Today’s laptops have intelligent temperature control, meaning the fan will adjust speed based on the temperature of the computer. When you run more complicated games or software, you can expect to sometimes hear a louder sound from the fan.
So if your laptop’s fan is constantly loud, it probably means that it’s running hot, and to calm those fans down, you should work on cooling your laptop. Here are some things you can do to reduce the stress on the machine and quiet the laptop’s noisy fan.
Undervolt your CPU
The thermals in many laptops aren’t great – it just comes with the territory, particularly if you’re playing lots of games or doing CPU- or GPU-intensive activities.
We have a separate guide showing you how to check your CPU temperature, but once you’ve confirmed your CPU is too hot and you want to cool it down and quieten those fans, then the free app Throttlestop is a great option. This undervolts your CPU, which can greatly reduce your fan noise while hardly impacting performance.
You can just use one of the undervolt presets in the app, but if you want to really see how far you can push the undervolt, then check out our Throttlestop guide.
Close unnecessary programs
Most people who use their computers only run two or three programs at a time. But if you use more programs concurrently, such as a web browser, a word processing program, photo- or video-editing software and a music streaming service, you put more stress on your machine, often causing your fan to make extra noise.
Sometimes your computer may be running extra programs in the background, and shutting those down may reduce the load and quiet the noise. To close programs, open the Task Manager. You can find this by right-clicking on the taskbar. Once it’s open, look for programs that are draining your RAM and CPU. Right-click on the process you want to close and select the End task option.
Raise the laptop
Most laptops have the fan on the bottom of the machine. This leaves only a very small space for the hot air to escape from your computer. To keep the fan from overworking, it’s a good idea to leave some space between the bottom of the laptop and the surface you are working on. You can use pretty much anything to lift the computer up as long as it doesn’t cover the exhaust. There are also laptop stands you can purchase that raise the laptop and keep the air flowing.
Get a laptop-cooler pad
Laptop-cooling devices provide additional air circulation, making them a great option if you use your computer on a desk or other static position. You have options like cooling baseplates or vacuum fan coolers that suck the hot air right out of the computer. The temperature will reduce the stress on your fan and may eliminate the noise.
Coolers are a must for those of you running highly complex programs to keep the temperature down and reduce the noise from the fan. However, using an external cooler is not a long-term solution if your computer fan is constantly making noise.
Clean your laptop
People tend to ignore their laptops, and they don’t always get cleaned as they should. This can cause the fan to make noise. Dust could be blocking the fan blades.
Get a can of compressed air and open the back panel so you won’t be just blowing the dust deeper into the machine. You may want to clean the other components while you have it open.
Use the air in short bursts to remove the dust and other particles in the computer, especially around the fan and the heatsinks.
Once you’ve blown out as much dust and dirt as possible, put the computer back together and see if the fan is still running noisy. Removing the dust may even make your computer run a little faster and cooler.
Even if your fan is not making noise, it’s a good idea to clean out the inside of the laptop once a year to avoid problems.
Check for malware
If shutting down some processes doesn’t affect the sound coming from the fan, malware could be the culprit. Malware will slow your computer down and raise the temperature as your computer tries, unsuccessfully, to follow your commands. More effort from your computer means more noise.
A super-quick way to check for malware is to return to the Task manager and look for processes named with strange strings of letters or other odd-looking names. Google it to find out what it is. If you can find information about it and it’s legit, then leave it alone. If you can’t find it, it could be malware.
Just because you don’t find anything on the Task manager does not mean malware isn’t present. If you don’t have an antivirus program, download one and run a scan to be sure.
If none of these troubleshooting tips work to quiet your noisy fan, then perhaps a factory reset is in order to clear your PC of any underlying software issues. For more PC pointers, see how to increase the maximum volume in Windows 10. Also, take a look at our guide on how to hide updates in Windows 10.