Recently I decided to use my laptop with an external monitor and I always use it closed-lid and enjoy. :)

The question is: Is it wrong to use a laptop closed-lid?

I mean problems like overheating or anything else? Also, I use it without the battery. Can it cause any damage or problems?

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    Both answers are good enough for me to add not a third answer, but I wanted to add that in most cases, heat will not be transferred through the part where the keyboard is. Yes, it may become warm, but its not because that is how it dissopates heat. There are a handful of gaming laptops that have special air outtakes at the top front of the laptops, and obviously those laptops would be affected, but in general, this is normal practice. So unless your laptop has air vents at the top with fans behind it, you are fine.
    – LPChip
    Mar 25, 2020 at 21:11
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    Using it with our without the battery is a tough choice. Without the battery, you don't have any protection against a power failure or brownout (unless you have a UPS). With the battery, the battery will wear down over time and won't last as long in a couple years. Confirmed by personal experience. With the battery, power use and heat might also be a little greater than without. Mar 26, 2020 at 9:30
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    Consider putting something under it to increase airflow just in case. Could be something as small as a pen, just to lift it a few centimeters. Mar 26, 2020 at 9:44
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    Welcome to the site! In general you should post different questions as separate questions. You could break out the part about using it without a battery to a different one. :) Mar 26, 2020 at 14:06
  • My office PC have the venting grid above the keyboard so I keep the lid open because it's the only place where heat can escape (also with lid closed it heats up quite a lot), my personal PC has a venting grid on the side that cools well closed as it does open.
    – DDS
    Mar 27, 2020 at 14:53

11 Answers 11


If your hardware manufacturer offers a dock peripheral for your laptop, you can rest assured it's considered normal use for your device. If you're still concerned about overheating, I would recommend using an open source temperature monitoring utility to put your mind at ease.

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    Keep in mind that there are USB docks out there too. You have a usb device that you connect to the laptop, and from that usb device, you plug in all your other usb devices, monitor etc... Laptop manufacturers know this too, so unless it is a high-end special gaming laptop that obviously has its fans and air vents at the front top of the laptop (looking at you acer) you're this should be fine.
    – LPChip
    Mar 25, 2020 at 21:14
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    I'm not sure what docks of either kind prove - it is particularly common with the USB kind to use the laptop open, while it is docked - this is how they are usually set up in publicity photos.
    – MikeB
    Mar 27, 2020 at 10:34
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    Your answer is perfectly fine from a yes/no perspective or in terms of specs. However, one could add that the world is not binary. Laptop design is always a trade-off between weight, size, noise, performance and other factors. And of course, as manufacturers want to max out what is technically possible, their devices tend to operate at the limit. So, they might e.g. throttle their CPU less often under optimal cooling conditions. On this level, opening or closing the lid can in fact result in gradual changes.
    – philipp
    Mar 27, 2020 at 14:48

It really depends on the hardware. Some laptops are designed in such a way that cooling is in some way dependent on the lid being open. Some of the super thin gaming laptops with NVIDIA GPU's are like this, the bottom is cantilevered so that it opens up when you open the lid, exposing or enlarging the exhaust vents to allow for proper cooling. Some other designs integrate the exhaust vents into the hinge in such a way that there can be little to no airflow if the lid is closed (usually such designs have the hot air flowing up in front of the screen).

Other than cases like those though, you should be perfectly fine running your laptop with the lid closed all the time.

There is, however, one other caveat to this: don't put anything particularly heavy on top of your laptop when doing this. Most should be fine, but some have poorly designed lids and may end up with damaged screens from doing that (I had this issue with a couple of ThinkPad L series laptops a few years ago).

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    +1. Objects placed on a closed lid may also impact WiFi performance.
    – gronostaj
    Mar 28, 2020 at 18:54

If the cooling subsystem of the laptop is functioning as designed, there's no problem. I've seen many folks in many places running with the hood down, and a similar number running without the battery.

Why did I say "functioning as designed"? Well, if the fan fails, the firmware settings altered to slow it down or turn it off, or if vents are clogged by dust, dirt, or hair, that could cause a problem. Solution: Keep it clean and don't override the defaults for cooling.


One thing I'd note is that you shouldn't use the laptop closed if the fan is in the hinge area.

I used to use my laptop just like that, closed with an external monitor, but it started to run really slow. I wasn't totally sure why until I noticed that the CPU temperature was extremely high (like 95 degrees Celsius). It was so hot that the casing started to warp.

After I opened it, everything started to run much faster. When it was closed, the hinge blocked most of the airflow, and so the CPU was constantly throttling to try to limit the heat. So, lesson learned, know where your fan is before you use your laptop closed.

  • On my Thinkpad E495 the fan exhaust is in the hinge area but the hinge is designed in a way to not block the exhaust when the laptop is closed.
    – Michael
    Mar 28, 2020 at 8:29
  • My Dell Vostro 5502 pulls in air at the bottom and blows it out at the top of the keyboard. When the lid is closed, the lid itself is designed to divert air downwards to the back. Now, resting flat on my desk the hot air was being sucked back in from underneath cause performance issues. So, it depends on the design and the airflow around your laptop. That being said. I would assume that modern laptops are designed to cool both opened and closed. It is up to you to provide proper ventilation.
    – Jeffrey
    Apr 4 at 6:00

Using it closed is perfectly fine. Using it without the battery is not good for the laptop or the battery.

It's not good for the laptop because the laptop uses the battery to supply power during demand spikes. The charger is connected through a long, skinny cable with lots of inductance and can't respond as well to demand spikes without voltage sag.

It's not good for the battery because while the battery is disconnected from the laptop, it self-discharges. You will eventually have to place this charge back into the battery, needlessly wasting its cycle life. By leaving the battery in the laptop, the charger can prevent the battery from self-discharging, preserving its cycle life. This is an extremely minor effect and might be outweighed by the battery being slightly warmer due to being in the laptop.

Personally, I would still avoid it unless there was a good reason to remove the battery. Most laptop battery contacts aren't made to handle many cycles and poor connections would cause a huge problem.

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    I somewhat disagree with this answer. Running a laptop without battery can be good for the battery provided the battery does not discharge to low. Self discharge of lithium batteries is small, and can take years to go from 70-40%. Unless the laptop is specifically set up to keep the battery at (say) 65% when plugged in - which is not a common default, keeping the battery at 100% charge will damage it significantly faster then slow self discharge - provided that discharge does not go to low.
    – davidgo
    Mar 26, 2020 at 8:30
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    Re: current spikes: The voltages that actually matter are the output side of DC->DC converters inside the laptop that go from +20V or whatever to +1.2V for the CPU/RAM; they can probably handle significant sag of their input side. And they already have significant capacitance to decouple them from the cord / battery. The battery might help a tiny bit, but I expect most laptops stay well within specs when they need to draw more current from the cord. The battery would help if you jiggle the cord and accidentally disconnect power for a moment, though! Mar 26, 2020 at 8:32
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    All that said, though: the battery is a free UPS, so unless you're plugging in to an actual UPS or the power never ever fails, I'd probably leave it in. Mar 26, 2020 at 8:34
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    Practical experience: I've been using the same ThinkPad laptop in a dock for over a dozen years. (Though I use it with the lid open, as a second display.) In that time, the battery capacity has degraded from a nominal 84240 mWh to 57350 mWh, or slightly more than 2/3 of its original capacity.
    – jamesqf
    Mar 26, 2020 at 17:51
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    If you have such strong pre-conceived notions of what is "obvious", that sounds like a problem. Cycling is not the only thing that degrades useful capacity, and it matters what kind of cycling. Mar 26, 2020 at 18:26

It is ok as others have detailed.

