How to Check the CPU Temperature on a Windows 11 PC
The central processing unit (CPU) is one of the critical components of every computer. It provides the operation instructions and processing power computers need to function and complete tasks. If the CPU temperature is above normal, your computer could be experiencing performance issues and even failure. That’s why it’s essential to monitor the CPU temperature and ensure everything’s running smoothly.
If you’re interested in learning how to check CPU temperature on Windows 11, you’ve come to the right place. This article will explain several ways to do so.
How to Check CPU Temperature in Windows 11
The CPU is your computer’s puppet master – it controls every single process. Higher than average temperatures could lead to a drastic change in performance, increased risk of crashes and lags, and eventually, total failure.
Checking CPU temperature isn’t as straightforward as one may think. There’s no built-in icon that allows you to monitor the temperature in only a few clicks. Fortunately, getting to CPU temperature isn’t complicated, but it takes some work.
How to Check CPU Temperature on Windows 11 with BIOS/UEFI
Windows 11 users can check CPU temperature by getting to BIOS/UEFI. Since BIOS/UEFI isn’t something you can access by clicking on an icon, we’ll cover the two most common ways to find it and see CPU temperature.
Get to BIOS/UEFI at Startup and Check CPU Temperature
The easiest way to access BIOS/UEFI is by using a specific hotkey at startup. Keep in mind that the hotkey is manufacturer-specific. In most cases, you’ll need to press F12, F2, F10, or F1. If you’re unsure which key you need to press to get to BIOS/UEFI, check the manufacturer’s website or find the answer in the instruction manual.
Here’s how the process looks:
- Turn on your computer.
- Press the relevant key to get to BIOS/UEFI.
- Look for a tab named “CPU” or “Performance Monitor.” Here, you’ll see CPU temperature expressed in degrees Celsius and other information regarding your CPU.
While this is the simplest way to access BIOS/UEFI, it requires speed. If your computer boots fast, you may not be able to push the relevant key on time. However, there is another way to get to BIOS/UEFI.
Get to BIOS/UEFI Using Settings and Check CPU Temperature
If you’re unsure what key to use to access BIOS/UEFI on startup, or missed your chance to press it, don’t worry. You can get to BIOS/UEFI through settings and check CPU temperature. Simply follow the instructions below:
- Launch the Start menu and select the gear icon to go to ”Settings.”
- Choose “System” in the left menu.
- Select “Recovery” on the right and press “Restart now.”
- You’ll see the “We’ll restart your device so save your work” popup on the screen. Once you’ve saved your work, choose “Restart now.”
- A three-option menu will appear. Select “Troubleshoot.”
- Choose “Advanced options.”
- Go to “UEFI firmware settings” and select “Restart.”
- Press “BIOS Setup” and find “CPU” or “Performance Monitor” to display CPU temperature.
How to Check CPU Temperature on Windows 11 with Third-Party Apps
Another way to check CPU temperature on Windows 11 is using third-party apps. You may wonder why someone would download a third-party app to see CPU temperature when they can access BIOS/UEFI. The most common reason is monitoring thermals. Namely, BIOS/UEFI displays only the current temperature and doesn’t provide insight into the minimum and maximum temperatures or the load different cores are under. With apps, you can get detailed information about your CPU and establish patterns that cause the temperature to rise.
Below, we’ll cover the most popular third-party apps for checking CPU temperature.
Core Temp is a compact app with the sole purpose of monitoring CPU temperature. Here’s how you can install it:
- Open your browser, go to this website, and download Core Temp.
- Be careful when installing the app because you could end up installing unnecessary games in the process. Unmark the checkbox next to “Build Your Kingdom with Goodgame Empire. Start the game from the icon on your desktop.”
- Run Core Temp. CPU temperature readings will be displayed at the bottom. Next to it, you’ll see the minimum and maximum temperature.
Core Temp displays CPU temperature in degrees Celsius by default. If you want to change this, here’s what you need to do:
- Go to “Options.”
- Press “Settings.”
- Open the “Display” tab.
- Mark the checkbox next to “Display temperatures in Fahrenheit.”
