Why Is My Computer Fan So Loud?

Date Posted:12 August 2022 

CPU Fan Mounted on a Motherboard

You've just built your new gaming rig. It plays all your favourite games smooth as butter and runs them at high resolutions. But you're asking yourself, "Why is my computer fan so loud?"

A fancy case and some RGB lighting don't mean much if your PC sounds like a jet engine. It's annoying when you want some midnight gaming. The speaker system won't sound as good with some droning interfering in the background.

Not only that, but a fan always running on high could be a sign of computer problems.

In this guide, we'll discuss the causes of a loud computer fan. Then we'll discuss some ways you can fix a loud fan.

Why Is My Computer Fan So Loud?

The problem is that a loud fan could be a symptom of many different issues. Here are just a few:

  • You're overworking your computer with a certain program or game
  • Your CPU is overheating
  • Your BIOS has a fan set to high at all times
  • Your fan is plugged into the PSU rather than the motherboard
  • There's dust in the vents
  • Something is obstructing the fan

In most cases, you only need to do some minor maintenance. In other cases, you'll need to make some software changes. It's important to diagnose the issue while it's happening.

Don't delay in diagnosing a loud computer fan. Again, this could be a sign of computer problems.

1. Clean Your Computer/Fans/Vents

The most common issue is that your computer has accumulated a lot of dust. This reduces the air that gets through the fans and vents. As a result, your computer turns up the PC fan to get more air.

If you have a laptop, you can remove the back plate. Do a thorough cleaning of the fans, vents, and copper conduction pipes. In some cases, you can spray air cleaner directly into the vents until all the dust comes out.

With a desktop PC, clean all the intake and exhaust fans. These will typically be located at the front, top, and back of your case. Clean the CPU, GPU, and power supply fans. 

Be careful to wear a static bracelet when performing maintenance. Always perform maintenance on non-carpet flooring. 

Make sure your computer fan vents are not obstructed during operation. Give your computer at least a few inches of space on all sides. This allows a proper intake and exhaust for air. 

2. Check CPU and GPU Usage

There's a good chance that you're running too many background programs. Or, you're running programs that your computer is struggling to handle. As the heat increases, your computer turns the fans to the max to compensate for this.

Open the Task Manager with Ctrl + Shift + Esc. Go to performance and check your CPU and GPU.

If you have numbers close to or near 100, that means your processor/GPU are being pushed to their max. It's time to diagnose why that's the case.

One by one, look through the processes tab. Take note of the percentage each one requires on CPU, GPU, and RAM usage.

There's a good chance you're running too many programs at once. Or, you're running programs that your PC can't handle.

Pay close attention to background processes. You might have a resource-hungry anti-virus or cloud storage running without your knowledge. Close those programs and try to avoid opening programs you are not actively using.

Go to these individual apps and remove their ability to run in the background if you don't need them. Reduce their permissions and extra features. 

There's a good chance you are running a game at high settings that your computer cannot handle. In this case, consider reducing graphical fidelity. This will reduce the noise, and ease the burden on your CPU and GPU.

3. Your CPU Is Overheating

The CPU is the core of your computer. When it runs hot, all the fans turn on to give it more cooling. This includes the CPU fan.

There's a good chance you need to replace the thermal paste. This grey paste allows your CPU to transfer heat to the heat sink. As thermal paste ages, it hardens and transfers less heat.

Check your motherboard and CPU fan instructions. Remove the fan, usually via the back four screws. Wipe off the old thermal paste and apply the new paste.

Consider upgrading your CPU fan. A standard, out-of-the-box fan might not be able to provide adequate cooling.

In some rare cases, your CPU might be faulty. If replacing the thermal paste and cooler doesn't work, consider taking your CPU in for repairs.

4. Your Fans Are Set to High

Sometimes, your fans are set to high at all times. This means they'll run at full speed from the moment you turn your computer on. Even if the computer is running light tasks, the fans will continue to run on high.

Check to make sure your fans are plugged into the motherboard. If there aren't enough slots, you may have plugged them directly into the PSU. This is fine, but it means the fans will run on high at all times.

If you'd rather the fans ramp up automatically, then purchase a fan splitter. This allows the fans to determine their speed via the BIOS. Most motherboards do not include more than 3-4 fan sockets.

Check your BIOS settings. In some cases, fans are set to high at all times. This setting is also common in overclocking software such as MSI Afterburner.

Take Care of Your Computer

If you've ever asked yourself, "Why is my computer fan so loud?" you've come to the right place. Make sure to do regular PC fan cleaning. Check what programs you're running, and ensure your fans are set to a dynamic speed.

Your PC deserves the best. Treat it well, and it will run for years to come. It might be time to upgrade the cooling, and you need look no further than the best online shop in town.

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