How Often Should You Reapply Thermal Paste

by John Sanderson
how often should you reapply thermal paste

Everyone loves the sleek, smooth feel of a laptop that’s been given a fresh coat of thermal paste. Thermal paste is the substance that provides heat dissipation on your laptop’s processor and cooling device. It also helps make sure your laptop stays cool without you even knowing it’s there. However, as with most things in life, there are certain questions about thermal paste to be answered. How often should you reapply it? What types of thermal paste do I need? Why does it dry up? And when will it stop working? Here’s what we found out about thermal paste so you can have peace of mind and sleep better at night.

How Often Should You Reapply Thermal Paste?

The answer to this question depends on the quality of the thermal paste you’re using. If you’re using a good-quality thermal paste that’s designed for laptops and computers, then you don’t need to do anything. However, if you’re using a generic brand of thermal paste that comes in a tube, then expect to reapply it every other month or so. This is because the properties of generic brands are designed differently than professional-grade products. Professional grade thermal pastes are designed to last longer than their generic counterparts and they also work better at dissipating heat from your laptop.

Why Do You Need thermal paste?

1. It helps transfer heat from the processor to the cooling device.

2. It helps keep your laptop from overheating.

3. It prevents your processor from getting fried because of excessive heat.

4. It keeps the temperature of your laptop stable and at optimal levels for maximum performance and battery life.

5. It makes sure your laptop stays cool and doesn’t overheat when you’re using it for long periods of time in one sitting, such as when you’re watching a movie or playing a game on it for hours on end.

5 Reasons NOT To Use Thermal Paste:

1. You don’t need thermal paste if you aren’t overclocking (but still use quality thermal paste). This is because stock Intel processors are not CPU intensive and therefore don’t produce much heat which is why they run cool enough even without thermal paste. However, if you are an overclocker then the extra voltage required to overclock will cause the system to run hot which is why you need thermal paste to effectively dissipate that heat away from the chip and into better cooling devices (your case fans).

2. You shouldn’t use thermal paste if you have a tablet PC or a 2-in-1 PC with a detachable keyboard because they come with their own integrated cooling systems which don’t require any extra help staying cool.

3. You shouldn’t use thermal paste if you want to play around with water cooling or liquid nitrogen cooling systems because these advanced cooling systems don’t require thermal paste to keep the processor cool. One of the main reasons people use liquid cooling is that it is much more effective at keeping your laptop’s processor cool than air cooling which is why you don’t need thermal paste in these situations.

4. If you’re not an overclocker or a power user, you can still get away with not using thermal paste but you will notice your laptop running hotter after extended periods of use.

5. You shouldn’t use thermal paste if you’re going to be moving your laptop around a lot because it will eventually rub off and get into other parts of the computer causing further damage. This is why laptops are designed with heat-conducting vents that allow air to flow freely through them so there isn’t any build-up of heat in certain areas causing damage to those components over time. However, if you plan on leaving your laptop in one place for long periods of time, then using thermal paste will help keep it from overheating and frying itself.

How To Know If it’s Time To Reapply Thermal Paste

1. You start to hear strange clicking and whining noises coming from inside your laptop.

2. The fan on your laptop starts working overtime or the temperature starts to rise dramatically.

3. You notice an increase in the time it takes for your computer to boot up.

4. Your computer randomly turns off or is unable to turn on at all.

5. Your computer shuts down without warning or is unable to run programs effectively causing them to crash, freeze, or lag.

Types Of Thermal Paste That Are Recommended

1. Liquid Metal-based thermal paste:
It’s a special type of thermal paste that is used with traditional CPU coolers.

2. Conductive Paste-based thermal paste:
It’s a special type of thermal paste that is used with low-profile heat sinks, heatsinks, and radiators.

3. Thermal Compound-based thermal paste:
It’s a special type of thermal paste that is used with fanless computers and laptop cooling systems like the Noctua NH-L9i.

4. Thermal grease-based thermal paste:

It’s a special type of thermal compound that is used with low-profile heat sinks, heatsinks, and radiators where high performance isn’t needed but lower temperatures are still desired.

5. Gel or wax-based thermal paste

Gel or wax-based compounds are typically used in laptops and tablets to help protect the cooling fins on the processor from wear and tear caused by friction while in use. These compounds are also highly effective at keeping your laptop running cooler than without them but they don’t have as many performance-boosting abilities as other types of compounds do so they’re not recommended for overclocking or gaming unless you have an extremely powerful desktop computer that can handle the added heat from these compounds well enough to make up for their lack of performance-boosting abilities.


Thermal paste is a crucial part of keeping your laptop cool and running smoothly. It provides a thin layer of conductive insulation between your processor and the fins that help to dissipate heat. It also helps to spread heat more evenly so that it doesn’t build up in one spot and cause your laptop to overheat.

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