How to remove a CPU cooler

The CPU cooler is important for maintaining the temperature of the operating system. You must ensure that it is installed properly. Otherwise, the CPU will overheat and suffer irreparable damage.

If you need to apply fresh thermal grease or install a new unit, you need to learn to remove the CPU cooler properly.

Remove the CPU cooler

Before you begin, remove the power cord to turn off your system.

If your system has been shut for some time, the thermal paste or thermal compound may have hardened, and you may have to turn on the CPU so that the thermal paste can soften a little.

The thermal paste is applied to fill the air gaps between the CPU lid and CPU cooler base.

Removing CPU cooler with retention brackets

Here is how you can remove CPU cooler with retention brackets

  • Remove the fan power cord from the CPU fan header located on the motherboard.
  • Disconnect the CPU cooler from the RGB cable and also detach the RGB header on the motherboard
  • Now gently pull the cam lever or cam clamp to remove the CPU cooler from the retention frame.
  • There are retention clips on the side of the heat sink. Release the retaining clip with the cam from the motherboard socket mounting lugs.
  • Lightly twist the CPU cooler clockwise and then counter-clockwise to loosen the seal between the heat sink and CPU lid. Remember not to apply too much force.
  • Now carefully lift the CPU cooler while the CPU remains fixed in the CPU socket.
Related article:   PC vs Console for Gaming

Removing CPU cooler with spring screws

If you need to remove the CPU cooler with the four spring screws, here is what you need to do

  • Detach the fan power from the CPU fan header on the motherboard.
  • Now disconnect the CPU cooler from the RGB cable. Also, detach the RGB header on the motherboard.
  • Now turn the screw counter-clockwise with a screwdriver while following a diagonal pattern across the CPU cooler.
  • Repeat the process until all the screws holding the heat sink have been disconnected from the motherboard.


Here’s a good video on the whole process:

Best Selling Gear
Amazon Affiliate Notice

* is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

About / Contact

My name is Tracy and I’m a passionate blogger about everything involving the latest tech, programming, gaming, gadgets, hardware or software.

I’ve always been a bit of a nerd when it comes to technology and gaming, so I started TechImperatives to make sure to educated other people on the latest trends in tech.

Subsequently, I’m well-versed in the latest and greatest trends, innovations and developments and I can only hope to lend my experience to other authors in my quest to spread education and knowledge. 🙂

You can contact me anytime.

Simply click on “Contact” below, fill out the form and submit your message. We’ll get back to you swiftly.