Are Cooling Pads Bad for Laptops? (And When its Good to Have)

November 19, 2022
Are Cooling Pads Bad for Laptops? (And When its Good to Have)

Investing in a cooling pad is a smart move, particularly if your laptop overheats often. Cooling pads serve to bring down the temperature of a laptop by moving the excessive heat away from the system using an active or passive cooling function. 

However, a cooling pad cannot fix deep-rooted overheating issues caused by a clogged heat sink or dried thermal compound etc. In such a case, it will only serve as a temporary fix at best. 

The problem is most people fail to identify the cause of overheating and in turn, blame the cooling pads for being ineffective. When in reality, they work well to lower the temperature of a laptop.

So the question is are cooling pads bad for laptops? Well, it most certainly has its pros and cons both. Let’s find out if cooling pads for laptops are worth it.

Are Cooling Pads Bad for Laptops?

Cooling pads provide better airflow and promote a cooler internal and external temperature of the laptop. Therefore, they are not bad for laptops, per se.  

However, the situation you’re using the cooling pad in can make it bad for your laptop

3 Situations where a Cooling Pad Can be Bad for Your Laptop

Some of the major situations where a cooling pad will do more harm than good to your laptop are as follows:

1- An Underlying Problem

The problem with the use of cooling pads is they can hide an underlying problem, which can worsen over time if left untreated. If you start using a cooling pad without diagnosing the actual cause of overheating, then you’re simply treating the symptom and not the real problem.

Some common causes of recurring overheating sessions include blocked vents, insufficient thermal paste, an old system, a poor battery, or a malfunctioning cooling system of the laptop.

All the above mentioned situations can cause your laptop to generate excessive heat and guess what?

A cooling pad is not going to help in this suitation. It will temporarily bring down the temperature sure. But in the long run, you’ll end up permanently damaging your laptop if you don’t treat the actual issue.

If the thermal paste dry up, it will not allow the heat to get away, possibly damage laptop.

2- A Dusty Environment 

Using your laptop around a dusty place and adding a cooling pad under it is a recipe for disaster. In addition to the air that goes into the system, you’ll be blowing in a lot of dust.

If you are using the laptop with cooling pad in dusty environment, chance are that will clog the vents of your laptop and will stop working.

Doing so will eventually clog the vents of your laptop and even create a dust build-up internally. So while the cooling pad will temporarily reduce the temperature by increasing air circulation, it will make your laptop’s hardware covered in dust, which may lead to serious problems.

So yes, most people have a genuine concern of blowing dust and other particles into their laptop by using a cooling pad. However, you can simply avoid it by keeping your surroundings dust, lint, or fur free and a frequent deep clean of your laptop.

3- In Case of Absent Vents

In this case, a cooling pad is neither harmful nor beneficial for the laptop

Laptops are built on a different design. Some of them have ventilation spots at the bottom, others do not. Ventilation spots at the bottom are used to take in air, which is then expelled in the form of heat from the vents on the side. If you install a cooling pad for this kind of laptop, well and good.

If you laptops vents are blocked due to dust or surface, the heat will not be able to pass out from the laptop, which will damage your laptop.

However, if there are no vents at the bottom of your laptop, then a cooling pad won’t do any good. The fans of the cooling pad blow in air from those vents at the bottom. In case they’re absent, a cooling pad can’t possibly do anything. 

When are Cooling Pads Good for a Laptop?

Now onto the good part. As mentioned earlier, cooling pads are not always bad for laptops. In fact, in some situations you can really benefit from their cooling functions

1- For a Power-intensive Laptop

Laptops with powerful hardware generally produce a lot of heat. A cooling pad can help keep the temperatures of such devices under control. 

While it is true that most power-packed laptops come with efficient cooling systems these days, some of them still house crappy ventilation systems that cannot keep the temperatures down on their own and need a supplement. 

So a cooling pad, in this case, can serve as a supplementary cooling system for the laptop’s integrated heat controlling system. 

2- For Easy Ventilation 

Many times, your laptop sits on your lap or lays flat on a desk as you use it. In this situation, the vents of the laptop get blocked and lead to overheating.

A cooling pad comes in handy during such times as it elevates the laptop from the surface and allows it to breathe. However, you can achieve the same result from a laptop stand or even a simple book that doesn’t block the vents and lifts the laptop from the surface.

Laptop Cooling Pad Advantages and Disadvantages

Just like everything else, a laptop cooling pad has its set of advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of Cooling Pad

The advantages of a laptop cooling pad are as follows:

  • Helps to reduce the internal and external temperature of a laptop
  • Serves as a decent surface/stand for the laptop
  • Serve as a supplementary cooling system for powerful laptops that generate excessive heat
  • Flexible inclination angles and height adjustments promote comfort and help improve posture

Disadvantages of Cooling Pad

The disadvantages of a laptop cooling pad are as follows:

  • Blow a lot of dust into the laptop along with the air and cause blockage of vents
  • Fans can be excessively loud in some cases
  • Hide the underlying cause of overheating and cause stress to the laptop’s hardware
  • Increase the surrounding temperature as they promote the heat release from the laptop

Do Laptop Cooling Pads Improve Performance?

Cooling pads are not designed to directly improve the performance of a laptop. Instead, their function is to reduce the temperature of the system, which does translate to a consistently good performance.

A cooling pad can reduce the temperature of a laptop around 8 to 10 degrees. A reduced temperature minimizes the chances of thermal throttling, which is a process where the system noticeably drops the performance level to counter overheating. 

As a result of suitably maintained temperature, the laptop renders peak performance consistently.

However, keep in mind that a cooling pad cannot improve the performance of a laptop beyond its original capacity, in any case. 

Final Verdict

So are cooling pads bad for laptops? Well, they can be both good and bad depending upon your suitation, as we’ve discussed earlier. They serve as a great supplement for the cooling system of a laptop. However, they shouldn’t be used to treat overheating caused by an underlying problem in the laptop.

People Also Ask:

1-Do Laptop Cooling Pads Actually Work?

Yes, laptop cooling pads effectively lower the temperature of a laptop by increasing ventilation. Introducing a cooling pad to the laptop can make the temperatures drop up to 10 degrees and lower the chances of overheating. 

2- Are Laptop Cooling Pads Noisy?

The noise produced by a laptop cooling pad varies according to the number, size, and rotation speed of its fans. Bigger fans that rotate faster are noisier as compared to smaller fans.

In the worst-case scenario, the noise can be terrible. In most cases, it barely causes a distraction. 

3- What will happen if My Laptop Gets Too Hot?

When a laptop gets too hot, it usually shuts down to prevent any damage to its hardware. If your laptop experiences regular overheating issues, it can decrease the lifespan of the system and cause permanent damage to the hardware components in the long run. 

4- What is the Difference between Laptop Stand vs. Cooling Pad?

A laptop stand is simply a stand that you can use as a sturdy surface for your laptop. It lifts the laptop from the surface allowing better ventilation from the bottom and promotes cooling. It also offers height adjustments with various inclination angles that allow you to stay comfortable while you use the laptop.

A laptop cooling pad, on the other hand, is a laptop stand with the added function of cooling fans that blow air directly into the laptop. It also offers the options of height and angle adjustments just like the laptop stand. 

About Author

About Ethan Anderson

Hey, Ethan Anderson reporting in as your laptop storyteller at With a pocketful of tech expertise and a passion for decoding the digital landscape, I'm your go-to guide for all things laptops. Embark on this exciting adventure with me as we unravel the intricacies of the latest tech trends, making the world of laptops accessible and thrilling. Let's turn complexity into clarity, one article at a time. And Did I forgot to tell you that I love to dance?

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