Windows can slow down due to many reasons, and most of it is related to hardware issues. CPU temperature is also among them and in fact, one of the most important aspects to look at. In normal circumstances, the CPU temperature should be around 30°C and as the temperature rises, your PC health is at a risk. If the CU temperature for your PC remains consistently high, this may slow down your system performance and eventually lead to frequent restarts in the midst of your work. Therefore, keeping the CPU temp in check is important. However, for that, you would need to find out the CPU temperature.
When the CPU temperature is really high, it starts throttling and as a result the CPU tries to self-regulate it’s temperature. You can also experience sudden shut downs because the your PC tries to save itself from more harm due to overheating of the CPU. Unfortunately, Windows 10 or Windows 11 has not yet come up with an integrated tool to check the CPU temperature. You can either check it through BIOS or using a third party utility.
But, before we move on to that part, what is a high temperature for your CPU? Is it anything more than 30°C or is there a threshold?
What is a High Temperature for your CPU?
Well, there’s indeed a threshold for specific CPUs. To find out the threshold for your CPU, you can visit the product page of your specific CPU and then look for its max ideal temperature for your CPU.
In the processor details page, check for the Package Specifications section. Here, if you see T Junction is 100°C, which means that you should try and keep the CPU temperature at a difference of 30°C, that is, not more than 70°C.
However, if you see T Case or Maximum Operating Temperature instead, then that should be the threshold temperature for your CPU, which means, you should and try and maintain the CPU temperature below that threshold. So, if you are maintaining the CPU temperature below what you see in the specification, your PC should work fine.
Now, let’s see how to check your COU temp in Windows 10/11.
Method 1: Through BIOS
This method will depend on whether you are running Windows 10 or Windows 11 systems, because Windows 11 runs only with UEFI mode. Therefore, if you are using the Windows 10 OS, you may have both BIOS and the UEFI options. Also, the Windows 10 versions runs on the UEFI firmware instead of BIOS. While the there may be a difference in the overall look of the firmware, both are same as far as the functions are concerned. However, the process to check the CPU temp may differ for BIOS and UEFI to some extent.
So, if your device is an old model, chances are that it is running on BIOS mode and here’s how to check the CPU temperature on such devices:
Step 1: Shut down all of your current tasks and apps on your device.
Now, click on the Start menu, click on the power button and select Restart.
Step 2: As your computer is rebooting, immediately press the dedicated key on your keyboard to reach the BIOS options (F12, F2, Esc, or Delete based on your PC brand).
Step 3: Now, as you reach the BIOS screen, navigate to the Hardware monitor or PC Status option using the arrow keys on your keyboard.
Step 4: Now, in the CMOS Setup Utility screen, you can check the CPU temperature in the System Temperature field.
Method 2: Through UEFI
Step 1: Press the Win + I shortcut keys on your keyboard to launch the Settings app.
Step 2: In the Settings window, click on System on the left side of the pane.
Step 3: Now, travel to the right side of the window, scroll down and select Recovery.
Step 4: In the Recovery settings screen, under the Recovery options section, go to Advanced startup and click on the Restart now button on its right.
Step 5: Your device will now reboot into the Advanced startup menu.
Now, in the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot.
Step 6: Next, in the Troubleshoot screen, click on Advanced options.
Step 7: You will now reach the Advanced options screen.
Here, click on UEFI Firmware Settings.
You can now check the CPU temperature here.
Method 3: Through Third-Party Apps
However, checking the CPU temperature through BIOS or UEFI, may not be convenient for many users, especially for those who are not so sound, technically. In such cases, using a third-party software to check the system temperature is the easier way round. Also, even f you are an expert, you may still not prefer going through the whole process of restart and then check the temperature while your work is hampered. Moreover, the third-party apps help you to constantly monitor the temperature, as and when you require, while the BIOS/UEFI will show you a static temperature.
Therefore, using a third-party software appears to be the best solution for most Windows 11 users. Here, we have listed some of the top CPU temp monitoring apps:
One of the most popular apps of all times, CoreTemp is an easy to use app that not just helps you to check the CPU temperature, it also takes up minimum space of your system memory. Among its special feature is its ability to display temperature of each cores of all processors, individually. It also displays the temperature variation in real-time, highly customizable and flexible. Here’s how to use it:
Step 1: Click on the below link to download the CoreTemp app:
Step 2: If you see the User Account Control (UAC) pop-up, click on Yes to confirm the action.
Step 3: As the wizard opens, click on Next.
Step 4: Next, click on the radio button next to I accept the agreement.
Step 5: Press Next two more times in the consecutive screens to proceed.
Step 6: Now, press the Install button to start the installation process.
