No one likes their computers hot and toasty. Moreover, high temperatures severely diminished the life of internal components. The "CPU over Temperature" error is one such error.

Thankfully, the error is not the end of life for your computer, and there are several methods you can use to ensure that the CPU temperature does not exceed the normal operating range.

What is CPU Over Temperature Error? What are the Probable Causes?

As the name suggests, a CPU temperature error occurs when your CPU temperature rises beyond the maximum operable temperature. Such high temperatures can damage the CPU core, and it may fail.

There are several causes as to why you are facing this error on your computer. Below mentioned are the most common reasons:

  • CPU Overclocking: Overclocking a CPU means increasing its clock rate to its maximum potential, which also increases its operating voltage. Hence, it tends to heat up the CPU.
  • Issues with Thermal System: Thermal system/ cooling system of a computer ensures the heat generated by the CPU is dissipated properly to keep the temperature in check. However, if your fans are clogged with dust and debris or the heat sink is not able to disperse the heat properly, it could also cause the error to occur.
  • Stressed CPU: If you haven't updated your OS for a while or are running multiple extremely demanding apps, it could also push the processor to its limits which in turn can cause the overheating issue.
  • Poor Ventilation: If you are not letting your computer breathe, i.e., keeping the intake fans physically blocked or using it in a very cramped space where hot air is not able to escape. Prolonged usage in such conditions can ultimately lead to CPU over-temperature issues.

Fortunately, there are multiple methods that you can use to resolve this issue on your computer. Many are software-based that you can easily perform on your computer, while some hardware-based solutions might require professional help or some know-how to perform them.

1. Provide Proper Ventilation

Poor ventilation is more common with laptop users. If you often use your laptop computer, keeping it on the bed or couch or any other uneven surface for that matter, that could be a very big reason for overheating as your laptop's cooling system is not able to collect fresh air for proper heat dissipation.

Always use your laptop on a hard and flat surface as it allows proper air collection and ventilation of the hot air.

2. Clean Air Intake Fans

In case fans on your CPU cabinet or laptop computer have accumulated a lot of dust, it can also hamper its ability to collect fresh air. You can use compressed air, a vacuum cleaner, or a brush to dislodge and clear the dust.

3. Turn Off CPU Overclocking

An overclocked CPU runs at its maximum potential and also uses more voltage to achieve this. More energy consumption and a higher clock rate increase the CPU temperature. Hence, if you are facing CPU over-temperature issues, it is highly recommended that you disable overclocking.

4. Install or Roll Back Windows Update

A PC update may contain critical system file patches, BIOS updates, driver updates, and general bug fixes. If you haven't updated your PC for a while, there could be a possibility outdated system is causing the heating issue. On the flip side, if the error presents itself after a recent Windows update, you can uninstall the update to try and rectify the issue.

To update the system, head to the Start Menu and click on the 'Settings' tile to proceed.

After that, ensure you have selected the 'Windows Update' tab from the left sidebar.

Then, from the right pane, click on the 'Download & install/Restart now' option to install pending updates.

To uninstall recent updates from the Windows update screen, click on the 'Update history' tile to continue.

After that, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click 'Uninstall Updates' to proceed.

On the next screen, you shall be able to see all the recently installed updates with their timestamp. Click 'Uninstall' on the most recent update. This will bring an alert window to your screen.

Provide the confirmation to delete the update by clicking on 'Uninstall.'

Now, restart your PC and check if the issue has been resolved.

5. Identify the App Hogging Majority of the Resources

There could be apps that are using significant resources for extended periods of time, and that could also be the reason behind the CPU over-temperature problem. You can use the Task Manager to monitor all the processes and identify the one that might be causing the problem.

First, head to the Start Menu and type Task Manager to perform a search. Then, click on the 'Task Manager' tile from the results. Alternatively, you can also press Ctrl+Shift+Esc on your keyboard to open the Task Manager window.

On the Task Manager screen, notice the CPU usage of the processes. If you have a newer computer, a process using more than five percent of the CPU is a red flag. However, on an older PC, it is recommended that you eliminate all processes associated with apps/programs not needed.

6. Throttle Processor State

First, head to the Start Menu and type Control. Then, from the search results, click on the 'Control Panel' tile.

On the Control Panel window, click on 'Power Options' to continue.

Next, click on the 'Change plan settings' option to proceed.

On the next screen, click the 'Change advanced power settings' option. This will open a separate window on your screen.

On the new window, double-click on the 'Processor Power Management' option. Then, expand the 'Minimum processor state' and reduce 'On battery' and 'plugged in' values to low '20'. For the 'Maximum processor state' reduce both the values to '90'.

When you reduce the 'Maximum processor state', the system only uses 90 percent of the processor capacity. This helps keep the processor temperature in check.

7. Roll Back to a System Restore Point

If the issue has recently presented itself and you have reason to believe that it is an OS-related/app-related issue, restoring your computer shall fix the issue for you. However, in order to roll back, you must have an existing restore point before you started facing the error.

Head to the Start Menu and type 'Control.' Then, from the search results, click on the 'Control Panel' tile to proceed.

After that, locate and click on the 'Recovery' tile from the grid of icons.

Next, click the 'Open System Restore' option from the list. This will open a separate window on your screen.

From the separately opened window, click on the 'Next' button.

All created system restore points will listed on the screen. Click to select the desired one and then click 'Next' to initiate the rolling back process.

On the next screen, a list of drives that the rollback will impact will be displayed, along with the timestamp of the restore point. Click 'Scan for affected programs' to see a list of impacted programs. A new window will appear on your screen.

On the new window, you can view the programs that will be deleted and the ones that will be restored. Click on the 'Close' button to navigate to the previous window.

Finally, click the 'Finish' button to initiate the rollback process.

That's about it, people. Using the methods mentioned above, you can make sure the temperatures do not rise to the maximum on your computer.