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How To Leave A Laptop In A Hot Car (Keep It Cool)

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You can leave a laptop in a hot car provided it is powered down and kept out of direct sunlight. Remove the battery and store it in a safe location such as the trunk of the vehicle. The temperature in the trunk is generally lower than the cabin and this keeps it out of sight. Parking in the shade also helps.

This guide will explain how to leave a laptop in a hot car so that you reduce the chance of any damage being caused. Leaving a computer in a hot car can cause damage to it so it’s important to do everything possible to make it safe.

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Store the laptop in the trunk

If you are leaving your computer in a hot car then your first choice should be the trunk. The trunk of the car will heat up significantly slower than the passenger cabin. This is because it is not exposed to direct sunlight.

It’s possible that the increase in temperature in the trunk will lag the passenger cabin significantly.

Make sure the computer is turned off

Make sure the laptop or computer is properly powered down. Sometimes people just leave the laptop on standby but this still means it is turned on. In order to keep the temperature as low as possible, you should turn the device off completely.

Do not leave a laptop in a hot car in sleep mode. It needs to be completely powered down otherwise it will generate heat itself.

Put the laptop in a cooler bag or insulated backpack

A cooler bag has insulative properties meaning that it will not heat up as quickly as the rest of the cabin when the car is left parked in direct sunlight. Instead of putting your laptop inside a normal bag, store it in a simple cooler bag from Amazon.

TOURIT Cooler Bag 48-Can Insulated Soft Cooler Large Collapsible Cooler Bag 32L Lunch Coolers for Picnic, Beach, Work, Trip, Grey
  • Large Capacity: Cooler bag can hold a volume of…
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Alternatively, pick up an insulated laptop backpack.

MATEIN Travel Laptop Backpack, Business Anti Theft Slim Durable Laptop Backpack with USB Charging Port, Water Resistant College Bag Computer Bag Gifts for Men & Women Fits 15.6 Inch Notebook, Grey
  • ★COMFY&STURDY: Comfortable soft padded back…
  • ★FUNCTIONAL&SAFE: A luggage strap allows…

Use a car sunshade

A sunshade is a simple but effective way to slow down the increase in temperature inside your car on a hot day. They have reflective properties, preventing sunlight from entering through the windshield. You can grab a cheap car sunshade from Amazon easily.

EcoNour Car Windshield Sun Shade, Reflector Sunshade Offers Ultimate Protection for Car Interior, Cool Car Reflective Sun Blocker Fits Small Sedans, Mini SUVs, & Hatchbacks, Medium (64 in x32 in)
  • Shield Your Ride: EcoNour’s sunshade for car…
  • Uncompromising Quality: Made from premium quality…
  • Easy to Install: Effortlessly install our window…

Park in the shade

Parking your car in the shade rather than in direct sunlight will help slow down the increase in the temperature inside the passenger cabin. Direct sunlight penetrates the windows and heats up the air inside, raising the temperature quickly above that of the outside atmosphere.

Keep the device out of view

Under no circumstances should you leave your laptop in the car in a place where it is visible through the windows! This will invite thieves to enter your vehicle. Also, if the laptop is visible it’s likely exposed to direct sunlight, which increases the risk of heat-induced damage.

Remove the battery

If you are comfortable doing so, you could remove the battery of your laptop. A damaged battery is not only a fire hazard but it can negatively affect the performance of your laptop.

Never leave it in direct sunlight

As stated above, leaving the computer in view is definitely a bad idea. You should not leave any electronic devices in direct sunlight when leaving your vehicle. Out of view is the way to go!

Make sure it’s cool before restarting

When you return to your vehicle, check the temperature of the device before turning it on. Make sure the laptop or computer is not too hot before restarting it as this could cause damage to it.

Avoid leaving it if possible

A final note worth saying is that if possible, you should take your computer with you. Obviously, this isn’t always practical, but I thought it was worth mentioning. It’s nice to have the peace of mind that your device is safe. If you think you will worry about it then perhaps make sure it’s absolutely necessary to leave it in the hot vehicle.

Related FAQs

Here are some questions related to the topic of this article

How long can I leave a laptop in a hot car?

You can leave your laptop in a hot car for over 8 hours if you ensure it is powered down and stored in the trunk. Your computer will not sustain heat damage if you remove the battery and store it in an empty cooler bag which has insulative properties. Park in the shade and make sure the laptop is cool to the touch before leaving.

Is it OK to leave a Macbook in a hot car?

Do not leave a Macbook in a hot car for extended periods of time as this will cause heat damage. You can store the Macbook in the trunk in an insulated container such as a cooler bag where it is out of direct sunlight. Leaving electronics inside the passenger cabin is dangerous due to rising temperatures during hot weather.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. This means I earn a commission if you make a qualifying purchase, but this is at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting The Road Trip Expert.

Image of Iain The Founder Of The Road Trip Expert

Iain Salter

Founder & Editor of The Road Trip Expert

Iain founded The Road Trip Expert in 2019 and continues to manage the website to this day. The inspiration to start the blog came during an extensive road trip around Europe with two friends that spanned several months and involved over 25,000km of driving. He first developed a passion for backpacking in 2014 and has had the pleasure of exploring over 60 countries.