Step 7: Finally, press Finish.
Now, the CoreTemp app will launch automatically and here, you can check the CPU temperature on your Windows 11 PC.
Speccy by CCleaner is perhaps the next most trusted and the second most popular apps in the list to check CPU temperature. As a matter of fact, it also displays a lot of other information apart from the just the system temperature. You can also find detailed information regarding the system memory, motherboard, BIOS, graphics card, and more. It offers a quick summary of all the crucial hardware related details along with real-time temperature of processors and also allows you save the scan results into XML or text format. You can even save the results directly as a screenshot.
Price: Free version available; premium version available for £14.95.
Another popular name in the CPU temperature checking app is HWMonitor that monitors all hardware related details like voltages, fans, or currents along with system temperature. Moreover, it also supports AMD Ryzen processors.
It also provides support for the commonly used chips, Winbond ICs and so on. Apart from the CPU temperature, it also monitors the temperature for the graphics card GPU, hard drives, etc. The Pro version, on the other hand, offers premium feature like remote monitoring for multiple PCs connected at different locations or of devices running on Android. It also features a graph generator and supports customization of the interface.
Price: Free version available; Pro version
A CPU monitoring software, SolarWinds comes with a built-in CPU monitor that helps you view the hardware details for several devices at a time. The app pulls up the data and display it to you in form of graphs. This includes critical performance details and past data of your processors in real-time, for instance, CPU response time, errors, uptime, etc. This helps speed up the troubleshooting process and identify the root cause for the sluggish performance.
It also features some really useful auto-discovery options that ensures that new devices don’t go through performance issues and thus, reduce the lag in update and configuration time.
Price: Fully functional free trial for 14 days; Price on request.
As the name suggests, Throttlestop is known to control the CPU temperature and bring back to normal temperatures, and also prevent the CPU from throttling. The left side of its interface features a range of options that helps evade the CPU throttle and the right side features the existing information of each of the CPU metrics.
In some laptop models, you can also see them using Clock Modulation and multiplier reductions to bring down the performance and the power usage of the PC. This helps normalize the way your computer runs or to allow your PC to run with the power cord on which does not have enough capacity to completely recharge your PC battery and thus, does not power up your PC completely,
However, it’s recommended to use a Kill-a-Watt meter or something similar to track the power consumption at the wall which will ensure that your PC does not cross the power limits of the power adapter.
This well-known graphics card software (completely free) is also a great utility to check your CPU temperature. As you launch the app, it displays a graph on the interface indicating the CPU and GPU temperature, and other details. As the GPU clock frequency and the voltage increases, the speed control of the fan allows you to control the temperature and create a balance between the performance and the temperature.
You can also re-organize the graphs and bring the CPU details to the top through its Settings. The Settings menu allows you to select the metrics that you want to be displayed on the main interface and also offers the option to drag the details to the top of the page which you want to be the priority.
If you are looking for a free and open source software then the Open Hardware Monitor does a great job in monitoring the CPU temperature, voltages, fan speeds, clock speed and the load. One of its best features is its compatibility with majority of the latest hardware monitoring chips. Talking of tracking the CPU temperature, it does so by scanning the core temperature sensors of both the Intel and AMD processors.
You can even see the sensors of the graphics cards by Nvidia and ATI and also the SMART hard drive temperature. The metrics are displayed on a customizable interface or in the system tray.
Price: Free and open source.
From detecting overheating issues of your CPU, analyzing the hardware performance, or monitoring to predicting failure or reporting, the HWiNFO software is one of the best apps in the list. It supports real-time monitoring of PC health and other hardware components like the CPU, GPU, drivers, etc.
This free software also offers the detailed report of the hardware parameters with completely hardware ranking or a summary of the details which can be further exported in the XML, CSV and HTML formats. As a bonus, you can also make changes to the metrics that is being monitored.
The NZXT CAM app is a comprehensive software that helps monitor temperatures of the processors, manage performance and tracks the device parameters, all under the same roof. It’s user-friendly and is fast and streamlined while monitoring all aspects of your PC.
In addition to generating all the details related to the applications using different components of your device, it also monitors the existing processor temperatures, FPS, remaining battery life, or load while you are playing a game.
Another free software in the category, SpeedFan is known for efficiently keeping a track of the processor (CPU/GPU) temperatures, voltages and the fan speeds of devices with hardware monitor chips. Additionally, it can also display SMART info and generate the hard disk temperatures for an in-depth view. As a bonus, this software is also capable of making changes to the FSB on certain hardware. Moreover, it supports SCSI disks as well.
The app facilitates the option to change the fan speed based on the digital temperature sensors, compatible with most hardware monitor chips and works even with the latest hardware.