How To

How to Install Heatsink on Raspberry Pi 3: Cooling Pi in an Easy Way

Today I will guide you on how to install the heatsink on Raspberry Pi 3 board.

Why do you need to install Raspberry Pi heatsink?

You may have created countless electronics projects with your Raspberry Pi. And many times, you may have worked for hours on it or even overclocked your Raspberry Pi board for having maximum output. In such scenarios, you should have noticed that your circuit board is overheated and due to which you faced some issues with the setup or project output. To avoid any problem due to Raspberry Pi overheating, you can use a good-quality heatsink to cool down the Pi board. Getting the best Raspberry Pi heatsink is one thing and get it installed on the board is a totally different matter.

Things you will need for the Raspberry Pi 3 heatsink installation:

  1. A Raspberry Pi 3 board
  2. A pair of heatsinks (one for LAN chip and one for System on Chip (SoC))
  3. Cutter/knife
  4. Thermal adhesive tape (if not included with the heatsink package)
  5. A wooden board to act as a platform for the heatsink installation on Pi

Things you will need for the Raspberry Pi 3 heatsink installation

Where can you get the Raspberry Pi 3 heatsink?

Well, if you have bought a complete Raspberry Pi 3 starter kit, then you will get heatsinks too in that package. But in case, if you purchased a Raspberry Pi board only, then you can easily find and buy the heatsinks from the online stores like Amazon or your nearby Raspberry Pi accessories vendor. Just make sure to buy the compatible heatsinks for your particular Raspberry Pi model (here, Pi 3 model B).

How to install the heatsink on Raspberry Pi 3?

Though the Raspberry Pi 3 is capable enough to handle some heating issues, once the temperature is gone past 800c, then it needs some cooling components to avoid overheating. Installing heatsink on Raspberry Pi board is not a much difficult task, and if you follow the steps mentioned here, then it will become even more simple and more comfortable for you. So, let’s proceed.

Step-1: Find the place

First of all, locate the areas on your Pi board where you are going to install the heatsinks. The large heatsink will go on the processor chip, and the smaller will fit on the LAN chip. See the image below:

Find the place

Step-2:  One at a time

Install the heatsinks on one by one place. Take one at a time. Here, we will start with the larger chip (processor). To install heatsink on Raspberry Pi SoC:

1. Take the thermal adhesive tape, put it below the cooling component and cut it according to the Raspberry Pi heatsink size.

thermal adhesive tape cut for raspberry pi heatsink2. Remove the protective sheet from the heatsink. This will open up the thermal paste layer.

3. Now, peel off one side protective layer from the adhesive tape and place it on the opened up part of the heatsink. The tape is double sided so don’t worry about the side you are connecting to the heatsink.

place adhesive tape on the opened up part of the heatsink4. After this, open the protective layer on another side of the adhesive tape.

5. Then, place the heatsink on the Broadcom SoC processor chip. Make sure to line up the edges of both the chip and the heatsink. Press firmly to make sure heatsink installation completes successfully.

Follow the same process above to install the heatsink on the LAN (USB + Ethernet) chip of Raspberry Pi.

Step-3: Enjoy working

Wait for some time after you install the heatsinks on your Raspberry Pi 3 board. When you feel that the heatsinks are appropriately attached to your board, then start enjoying your Raspberry Pi project without any worry of overheating.

pi 3 with heatsink installed

If there is a little overlap of the tape or the heatsink is not correctly lined up with the chip, then don’t worry as such small exceeding does not matter.

Are the heatsinks the only way to cool down Pi?

You can also use fans to cool down the Raspberry Pi, but they acquire more space compared to heatsinks, and even they are noisy. So, using a heatsink to cool down your Pi board is the best option. If you need some extra cooling protection and don’t get distracted due to noise, you can use both the heatsinks and fans for cooling down your Raspberry Pi.

Cool your Pi now

The credit card sized Raspberry Pi board is capable of doing tasks like a desktop computer and can help you to finish many electronics and robotics projects. But for that, you have to take proper care of your favorite little circuit board and cooling it down is one of the most responsible tasks of yours towards it, especially while overclocking.

I hope this guide helped you in a reliable and useful way for installing the heatsink on Raspberry Pi 3. If you know any other quick & easy method for doing the same, then you can share your ideas in the comment section below.

The world is waiting!


Jessica Ward

Hey! I am Jessica Ward. I love to write about technology and learn or thinking about latest techno. And my forever ever love technology project is Raspberry Pi. I do and know more or more for Raspberry Pi.

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