Asus, Dell and Lenovo laptops are overheating, thanks to this Windows flaw

XPS 13 9370
(Image credit: Future)

Microsoft's newest Windows 10 power mode might be causing your laptop to overheat. 

Touted by Microsoft as an instant on/off feature similar to what you experience with a smartphone, Modern Standby puts your laptop in a low power state but keeps the device aware enough to continue processing background tasks and instantly awake when you press the power button.

Modern Standby is a convenient feature, one that has saved us a bunch of time while reviewing Windows 10 laptops. Unfortunately, the power mode is reportedly causing some of the best laptops to overheat while they're not in use.  

As it slept, the IdeaPad S740 ran a fever of 122 degrees Fahrenheit, far above our 95-degree degree comfort threshold.

Tech site Notebookcheck identified three newly-released laptops that overheat in Modern Standby mode: the Dell XPS 13 (7590), Asus ZenBook 15 and Lenovo IdeaPad S740 15.

The Lenovo had the most serious problems, consuming 27.4 watts of power when the lid was closed and the laptop was in sleep mode. As it slept, the IdeaPad S740 ran a fever of 122 degrees Fahrenheit, far above our 95-degree degree comfort threshold. Those concerning readings were measured after the laptop was updated with the latest drivers and Wi-Fi was turned off.

As Notebookcheck points out, overheating can have an impact on battery life. Even more concerning is the risk of thermal runaway when a lithium-ion battery is exposed to high temperatures for long periods. There haven't been any reports of Modern Standby causing fires or explosions, but Windows 10 users should power down their laptops if they find them overheating overnight while in sleep mode.  

The handful of laptops named above are likely just a sample of those with problems caused by Modern Standby. We found dozens of forum posts from frustrated users asking Microsoft to fix Modern Standby or revert back to the previous S3 power state. 

This isn't the first time Modern Standby has been on the hot seat; Our sister site, Laptop Mag, previously reported on XPS 15 users complaining that Modern Standby was draining battery. 

Can you disable Modern Standby?

We wish we could share a fix for any problems you're experiencing with Modern Standby, but there is simply no easy way to disable the feature. 

Yes, you can try different workarounds posted to online forums but those could lead to even more problems. 

If it's consolation, not every laptop using the sleep mode is having overheating problems. This suggests some type of compatibility issue. We can only hope Microsoft works with its vendors to push out updates that fix any issues caused by Modern Standby. And that those updates don't create more problems than they solve. 

This article originally appeared on Laptop Mag.

Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. Previously, he was a Senior Writer at Tom's Guide and has also been a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.