Fixed Laptop Fan with Gun oil

Fix Noisy Fans

A noisy fan means your laptop is being pushed to its limits. Usually by a program that’s taxing on your onboard RAM.

That or maybe the fan just needs some attention.

Unlike desktop fans, which have more room to breathe, laptop fans are smaller. So they have to make up for it by blowing harder.

Whatever the case may be, rest assured that there are ways to remedy the situation.

Lift Up Your Laptop

Let’s start with something basic. Elevating your laptop will give it room to circulate air much more efficiently. This leaves your fan more room to work with.

Because most laptops have fans facing the bottom, the exhaust panels are partially blocked. This makes it hard for hot air to blow out.

So raise your laptops up, give it room to breathe, and the noise should go away shortly.

Dust Up the Fans

If the first tip doesn’t do it, then the fans might need some cleaning.

Dust buildup is nothing new when it comes to overheating laptops. Unfortunately, laptops are barely maintained, if at all.

So if a considerable amount of noise is being produced, it’s possible the fan blades are blocked.

Grab some compressed air and blow some air right into the fans. Of course, it would be better if you can remove the back panel. This would ensure that the dust is blown out of the laptop and you’re not driving dust further into the unit.

While you’re at it, consider cleaning the other internal components.

Note: Not all laptop parts can be removed. So don’t forcibly remove these sections.

After the dust is removed, put the laptop back together and see if the fans are still making any noise.

Plug In a Laptop Cooler

Laptop fans could use a little help from external cooling fan solutions like those sold on Amazon.

These gadgets provide additional air circulation that alleviates some of the pressure put on built-in laptop fans.

They’re inexpensive and detachable so you don’t have to carry them around when you don’t want to.

Video

Checking the Fan

Method 1: The simplest method to test your fan is to listen. Yes, just listen to the laptop when you have it booted up. Most laptops have a standard noise when they’re working.

But when the fan is starting, an additional noise starts, that you can hear easily. Make sure to move in a very quiet room and get your ear towards the laptop’s bottom and just behind the keyboard.

Listen to the above audio clip, this is how a laptop fan sounds; in case you’re not able to differentiate between different sounds.

Though do note that for most modern laptops the fan isn’t spinning all the time. It starts only when you do something requiring more processing power (Image Editing on Photoshop), or maybe you play a more demanding game that’s stressing your GPU; else editing a video.

In any of these situations, the laptop can heat up very quickly, thus determining the fan to start functioning.

Hence, don’t get worried if your fan doesn’t start as soon as you start the laptop; to save power and work efficiently laptop manufacturers set the laptop fan to start only when under stress.

To put your laptop in a bit of stress; you can open Chrome and start any 4K video or a 1080p video with 60fps; in case you own a budget or older laptop, which will put your laptop under stress.

But what if your laptop’s fan is not one that makes any (or much) noise in the first place? Things could get tricky in this case.

Method 2: Another easy method is to locate where the fan blows air out from the computer.

Your laptop’s exhaust will either be on the left side or behind the laptop. If not; then definitely it’s on the bottom.

Once found (and you still can’t hear the fan working when it should), just put a little piece of paper or something else very light beside the vent holes.

If they move by themselves, then the fan is working, since the blown-out air will move the pieces.

Though most modern laptops have a slim profile and hence the exhaust fan size too is small, which might not blow out enough air to move the pieces.

Other than that; if your laptop exhaust vent is on the bottom; then it would get difficult to perform this action.

Yet these 2 methods are the most simple and easy ways to check if your laptop’s fan is working or not. However, there is one more process you could try, if none of the previous ones work for above mentioned reasons.

6. Keep Checking the Temperatures 

Even if the fans are working, but the temperatures are still soaring, that could mean a potential motor problem. You do know that there are many components involved in a cooling system. How to check the temperature? Download any hardware monitoring system to do that. If the temperatures are above 130 degrees even when you aren’t doing anything, then that should notify you about whether the fans are broken or something in the whole system. 

