How to Remove CPU Stuck to Cooler/Motherboard/Heatsink (STEPS) | Volt Fixer (2023)

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Why is my CPU cooler stuck?

Your CPU cooler may be stuck because of poor quality thermal paste and extremely low temperature of the cooler.

(Video) How to remove stubborn heatsinks.

The thermal paste helps to eliminate the air gaps and promotes more efficient dissipation of heat from the computer and heat absorption by the cooler.

  • Poor quality of the thermal paste
  • Very low temperature of the heatsink

Poor quality of the thermal paste

If a bad quality thermal paste is applied to the cooler, there would be poor dissipation and absorption of heat. As a result, the thermal paste would start acting like glue and lead to the CPU cooler getting stuck.

Low temperature of the heatsink

When the temperature of the heatsink falls much below the desired temperature, the CPU cooler may get stuck because of the alteration of its molecular structure.

How do I remove a stuck CPU?

You can remove a stuck CPU by removing the clips and screws on its side and prying it loose by twisting it gently.

(Video) How to remove CPU Stuck on Fan Cooler

  • Turn the computer ON and let it run for some time like half an hour or so.
  • Turn the computer OFF and unplug the main power supply.
  • Remove the screws and release the clips that hold the CPU in place onto the heatsink.
  • Twist the CPU very gently and slowly.
  • When it becomes loose, pull it towards yourself.
  • If the CPU cooler is stuck too much and doesn’t twist, put string floss between the CPU and the cooler to release the CPU.

How to remove a CPU that is stuck to the cooler?

You can remove a CPU that is stuck to the cooler by using floss and isopropyl alcohol to pry it off from the cooler.

Follow the steps given below to remove a CPU that is stuck to the cooler. Do not use sharp metallic objects like knives or razor blades. You must also not apply too much force to remove them.

  1. Try twisting the CPU and removing it after unclipping it or removing the screws holding it in place.
  2. If the CPU doesn’t come out easily, soak the CPU and the cooler in isopropyl alcohol of at least 91% concentration for five minutes. This won’t damage the processor. If you don’t have isopropyl alcohol and are thinking of using some other liquid, you must check by applying it on a glass surface. If no marks are left on the glass after the liquid dries off completely, it is good to go for the CPU and cooler as well.
  3. Take a long dental floss string and put it in any corner of the junction between the CPU and the heatsink.
  4. Gently work your way towards the other corner of the junction. It may be difficult to penetrate sometimes, but with repeated flossing, you can easily remove the CPU stuck to the cooler.

How to Remove CPU Stuck to Cooler/Motherboard/Heatsink (STEPS) | Volt Fixer (1)

How to remove a CPU that is stuck to the motherboard?

You can remove a CPU stuck to the motherboard by inserting flat tools under the CPU and lifting it from the motherboard.

(Video) how to clean thermal paste off of a cpu socket #shorts

You can follow the steps given below to remove a CPU stuck to the motherboard.

  1. Remove the screws and clips holding the cooler in place. Remove the CPU cooler by lifting it from the case.
  2. Wipe off the decomposed thermal paste present on the surface of the CPU.
  3. Remove the safety levers holding the CPU in place. To remove the CPU that is stuck to the motherboard, you will need two flathead screwdrivers or flat plastic cards with enough strength to push the CPU out without breaking off.
  4. Insert a flathead screwdriver or flat plastic card under the CPU on both sides and try pushing it out. Be gentle and slow while doing this step as rough handling may damage the CPU or motherboard.

How to remove a CPU that is stuck to the heatsink?

You can remove a CPU that is stuck to the heatsink by using a heat gun.

To do this, follow the detailed steps given below.

  1. Set the heat gun on medium heat and start heating each side of the CPU for ten seconds. Keep the gun at least one inch away from the CPU surface. The heat must not hit the CPU directly as it may damage the transistors of the CPU.
  2. Hold the heatsink very firmly in your hands and very slowly turn the CPU backward and forward.
  3. If the CPU still doesn’t pry off from the heatsink, heat it a little more to melt the thermal paste and loosen the CPU from its place on the heatsink.
  4. If you have a running computer, you may turn ON your computer and let it run for half an hour to heat the thermal paste instead of using a heat gun to do the job.

How to remove the thermal paste from the CPU socket?

You can remove the thermal paste from the CPU socket by using some simple stuff like fine toothpicks, thermal paste cleaner, surface purifier, cotton buds, lint-free cloths and magnifying glass.

(Video) How to Remove a CPU Cooler Safely!

To remove the thermal paste from the CPU socket, follow the steps given below.

  1. Open the CPU casing and remove all the components attached to the motherboard including wires and power cables to free enough space for efficient working. It’s important to make sure that you don’t damage any of the components accidentally with your elbow or hands.
  2. Assess your CPU sockets to see which type they belong to. There are mainly two types of sockets. One is a PGA socket that has holes to insert the pins, and the second is an LGA socket that has pins to seat the CPU.
  3. If you have an LGA socket, the pins on the socket will be bent at an angle of 45 degrees. So you will have to clean the socket in the direction of the bends instead of the opposite direction. To find out the direction, use a magnifying glass to look at the direction of the bends closely. Start cleaning from the base of the pins while moving towards the tip.
  4. If you have a PGA socket, apply a thermal paste cleaner to the area where the thermal paste has been applied. Make sure to fill all gaps and holes in the socket of the CPU. Leave it for five minutes. This allows the cleaner to bind with the thermal paste and clean it off the CPU surface. After the five minutes time period, start cleaning the pins very slowly and gently. You can use fine toothpicks to clean the thermal paste from the holes. Don’t clean in the opposite direction of the pin bends.
  5. Mop the remaining cleaning liquid away from the surface of the sockets, holes and pins very gently.
  6. Repeat steps 3 and 4 to clean LGA and PGA sockets respectively. This will ensure that all the thermal paste is finally removed from the CPU socket and doesn’t cause any problems. Please note that the thermal paste is totally harmless for your computer and so you should only clean as much thermal paste as is needed to establish a good connection.

How to remove an AMD CPU from the socket?

You can remove an AMD CPU from the socket by heating the PC and removing the CPU from the socket.

To do this, follow the steps given below.

  1. Turn your computer ON and play a game for ten minutes to heat the thermal paste on your CPU cooler.
  2. Turn OFF your PC and remove the power supply.
  3. Open the CPU casing and rotate the cooler a few times and lift it. The CPU will be exposed now.
  4. Remove the clips and brackets holding the CPU in place.
  5. Shake the CPU gently to loosen its position on the socket.
  6. Once the CPU becomes completely loose, remove the CPU by lifting it upward from the socket.

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FAQs

How to Remove CPU Stuck to Cooler/Motherboard/Heatsink (STEPS) | Volt Fixer? ›

With warm thermal paste, you shouldn't have too much trouble freeing the cooler and then pulling it up and away. If the heat sink seems fairly stuck to the CPU (even after warming it up), you can try running the PC again for longer.

Is it easy to remove CPU cooler? ›

With warm thermal paste, you shouldn't have too much trouble freeing the cooler and then pulling it up and away. If the heat sink seems fairly stuck to the CPU (even after warming it up), you can try running the PC again for longer.

How do I release my CPU cooler? ›

Removing the CPU Cooler
  1. Release the retention clips on each side of the heatsink from the motherboard socket mounting lugs.
  2. Lightly twist the CPU cooler clockwise and counterclockwise to loosen the seal between the heatsink and the lid of the CPU.
  3. Carefully lift the CPU cooler from the CPU.

What removes CPU thermal paste? ›

Step 3: Cleaning the CPU
  1. Dip a paper towel into the isopropyl alcohol (90% or 90%+).
  2. Carefully remove the old paste.
  3. wipe the processor's edges, with cotton swab soaked in isopropyl alcohol, to remove remaining old paste.
  4. Remove the paste on the load plate as well.

Do I have to reapply thermal paste if I remove cooler? ›

How Often Should You Replace Thermal Paste? In most cases, you shouldn't need to reapply more than once every few years, though you should replace your paste if you remove your cooler for any reason. You may also want to consider reapplying thermal paste if you find your CPU temperatures are climbing.

How to remove thermal paste? ›

Clean the paste from the CPU using isopropyl alcohol and a cloth. Keep the CPU in the socket and gently remove the paste. Don't be heavy handed and take your time.

Do you need alcohol to remove thermal paste? ›

The short answer is, “Yes” — you can use an alcohol swab to clean up the thermal paste. But there are some things to keep in mind. You cannot use your typical drinking alcohol for this job. You need a special kind of alcohol, commonly known as “rubbing alcohol”.

Is it OK to run CPU without cooler? ›

High performance CPUs (ADLQM67PC, ADLGS45PC) must use active cooling (either an installed CPU fan or an external fan that forces air over the heat sink). CPU boards with heat-spreaders should not be run on the benchtop without some way to dissipate the heat away from the processor.

How do you remove a heatsink screw? ›

Gently press down on the top of the heatsink to counteract the pressure of the captive spring-loaded screws that secure the heatsink to the motherboard. Use a number two Phillips screwdriver to alternately loosen each of the two spring-loaded mounting screws that secure the heatsink to the motherboard.

What is the first thing to do before removing the CPU fan? ›

Before disconnecting the heat sink fan from the computer, disconnect the fan power wire. A two, three, or four pin power cable should be connecting the fan to the computer motherboard. Locate where this cable connects to the motherboard and disconnect it by grabbing the connector end and pulling up on the connector.

How do you remove a stuck GPU cooler? ›

Insert a Plastic Pry Tool or Credit Card: Gently insert a plastic pry tool or credit card between the CPU and the cooler. Start at one edge and work your way around the CPU, sliding the tool or card to separate the bond. Apply gentle pressure, taking care not to damage the CPU or motherboard.

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