste.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps to diagnose and fix this issue, ensuring your CPU operates within safe temperature ranges.

Understanding CPU Temperature

Before we dive into fixing CPU temperature issues, it's essential to understand what constitutes average CPU temperatures. The ideal temperature for your CPU can vary based on the model and the workload it's handling. Here are some general temperature guidelines:

Idle Temperature

When your computer is at rest or performing light tasks, your CPU temperature should typically range from 30°C to 50°C. For laptops and small form-factor PCs, idle temperatures may be slightly higher.

Normal Operating Temperature

During moderate use, such as web browsing and office tasks, your CPU temperature should remain at 40°C to 60°C. For gaming laptops and gaming desktops, this may rise to around 70°C.

Gaming or Heavy Workloads

Under heavy loads like gaming or video rendering, it's normal for CPU temperatures to peak in the range of 70°C to 85°C. Some high-end processors can handle even higher temperatures.

Critical Temperature

Most CPUs have a critical temperature threshold around 100°C. Beyond this point, the CPU may throttle performance or shut down to prevent damage.

These are general guidelines, and actual temperatures may vary based on your CPU, cooler, and case ventilation. Monitoring your CPU temperature using software tools to ensure it stays within safe ranges is essential.

Diagnosing a CPU Temperature Error

  • System Warnings: If your CPU temperature exceeds safe limits, the motherboard's BIOS or UEFI may generate warnings or errors, indicating an overheating issue.
  • System Instability: High CPU temperatures can lead to system instability, causing crashes, freezing, or performance issues. If you experience any of these problems, it could be due to overheating.
  • Automatic Shutdown: In severe cases, a CPU running excessively hot may cause the system to shut down automatically to prevent damage.
  • Fan Noise: If your CPU cooler's fans start operating at maximum speed and remain loud, it might indicate high CPU temperature.

Step-by-Step Guide to Fix CPU Over Temperature Error

How to fix CPU over temperature error

1. Check Your CPU Cooler

Ensure that your CPU cooler is correctly installed and seated. Loose or improperly mounted coolers can lead to poor heat dissipation.

Check if the heatsink is clean and dust-free if you're using an air cooler. Accumulated dust can hinder cooling performance.

2. Thermal Paste Inspection

Inspect the thermal paste between the CPU and the cooler. If it's dried out or improperly applied, it can impede heat transfer. Cleann off the old thermal paste and reapply a fresh layer if necessary.

3. Adequate Airflow

Proper case ventilation is vital. Make sure your computer case has adequate airflow with intake and exhaust fans. An efficient airflow pattern can significantly impact cooling.

4. BIOS/UEFI Settings

Access your motherboard's BIOS/UEFI settings and check for CPU temperature and fan speed monitoring options. Ensure they are enabled to receive real-time information.

Some motherboards offer fan control settings, which allow you to adjust fan speed based on CPU temperature. Configure these settings for better thermal management.

5. Update BIOS/UEFI

Visit your motherboard manufacturer's website to check for BIOS/UEFI updates. Sometimes, these updates can enhance CPU temperature management and stability.

6. Software Monitoring

Utilize software tools like Core Temp, HWMonitor, or SpeedFan to monitor your CPU temperature in real-time. Keep an eye on temperature trends to identify any anomalies.

7. Clean Your PC

Regularly clean your PC to remove dust and debris obstructing airflow and cooling. Pay attention to the CPU cooler, graphics card, and case fans.

8. Fan Speed Control

If your CPU cooler has adjustable fan speeds, consider configuring a more aggressive fan curve that increases fan speed as CPU temperature rises.

9. Hardware Upgrades

If your CPU cooler is inadequate for your CPU or workload, consider upgrading to a more robust cooler for better heat dissipation.

10. Stress Test

After making adjustments, stress-test your CPU using software like Prime95 or AIDA64 to ensure it remains within safe temperature limits under heavy loads.

11. CPU Undervolting

Undervolting your CPU can reduce power consumption and heat output. However, this should be done cautiously, as it can affect stability.

12. Check for Background Processes

Ensure that background processes or applications aren't unnecessarily taxing your CPU. Close any unnecessary applications running in the background.

13. Professional Inspection

If you've exhausted all options and the CPU continues overheating, it may be time to seek professional assistance. There could be underlying CPU or motherboard issues requiring expert diagnosis.

Remember that proper CPU temperature management is essential for your computer's performance and longevity. Regular monitoring and maintenance, along with the steps outlined in this guide, can help ensure your CPU stays within safe temperature limits, preventing CPU over-temperature errors and potential damage.

How can I check if my CPU cooler is seated correctly?

Checking if your CPU cooler is seated correctly is critical in ensuring efficient cooling and preventing overheating issues. A poorly installed CPU cooler can lead to inadequate heat dissipation, higher CPU temperatures, and even system instability.

Why Proper Seating Matters

An adequately seated CPU cooler is essential for several reasons:

  • Effective Heat Transfer: The CPU cooler's primary function is to transfer heat away from the CPU. Improper seating can hinder this heat transfer, resulting in higher temperatures.
  • Preventing Overheating: Adequate cooling is crucial for avoiding CPU overheating, leading to reduced performance and potential damage to your processor.
  • System Stability: Incorrectly seated coolers can lead to system instability, including crashes and unexpected shutdowns.
  • Longevity: A well-seated cooler contributes to a longer lifespan for your CPU by keeping it within safe temperature ranges.

