Why Is My Laptop Fan So Loud? {10 Reasons & Fixes}

Having a loud laptop fan may, at times, be normal, especially when performing heavy tasks. Laptop fans usually spin faster when components such as the CPU and GPU are under heavy loads, thus generating higher levels of noise.

No one likes the weird and really annoying metallic sounds produced by a computer’s fans though, more so when you’re trying to concentrate on your work.

While it is normal for your laptop fan to produce a reasonable degree of noise, louder volumes may indicate that something may be wrong with your laptop.

It can start as a buzzing, perhaps tolerable sound at first, and develop into a constant, intense sound that will surely bug many users.

Panasonic laptop cooling fan mounted on the processor

So if you have asked yourself “why is my laptop fan so loud lately”, it may be something along these lines below.

A laptop fan can get noisy for many reasons. Fans are built out of many mechanical components that will, with age, fail. Loose bearings and/or screws may cause fans to produce louder levels of noise.

Overheating may be another possible cause. Higher CPU and/or GPU temperatures will force the fan to spin faster, resulting in higher volumes.

Aside from those mentioned above, there are a few other possible reasons why laptop fans can be getting so loud as well. You can find out what they are and fixes below.

1. Dirty/Obstructed Fans

Dirty or obstructed fans can result in very loud laptop fan noise. This is also the first thing to check when notice your laptop fan making noise more than usual.

The amount of air moved by your fans is considerably lower when dust of dirt obstructs them thus resulting in less effective heat dissipation.

Laptop making loud noise due to dust clogged internal heatsink

As a response to high temperatures being detected from your CPU and GPU, your motherboard will signal the fans to spin faster in order to reduce the temperature.

More revolutions per minute (RPM) equal to more noise produced.

A quick way to fix this is by cleaning the dust that builds up in your laptop, especially around the fans’ areas. In some cases, you may have to disassemble your laptop in order to efficiently remove dust from these areas.

2. Blocked Vents

Aside from the fans, dust can also block air vents. This usually results in a decreased heat dissipation and, as already discussed, higher fans’ RPM.

Clearing the vents is easy. You can use a compressed air duster to clean the dust off these surfaces. A paintbrush with soft bristles can also be used to move the dust off the air vents. You may find that once the vents have been cleaned that the fan noise will decrease.

3. Faulty Fans

It is normal for fans to fail after a certain amount of time. This in turn could be the result of natural wear and tear.

When the fan bearings start to become loose, a loud rattling noise will be produced. This may quickly become unbearable.

Replacing a laptop’s faulty fan is no ordinary task. Unlike PC fans, these are specifically designed to only fit a certain series of products. This will mean you will need to do research before finding a new or used, compatible replacement.

4. Overheating CPU

When your laptop’s CPU is under heavy loads, you will notice your fans spinning faster. You will notice by the extent of noise coming from your laptop.

Several factors are responsible for causing your CPU to overheat. Below is a list of the most common issues.

  • poor ventilation
  • clogged air vents
  • faulty fans
  • heavy programs that run in the background
  • dried out thermal paste

A few quick fixes include cleaning the dust off your laptop to provide better airflow, checking the condition of the fans, closing unnecessary and not needed programs, and if necessary reapply thermal paste on both the CPU and GPU heatsinks.

But how do you determine if a CPU is running too hot?

The quickest way to assess this is by checking the temperatures using third-party applications. Ideally, you want to keep your CPU temps below 85°C when under heavy load.

You can also check our ****How To Keep A Laptop Cool***** article for more information on how to cool down your laptop.

5. Outdated Drivers

Having outdated drivers could also result in your hardware not being able to perform to its maximum potential. If you do not update your drivers, your hardware can perform inefficiently, thus being one of the primary causes if your laptop runs hot.

To fight this, the fans will spin faster, resulting in excessive noise being produced.

A quick way to fix this is by updating your components’ drivers. Luckily, Windows 10 does a good job of allowing the user to check and install available driver updates.

6. Software Errors

Software errors are an uncommon cause of a noisy laptop fan. However, frozen and non-responding heavy programs and games may increase CPU and GPU usage forcing the fans to spin more fast than usual.

message showing a program has stopped responding

To fix this, simply open the Task Manager by right-clicking on the taskbar and selecting “Task Manager”. An alternative way of accessing the Task Manager is by pressing Alt + Ctrl + Del.

From here, right-click on the program/s that you want to close and select “End Task”.

7. Out of Date BIOS

An outdated BIOS can also be responsible for super loud fans. Because your laptop’s fans’ speed is controlled and adjusted by your motherboard’s BIOS, it is necessary to keep it up-to-date.

8. Malware

Malware is software designed to harm and damage your computer. These include computer viruses, worms, Trojan, spyware, and many more, and can start draining and taking up your computer resources.

In this case, hardware such as the CPU and memory can start overworking, which will put them on their knees, resulting in excessive heat being produced. For this reason, it keeps making the fans spin faster, thus resulting in excessive laptop fan noise.

To prevent this from happening, it is an essential process to regularly update your antivirus programs.

9. Lots of Background Programs Taking Up Resources

As we all know, every program that is currently running in the background takes up computer resources. Although you may not be directly using or interacting with them, part of your system’s memory and CPU will be used.

windows task manager showing background running processes

Make sure to close any not needed background processes. The most effective way of doing this is by accessing the task manager.

10. Maybe Other Hardware is Responsible for the Increased Noise and Not the Fans

When someone starts to ask themselves, “why is the fan on my laptop so loud”, it is a common mistake to quickly attribute a laptop’s loudly issue to its CPU fan/s.

Keep in mind that a series of other components can also control and adjust the speed of your fans.

This includes your GPU which, in most laptops, shares the same fan with the CPU. On a side note, a failing hard drive may also produce as much noise as a faulty fan.

Traditional mechanical hard drives contain a small spinning disk where the memory and data is written. Because of the mechanical nature of the component, a failure in this mechanism may cause loud whirring noises to be constantly produced.

If your laptop comes with a built-in CD/DVD-ROM drive, it may be worth checking whether a trapped disc is the reason for the increased noise.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is my laptop fan so loud all of a sudden?

If you are in the middle of something and your laptop suddenly got so loud, it is most likely because of the programs that you are currently running.

If your fan speed is set to auto, this will enable your system to automatically adjust the speed of the fans depending on the applications you use and the CPU and GPU usage they require.

How do I reduce the fan noise on my laptop?

The best way to do this is by reducing the applications’ load on your system. This is going to give your laptop a chance to “breathe” and cool down for a moment.

Check the condition of your fans and make sure that the airflow isn’t restricted. Even as last resort, you can reduce the speed of your fans at the cost of higher temperatures being detected on your CPU and GPU.

Is it bad if my laptop fan is loud?

In some cases, having laptop fans running loud may only be considered a minor issue and therefore easily fixable. It is always worth your time to check it in order to prevent any further damage to your system.

I hope that you found this article useful and it helped you to put an end to this crazy annoying problem. We have many more informative articles that you can find here.

I think that this article about whether it is worth overclocking a laptop GPU useful as this can result in louder fans in some cases.

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