How to Remove Heatsink From CPU?

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If you’re struggling to remove the CPU and you hear a “POP,” hold back from pulling out. It may have fused with the heat sink. A heat gun or hairdryer will minimize damage while softening the adhesive. A few drops of acetone on a rag will allow you to remove it without melting the socket or processor.

How to Remove Heatsink From CPU?

How to Remove Heatsink From CPU

1. Floss Method

To remove the heat sink, the thermal paste underneath the processor must be cleaned off first. Would you mind using an alcohol antistatic cloth on the processor and under the heat sink? Please do not touch or force the processor after cleaning it with the cloth.

Using care, twist the processor straight. Avoid damaging the pins and prevent permanent damage caused by prying or twisting the processor at an angle. Clean the processor and heatsink with isopropyl alcohol (at least 91% concentration). This will remove any thermal grease on the surface of both items.

Attach the end of the floss to the center of the bolt and work it down into the thermal paste. When working with flat ribbon floss, hold it flat against the heatsink and slowly work it down between the processor and heatsink. (Wiping from top to bottom allows more torque at the bottom of the ‘U’ shape that will be created.)

The glue application may sometimes be thick, and you may need to scrape it down with a credit card or similar item to push the floss through.

Read more: How To Fix Avast High CPU Usage?

2. Heat Gun Method

We advise starting with a medium heat setting. Move the heat gun back and forth in even strokes and hold it about 1 inch away from the CPU for 10 seconds on each side to ensure that you are correctly sealing the CPU. You can adjust the power depending on your climate and the humidity in the room.

Hold the CPU firmly in one hand. With the other hand, grab the CPU from the heatsink and gently wiggle side to side. If the CPU is not budging, apply more heat to the bottom of your laptop with a hairdryer. Repeat this process until you can remove the CPU.

How Do You Remove a Heatsink Screw?

To dissipate the heat, thermal engineers created and engineered a substance called thermal paste. The role of thermal paste (or thermal compound) is to fill in the gaps between the CPU heat spreader and the heatsink, allowing heat flow to be more efficient.

Inefficient and unstable CPU cooling performance can cause your computer to work less efficiently, run hotter than it should, and even result in permanent damage. Yes, it’s possible to run your computer without thermal paste for years and still have an operating computer. However, this is not a good idea. Instead, you should use the Tuniq TX-3 thermal interface material to keep your temperatures under control.

Properly applied thermal paste is an essential component of a cooling system. Many people skip it or do a cursory job, but it’s worth investing the time to do it right. If you didn’t find thermal paste applied when you purchased your CPU (or built it yourself), then that’s bad news, but not a disaster.

It does mean that you’ll have to take a few minutes to apply it before installing the CPU, though. Modern CPUs have temperature sensors that enable them to shut themselves off or slow down before they overheat and experience damage or worse.

Do I Need to Remove the Old Thermal Paste from the CPU?

After you’ve carefully cleaned your old thermal compound from the heatsink, never forget to apply a new thermal compound. As a general practice, you should remove any old thermal compounds before applying new ones to prevent poor heat dissipation.

When changing heatsinks, it is best to clean the old thermal material from the previous heatsink and reapply a new layer of thermal paste. This prevents air pockets and poor contact between heat sinks and CPUs.

Can We Use Toothpaste as Thermal Paste?

Ensure that any thermal interface material you use is designed for CPUs and not for applications where it will come into contact with or be installed on top of a heat source such as a CPU or heat sink.

Alternatively, if you don’t use any thermal interface material, you should ensure that the surface of the processor’s topside is clean and free of oils and contaminants. When installing a CPU in its socket, make sure the CPU is seated correctly and the surface of the CPU is clean.

If you encounter problems or have concerns about what you are doing, consult an expert. Even cheap paste is an acceptable solution, and some aftermarket designs even come with some pre-applied. It’s not worth risking some of the most expensive hardware you have to save a few bucks.

What Happens if I Remove my CPU?

When you turn on your computer, some lights will come on, and the fan will probably operate. The disks will probably spin up if they need to (no loading of video ram, or not yet). You’ll see a garbage pattern on the screen (can’t run BIOS code) and the power but nothing else. It won’t respond to anything except the off switch.


If you accidentally break the CPU during removal, don’t worry. We have provided tips that will prevent any damage while softening the adhesive. If the plastic has melted, a blowtorch or hairdryer can lessen the damage. A little acetone on a soft cloth will also help remove it from the socket or processor safely. 

If you’ve just spent a fortune on an Intel chip or Apple motherboard, you don’t have to worry about the potential inconvenience. It’s understandable to hate disassembling it; in fact, very few people perform this procedure. If you can’t remove the heatsink without overheating the CPU, try the steps we’ve mentioned. This should be sufficient.

Saqib Ali

Saqib Ali

Saqib Ali is a Computer Science Graduate and passionate about Technology. He loves to write about gadgets, computer devices, etc.

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