Is your Lenovo laptop having some issues? Here’s a Lenovo laptop troubleshooting guide to help you fix a few common errors.
Did you know that Lenovo alone shipped 18.31 million PC units in the third quarter of 2020? That makes this Chinese computer manufacturer the best-seller for several years straight. In fact, more than one in four computers sold during this quarter is from Lenovo.
As popular as Lenovo is, its laptops aren’t perfect, especially not the keys, fans, and batteries.
The great news is that most issues are easy to fix with a few Lenovo laptop troubleshooting steps. Meaning, you don’t have to panic right away and shell out cash to have your laptop fixed by a service center.
To that end, we came up with this guide covering some of the most common Lenovo laptop woes. Read on to discover how you can troubleshoot and fix them on your own.
1. Sticky Lenovo Keys
Some of the best Lenovo laptops have MIL-STD 810G certification. This means they boast military-grade specs that allow them to withstand small spills. The technology behind this is a spill-resistant tray underneath the keyboard tray.
The problem is that these trays can get sticky since they collect and drain liquids. As a result, you may find that your spill-proof Lenovo laptop keyboard gets stickier over time. This is especially true if you don’t clean your laptop frequently.
Sticky Lenovo laptop keyboard issues are often easy to fix with a thorough wipe-down. Don’t douse your keyboard with a cleaner, as this can cause further damage.
Instead, turn off your laptop first and then use a soft-bristled brush to get rid of larger debris first. Then, spray some alcohol onto a microfiber towel to make it damp enough. Use this to clean the entire keyboard and laptop chassis.
Wipe the external surface dry with another microfiber towel. Turn your laptop on only once you’re sure it’s 100% dry. Test the keyboard to see if any of the keys are still sticky.
If they are, there might be too much internal residue build-up on the keyboard tray. If you’re wary of opening your laptop, take it to an authorized Lenovo service center.
2. Overheating Fan-Less Lenovo Laptops
Some Lenovo laptop series, like the Yoga 710 11 and the Yoga 900s, have “fan-less” models. Since they don’t have built-in fans, they only rely on passive airflow for internal cooling. These are the devices most prone to overheating, as they aren’t as efficient in displacing hot air.
Here are the basic laptop troubleshooting steps to take if your device gets really warm.
Check the Air Vents or Fan Intakes
Most Lenovo laptop air vents, also known as fan intakes and exhausts, are on the device’s underside. These are tiny meshed or meshless slitted grilles. Cool air enters the laptop through the intakes, while hot air exits through the exhausts.
Since the vents are often at the bottom of Lenovo laptops, they can easily get blocked. When this happens, cool air can’t enter, while warm air remains stuck inside the unit. Without proper airflow, the internal heat build-up gets conducted by the laptop’s chassis.
So, if your Lenovo laptop gets too warm most of the time, you likely need to clean its vents.
To begin the clean-up, shut down your laptop. Next, completely wipe down the laptop’s casing to remove as much debris as possible. You can then use a can of compressed air to blow away filth from within the intakes and exhausts.
Restart the Laptop
After cleaning the vents, boot your Lenovo laptop and immediately monitor its heat. It’s normal for laptops to get a little warm as they restart since they’re already loading the OS. However, the heat should still be negligible at this point.
Launch a Few Apps
Once your virtual desktop comes on, launch a memory-hogging app, such as a browser or video editor. Pay attention to the heat generated by the laptop as soon as you execute the command.
If you opened a browser, launch a few tabs to visit sites that contain a lot of media. YouTube, Netflix, and photo galleries are prime examples of such websites.
However, your laptop should no longer overheat as long as you cleaned the air vents well.
3. Mute Fans on an Overheating Laptop
Lenovo laptops with built-in fans make noise when they run a graphically-intensive app. These are the apps that can cause CPU usage to go beyond 50%. With this usage level, you’re likely to hear some whirring coming out of your “fanned” device.
If you don’t hear anything while running RAM-hogging apps, you might have busted fans. To determine if this is the case, follow these Lenovo troubleshooting steps.
