Can a virus cause a laptop to overheat? 7 Solutions to your ‘antivirus overheat’ problem

Rate this post

Can a virus cause a laptop to overheat? 7 Solutions to your ‘antivirus overheat’ problem.


When your laptop overheats, a virus, worm, or malware might be the culprit. This occurs when the virus causes the processor to continually max out.

By continually maxing out the capacity of the computer’s CPU, the system can and eventually will overheat and could unexpectedly shut down.

A maxed-out CPU simply means that your computer can’t keep up with what you want to do, and an upgrade may be in order.

To fix this, update your antivirus domains and do a complete system scan. You may want to use a root scanner to check DLL files as well. Everything should be checked and /or upgraded!Can a virus cause a laptop to overheat?

What happens when your HP laptop overheats and shut down?

A lot of things could be happening to your HP laptop when it overheats and shuts down. One thing is certain here though, the internal temperature is abnormally high! And this poises your laptop to great risk and damage.

You can help prevent overheating by making sure there is adequate ventilation around your laptop, the fan vents are cleaned regularly,

the room temperature is not too high or low, improved efficiency on your system, an updated BIOS, you should also use HP software to manage internal temperature,

change the HP system performance settings and also ensure to test for hardware failure. All these would assist in the prevention and ensuring all is perfectly fine.

Ensure you get the technical work done by a professional to avoid further damage.

Can a motherboard get a virus?

Anything with a programmable chip can get a virus so, yes, a motherboard can, although they aren’t called viruses, it is more like malware.

Normally, there are certain malware that can code themselves into the motherboard BIOS memory,

if the ROM chip can be removed, a replacement is possible, but on most modern boards, this isn’t usually possible. So, it gets damaged in the long run.

But, this is quite rare, as such viruses are difficult to produce and even harder to spread as they would have to be ‘hardware specific’.

Can a virus kill your motherboard?

A virus could cause the computer to use all its resources, running the CPU, RAM, and GPU at full capacity for a long period. This could lead to crashing of the hardware in the long run!

Or how about a virus that will cause the hardware to power-cycle in a way that causes the PSU to generate power surges?

So, yes. A virus could indirectly murder your motherboard. But, this only happens in rare cases.

Do computer viruses damage the actual computer equipment?

It’s possible but uncommon, so, I’d say, yes and no.

Yes, because viruses can create cases where hardware or equipment controlled by computers is damaged as earlier stated.

An example is where a virus directs your computer to turn off the cooling fans, causing your computer to overheat, thereby damaging its hardware.

Although, modern systems usually have safety measures that help protect hardware from becoming damaged.

For example, if a system gets too hot, it can turn itself off to prevent damage.

But what if the system doesn’t have that feature?

No, because it’s not like the virus has a direct effect on the hardware. Nope. It can only corrupt data on the computer,

including the software drivers that are used to allow hardware devices to communicate with the computer and give false instructions.

If this were to occur, it may prevent the device from working, which might lead to destruction.

Which part of the computer cannot be damaged by a virus?

Hardware devices such as a printer, CPU, video card, mouse, speakers, sound cards, and others are usually not affected by viruses except in rare and critical cases and this is usually not a direct effect. A virus is usually software targeted.

7 Solutions to your ‘antivirus overheat’ problem.

I know how it feels to deal with constant overheating caused by your antivirus program clashing with your normal computer’s activities. It’s annoying, but sometimes, we just have to deal with it, right?

There are several things you can do to avoid this situation and to prevent it from happening to you henceforth.

To start with, we’d be dealing with how you can stop your antivirus program from taking up too much processor power.

But, first.

Is Your Computer (really) Overheating from Antivirus Programs? We need to get this clarified before moving on.

If yes, this is because the antivirus program is trying to do a full scan of your system while you are using your computer for something else at the same time.

It might be gaming or some other activities taking much capacity, it could also be that your processor is old though.

To ensure you are on track, you will need to check what is taking up all of your computer’s power.

On a Mac you can do this by opening:

  • Applications
  • Utilities
  • Open the “Activity Monitor”
  • Sort the list by “% CPU”

After doing this, you will be able to locate which program is taking up your CPU power at the moment.

The percentage of each program would pop up and you will see which programs or applications are taking up the most CPU power at the moment.

These are the culprits that are causing your computer to overheat. If you’re seeing the antivirus program on that list, you are certain that the antivirus program is one of them. Cleared.


What are the solutions?

To every problem encountered, there’s always a solution. This includes tech problems. Let’s list the most common reasons why an antivirus program might have an overheating effect.

But first, you should note that some of the settings and presets can be changed and you should check that before moving on to other prospective issues.

Here’s why your laptop might be overheating.

1) Your Computer Might Be corrupted

Even though you have an antivirus program running on your machine you might still have some malware or viruses on your system.

Some malware can still manage to crawl into your system through corrupted files or links, and they are popularly known for

duplicating processes which can cause your system to malfunction if not appropriately managed swiftly. It might even choke on simple tasks like a system scan.

That’s very common. Even you must have experienced it before. A lot of us have, including me.

The best thing to do is to run a full system scan and ensure that you don’t have anything detected by the antivirus program. You can do this more than once for validity purposes.

If that program cannot find the problem, you need to hand in the computer to a technician for further evaluation or you could

take a one-month trial with another antivirus program to test your system from other threads.

The following are the most common to attack your computer;

  • Viruses
  • Worms
  • Other malware

2) Avoid scanning and running the computer simultaneously.

