Is your thermal paste expired or is it not providing expecting performance?

One basic thing you must aware of is that thermal paste expires after some time. This time depends upon the materials which are used to make that thermal paste.

In easier terms, thermal pastes can be expired. Mainly, manufactures provide at least three years of extensive life span for the thermal paste, and five years foremost.

Just like the foods thermal paste also contains some material which decide the life span of thermal paste! Sounds interesting?

Moreover, other things can also affect the effectiveness of the thermal paste; for example, if you put the thermal paste on a place where is an extent of heat, so it might be possible for the expiration of that thermal paste. Same goes for extra cooling too!

It is little difficult to diagnose why your thermal paste is expired, but it nearly depends by seeking through manufacture’s making process.

They make these pastes with different solutions and methods. There are numerous brands for example: ARCTIC, Thermal Grizzly, Cool laboratory, Cooler Master, Arctic Silver, etc. Therefore, it’s nearly impossible to give the correct answer for you!

Interesting: What is thermal paste?

Some people think that thermal paste basically helps your processor to cool down.

Indeed, it supports the process, but, mainly, it eliminates the air gaps between the processor and heat sink in order to maximize the heat transfer.

You can also seek that the more the heat transfer between processor and heat sink, better performance you will get!

One more interesting thing is that there are several varieties of thermal paste in the markets, and the problem is that you’ll be confused which one to buy. Therefore, you should know their types.

Some of the thermal paste types has main ingredient like silicone, liquid metal, carbon-based elements, graphite, and ceramic. As we told you, it varies according to manufacturer’s method.

Furthermore, all of the above type are conductive of heat, but they can not conduct electricity, which actually helps your PC to not being damage.

In addition to it, thermal pads also exist which is really unique; thus, instead of applying thermal paste, you can use them.

4 reasons of expiration of thermal paste:

There are some reasons by which your thermal paste can be expired; therefore, be aware of it!


Sometime placing a thermal paste on a heating place can also affect the performance of the thermal place. This can directly provide a great space for chemicals to react. Most importantly, sunlight can also make your thermal paste less effective.


Same as heating, sometimes placing thermal paste on too much cooling can also let it make defective. Humid environment can also affect the rate by which it cools your processor; ultimately, we can conclude that placing thermal paste on a too much cool place can also affect it.

Expiration Date:

As we mentioned earlier, some cheap thermal pastes do not come with any specific expiration date, and it is based on luck for the effectiveness of that paste; however, some famous brand also provides a specific date for the thermal paste; therefore, if a thermal place is used more than expiration time, so it may not give expected performance.

Contact with air:

Contact with air can also affect the performance of thermal paste which is very common. If you have placed your thermal paste without making sure that it is air tight, so it may be expired because of direct contact with the air. If you open the seal and forget to twist the cap again, so you can really understand that your thermal paste is not more useful.

How to extend thermal paste life span?

The fortunate for you is that you can also store thermal paste properly to extend the thermal paste life span ultimately. Most of you think that it is difficult to store it, and thermal paste are used for one time use; however, the truth is contrast to it.

If you have just bought a new thermal paste and you want to prolong its expiration, so you can easily follow the below steps:

1. No contact with the air:

Just after using the thermal paste, you should twist the cap back in order to make it air tight. However, if it is not possible so you should put all of thermal paste in a Ziploc bag which makes it air tight and less contact with the air and dust. Therefore, you should follow these steps in order to extend the life!

2. Do you pull the plunger back?

One most common mistake that people do after using any thermal paste is that they pull back the plunger. What people usually does is that they push plunger back which causes air to be stored inside the syringe. Mainly, it causes oxidation. Therefore, pulling the plunger back may affect your newly bought thermal paste!

3. Can temperature affect the thermal paste?

Obviously, high temperature can affect your thermal paste the most than any others; it may create an environment for chemicals to react. Similarly, placing it on too much cooling can also affect the same as high temperature. It is hazardous than any other reason by which thermal paste is expired. Therefore, you need to put your thermal paste in room temperature which will extend its life span.

4. Exposure to sunlight:

Indeed, exposure to sunlight can also affect the performance of your thermal paste. The sun light can cause chemical break down and work as a catalyst, so your thermal paste will remain no more effective; to prevent this, put your thermal paste in a shelf drawer. Interestingly, it actually helps people to let their thermal paste can be used for more days.

How often to remove thermal paste?

Sometimes, you just need to replace old thermal paste in order to boost your pc performance.

It is suggested that every time you take your heat sink out, so you should apply thermal heat to the sink.

What happens if you do not apply the paste?

It will be then introduced to air pockets between the CPU and heat sink. This can cause damage to your pc by excess of heat.

