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Does Arctic Silver Expire? Everything You Need to Know

You may have thought about getting a decent quality thermal paste for your system and chances are you might be thinking about the arctic silver.

The question is does Arctic Silver Expire?

Arctic Silver has a long-lasting lifespan and can survive for 7 years without getting expired. However, its expiry period varies depending upon the situation and usage.

As I mentioned, arctic silver does expire just like other chemicals because every chemical product has a specific shelf life. However, there are a few reasons which may affect the lifespan of the thermal paste negatively.

We will learn everything related to the expiry of the arctic silver thermal paste in this article. I highly recommend you to read this article to the end.


Does Arctic Silver have an Expiry Date?

Although the arctic silver has a long shelf life it still has an expiry date and will lose its effectiveness past that date.

The main reason for the early expiry of this thermal paste is moisture. Moisture can damage the chemical composition of the arctic silver which will make it lose its effectiveness over time.

Keep in mind that the thermal pastes are made in a laboratory where the temperature is maintained to a specific level.

While this may be true, you can’t even use it for more than 7 years because when the package arrives home, some of the chemical components will start degrading due to moisture contact.

We have also compiled an article on does thermal paste expire, click the link to read that. 

Arctic Silver Expiration Period While Used

The lifetime of the thermal paste which is used in laptops and other gadgets is still under research. However, it doesn’t mean that you should start using this thermal paste immediately after opening the package for 7 years.

While referring to arctic silver’s official website, they claim that their thermal pastes have an expiry date of three years when used elsewhere.

Even if you store it properly, some of its components may start absorbing moisture from the environment within 6-12 months due to air humidity and temperature variations.

However, there is no mention of how long does Arctic Silver lasts when stored inside PC cases. So we will assume that a new tube has an indefinite lifespan when stored in a proper manner. In my opinion, it is better to stick to the expiry date mentioned above.

How Long Does Arctic Silver Last While in Use?

Another common question that most people may have in their mind is that how long does thermal paste last once opened? Well, there is no single answer for this question as it depends on a number of different factors.

The arctic silver’s lifespan depends on the component you are using it for.

The average Arctic Silver 5 life span is about 2-4 years if you use them for cooling purposes. If your system gets warmer than usual, there is a chance that the compound may start losing its effectiveness after 2 to 3 years.

However, the arctic silver may last longer if you use it for electronics components such as power supplies and CPUs. The thermal paste will help to keep your PSU cool while delivering electricity to your motherboard.

How to know If Arctic Silver Has Expired?

If you want to find out if your thermal compound has expired, you can purchase an infrared thermometer.

An infrared thermometer is a handy tool that allows you to measure the surface temperature of your components. It will be able to measure the temperature of your CPU or GPU more accurately and quickly than normal ones.

In fact, it will be a lot more beneficial if you use it on your PC components.

If the surface temperature of your CPU is higher than usual, there is a high chance that something went wrong with the thermal paste and you may need to replace it as soon as possible.

You can get an infrared thermometer from Amazon for just a few bucks.

5 tips to boost the Lifespan of Arctic Silver During usage

If your thermal paste has expired, there is nothing you can do about it. However, you can extend its life by following these tips:

  1. Avoid Air Humidity
  2. Store it Properly
  3. Use the Latest Version of Arctic Silver
  4. Avoid Reusing it After It Expires
  5. Use it After Opening the Packaging within One Week

Arctic Silver Expiration Period While Not in Use (Shelf Life)

In contrast to being in use the shelf life of the arctic silver is different. It may last for additional 5-8 years depending on the product. The good thing about this thermal paste is that it doesn’t require refrigeration or any other special conditions while being stored.

What is the Average Shelf Life of Arctic Silver Thermal Paste?

Since the shelf life can vary depending on the version, I will have to mention all of them below:

Arctic Silver 5 – 3 years. This is for silver-based compounds. If you purchase a tube of Arctic Silver Ceramique, it should last even longer. However, you will need to avoid putting your PC into extremely hot conditions.

A new tube of Arctic Silver 5 (silver-based) has an expiry date of 3 years from the moment you open it. This means that you can use a new one after opening it for up to three years without making any changes or facing any problems.

In case you need to replace the thermal compound sooner, this is because the thermal compound will absorb moisture from the air. In such a situation, you have to open the packaging immediately and clean it with isopropyl alcohol.

