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What To Do When Your Console Overheats and How To Prevent It

Consoles are well-loved in the gaming community. Your video game console is designed to operate within a specific temperature range. When it gets too hot, it can start to overheat and malfunction. Nothing is more frustrating than your console powering off due to overheating. Here are some reasons why your console may overheat and how to prevent overheating in the future to maximize your console’s life.

There are a few reasons why your console might be overheating. One possibility is that the ventilation holes are blocked. Another is that the internal components are dirty and need to be cleaned. One of the most common overheating reasons is dust and animal hair blocking proper ventilation. When dust or animal hair is stuck inside your console’s fan, cracks and crevices, it will keep your console from being able to ventilate and stay cool properly.

How to clean your console:

  • Regularly dust using a microfiber towel or Swiffer on the external components weekly.
  • Wipe down your console with a bleach-free cleaning solution, avoiding large amounts of liquid entering any openings.
  • Use a Q-tip to get into cracks or crevices that may have dirt or debris lodged inside.
  • Carefully open your console up after disconnecting it from the power supply (Important that some manufacturers will void your warranty if you open your console).
  • Grab a can of compressed air and lightly spray the inside of your console. Be cautious and gentle with compressed air. Do this outside, so the dust does not recirculate in your room.
  • Grab another Q-tip to go over the fan to remove dust lightly. You can use compressed air on your fan from a further distance.
  • Soak any plastic parts or screws in soapy water (optional). Do NOT put anything back together until everything is fully dry.
  • Purchase a console cover to protect your console when not in use. (Turn off sleep mode, or else your console will overheat).

Other reasons your console may be overheating:

  • Your room temperature: Your console can overheat depending on the temperature of your room or climate. Pay attention to where you have your console. You want it to be in a cool, open area where it can properly vent. Avoid placing your console near a window or door, as prolonged sunlight can increase the chances of your console warming up.
  • Limit your time gaming: Gamers spend, on average, up to 10 hours a week gaming. When your console is older, long playtime can contribute to overheating. Take regular breaks to give your console some time to cool down.
  • Keep your console updated: Although less frequent, keeping up with your software updates can help prevent overheating.

If the measures above don’t work, you may need to replace the internal cooling fan. Replacing a cooling fan is a more complex repair, so you may want to take your console to a professional for this. Thermal paste can also be a contributing factor to overheating. Although thermal paste is usually not the issue, if it is old, poor quality, or applied too thickly, it can cause your console to crank up the internal fan, making it work harder and raising the temperature by a couple of degrees. Replacing the fan or adding new thermal paste can be done at home. Still, it is recommended that you bring your console to a professional like Cerberus Technology Solutions to ensure the job gets done correctly.

Overheating is a serious problem that can damage your video game console. Taking some simple precautions can prevent it from happening in the first place. And if it does happen, you can fix it before it causes any permanent damage, adding years to your console’s life.

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