Open Hardware Monitor
Open Hardware Monitor is another app that provides information about CPU temperature. The monitored values can be displayed in the system tray or a customizable gadget, allowing you to always stay on top of the temperature.
Follow the instructions below to use Open Hardware Monitor to check CPU temperature:
- Launch your browser, visit this website, and download Open Hardware Monitor.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process.
- Run Open Hardware Monitor and select the “Temperatures” branch.
Here, you’ll see the current and maximum temperature. Besides monitoring CPU temperature, you can use the app to check voltages, fan speeds, load and clock speeds, etc.
Speccy is an advanced system information tool for your PC. It allows you to get detailed information regarding the performance of every piece of hardware in your computer. Follow the steps below to use Speccy to monitor CPU temperature:
- Launch your browser, go to this website, and download Speccy.
- Complete the installation process by following the on-screen instructions.
- Open Speccy. The initial screen provides a summary of the main system components.
- Select the “CPU” tab. You’ll see the temperature at the bottom.
What Causes High CPU Temperature?
As mentioned, high CPU temperature could lead to performance issues and failure. For this reason, it’s crucial to understand the most common reasons for high CPU temperature and take precautions to prevent it.
Overclocking is increasing a computer’s clock rate above the rate certified by the manufacturer. Essentially, it means running a slower chip at higher speeds. If you don’t know what you’re doing and aren’t using the right tools, overclocking could lead to overheating and cause damage to your processor.
Older computer models are simply not powerful enough to handle today’s demanding apps and games. If you have an older computer that’s constantly overheating, it’s most likely because the CPU works harder than normal to process different programs and apps.
Poor maintenance is one of the most common reasons for high CPU temperatures. When dust builds up around cooling fans, they can’t do their job properly, leading to overheating.
Maintenance doesn’t only refer to the computer’s exterior. Having a bunch of unnecessary apps that take up space and work in the background can also cause overheating. Taking care of the interior is just as important.
Thinner laptops tend to experience more overheating problems. Namely, thin laptops can’t accommodate large fans that ensure proper cooling. This isn’t a problem if you’re a casual user that needs a laptop for surfing the internet or word processing. However, if you’re running demanding games, apps, or programs, you should be aware that thinner laptops will experience heat issues much faster.
Malware can damage any computer, no matter how powerful. If malware gets inside your computer, it can jeopardize its normal functioning and make your CPU work much harder to achieve the usual results. Understandably, this leads to overheating and performance issues.
How to Prevent High CPU Temperatures
There are numerous actions you can take to ensure the CPU temperature is within a normal range.
Buy a Cooling Fan
If you have a laptop, a cooling fan can help dissipate heat from the laptop and ensure smooth performance. It plugs into a USB port and is a convenient solution for preventing high CPU temperatures.
Buy a Laptop Stand
Your laptop can overheat if the fans don’t have enough space to do their job properly. A laptop stand ensures enough airflow for heat transfer.
Pay Attention to Your Workspace
A dusty workspace often means dusty computer fans. If you want to lower CPU temperature, keep your workspace dust-free. Moreover, ensure fans and vents aren’t blocked and that there’s enough airflow. This is especially important during summer when temperatures are higher.
Clean Your Computer
Keeping your computer clean is essential for preventing high CPU temperatures. Check your computer for dust every once in a while, and use canned air to clean your PC thoroughly. If you need to clean caked dirt, use Q-tips or a cloth.
Re-Apply Thermal Paste
Thermal paste ensures the heat transfers from the CPU to the coolers. After some time, the paste can dry out and reduce heat transfer. If you suspect this is the problem, try adding a new layer of thermal paste.
Be Careful When Overclocking
As mentioned, overclocking can cause CPU overheating and lead to system failure. If you want to overclock, ensure you’re using the right programs and accessories to help your CPU stay cool.
Having a Hot Computer Isn’t Cool
Monitoring CPU temperature allows you to identify potential issues and do what you can to get it back to normal. While ideal CPU temperatures vary depending on the processor, a general rule of thumb is that anything above 70 degrees Celsius is concerning. Fortunately, you can keep track of CPU temperature with ease, either by entering BIOS/UEFI or using third-party apps.
Has your computer ever experienced overheating issues? Were you able to establish the cause? Tell us in the comments section below.