Change System Cooling Policy for Processor – Passive or Active

Be it Desktop or Laptop, it’s important to conserve power. One of the ways it can be done is using the System Cooling Policy. Since Desktops are always plugged in, it becomes even necessary to save power when you are running on battery.  That’s where the System Cooling Policy for Processor comes into play. Windows 10 offers two types of cooling policy—Passive and Active. In this post, we will share how you can change System Cooling Policy for Processor.

What is a passive or active system cooling policy for the processor?

Before we go ahead and change it, let’s understand how Passive and Active cooling policy for processor works.

  • Passive: It slows the processor before accelerating the fan speed
  • Active: It increases the fan speed before slowing the processor

While the Passive method will slow down performance, but its power effective. On the other hand, Active policy will be costly. However, if you are on Desktop, you can use Active, but if you are on Laptop, use Passive policy to save battery power.

That said, the OS activates them when required. ACPI feature in the OS enables the vendor to keep a check on temperature through sensors. When the temperature exceeds the thermal zone, the OS takes action to cool down the device.

Activate or deactivate system cooling policy in Windows 10

Power Plan Settings Windows 10

  1. Go to Settings > System > Power and Sleep
  2. Click on Additional power settings
  3. Select the plan settings (Balanced/High performance) and click on change plan settings
  4. It will populate the list with all power-related option. Navigate to Processor power management > System cooling policy > Settings.
  5. Select Active or Passive, and then click on OK to apply the changes.

That said, some of the hardware vendors may not implement active cooling, especially on mobile devices, as it increases the cost and size of the hardware platform. It also drains the battery and makes more noise. On Laptops, the processor is throttled to reduce heat generation, which makes sense.

I hope these steps, and explanations helped you understand Active and Passive system and how to change system cooling policy for the processor.

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Ashish is a veteran Windows, and Xbox user who excels in writing tips, tricks, and features on it to improve your day to day experience with your devices.