Clear the Vents
Even if your Lenovo laptop has built-in fans, you should still keep its air intakes and exhausts clear. Make sure that your laptop is also on a smooth, non-thermal conducting surface. A wooden desk, for instance, doesn’t conduct as much heat as a metal table.
Run a Memory-Hogging App
Place a tiny piece of paper in front of your Lenovo laptop’s exhaust vent. Next, launch one of your memory-intensive programs, such as a video game or Photoshop. Doing this should engage the fan, so the paper should flutter or move, even just a little bit.
If it doesn’t, place your ear very close to your laptop. You should be able to hear some whirring or feel some vibration. If neither occurs, and your laptop gets really warm, you most likely have faulty fans.
4. Excessive Fan Noise
On the flip side, built-in Lenovo laptop fans can make so much noise when running a CPU-intensive app. If the sound is more apparent than before, you likely have rouge apps, malware, or an outdated system. As always, make sure you check the vents, too, as clogs can make the fans run at a higher speed.
If your laptop’s intakes and exhausts are clear, do the following troubleshooting steps.
Check Your CPU Usage
In June 2020, Google discovered an injected spyware in 32 million extension downloads. As a result, the search engine giant removed over 70 malicious add-ons from its official store.
The above is a perfect example of a rogue app that can make your CPU usage skyrocket. Worse, it can infect your Lenovo laptop with malicious software, AKA “malware.” Malware attacks, in turn, victimized over 9.9 billion users in 2019 alone.
Since these dangerous apps can be CPU-intensive, they can force your laptop fan to speed up. So, if your laptop is making a racket, be sure to check your CPU usage right away. You can do this by pressing the Ctrl + Shift + Esc buttons.
If the usage rating is way more than 50%, and you only opened one RAM-intensive app, you may have malware.
Take a Look at Your Task Manager
To confirm your malware suspicions, close all legitimate active apps. Then, open your Task Manager by hitting Ctrl + Shift + Esc again. Click the tab labeled “Processes” to see all apps and services that are still running.
Once the list populates, click the “CPU” header. This should sort all the active processes based on their usage. Pay attention to those that consume the most CPU.
If you do have a malware infection, you’re likely to see an unfamiliar process in that list. If you’re not sure, google the process’s name to determine if it’s an established malware. In case it is, download, install, and run a malware removal program to eradicate it.
Restart and Monitor Fan Noise
Once your laptop is free of unwanted or dangerous apps, restart it and rerun RAM-hogging apps. The fans should engage without generating excessive noise. If they still are, then you may have an outdated Power Manager.
Update Your System
Noisy fans can be a result of an outdated BIOS and Power Manager. In this case, you should download and install the latest version on your laptop. You’ll find all updates and patches via the official Lenovo laptop support website.
After updating your BIOS, reboot your laptop and then press and hold down the “Delete” button. Doing so gives you access to your newly-updated BIOS settings menu. Once inside, press F9 to reset its settings to default, and then F10 to save the changes.
This should fix your noisy fan woes, but you may have hardware problems if the issue persists. It’s best to take your laptop to an authorized Lenovo repair center.
5. Lenovo Laptop Battery Issues
Overheating and quick discharging are the most common issues with Lenovo laptop batteries. Worse, these issues occur in devices in sleep mode, all because of “Modern Standby.”
Unfortunately, this can spike up your Lenovo laptop’s internal temp to as high as 122 °F in sleep mode. The longer you expose your battery to such problems, the sooner it degrades. So, it won’t take long for your laptop battery to die and need replacement.
Many Lenovo laptops don’t provide a way to disable this feature permanently. If yours is one of these, it’s best to shut down your computer every night. Otherwise, you may end up having to buy a new laptop sooner.
Give These Lenovo Laptop Troubleshooting Steps a Try Now
There you have it, your comprehensive guide to basic Lenovo laptop troubleshooting. As you can see, these technical woes are often easy to fix with cleaning and updates. Don’t forget to install and activate anti-malware, too, so you can keep rogue and dangerous apps at bay.
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