Laptops use energy and energy creates heat, thus laptops get hot. The fan, usually placed on the left-hand side of the chassis, is designed to remove the hot air, allowing the machine to remain cool and functioning perfectly. Generally, your fan will only start up once the laptop reaches a certain core temperature, and work harder the more your laptop is doing, creating noise whilst doing so. A 3D game, running several programs at ones, or covering up the heat vents will all cause the fan to work harder and therefore, be louder.
A laptop cooling pad can really help in the first instance. The inbuilt fans keep the laptop running cool, therefore the internal fan doesn’t need to work so hard. Cooling pads are designed to run near silently.
What causes my laptop fan to get louder?
There are a number of reasons why your laptop fan becomes louder. Some laptops naturally have fans that run louder than others, and we take that into account when carrying out our reviews, but if your fan is becoming louder, there could be a number of reasons why:
- Dirt and debris – this is the usual reason why fans have to work harder. Crumbs, fluff and dust can all build up and over time, cause the fan to work less efficiently.
- Increased system load – if you’ve recently changed your operating system, or have numerous programs running in the background, this could account for the fan’s increased volume
- Hard drive – the noise could be coming from the hard drive, rather than the fan. If you suspect this is the reason, back everything up as soon as possible, just in case you are facing a failing hard drive
- Outdated drivers – these can cause the system to work harder to perform even the simplest of tasks, and the increased heat will cause the fan to, in turn, work harder
- Cryptomining Malware – cybercriminals are increasingly hijacking laptop power to mine cryptocurrencies, slowing down your machine, and costing you money. Other viruses can also cause your device to work harder, putting a strain on internal components, and making the fan work harder.
What can I do about a loud fan?
Firstly, check for Malware and any viruses by running decent anti-virus software – you should be doing this regularly anyway. If your fan is still loud, the next step is to clean the fan, ensuring it’s free from fluff and dust.
How to clean a laptop fan
There are a couple of ways to do this, and the easiest is to get yourself a can of compressed air. Often sold specifically for this task, most come with a narrow tube to force the air into the laptop’s vents and USB ports. Once you’ve unplugged everything, use quick bursts of air into the chassis to shift the debris. This method is the least intrusive and usually does the job without needing to do more.
If this doesn’t clear the fan, then it becomes a little trickier, and the chassis has to be opened. If you don’t feel confident doing this yourself, there will be computer repair stores in your local area that can do this for you.
However, if you feel like this is something you can tackle, this video offers some excellent pointers: