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How Often Should Thermal Paste Be Changed – Answer & FAQ

    ✅ Fact Checked
    Updated on October 6, 2022
    John Chad, Bachelor Computer Science Degree & Computer Engineering.
    Written by
    John Chad, Bachelor Degree in Computer Science & Computer Engineering.
    Russel Collins
    Fact Checked by
    Russel Collins
    John is a certified IT & Computer Engineer with a Bachelors Degree. He has worked for a International Insurance Company in the IT department before deciding to become a full time blogger to help his readers. Holds a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science from Stanford University.

    Thermal paste is responsible for the transfer of heat from processor cores to heatsinks. These tiny tubes become clogged and leaky when there is no ventilation. They’ve also become less effective at retaining heat because they now have stuff jammed inside. Knowing when and how to change your thermal paste is a whole different topic, we’ll do our best to tell you everything about this topic, and we hope that by the end of this article, you will no longer have any questions or concerns about how to change thermal paste, all of them should be answered. 

    How Do You Know When Thermal Paste Needs To Be Replaced?

    How Often Should You Replace Thermal Paste? In most cases, you won’t have to reapply more than once every few years, but you should change your paste if you want to remove your cooler for any reason. If your CPU temperatures are increasing, you may also want to consider reapplying thermal paste.

    Can I Use 5 Year Old Thermal Paste?

    Yes, if the thermal paste is inside the tube it may not be dried up and as such you likely can use it. It’s recommended that you’ll need to change the thermal paste as the thermal paste wears out – it dries inside the CPU. In most cases, you don’t have to reapply thermal paste for four years, but the load on your CPU at the end of the day will determine what you need to do. The more the load, the faster it dries, and then you’ll need to reapply thermal paste.

    Does thermal paste deteriorate? Well, now you have an answer. Yes, thermal paste does expire after a set time, it should come with the expiry date in the tube.

    However, other factors, such as storage temperature, exposure to air, and the humidity level where you kept the paste, could cause the thermal paste to expire quickly.

    In a dry environment, you’d better store thermal grease at room temperature. Make sure to cap the syringe tightly. If you do this then the thermal paste will not go bad even five years after its production date. We recommend using N-B Max Pro or any Arctic Silver.

    How Long Does Thermal Paste Last In A Laptop?

    On your CPU or some other chip, a standard thermal paste will last about five years. This number can decrease to two years or rise to as much as ten years, depending on the climate, the computer’s cooling system, usage, and the compound’s quality. Here’s why and how these factors influence the duration.

    How Often Does Thermal Paste Dry Out?

    When using thermal paste, be sure to allow it to dry out, if it’s not dry then there’s no need to apply a new layer. This is because the thermal paste isn’t supposed to dry right after putting it on. In fact, it will dry only after a couple of years of use in most cases.

    After applying thermal paste, you can lock in your CPU. There is no reason for it to dry at all. Also, be sure that if you don’t dry your paste, your computer will function fine.

    How Long Does Thermal Paste Last Before Drying?

    Thermal paste is a paste-like substance, so it will not dry. It must be in a pasty shape in order to fill the processor and the heatsink’s space. In the majority of cases, it’s okay to use it right away. If you like, you can also wait for two to three hours for it to “set” before using your computer again.

    If you didn’t use enough paste or if the paste was poorly applied, it didn’t cover evenly, which could also cause overheating problems.

    What Is The Right Thermal Paste Amount To Use?

    Any thermal pastes come with warnings about the amount to use. If this is the case, then follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

    However, too much paste can be just as bad as not enough paste. When applying it, always make sure you use only the amount of paste needed. According to the rule of thumb, it should be equal to a pea or a bean.

    If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us or leave a comment below.