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How To Check My CPU Temperature For Free To Prevent Overheating

Updated on September 9, 2016

Check CPU Temperature

There are mainly three different ways in which you may check or monitor you CPU's temperature. These are third party software, manufacturer software and bios. Third party software is not made by your computer manufacture while manufacture software is the opposite. Bios stands for 'basic input output system',\ it basically holds all the essential data required to start up a computer and also some additional information. Don't worry, we will discuss these in more detail.

I personally use third party software to check CPU temperature because it is easier to find compared to manufacturer software. There is also less of a chance of me changing something that will crash my computer. This can easily be mistakenly done in the computer bios if you don't know what you are doing!

Third Party Software

How to check CPU temperature using third party software? I use a free software called speed fan. This not only measures the CPU temperature but also your hard drive temperature, CPU usage, and other temperatures. There is also other free software that measures CPU temperature.

If you are using Linux you may download lm-sensors to monitor computer hardware temperatures because SpeedFan does not work with Linux.

How to use Speedfan

To use speedfan simply download it and install by following the on screen instructions. When finished start the program and wait until it loads. A window will pop up. After reading click close and your temperature should be would be fully visible.

How to check CPU temperature speedfan
How to check CPU temperature speedfan

CPU Temperature Monitoring: Manufacturer Software

This is software made by your computer's manufacturer to specifically measure the temperature of your motherboard and it components.

To find this software you first have to know your motherboard's manufacturer and the version of your motherboard. To find this go to: Start > All Programs > Accessories > System tools > System information.

What you want from this window as said above, is your system manufacturer and system model.

To find your manufacturer software either Google your manufacturer and search their website for your motherboard model and then check for temperature monitoring software. Or, Google your motherboard model number and search for your manufactures website then check for temperature monitoring software.

system information
system information

How to Check Cpu temperature using the bios

To enter your computer's bios, press either: delete, F1, Esc or the F2 button repeatedly as soon as you turn on your computer.

Some computers use different keys or functions to enter the bios. These can be viewed when the computer is turned on, a black screen with text might flash quickly before booting your OS (operating system).

At the bottom of the screen before it changes there would be some words. In the words it will tell you how to enter your bios or computer configuration. To view this page properly press, 'pause break' on your keyboard when the screen appears. This will pause the screen until you press pause break again.

The bios is normally a blue or grey screen. There is no mouse in this setting so we will be using the arrow keys, Enter and Esc (escape) to navigate.

Look for the headings, PC Health/Hardware monitoring/System temp or anything along this line.

Press enter when you have selected the setting. Then you CPU temperature and other information should appear.

Press F10 or End on your keyboard to exit the bios.

startup screen
startup screen

Now you know how to check you CPU temperature. But how do you know when your PC is overheating and what can you do about it.

Symptoms of overheating

  • Computer freezes randomly.
  • Computer restarts randomly.
  • Random error messages about overheating.
  • Blue screen after some CPU usage.
  • CPU temperature is over 50 degree Celsius when idle ( these stats are for desktop computers, CPU temp may be higher with laptops).
  • etc

How to solve overheating

  • Reapply thermal paste. This is the layer between you CPU and its heat-sink. It is supposed to thermally connect the two surfaces together in order to allow the most efficient method of heat transfer from the CPU to the heat-sink. When the layer is too thick or somehow damaged or separated the CPU cannot distribute its heat properly therefore it overheats.
  • Clean computer case from dust. You may find that article at this link: computer cleaning.
  • Buy more fans for the case.
  • Change heat-sink.
  • Heat-sink not placed on the CPU properly.
  • Change the CPU fan.
  • Place fans to allow proper airflow in and out of your computer case

In some cases it is just time to change your CPU because of years of hard work, it is not as efficient as it was thus generating more heat under less load.

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