Why is my computer fan so loud? 5 ways to troubleshoot a noisy computer



a man sitting at a table using a laptop computer: There are severals ways you can troubleshoot a computer fan if it's loud. Bloom Productions/Getty Images


© Bloom Productions/Getty Images
There are severals ways you can troubleshoot a computer fan if it’s loud. Bloom Productions/Getty Images

As a computer endures use, its fans may begin to work overtime and produce a loud noise. This can be caused by anything from overworking the computer’s CPU, to its specific settings adjustment, to the type of computer itself. (Some computer brands run their fans much louder than others — HP is one example.)

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How to fix a loud computer fan

As with anything, the best cure for a loud computer fan is to prevent it from getting loud in the first place, but that isn’t always possible. For every other situation, give these tips a try to quiet your computer’s fan.

Clean the fan

This might sound obvious, but the more you use your computer, the more dust and other debris become trapped inside. A few sprays of compressed air (available at most electronics retailers) ought to do the trick of cleaning out dust and anything else that doesn’t belong.

Move your computer’s position to prevent obstructions and increase airflow 

It’s important to make sure that your computer’s vents are not obstructed by anything, especially fabrics and other items that could cause the computer to overheat. It’s best to use your computer on a flat, stable surface to allow its airflow to remain uninterrupted. If your computer is inside an enclosed space, like a desk cabinet, you’re better off moving it out so that air can flow freely through its fans.

Use fan control software

There are several different options of fan control software available, such as Speedfan. These programs attempt to control the speed of a computer fan without messing with any other settings. Keep in mind, however, that this kind of software has limited applications and may not work with the type of computer you have.

Use the Task Manager or Force Quit tool to close any unnecessary programs

If there are any programs running in the background while you work on your computer, it could cause the computer’s fans to run loudly. Use the “End Task” function in Task Manager on a PC or force quit programs on a Mac to close out of any unwanted programs and increase your computer’s performance.

Replace the computer’s fans

If none of the above steps help and you’ve exhausted all other options, it may simply be time to replace your computer’s fans. This would void the warranty but could solve your problem, depending on what specifically needs replacing. In order to get the best deal possible, make sure you do research ahead of time and confirm that the fans you’re trying to replace are, in fact, in need of replacing and not just unusually loud.

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