Monitor CPU Temperature on Windows 10

Edited by Jay

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With all the advancements made to the Windows Operating system over the years, there is one thing that still perplexes many users. The lack of an onboard tool or application to monitor or check the temperatures of various hardware components, especially the CPU and GPU. If you're a user that; plays resource eating games, experiments with overclocking, or someone with a half-decently powered laptop, at some point, you'll want to be able to check the temp of your CPU. If you've spent a nice chunk of change on a system, the last thing you want to do is run your CPU to the max on a regular basis.

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If you notice that your computer is running slow, laggy, or randomly shuts down, there is a good chance it's due to overheating. If you live in a warmer climate or use your laptop outside often, you run an even higher chance of overheating your machine. Having a reliable application that actively monitors your systems sensors could save you a lot of hassle and money.

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There are several free applications available that will help monitor your system's CPU temperature. For this article, we went with a popular tool called HWiNFO, not only because it's free, but it's also received a lot of positive feedback from its userbase. HWiNFO is pretty advanced and can monitor much more than your CPU temperature. If you download and enjoy the software, consider donating to the developers.

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For this VisiHow, we used a Clevo laptop with an i7 quad-core processor, running Windows 10 Professional.

Please remember the ideal temperature for your CPU at idle and under load will depend on the manufacturers' specifications.

Download and Install HWiNFO for Windows 10

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  1. 1
    Open a web browser and visit the following link. When the page loads, select "'Free Download"'.
    NorthernTouch check-cpu-temperature-windows-10-01B.jpg
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  2. 2
    On the following HWiNFO version page, select Free Download under the Installer for Windows column, then select the closest region to your location.
    NorthernTouch check-cpu-temperature-windows-10-02B.jpg
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  3. 3
    Select the HWiNFO Installer"' link.
    NorthernTouch check-cpu-temperature-windows-10-03A.jpg
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  4. 4
    When the following window pops-up, click "Save File".
    NorthernTouch check-cpu-temperature-windows-10-04.png
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  5. 5
    In your browser, click the Download icon that opens your default download folder.
    NorthernTouch check-cpu-temperature-windows-10-05.png
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  6. 6
    With your Download folder open, locate the hwi_.exe, right-click, then select "Run as administrator".
    NorthernTouch check-cpu-temperature-windows-10-06.png
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  7. 7
    If you see the following UAC (User Account Control) window, click "Yes" to continue.
    NorthernTouch check-cpu-temperature-windows-10-18A.png
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  8. 8
    When the first HWiNFO Installation window appears, click "Next" to proceed with the install.08 The Installer will detect whether your system is 64-bit or 32-bit.
    NorthernTouch check-cpu-temperature-windows-10-08.png
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  9. 9
    Next, choose the destination folder for HWiNFO
    .
    Click "Browse..." to navigate to a different location other than the default.
    NorthernTouch check-cpu-temperature-windows-10-09.png
    When your destination folder is set, click "Next".
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  10. 10
    You can also choose the location for the application's Start Menu folder
    .
    Use the "Browse..." button to navigate to a different location.
    NorthernTouch check-cpu-temperature-windows-10-10.png
    Click "Next" when you've selected the location.
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  11. 11
    Here on the Ready to Install window, verify that both the Destination and Start Menu folder locations are correct, then click "Install".
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  12. 12
    Once the application has finished installing, click "Finish".
    NorthernTouch check-cpu-temperature-windows-10-12.png
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Check CPU Temperature on Windows 10

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In the following steps, we're going to show the Core temperatures, as these are considered the standard for measuring the thermal output of a CPU. The sensors read in this case are closest the highest temperatures due to their location.

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  1. 1
    If you're continuing from the previous section and left "Launch HWiNFO64" selected in the final window of the installation wizard, the program will already be open
    .
    If not, run the application from the Start Menu destination you chose during the setup phase.
    NorthernTouch check-cpu-temperature-windows-10-13.png
    With the HWiNFO Welcome window open, select "Sensors-only", then click "Run".
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  2. 2
    If you see a Warning similar to the one below, make sure you read it carefully before proceeding
    .
    In our example, we opted not to monitor the particular sensor in the warning.
    NorthernTouch check-cpu-temperature-windows-10-14A.png
    If you do not see a warning, skip to the next step.
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  3. 3
    When the application launches, you'll see a small Update window appear on top of the main window
    .
    Verify that you're using the most up-to-date version, then click "Close".
    NorthernTouch check-cpu-temperature-windows-10-15.png
    You can try running a beta version if you like, just be aware that it may not function as well as the latest version.
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  4. 4
    From the Sensor Status window, scroll the section that displays your CPU, specifically the section that lists the different "Cores"
    .
    In our example, we tested a quad-core processor, so there are four temperatures displayed.
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    You'll see four different columns; Current, Minimum, Maximum, and Average. You'll also see "Distance to TjMAX listed under the main cores listed. This represents how far away from the maximum, in temperature, that your cores are based on the manufactures specifications. In our example, 100 Celsius is the maximum.
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Change Temperature Units in HWiNFO

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To change the temperature units from Celsius to Fahrenheit, follow the steps below.

  1. 1
    Launch HWiNFO from the Start Menu.
    NorthernTouch check-cpu-temperature-windows-10-17.png
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  • 2
    If you see a UAC window pop-up, click "Yes" to continue.
    NorthernTouch check-cpu-temperature-windows-10-18A.png
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  • 3
    When the program opens up, click the Gear icon in the lower right corner.
    NorthernTouch check-cpu-temperature-windows-10-19.png
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  • 4
    From the General tab of the "Sensor Settings" window, click the radio button next to "Fahrenheit", then click "OK".
    NorthernTouch check-cpu-temperature-windows-10-20.png
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  • Add CPU Temp Monitoring to the System Tray Windows 10

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    If you'd like to see your core temps directly in the System Tray, follow the steps below.

    1. 1
      Open HWiNFO from the Start Menu Shortcut.
      NorthernTouch check-cpu-temperature-windows-10-21.png
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    2. 2
      Select "Yes" if you see a UAC dialog window.
      NorthernTouch check-cpu-temperature-windows-10-18A.png
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    3. 3
      With HWiNFO open, click the Gear icon in the bottom left corner.
      NorthernTouch check-cpu-temperature-windows-10-19.png
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    4. 4
      From the Sensor Settings window, click the "System Tray" tab
      .
      next, select each core, then place a checkmark in the box next to, "Show in tray".
      NorthernTouch check-cpu-temperature-windows-10-23.png
      Do this for each core you want to be displayed in your System Tray.
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    5. 5
      To test, expand you System Tray, you'll see each core shown with a different colored background
      .
      The number is the current temperature of that core.
      NorthernTouch check-cpu-temperature-windows-10-24.png
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    If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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