Steps to Check CPU Cooler Seating

How to fix CPU over temperature error

1. Power Down and Disconnect

Before checking the CPU cooler, power down your computer and unplug it from the electrical outlet. This is crucial for safety and to avoid any electrical mishaps.

2. Open the Computer Case

Remove the side panel of your computer case to access the interior components. This panel is typically secured with screws or latches.

3. Observe the CPU Cooler

Inspect the CPU cooler to see if it is securely attached to the CPU. Here's what to look for:

  • Mounting Bracket: Ensure the CPU cooler's mounting bracket is correctly connected to the motherboard's CPU socket. There should be no visible gaps, and all screws or latches should be tightly fastened.
  • Thermal Paste: Check the thermal paste applied between the CPU and cooler. It should be evenly spread and cover the entire CPU surface. If it looks dry or partially used, it may need reapplication.
  • Fan and Heatsink: Confirm that the cooler's heatsink and fan are firmly attached to the mounting bracket. They should not wobble or appear loose.

4. Inspect Mounting Hardware

Examine the mounting hardware used to secure the CPU cooler. Ensure that all screws or clips are correctly tightened and engaged. Pay special attention to the backplate and retention brackets, which are integral to the cooler's stability.

5. Gently Push or Wiggle

You can gently press or wiggle the CPU cooler to check for movement. Be cautious and use very light pressure to avoid causing any damage. An adequately seated cooler should not move or shift.

6. Listen for Unusual Sounds

An improperly seated cooler can sometimes produce abnormal noises due to vibrations or loose components. Listen for any unusual sounds while gently tapping or wiggling the cooler.

7. Reapplication of Thermal Paste

If you suspect the thermal paste may be the issue, you can consider reapplying it. To do this, remove the cooler, clean off the old paste, and apply a fresh, thin layer evenly across the CPU's surface before reseating the cooler. It would help if you also read when GPU fans turn on.

Reseating the CPU Cooler

If you find any issues during the visual inspection or suspect improper seating, it's advisable to reseat the CPU cooler. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Power down the computer and unplug it from the electrical outlet.
  • Remove the side panel of the computer case to access the interior components.
  • Carefully disconnect any wires or cables attached to the CPU cooler and the fan.
  • Loosen and remove the screws or clips that secure the CPU cooler to the mounting bracket. Gradually and evenly pull the cooler from the CPU.
  • Carefully clean off the old thermal paste from the CPU and the cooler using isopropyl alcohol and a lint-free cloth or thermal paste remover.
  • Apply a small amount of fresh, high-quality thermal paste to the CPU's surface. Be cautious not to use too much, as excess paste can negatively affect heat transfer.
  • Reattach the CPU cooler, ensuring it aligns with the mounting bracket and is securely fastened.
  • Reconnect any wires or cables to the CPU cooler and fan.
  • Replace the side panel of the computer case and secure it with screws or latches.
  • Plug in your computer and power it to monitor the CPU temperature and ensure the reseating resolves the issue.

Correctly setting your CPU cooler is fundamental to maintaining safe CPU temperatures and overall system stability. By following these steps, you can ensure that your CPU cooler is securely attached, facilitating efficient heat dissipation and preventing overheating-related problems. Regular inspection and maintenance of your CPU cooler will contribute to the longevity and reliability of your computer.


In CPU temperature management, understanding and addressing CPU over-temperature errors is paramount. This step-by-step guide has illuminated the path to diagnosing and resolving such issues, ensuring your CPU operates within safe temperature ranges for optimal performance and durability. You can mitigate the risks associated with high temperatures by comprehending what constitutes average CPU temperatures, recognizing the signs of overheating, and taking proactive measures. This comprehensive guide has equipped you with the knowledge and tools to maintain an excellent and efficient CPU, allowing you to enjoy a stable and reliable computing experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average temperature range for a CPU?

The average temperature range for a CPU can vary depending on the CPU model and workload. However, generally, idle temperatures can range from 30°C to 50°C, while under load, temperatures may reach 70°C to 85°C for most CPUs.

What does a CPU over-temperature error mean?

A CPU over-temperature error is a warning or error message generated by the motherboard's BIOS or UEFI when the CPU temperature exceeds safe operating limits. It indicates that the CPU is running too hot and needs attention.

How can I check if my CPU cooler is seated correctly?

To check if your CPU cooler is seated correctly, ensure it is securely fastened to the CPU socket. There should be good contact between the CPU and the cooler. Verify that all screws or mounting mechanisms are tightened appropriately.

Is undervolting a safe method to reduce CPU temperatures?

Undervolting, when done carefully, can be a safe method to reduce CPU temperatures. It reduces power consumption and heat output. However, it should be approached cautiously to avoid stability issues.

How often should I clean my PC to prevent CPU overheating?

Regular PC cleaning is recommended to prevent CPU overheating. The frequency depends on factors like your environment, but a general guideline is to clean your PC every 3-6 months or more often if you notice dust accumulation.

Can software monitoring tools help prevent CPU over-temperature errors?

Software monitoring tools can help you monitor CPU temperatures in real-time, providing insights into temperature anomalies. While they don't prevent errors independently, they enable proactive temperature management.

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