What Does a Loud Computer Fan Mean?


So you’re minding your own business, playing a game, browsing the web, or working online, when all of the sudden you hear that telltale noise. Your fan is whirring like mad. Your computer isn’t happy and you’re not sure what the problem is.

Sure, you can keep working like this, but the sound is distracting and your computer might even be slowing down. What’s happening? What should you do about it? 

A loud computer fan might sound scary, but it’s almost always a minor (and fixable) problem. We’re here to talk about it. 

Keep reading to learn all about that loud computer fan noise. 

First: What Do The Fans Do?

Like all fans, computer fans do their best to keep your computer cool. The energy that your computer needs to do everything that you need it to do can generate a lot of heat. The computer fan helps to keep the heat down. 

The fan circulates air around or away from the components within the computer. 

Without fans that work properly, the computer would overheat. This can cause serious damage to your computer. Most of the time, if a fan isn’t working for a long enough period of time, a computer will turn itself off to prevent damage. 

So you might be wondering “why is my computer fan so loud if it’s clearly working?”

While your fan’s noise does indicate that it’s working, it doesn’t mean that there’s nothing wrong. So what should you do next? 

How to Fix a Loud Computer Fan: Causes and Solutions

The solution to your problem is going to vary depending on what’s causing it. If your computer fan is loud but not hot, you likely have a different problem than if your computer is hot to the touch. 

Here are a few common problems and solutions for when your computer is running loud. 

Outside Contaminates

Your computer might be in perfect condition, but outside contaminates are getting all caught up inside. This is going to diminish your fan’s ability to cool down the computer. 

Believe it or not, you should be cleaning your computer every now and again if you want to keep it running smoothly.

For a desktop computer, it’s best to open up the case and clean the computer by hand. You can use a bit of compressed air and carefully wipe away any visible dust or debris that could be getting in the way of your fan. 

Laptops are tricker. Most people aren’t confident enough to open up their laptops and work on them from within. In this case, stick to compressed air and visit a professional if that doesn’t work. 

Once your computer is clean, it should be quieter. 

Poor Airflow

So there’s no dust in your computer but it’s still making noise. What gives? 

Think about where your computer’s fans are located and compare that location to where you have your computer set up. Does the fan have good airflow, or is something blocking it?

If your desktop computer is tucked away in a corner somewhere, it’s possible that there isn’t enough air getting to the fan. Even moving it a few inches away from the wall can make a big difference.

If you have a laptop, this is actually a common problem. Many people sit with their laptops on their laps or on airflow-blocking pads or tables. If your laptop is warm and fans don’t have open access to good airflow, move your laptop somewhere else. Consider putting the edge of your laptop over open air for a few moments.

You can also purchase a laptop cooling pad if that’s more convenient for you. It can be difficult to work on a laptop and keep it cool at the same time. 

Too Much Running Software

It’s possible that your laptop is overwhelmed and that’s what’s causing it to heat up (and thus causing your fans to go into overdrive). It’s always a good idea to check on what your computer is running. 

Some programs are too heavy for computers to run all of the time (especially laptops). Certain games, music apps, and even some chat clients can cause computers to overheat. Open up your task manager and use some trial and error to determine if one of your programs is the problem. 

If you know that nothing that you’re intentionally running could be causing problems, do a quick malware scan. It’s important to do routine malware scans anyway if you want to keep your computer secure. 

You Need a New Fan

If nothing else is working, it’s possible that you need a new fan altogether.  You have a few options here.

If you have a laptop, it might be time to buy a new one. It’s not easy to replace laptop fans, and if your laptop fan is giving out, it’s likely that the rest of your computer is old enough that you can justify getting a replacement.

You could, of course, send it in for repairs to see if something can be done about it. 

PCs are easier because most parts are replaceable. If you’re not comfortable replacing it on your own, send it in so a professional can take a look!

Do You Have a Loud Computer Fan?

If you have a loud computer fan, use this checklist and see if you can find the culprit. There are plenty of potential causes, and they’re all fixable with the right tools and resources. 

If you can’t fix the problem on your own, we want to help you! At Computer Revival, we can diagnose and solve your computer problems in no time. Contact us so we can start helping today.



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