Hearing a laptop fan noise is concerning and disconcerting. A laptop fan making noise is a sure-fire sign of something going very wrong… right?
This article will delve into why a laptop fan making noise might be worrisome or might not be something to worry about. In either case, do not panic. Regardless of whether you have a budget laptop or a shiny new top of the line Alienware, this can happen to you.
The fan can especially begin to make noise if you have a tendency to push your computer. For example, if you use a laptop for video editing or gaming, there is a greater chance of this issue coming up.
Remember that this article deals mainly with issues in which the fan is making a noise it should not make. If you fan is simply too loud due to overheating, check out some of the best laptop coolers to keep your laptop cool and the fan noise down to a minimum. On top of that, cooler parts tend to last longer, potentially prolonging the life of your laptop.
Let’s look at the different types of laptop fan noises you may encounter, through which you can narrow down what yours is.
Laptop Fan Making Grinding Noise
This one is the easiest to fix. If you find your laptop fan making a grinding noise, there are two possibilities. If you installed your fan yourself or had your laptop fixed recently, it’s possible you installed it against the polarity (+-). In case your connector keeps you from mixing that up or that you’ve checked and that’s not the case, this is a sign of a dead fan. A dead fan should be replaced at the earliest; taken to a trusted shop and exchanged for a new one, possibly installed by professionals who have experience doing this.
It’s also possible that the problem is with the heat sink, but the important thing to note is that this requires you to take it in for a check-up, tuning and replacement.
If, however, you find the laptop making grinding noises only at start-up, then it’s possible that this is an issue with the bearings, which is much easier to fix; but we still don’t recommend opening up your laptop on your own (if you can) and potentially messing up something else in the process (unless you have a lot of experience doing this).
Laptop Fan Making Rattling Noise
If you find your laptop fan making rattling noises, you might not need to replace it just yet. It’s possible that your fan is obstructed by wires or dust, even if partially. This is also true if you find your laptop fan making buzzing noises.
Look for a tutorial on how to disassemble a laptop that is specific to your make and model, open it up and get to the fan.
You now need to oil the fan. For this, a single drop of sewing oil will do, but first you might need to remove a plug or a sticker on the back of the fan. Drop the oil in, check for anything obstructing the fan, and then close it back with the plug and/or sticker as carefully as possible.
Of course, if this doesn’t work, it’s best to replace the fan.
It’s also important not to toss your laptop around. If you carry it around, invest in a special-use messenger bag, but try not to keep it in a backpack where it might rub against a different kind of fabric day in and day out. Excessive dust can get inside the laptop and cause issues with the fan in some cases.
How to Fix Laptop Fan Noise
There are a few “best practices” you can employ. Knowing how to reduce laptop fan noises doesn’t require a deep technical know-how of computers and how they work, but simply remembering to do a few checks every time you use it will help keep your laptop stable and in good running condition.
A laptop fan making noise more than you expect it to simply means that it’s overworked and overheated. Some of the advice given before applies. It might be that your laptop has accumulated too much dust, or that it’s too old and a lot of the brackets inside the casing are causing problems. You need to make sure to keep your laptop ventilated; don’t let it heat up on a surface, but instead, keep it elevated by placing something soft and stable under your laptop to prop it up, or by utilizing coolers and cooling pads. Be careful, however, that the surface is hard, like a desk, and not your lap or your bed.
It could also be a software issue, which means that using a solution also from the software side will help. Open up your installed programs to see what’s running on your laptop. It might be that you have a ton of very heavy and CPU-intensive software installed that can’t run very well on your laptop’s specifications and it’s causing a burden to be offloaded through the fan having to work hard to keep the laptop cool. Malware is also a possibility – a computer software solution such as Advanced SystemCare will let you check for all these aspects.
Finally, you can adjust your Power Options to “increase battery life and reduce performance”, as well as making sure you have the latest BIOS. However, this will not be ideal for people who game, edit videos, and generally push the laptop to its limits.
In most cases, you should be able to fix the noise on your own. However, if you find things to be a bit complicated, you should take your computer to a professional so that they can properly investigate what the issue is.
The usual cause for laptop noise for me has been accumulation of dust in the fan. I can usually fix this by carefully opening the case and cleaning. As far as oiling a fan, one need to be VERY sparing, because excess oil will just collect even more dust.