How Long Does Thermal Paste Last

thermal paste - how long does thermal paste last

Thermal pastes are used in CPUs to properly dissipate heat from the INS of the processor to the base plate of the CPU. They’re an important element and a process that must not be skipped.

If you miss it, the conductivity will suffer, which in turn will reduce the ability of the CPU to displace heat. This means that the CPU will begin to operate at a temperature much higher than necessary.

It stresses your CPU, and as a result, it will get overclocked and eventually face heavy damage.

The thermal paste is pretty cheap and so not choosing to apply it doesn’t make sense. If in case your thermal paste has reached its expiry date, then get yourself a new one. When you factor the number with which your CPU’s temperature will reduce, even the most expensive tubes will look relatively cheaper! Now let's look into how long does thermal paste last and how to prolong its lifetime. 

Tips and tricks - thermal paste long lasting

The following article is completely based on accurate research, and it answers all your questions about thermal pastes.

If you are wondering whether a thermal paste goes bad, well, the answer is yes. Just like any consumable item, thermal pastes have a certain shelf life and, after a point of time, go bad. Generally, the lifespan of a thermal paste ranges from 3 to 5 years. But there are optimal conditions under which this happens.

If you have not used your thermal paste in a long time and it was placed in a relatively normal temperature area with a tight seal, then it still might be good to go. Even then, we would recommend that you apply it on any metallic surface to check its consistency and smoothness. In the event of separation, clumpiness or a watery texture, throw the tube away immediately and buy a new one. Using that paste on your CPU is just asking for irrevocable damage.

If you have recently invested in a new tube and are worried about its expiry, then you can increase its shelf life by: 

  • Making sure that the cap on the thermal paste syringe is tight and secured enough. If that is not possible for you to do, put it in a Ziploc bag as the next best alternative.
  • Avoid pulling the plunger back by doing that; you are introducing air into the barrel and exposing the remaining paste to oxidation.
  • Store it in an area with a normal room temperature. Keep away from too hot, cold or even humid temperatures.
  • Also, avoid storing them in attics or basements as the temperature really fluctuates there.
  • After tightly covering the tube, place it inside a box to avoid direct exposure to sunlight. A shelf drawer would be sufficient as well.

If you are having issues with the application of thermal paste, here are some easy steps that you can follow to achieve a flawless application. 

paste - how long does thermal paste last
  • Make sure that your CPU is clean and there is no thermal paste that is already applied to it still. If that is the case, gently remove that paste from the plate with isopropyl alcohol and a micro fibre cloth and let dry.
  • Your CPU cooler should be ready to install, and you have all the necessary tools at hand.
  • Apply a pea-sized amount of the paste in the center of the integrated heat spreader (INS).
  • With light pressure, place the base plate of your cooler onto the CPU. Use enough force to make sure that your cooler doesn’t slide and, at the same time, the paste is evenly distributed. Hard pressure may damage the CPU so keep that in mind.
  • Secure the cooler with screws on all four corners with light pressure as before.
  • Once you have completed the above step, double-check that the CPU cooler is firmly attached. Make sure that there is no thermal paste spilling over the edges of the CPU.
  • If that is the case, then it means that you used too much paste. So clean that up with alcohol and restart the whole process over again.

Despite taking all of the precautions, you still need to replace the thermal paste from time to time. Here are a few tips that you can do: 

  • You can throw your thermal paste around its expiration date and buy a new one simultaneously.
  • Some people prefer to replace the thermal paste on your CPU every two to three years regardless of the fact that you used it or not. 
  • Some people also prefer to replace the thermal paste every year, but it seems a bit excessive to us.
  • If you are one of those that operate on a prebuilt PC, then we recommend you to replace the thermal paste instantly that came with the PC, no matter how old your machine is.


By doing so, you will be able to extract the highest performance out of your PC in a very easy as well as efficient manner as it is known that PC manufacturers, in order to cut costs and maximize profits, compromise here and there.

This is usually done by applying a cheap thermal paste, so be a smart consumer and get a sustainable thermal paste for you to increase the longevity of the working of your PC and at the same time reduces your expenses in the longer run. Hope now you got the answer for "How Long Does Thermal Paste Last".

how to find a lost drone

Hey friends I am Peter, greeting my post. My goal is to provide the most up-to-date and complete info on tech products and other accessories. So, those who are spending more time in researching the best product can reduce their searching time and can start to enjoy using the latest trending tools and accessories. Just give a read to my blog and save your time.