For example, if you open your computer’s case in order to remove dust, so it would be great if you take off heat sink and CPU too. Then, remove old thermal paste using a cotton pad with isopropyl alcohol.

Then, apply new thermal paste again, and you can finally enjoy flawless gaming!

Some people don’t like it and change their thermal paste which is something unethical for your CPU’s health! According to experts, it is recommended that changing thermal paste once in a year can give better performance than those who change thermal paste after three to four years.

One more interesting thing to ponder is that, if you have prebuilt PC, so we highly suggest you to replace the old thermal paste and apply the new one; moreover, this is the fastest way to boost your CPU’s performance by cooling your processor faster.

Some manufactures, in order to make more profit, apply cheap quality thermal paste to the CPU, which is highly hazardous for your CPU; thus, we recommend you to apply the new thermal paste.

Does changing thermal paste worth it?

Indeed, changing thermal paste of your CPU worth a lot!

Many people on YouTube, tried to solve this! The interesting is that people have seen a lot of difference in temperature.

The result is that some see people see it as uninspiring method where a lot of see it as great effort to cool down CPU.

There are two results. It is possible that cheap quality thermal paste is applied to the CPU, and as a result, it shows no temperature reduction.

On the contrary, the CPU, in which a high-quality thermal paste is applied, works really fine, and it has been seen with effective temperature reduction.

Therefore, if you are an enthusiast gamer, who loves to play modern high graphics games, then, it is vital for you to apply a good thermal paste on you CPU; thus, it will give you smooth expected performance.

Is too much thermal paste good or bad?

We have discussed about cheap quality of thermal paste; however, if you have a high-quality thermal paste, and you didn’t apply the specific needed amount, so there is a high probability that your thermal paste is going to damage your whole computer by over-heating!

We all know that the main purpose of thermal paste is to provide conductivity of heat of CPU and heatsink. When you apply too much thermal paste, then, it will become insulator which is very fatal for computers.

Therefore, you should take care while apply thermal paste: neither too much nor fewer!

Is it possible to use PC without using thermal paste?

Somehow, it is possible to use PC without using thermal paste until your processor gets fiery and simultaneously damage your computer!

In easier terms, it will affect the CPU in terms of conductivity. Your PC will suffer high heat, and if you are unable to cool down your heat, then, it may cost high because it will burst your PC in no time. If you don’t love your CPU, so you can also try overclocking without applying thermal paste!

Therefore, it does not make any sense if you are not applying thermal paste, or applying cheap quality thermal paste.

If you find out that your thermal paste is not more effective, so you should buy a new one and apply. Do not compromise when it comes to your processor. Moreover, after that, you will also see smooth and lag-free PC.

Furthermore, if your heating problem is not solved after applying high-quality thermal paste, so you should use best fan for thermal paste**.** We may hope that choosing the right one will cool your PC in no time!


We may hope that this article has helped you to find the answers of most question: Does thermal paste expire? Why my thermal paste has been expired?

Thermal paste can also be used for long life with help of tricks which we provided in the article. You should apply this to let you do not expire another thermal paste!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does thermal paste have expiry date?

Some famous thermal paste providers may tell the expiry date of thermal paste; however, cheap quality thermal paste does not have any expiry date. You can use them until you find that it is not working.

Can thermal paste last 10 years?

The straightforward answer is Yes: You can use thermal paste till 10 to 15 years; however, it totally depends upon the quality of thermal pastes. Moreover, you should change thermal paste periodically if you want your pc to run smoothly.

Can thermal paste ruin a CPU?

It is difficult to answer this question, but excess of thermal paste may overheat your processor and shut down your pc. Whereas, modern CPU can handle this, and it is unlikely ruin your CPU.

Can I use toothpaste instead of thermal paste?

Absolutely not! Thermal paste can’t be replaced with any toothpaste; indeed, it looks same as thermal paste, but it does not have any property like thermal paste such as cooling; however, some youtubers prove it wrong!

Which type of thermal paste is best?

As we mentioned earlier that there are a lot of types of thermal paste whose composition varies according to manufacture, but the ProlimaTech PK-2 Nano Aluminum is the best premium thermal paste of all time!

Is it OK without thermal paste?

Absolutely not! Thermal paste is something which is vital for your processor; it helps your processor to cool down ultimately; moreover, it has also been seen that too much thermal paste can also ruin your pc, so be careful while putting the paste!

Ahsan Azeemi
Ahsan Azeemi is an eminent content writer who specializes in affiliate and technical writing. He uses his enormous writing skills to engage readers on the blog. Ahsan has been a writer on our site for many months, boosting our sales with his professional and competitive SEO-friendly articles.