After doing so, leave it for at least 5 days before using it again. Even if you take proper care of the tube (open it as soon as possible), there is a chance that the thermal compound will not be able to perform as it should.

If you leave the tube for longer than three years, there is a chance that it may crack during transportation or while being stored in poor conditions. Additionally, if you leave your PC components exposed to sunlight and moisture, they will also lose their effectiveness faster than usual.

5 Tips of Boosting Shelf Life of Arctic Silver  Thermal Paste

When it comes to the arctic silver 5 shelf life, you should be aware that the only thing you can do is minimize losses. Here are some tips that will help you in doing so:

  1. You can minimize the losses by keeping it away from direct sunlight, moisture and avoiding air humidity.
  2. Arctic Silver 5 is best stored in a dark room at room temperature. If you want it to last longer, store it in the refrigerator or freezer.
  3. Protect the package from water and humidity
  4. Protect the seal of the package
  5. Avoid putting it near other chemicals

How Often Should You Replace Arctic Silver  5 Thermal Paste?

To find out how often you should replace the thermal paste, I have asked a few experts about this topic.

So this means that you can use it for five to three years if you take proper care of the tube. If not, then you can use it for an additional two years.

At the same time, you should remember that if the tube has been opened before, it may not be as effective. In such a situation, the only thing to do is to replace it with a new one.

I have already mentioned that in some cases, even if you take proper care of the thermal paste, there is no way for keeping its effectiveness high.

So this means that if you use it on your PC, there is a chance for it to lose its effectiveness faster than usual. In such situations, the only thing to do is put on a new one.

If you are using the same tube for two years, then consider replacing it after one year. Given below some tips that will help you in doing so:

●   You can replace it after one year if the tube has been partially used.

●   If you have used a new tube of thermal compound, then give it at least two years for allowing the manufacturing process to stabilize and provide maximum results.

●   Give your computer components some time to get adjusted with the newly added thermal paste.

●   In case you use the thermal paste for a long period, then it will lose its effectiveness due to evaporation.

In simple words, you have to use a new thermal compound after one year if you are using a partially used tube or two years in case they are new.

The time mentioned above can vary depending on the environment where you are storing it.

Consequences of Using Expired Arctic Silver

Effect 1:  The thermal compound can crack.

Using an expired thermal paste on your computer components can lead to decreasing its life. This happens because the thermal compound will start cracking, and over time it will become the dust that will get inside of your PC components.

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Effect 2:  The cooling power will be reduced.

Using expired thermal paste can result in a decrease in the cooling power provided by it. As a result, your computer components will overheat, and there is a chance for them to fail within few months after replacing the thermal compound.

So this means that the loss in the cooling power is likely to lead you to spend a lot of time and money on replacing damaged PC components.

Effect  3: Your PC Performance will Reduce

Due to the increase in temperature, your PC will not be able to perform normally and it will lose much of its efficiency. In some cases, your computer will often restart in order to prevent itself from burning down. Frequent restarting will lead to loss of unsaved data and other annoying situations

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Frequently Asked questions

How long is arctic silver good for?

The arctic silver can last for 6 to 7 years easily depending upon the situation. However, it has been observed that the shelf life of this thermal paste is 10 times higher than its life in action.

is arctic silver still the best?

Arctic silver is still the best thermal paste out there because it provides long-lasting performance and stays active for an extended period. Besides that, it is very easy to clean and reapply whenever required.

Can I use Arctic Silver on GPU?

You can use Arctic silver on GPU for maintaining its proper cooling mechanism. It is because unlike cheap thermal pastes on the market, arctic silver provides 10 times better cooling and stays active for a prolonged duration.

How long does thermal paste last in laptop?

This is a tricky question. Thermal paste has a shelf life of about 3-7 years. After that period, it should be replaced. When it comes to laptops, it may last for 6-7 years or it may not survive beyond 3 years depending on the average usage of the device and the environment.


We hope after reading the above article you will have found an answer to your question: does arctic silver expire? Research from the internet shows that arctic silver may last a bit longer as compared to other thermal pastes but it will eventually expire.

Apart from that, during our study, we also found that there is a huge difference between the shelf life and the life of arctic silver thermal paste in use. When in use the thermal paste may last for around 6 to 7 years.

However, it can last a bit more than the above-mentioned period when not in use provided that all the necessary conditions are satisfied before storing it.