Article ID : 00009966 / Last Modified : 08/16/2015Print

How to clean the vent or fan on a notebook computer.

    Notebook computers have external vents on the side, back or bottom of the case where the fan expels warm air to keep the computer operating at a safe temperature. Excess dust can block these vents.

    IMPORTANT:  For model-specific information regarding the exact external vent locations on the computer, refer to the operating instructions supplied with the product. Manuals are posted on your model support page.

     Use any of the following methods to remove excess dust from the vents on the notebook:

    • Clean the vents with a clean, soft cloth or cotton swab.
    • Vacuum the vents with a handheld vac or dusting attachment on a household vacuum cleaner.
    • Blow the dust out of the vents using compressed air (available at most computer and electronics stores). Be careful to angle the air flow away from the computer to ensure you do not blow the dust further into the computer case.

    Because notebook computers can not be opened and cleaned the same way a desktop computer can be, it is recommended that you use the following guidelines to ensure you are using the notebook in the recommended environment and prevent a build up of dust around the vents:

    WARNING: Opening the case of a notebook computer will void any warranty that may be in place and can result in unintended damage to the computer. If the vents are blocked to the point where you believe that it is detrimental to the operation of the computer, service may be required.  Go to Product Repair. 

    • Regularly wipe the exterior of the notebook case with a clean, soft cloth to prevent a build-up of dust that could interfere with air circulation of the cooling system.
    • Provide adequate air circulation to prevent internal heat buildup.
    • Leave a space of at least 8 inches behind the back panel of the notebook.
    • Do not place your notebook on porous surfaces such as rugs or blankets, or near materials such as curtains or draperies that may block the ventilation slots.
    • Do not cover the computer or adapter with clothing or blankets when the computer is turned on as covering these components may cause an additional heat build-up, resulting in damage to your unit.
    • Do not use the notebook computer on your lap for an extended period of time; extended contact with the computer or adapter may cause discomfort.