Before you decide on taking your laptop to support, you want to troubleshoot the overheating problem by following these steps:

3. Using Third-Party Software 

The first two methods were mainly physical. This one involves using software known to dig deeper into your laptop’s hardware and bringing out all the information. The software may be paid or free. However, they do work and remove any technicality from your way. So, if you feel a technological challenge, you may want to opt for the software.

I recommend using HWMonitor, SpeedFan, and RealTemp for Windows and iStart Menu for Macs.  

Using the software is entirely easy as you only have to follow certain steps to see the information listed right before your eyes. As I said, this method is far superior. 

But if you don’t want to use any of these, there’s also a Windows-based method. 

Conclusion

In this article, we have touched on some of the primary methods you can try out to test your laptop’s fan.

The first 2 methods mentioned above, work in most cases.

Even so, if you want a more professional ‘opinion,’ I also mentioned software that is capable to test your fan.

Now you know why the fan in any laptop is a vital part. You should really keep it working correctly.

This way, you’ll have a well-performing device without the need to buy a new one too early.

How to Clean a Laptop Without Compressed Air

If you don't have compressed air, or want to avoid generating extra waste in empty cans, then you can clean a laptop fan without it. However, note this method is much more hands-on and involves dismantling the laptop, which can invalidate your warranty and risk damaging it permanently. Only proceed if you are working on a computer that doesn't contain precious data or feel highly confident in repairing it.

As above, shut down your laptop and unplug it from its charger. If you can, remove the laptop's battery,

  1. If possible, locate a teardown guide for your laptop on a site like iFixit. Alternatively, use your motherboard manual or manufacturer website to find a guide on how to take it apart.

  2. Locate the screws on the underside of the laptop and remove them. 

  3. Take off the underside panel, taking care not to damage any ribbon cables (detach them first if necessary). You may need to loosen any glue with a heat source.

  4. Locate the laptop fan and, if you can access it, use a lint-free cloth to remove any dust you can see. 

    jun xu/Getty Images

  5. If your laptop has an accessible heatsink, use the same cloth to remove any excess dust. 

  6. Replace the rear panel and all the appropriate screws and cables.

What Does a Loud Laptop Fan Mean?

Here’s what you should know about fan noise.

The fan, probably the loudest laptop component within your computer, performs a vital function of cooling your laptop, specifically the CPU (central processing unit).

All computers emit heat due to the electricity they consume and then transmit it around their circuitry, all in compacted space.  

So some noise is okay, but if for one reason or another (which we’ll discuss in more detail later), your laptop fan needs to dissipate more heat, the fan spins faster, causing unusually loud noises. 

If the noise gets too loud and distracting that you can barely hear yourself think, you should be concerned as this can negatively impact your laptop.

Overheating can result in your laptop shutting down now and then; something called a thermal check.

This shutting down happens when the laptop fan reaches a pre-set temperature, a built-in protective feature in all computers.

FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions:

Is It Bad if My Laptop Fan Is Loud?

Some noise is okay, but if the noise suddenly gets too loud, it spells a problem. It could be a system overload, blocked vents, dirty fan, hard disk failure, or malware.

How Do I Stop My Laptop From Making Noises?

Several issues can cause noises, and this is what you need to do:

  • Eliminate any rogue background processes.
  • Clean your fan regularly.
  • Cool your laptop. 
  • Ensure nothing is blocking your laptop’s vents.

How Can I Make My Fan Quieter?

Do the following to make your laptop fan quiet:

  • Ensure there’s continuous airflow by giving your laptop room to breathe. Remove anything preventing airflow or obstructing the laptop sides.
  • Use your laptop where it’s not dusty or too hot.
  • Use a cooling pad or fan to help with air circulation.
  • If you haven’t replaced your CPU fan in years, it’s about time you upgraded. 

How Can I Clean My Laptop Without Opening It?

All you need is a can of compressed air, which you’ll point at your laptop’s cooling vents and give them a few blasts of air.

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