If you want additional cooling - it can actually help speed up the processor if it gets hot - and to extend the life of components beyond their original designed date (date accounting for effects of high temperature. You can use a cooling pad. One example is shown hear. Not the same as my model (gearhead) but the various models are similar - basically large fans under your laptop.

enter image description here

Long term, it may depend on usage. For instance if you keep the computer on and the temp is stable then components won't be affected in the same way that a computer (e.g. laptop), often on and off and sometimes lid closed will be more of a strain on the components as materials in them expand and contract. That said, laptops are built to handle this normally for the expected lifetime of the laptop.


I would use the laptop with the lid closed and without the battery!

I think it´s a good idea to store the battery not fully charged. Perhaps, every 2 months or so you can do a complete cycle. I mean, fully charge the battery, then use the laptop with battery until it is in 5% of power (or so) and then charge it until 65% and store it.

I have never heard that power demand spikes take energy from battery. However, as almost everything in computing world, it can be measured. Download some benchmark software and run it with different stress benchamrks with and without the battery so you can test if specifically your laptop will take power from the battery. Then, you can post the results here if you want!

One more thing: in my experience using a laptop with the lid closed significantly reduced the Wi-Fi signal. That is because the Wi-Fi antenna used to be in the frame of the monitor. In that case you can use it connected to an external monitor and the with the key combination Windows key + P you can select to have image only in the external monitor.

  • 1
    full cycle was good for NiCd (and to a lesser degree NiMH) batteries, but it's very bad for Li-ion batteries
    – Ben Voigt
    Mar 26, 2020 at 18:45
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    Li Ion batteries should be kept partially charged when they are going to be stored unused for a long time. If you use them frequently, it's not an issue.
    – barbecue
    Mar 26, 2020 at 19:03
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    So, I will try this. Seems cool.
    – Howsen
    Mar 26, 2020 at 20:01
  • "Without a battery": Even a battery that is totally shot is still good as a 5 second UPS, which saves you for very short term power loss, or for excessive power use spinning up a hard drive etc. MacBooks set their clock rate down to 1 GHz when running without a battery, to guarantee no crashes.
    – gnasher729
    Mar 28, 2020 at 14:52

Every MacBook is designed to run with the lid closed. Just attach a monitor, keyboard and mouse. Some people go on eBay and find a very cheap MacBook with broken screen, which makes a very fine desktop computer.


Surprised nobody mentioned that if you have it closed you may as well put it upside down too (assuming your primary vents are underneath). The heat will rise more easily. Even better - if you have a 3 in one device connect it to an external keyboard and use it in 'tent mode' and the vents will be facing upwards.

This goes for leaving a laptop on a bed or couch if you're not using it - put it upside down so it doesn't overheat.

Disclaimer: Before anyone says it I doubt that a laptop fan is going to malfunction upside down - but that's always your own choice. If it makes a horrible noise that's your clue that something is wrong whatever the orientation.


From anecdotal experience, many laptops vent through the keyboard. Not only is it in some manufacturers' specs, you can often times actually feel the air escaping between your fingers when typing, especially under heavier loads.

This is speculation, but I think keeping the lid closed during use introduced a permanent dead pixel on my laptop's screen.

I try to keep laptops open now, even when using an external monitor.


It depends.

A fanless laptop (rare these days) or a laptop pretending to be silent and thin is pretty much dependant on lid being open in order to cool itself efficiently. Depending on workload, it may not matter at all, make laptop a bit hotter and/or slower, wear down the fan or CPU faster or suck more dust into the radiator. A "workstation-like" (tick, powerful, 15" and more) is pretty much immune to these risks.

(I ran an eeepc for ~7 years nonstop with the lid closed and nothing bad happened, but the fan almost never started.)

As for the battery: OK to run without battery if the laptop runs at all without battery. Some don't and some run in degraded mode with a nasty startup message. The battery itself is better off not being used, to an extent - it may self-discharge to death in a year or two. The battery ages even when not used and it doesn't age much slower when not used. Then again, how much confident are you about your utility power and how much work you can afford to lose?

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