What Is CPU Throttling And How To Fix It?

CPU Throttling is a mechanism in which the performance of the CPU is reduced during high temperatures. This reduces CPU usage until the temperature becomes normal in order to prevent overheating and damage to the internal components.

CPU Throttling is also known as Thermal Throttling of CPU or Dynamic Voltage Frequency Scaling.

When Does CPU Throttling Occur?

CPU throttling occurs during the following situations.

CPU Becomes Really Hot Due to Heavy Usage

When the temperature of the CPU passes a critical temperature of around 80 degrees Celsius or 176 degrees Fahrenheit then the CPU detects an increase in temperature and the performance of the CPU is immediately reduced.

This decreases CPU usage and it stays like that until the temperature comes to normal.

The critical temperature of a Processor varies with the manufacturer and specific model.

CPU Remains Idle or When CPU Usage is Very Less

When the CPU remains idle or when the CPU usage is very less then performance of CPU is reduced in order to conserve battery charge.

If CPU performance is not reduced then your battery will discharge unnecessarily. Also, this allows your battery to keep the charge for more demanding tasks like gaming or running other demanding softwares.

This kind of CPU Throttling occurs mainly when you put your laptop in Power Saver mode.

Increase in Heat Inside the Laptop

If your laptop gets overheated while running demanding games or 3D rendering software then CPU Throttling can occur.

Also, if your Cooling system doesn’t have the ability to remove or dissipate the excess heat properly then CPU Throttling can occur.

Improper Overclocking Of CPU

If your CPU is overclocked improperly then the CPU usage will increase resulting in high temperatures and this will lead to CPU Throttling.

What Is Thermal Throttling Of CPU?

When you run very demanding games or 3D rendering software then the temperature of your computer increases and the system becomes very hot.

This heat can damage the internal components of the computer so in order to prevent the damage a safety mechanism takes place in which the CPU Performance reduces immediately.

If the heat is too much then the CPU can shut down completely to decrease the overall temperature of the computer and prevent any sort of damage to the internal components.

When Thermal Throttling of CPU occurs then CPU performance decreases. This throttling is visible by the sudden drop in FPS during gaming or frequent lags and distortions in visual quality during 3D rendering. Your computer becomes really slow and sluggish.

Thermal throttling is not just limited to the CPU. It can also occur in the GPU and is called GPU Throttling.

How To Prevent Thermal Throttling of CPU

The main cause of thermal throttling of CPU is the excess heat that is generated. This increase in heat can occur due to a variety of reasons.

The main way to stop the Thermal throttling of CPU is to decrease the temperature up to a normal level of operation.

The normal operating temperature of the CPU is around 60 degrees Celsius or 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The average temperature of CPU is 70 degrees Celsius or 158 degrees Fahrenheit.

The critical temperature of the CPU is 80 degrees Celsius or 176 degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperature increases above this then Thermal Throttling of CPU occurs. Therefore, you have to keep the temperature below this.

You can keep the temperature below 80 degrees and prevent Thermal Throttling of CPU by the following ways.

Cleaning Dirt and Dust From Hot Air Vents

Laptops are prone to dust and dirt because they stick on the air vents and also pass through these vents.

The dirt and dust keep on accumulating inside the air vents and prevent the leakage of hot air from those vents. Since hot air cannot be removed from the vents so the heat increases which increases the temperature of the CPU and leads to Thermal throttling of CPU.

You can clean the dust and dirt by blowing dry air through the vents using a Blow Dryer. Then you can open the back cover of the laptop and clean the inside with a soft cloth.

Cleaning Dust and Dirt From Cooling Fan

Dirt and dust that enters through the vents stick to the Cooling Fan of the Laptop. This slows down the rotation of the fan and therefore it cannot dissipate the heat properly and leads to Thermal throttling of CPU.

You can clean the fan by opening the back cover and cleaning the fan with a soft cloth as well as blowing dry air using a Blow Dryer.

Undervolting and Underclocking the CPU

Undervolting is the reduction in the operating voltage of the CPU. This decrease in voltage reduces the flow of current through the CPU. As flow of current decreases, the heat generated also decreases which reduces the temperature of the CPU and prevents Thermal throttling of CPU.

Underclocking is the reduction in the clock speed at which the CPU operates. The decrease in clock speed reduces the power consumed by the CPU. As power consumption decreases the heat generation decreases which reduces the temperature of the CPU and prevents Thermal throttling of CPU.

This is one of the best methods to prevent Thermal Throttling of CPU and it is perfectly safe if you know how to do it properly. This can also make your system more stable.

If you mess it up then your CPU may not function properly. If you end up overclocking instead of underclocking the CPU then your CPU will heat up faster and there will be an increase in Thermal Throttling.

You can also undervolt and underclock the GPU to prevent Thermal Throttling of GPU.


Applying Thermal Paste

Every computer has a thermal system which is connected to the CPU. These systems are very small in size and are designed in such a way that there is no air between the thermal system and the CPU.

