A reader wrote in last week to complain that her laptop kept shutting down after about 30 minutes of use. I suspected that the laptop might be getting overheated. Several of you commented and wanted to point out that the overheating could be caused by where the laptop was being used.
Despite the name laptop, your lap is not a great place to use your device. Laptops have vents that take in cool air and let the heat out. If you flip your laptop over, you’ll see they’re on the bottom of your device. Putting it on your lap or only any cloth surface like your bed or a couch can block those vents and cause it to overheat. One reader even saw issues because the laptop was sitting on a placemat instead of a table. If you find your laptop suddenly slowing down or occasionally shutting down, try moving it to a hard surface. Also, check to see if the tiny little rubber feet on the bottom of your laptop have come off. They’re designed to give just a bit of a lift and promote air flow. If they’re gone, consider getting one of those cooling platforms with fans that can help your device keep its cool.