How Long Does Thermal Paste Last?

How Long Does Thermal Paste Last?

If you are wondering how long does thermal paste lasts? and how should you store it properly, then you are not the only one. There are so many people who still have some doubts in their minds. 

Need to know the answer to the questions? Then we encourage you to go through the whole article.

What is a Thermal paste?

A thermal paste is also known as “Compound Paste,” is an essential part of your computer. It protects your computer from overheating and ensures everything is running properly and fine. 

According to the manufacturers, a thermal paste has a life span of 3 to 5years. But, if the environment is too hot or too cold, it will have an effect on the thermal paste. If the thermal paste of your computer is cracked or becomes solid, it does lose your computer performance, and the computer may behave strangely. So, it is necessary to change the thermal paste after some days. If you do not maintain your computer’s thermal paste, your computer’s components will get hot often. It is really bad for your computer.

A thermal paste not only maintains stable temperature but also ensures a longer life to your CPU, as well as the motherboard and various parts of the computer.

Is it necessary to change the Thermal paste of your computer every year?

Yes, it is important to change the thermal paste every year to ensure its effectiveness. The thermal paste of your computer will gradually dry out or crack. That is why it is necessary to reapply the thermal paste to prevent it from showing strange behavior and overheating. Overheating can cause damage to your computer.

Different types of thermal paste:

Different types of thermal paste

There are various types of thermal paste available at present. Different people will give different opinions about various types of thermal paste. The longer life of a thermal paste actually depends on the temperature it is stored at, the application process, and when did you buy it.

Almost all the thermal paste contains the same ingredients. The ingredients are just used in different proportions in different pastes. The ingredients which are generally used in thermal pastes are aluminum, silver, graphite, zinc oxide, ceramic, copper, silicon oil, carbon nanoparticles, etc.

Various types of thermal pastes are mentioned below:

  • Ceramic Thermal Paste:

Ceramic thermal pastes are not conductive as they do not contain metal. It is found in different sizes in the market. Thus, you can buy your desired one and no need to worry anymore about its expiry date. It is very cheap, safe, and easier to use.

If you overclock your CPU, it is not recommended to use this type of paste. Due to much heat, this pest will degrade faster than usual.

  • Metal Thermal Paste:

Metal thermal paste is one of the most effective and efficient types of thermal paste. It is electrically conductive & very efficient in heat conduction. You must be very mindful while applying thermal metal paste to your motherboard. Metal thermal paste lasts longer in your computer than any other type. But on the tube, it will expire very rapidly than any other type.

If you overclock your CPU or machine at a regular interval, it is recommended to use thermal metal paste. It lasts for a longer period.

  • Silicon Thermal Paste:

Silicon thermal paste is generally used on thermal pads. It is not effective in heat conduction and is dried quicker than any other pastes around.

Things to consider while purchasing a thermal paste:

Thermal paste is an amazing invention that regulates the temperature of your computer and helps to function your computer perfectly. While buying a thermal paste, consider the following:

  • Paste’s Thermal conductivity: 

Different types of paste come with different thermal conductivity. It is really necessary and important to notice the thermal conductivity of the paste while purchasing it. The conductivity level helps to keep your computer cool. While purchasing, make sure the thermal conductivity of your paste is low. It will give your paste a longer life, and you don’t have to replace it soon.

  • Paste’s Consistency:

Paste’s consistency is one of the important factors to notice while purchasing a thermal paste. The more the consistency, the better it will be in heat conduction.

Does thermal paste expire?

Yes, a thermal paste can expire before the given timeline. It may be because you have not sealed it properly after use. When a paste is expired, you will see the paste has gone separated and looks really clumpy. It will have watery consistency in it. Sometimes, the paste becomes solid and strong. This occurs due to the temperature of the environment. When the surrounding of the thermal paste is too cold or too hot, the paste expires in a quick time.

The expiry date of thermal paste:

In most of the thermal paste, the expiry date is written on the body. A new and unopened thermal paste has an expiry date of 3 to 5years. But if you do not know the manufacturing date and it has been on your shelf for a long time, it may degrade in any way.

Storing the thermal paste in a proper way is another factor on which the shelf life depends. Extreme hot and too cold temperatures are not good for thermal paste, and this type of condition expires a thermal paste faster. 

Suppose you have opened your thermal paste and used it once; it’s time to store it properly. It prolongs its life for greater years. Follow the below steps to store a thermal paste properly:

  • Use a sealed plastic bag to store the thermal paste. You can use a zip lock bag to store it. It should be kept very tight.
  • After you have sealed the bag tightly, It’s time to store it on its side. In this way, the thermal paste is kept at a good consistency.
  • Store the thermal paste in a cool area. Do not store it outdoors, whether it is a shed or garage. Do not even store near a window, as sunlight may reach there. Simply avoid heat while you are storing the thermal paste. 
  • Also, make sure the temperature is not too cool. Too cold temperatures can vary the consistency of the paste. It can make the paste a solid-like structure.
  • Store the thermal paste indoor at room temperature. You can use your drawer or cabinet to put the sealed bag inside. Ensure the bag is reached out to children.


If you are asked how long does thermal paste last?, and how you should store it properly, simply you would answer that it depends on some factors like the type of thermal paste and application process.

Generally, the manufacturers give it a lifespan of 3 to 5years. Thermal paste should be purchased based on how long it lasts. You should not select based on the performance only. While applying, you should be very careful. After applying in your desired place, you should store the thermal paste in a proper way. It extends the durability of the thermal pastes.