Whenever you notice your computer is heating every time the antivirus program is running a full system scan, just change the presets so this doesn’t happen on a fixed schedule. Simply adjust the timing for this.

You can set a time to scan the system and stop it if it automatically starts to scan your files while you’re working on something else on the system.

Fixing a time when your PC is less busy would be the best thing to do, to avoid overloading the processor.

Please, avoid gaming and running a scan together. The reason is that most video games have very high storage capacity and this could be a factor here.

How to stop Windows Defender from running scheduled scans:

  • Open the Task Scheduler
  • Locate “Windows Defender”
  • Right-click on the task to disable

You will find similar options for any other (proper) antivirus program out there. It should be something relatable.

3) You Have a lot of Programs Running (in the background)

Make sure you have enough available CPU power to run the scan from the antivirus program. If you don’t, there would be a lot of pressure which could result in overheating.

If you have tons of programs operating in the background it might not leave enough available power for the antivirus program to run properly.

And as a result, your system might overheat when the antivirus program starts to scan and check your computer.

• This should also be fixed inside the Windows Task Manager (or the Activity monitor on MacBook).

To control this, you can close some programs and make sure they don’t start every time you start up the PC.

Old programs that haven’t been updated in years will cause your system to overheat when they are run simultaneously with your antivirus program scan. You shouldn’t do this, or better still, update or let go of these applications.

4) Broken or ineffective fan

Another reason your system is running too fast could be that your fan is broken. This is usually a very popular reason.

This could be the root of your problem, even though it has nothing to do with anything to do with the performance or tasks from your antivirus provider.

That is often what is happening when you cannot get your computer to cool.

The solution here is to clean your computer thoroughly. Thoroughly but carefully.

Open the chassis or take the back off it when dealing with your laptop. After doing that, you should be able to identify what’s going on,

the next thing to do is clean properly, this should make it run. Most of the time, there might be obstructions or stuff tangled up in the system to prevent it from cooling off your computer as it should.

You should also ensure that the system has enough airflow and there’s adequate ventilation around.

If there’s something stuck in the vent it might prevent the coolers from getting good airflow and as a result, your system will frequently heat up.

This can be fixed with a gentle vacuuming of the system. Take note of ‘gentle’ please.

Again, ensure you don’t use a strong vacuum in the system as it may do more damage than good!

5) Clean the Heatsink

A heatsink is the part of the CPU that dissipates the heat from the processor and prevents it from overheating.

It is the metal part that looks like a big metal piece with a fan attached. Its purpose is to cool off the CPU unit and it is usually fitted with a fan, though some might not have fans.

Make sure the fan runs well (if there’s one) again by using compressed air to blow out the dust and clean the fan off, you should dust out traces of dirt around it.

If there’s no fan you should still make sure it’s free from dirt by cleaning. Just ensure to clean the surrounding area well.

It’s either you dust it off or you use your mouth for blowing out the dust. This is safer. Be careful not to vacuum the fine parts inside the computer. Most times, it goes wrong, especially if it is an older machine.

A vacuumer might also shut out your motherboard, this usually occurs when the static electricity damages the system.

It could lead to a more serious issue. So, you might want to keep the vacuum out and get physical with your mouth.

You should turn the computer off and wait for it to cool off, as it might take a little while, then, run the antivirus software again.

Endeavor to check if the heatsink is heating up again. Ideally, it shouldn’t anymore if the problem is from here though.

You can contact The Support system if at this point if there’s still an issue.

If the problem persists, after all, you should contact the support or post the problem on the support forum for the software.

All the major antivirus programs have a good online forum attached to them.

That includes:

  • Panda
  • Norton
  • AVG
  • Avast
  • McAfee
  • Bitdefender

Asides from the issues highlighted above, there are other reasons why a computer might suddenly start to overheat when you run basic programs. These include;

6) Your Battery is very bad

A dying battery can overheat and cause you to think that it’s the system overheating.

You can check that also to leave no stone unturned. This might be the cause of the overheating.

Some batteries will have faulty systems even though they are new. They should be functioning properly but they might not.

Also, old batteries that are not running efficiently will heat up more than they should. It’s very normal.

You should check that your battery isn’t too hot when you open the computer.

You should not have issues with this on most PCs, except a MacBook, since it’s a bit technical, but you can still find your way around it.

When you check this, you should also check how many cycles the battery has run. This will let you know if it’s overdue and needs a replacement. If it is, please do that ASAP.

Be very careful to buy a genuine product to avoid repeating the whole process of overheating.

7) Using an overclocked system?

Overclocking is when your processor is being pushed to run more than it’s normal clock speed.

More speed takes more power, which in turn produces more heat. This means your PC might perform better and faster but in this cause, it automatically increases it’s heat production.

An overclocked system might be the reason why it’s maxed out on the CPU when the antivirus is operating.

Make sure there’s enough cooling going on if you decide to overclock your system and also add some additional water cooling system.

Be very careful not to overdo it and in the process leak the liquid into the hardware.

This sums it up on the solutions to overheating caused by antivirus programs. But, does it end here? Nope!

Countless times, we have had encounters with viruses and these recurring cases might have brought about some questions that need answers or explanations. We’ve decided to enlighten you on some of these issues.

Viruses are a nightmare. They can be very disturbing to our system and our work productivity and efficiency, we have put together some very helpful questions and answers regarding them.

Leave a Reply