How to Check Your CPU Temperature in Windows 10: A Comprehensive Guide

How to check CPU temperature in Windows 10 Task Manager?

Your computer’s central processing unit (CPU) is like its brain, handling all the calculations and instructions that make your digital world function. Just like our brains need to stay cool, so does your CPU. Running too hot can lead to performance issues, crashes, or even damage. Here’s how you can keep tabs on your CPU’s temperature in Windows 10.

Why CPU Temperature Matters

Before we dive into the “how,” let’s understand the “why.”

  • Optimal Performance: CPUs are designed to operate within specific temperature ranges. Exceeding these can trigger thermal throttling, where the CPU slows down to reduce heat, leading to noticeable slowdowns.
  • Longevity: Consistently high temperatures can shorten the lifespan of your CPU.
  • System Stability: Overheating can cause crashes, freezes, and unexpected shutdowns.

Methods to Check CPU Temperature

There are several ways to check your CPU temperature, each with its own advantages:

    • This is your computer’s most basic software, and it often includes a hardware monitor.
    • How to access: Restart your computer and press the designated key (often Delete, F2, or F10) during startup to enter BIOS/UEFI.
    • Pros: Provides the most accurate reading at idle.
    • Cons: Not useful for monitoring temperature during active use.
  2. Third-Party Software:
    • Many free and paid applications specialize in hardware monitoring.
    • Popular options: Core Temp, HWMonitor, Open Hardware Monitor, NZXT CAM
    • Pros: Real-time monitoring, logging capabilities, customizable alerts, and often additional information on voltages, fan speeds, etc.
    • Cons: Requires downloading and installing software.
  3. Check for Overheating Signs:
    • Loud fan noise: If your fans are constantly running at high speed, it could indicate the CPU is struggling to stay cool.
    • Sluggish performance: Noticeable slowdowns, especially during demanding tasks, can be a sign of thermal throttling.
    • Unexpected shutdowns or crashes: This can be a safety mechanism to prevent damage when the CPU gets too hot.

Related: Why is My Motherboard Light Red? Causes and Solutions

Understanding Temperature Readings

How do I check my CPU temperature?

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What’s a “normal” CPU temperature? This varies depending on the CPU model and how you’re using your computer.

Here’s a general guideline:

  • Idle: 40-65°C (104-149°F)
  • Gaming or demanding tasks: 70-80°C (158-176°F)

What to Do If Your CPU is Running Hot

  • Check airflow: Make sure your computer case has adequate ventilation, and that fans are clean and functioning.
  • Clean dust: Dust buildup can obstruct airflow and trap heat.
  • Consider a cooling upgrade: If you’re a heavy user or live in a hot climate, you might need a better CPU cooler.
  • Reapply thermal paste: If you’re comfortable with it, reapplying thermal paste between the CPU and cooler can improve heat transfer.

Important Note: When it comes to managing your computer’s temperature, it’s essential to refer to your computer’s manual or the manufacturer’s website for specific guidelines. These resources typically provide information on normal CPU temp and offer recommendations for maintaining optimal performance. Discover more about your computer’s cooling system and ensure it operates within safe temperature ranges to prevent overheating and potential damage.

Going Beyond the Basics

  • Stress Testing: Use software like Prime95 to push your CPU to its limits and monitor temperatures under heavy load.
  • Under Volting: (Advanced) If you’re tech-savvy, you can lower the voltage supplied to your CPU to reduce heat generation. This requires careful tuning and can void warranties.


By regularly checking your CPU temperature and taking steps to keep it within safe limits, you can ensure optimal performance, stability, and longevity for your computer.

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