Even though they are designed with precision there is a very tiny amount of air that gets into the gap between the two.

As the CPU heats up, this air in the gap reduces thermal conductivity because air is a bad conductor of heat. Since heat cannot conduct properly this means the thermal system cannot remove the excess heat and therefore it cannot cool the CPU properly. This increases the temperature of the CPU and leads to thermal Throttling.

But, if you apply a thermal paste in that gap then air cannot get in and this allows better thermal conductivity and allows the thermal system to cool down the CPU when it gets hot.

Reduce Graphic Quality Settings When Playing Games

Playing games at the highest graphic quality settings and at the highest screen resolution puts more load on the CPU and the GPU and increases their temperature.

If you lower down the settings and screen resolution then this would lead to less heat generation and prevent any Thermal Throttling of CPU and the GPU.

Buy A Cooling Pad or Chill Mat

Cooling Pads or Chill mats can keep the overall temperature of your laptop down. You just have to place the laptop on top of the cooling pad while you’re using your laptop.

These cooling pads have integrated fans that suck in cool air from underneath and blow it straight to the bottom of the laptop which gets heated up the most.

This cool air helps to keep the laptop temperature down.

Buy An External Cooling Fan

Every computer has at least one cooling fan to keep the temperature from rising during heavy usage.

If your cooling fan is not doing the job then you can buy an external cooling fan to keep the temperature of the laptop from rising.

How To Fix CPU Throttling(Non-Thermal)

Thermal CPU Throttling is not the only kind of CPU Throttling. There are other reasons except for Thermal Throttling which can cause the CPU to throttle. Some examples of Non-thermal CPU Throttling are:

(A) Playing heavy demanding games on Power Saving mode.

This can cause CPU Throttling because the priority is to save power and reduce battery consumption. So, when CPU Usage increases up to a certain level then a signal is sent to Throttle the CPU in order to protect the battery and save power.

(B) Enabling Power Throttling option.

Enabling this option causes CPU to throttle under heavy usage. It is enabled by default.

(C) Decreasing Minimum Processor State and Maximum Processor State.

Decreasing the minimum processor state and maximum processor state below 100 can cause the CPU to throttle under heavy usage.

You can prevent non-thermal CPU Throttling by three ways. I will discuss each of them below step by step so that you don’t miss anything.

Selecting the Best Performance Mode For Your Battery

Your laptop Power Setting stays in the Balanced mode by default. This makes your laptop prone to CPU Throttling during heavy gaming sessions.

Changing this power mode to the best performance option can fix CPU Throttling of your laptop.

You can do it in two easy steps.

STEP 1 – Type in Power in the Windows search box and click on Edit Power Plan option.

edit power plan

STEP 2 – Click on the Show Additional Plans and select Ultimate Performance mode. If you have updated your Windows 10 to the newest version then you should find this power mode.

select ultimate performance

If you don’t have this option then select High Performance mode.

Disabling Power Throttling Option via regedit

STEP 1 – Type in regedit in the search box and click on regedit. This will open the Registry Editor.

open regedit

STEP 2 – Copy the path mentioned below and paste it in the search box under Registry Editor.


paste path in search box

STEP 3 – Now, Right click on Power folder, select New and then left click on Key.

create new key

STEP 4 – Name the new Key as PowerThrottling and press Enter.

STEP 5 – Now, Right Click on PowerThrottling key you just created, select New and then left click on DWORD (32-bit) Value.

create new dword

STEP 6 – Name the newly created DWORD (32-bit) Value as PowerThrottlingOff and click on OK.

create new dword powerthrottlingoff

STEP 7 – Right click on the DWORD PowerThrottlingOff and then left click on Modify.

modify new key

STEP 8 – Change the Value Data to 1 and make sure the Base is selected as Hexadecimal. After that click on OK.

change value data to 1

That’s all about this method. Restart your laptop to save the setting. This will Disable power throttling option and fix your CPU from throttling.

Changing Value of Minimum and Maximum Processor State to 100%

STEP 1 – Type in Power in the Windows search box and click on Power and Sleep Settings.

select power & sleep settings

STEP 2 – Click on Additional Power Settings which is right under Related Settings.

select advanced power settings

STEP 3 – Click on Change Plan settings right under Selected Plan.

change plan settings

STEP 4 – Click on Change Advanced Power Settings.

change advanced power settings

STEP 5 – Click on the + sign before Processor Power Management which will expand it to display more options.

processor power management

STEP 6 – Click on the + sign before Minimum Processor State and change On battery and Plugged in to 100%.

minimum processor state to 100%

STEP 7 – Repeat the same step for Maximum Processor State and change On battery and Plugged in to 100%. After that, click on Apply and then click on OK.

maximum processor settings to 100%

Lastly, Restart your laptop in order to save the changes.


CPU Throttling occurs in most laptops and it is not only dependent on temperature. CPU Throttling can be Thermal Throttling and Non-Thermal throttling.

Thermal throttling of CPU and Non-thermal throttling of CPU can be prevented using the fixes mentioned in the article.

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