Laptop Fan Making Grinding Noise

When you work on your laptop, you can sense any minor change. One of the most annoying things is when the fan starts to make a grinding noise and it is very noticeable. You can’t focus on tasks and you are probably concerned whether it is serious or just a simple problem. And maybe you have no time to go to a technician and check the machine, and that is why you need to read this informative article.

Most of the electronic devices have a fan integrated into them to regulate the temperature levels as overheating is such a common problem. But the normal is that fans generate sounds, they are usually tolerable but when they turn into huge noise, it means there is an issue.

But we need you to know first what is causing the fan to do this and then discuss the available solutions for this. So let’s get started.

The Reasons Behind the Grinding Sound of Your Laptop Fan

The fan’s job is to move the air stream by utilizing centrifugal force. The fan is supposed to exist in a cover, so when the fan starts spinning, the air is being pushed towards the cover’s edges. That is how the air stream is generated, and then this air is directed to the laptop’s ventilation openings.

The fans usually perform very well in such enclosed environments, but in order to produce a good air stream, the fan must spin at high rpm levels. And when this happens for long periods for a small fan, the result is not a surprise.

The most common reason is that the CPU fan is working overtime, but why does it start buzzing in the first place? 

There are many explanations for this. The first one is the laptop’s position. If the laptop is constantly on an uneven surface, the fan may start to grind against the surrounding parts.

The fan also may develop permanent damage due to a recent fall, even if it didn’t cause visible damage, it may have affected the internal components.

There is also a big issue which is very common and it is overheating. This can happen due to many factors, such as environmental conditions. Laptops usually function well between 32 degrees and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature is a crucial factor so if you need to work out of this range, you might want special equipment so you don’t cause the laptop huge damage.

There are other factors that explain why it is sometimes very hard for the fan to cool down the processor. There might be something that is blocking the fan air vent. The vent can be blocked by a wall or the surface itself that the laptop is resting on. This can be resolved easily by using a stand or cooler. 

The dust can also cause an issue and when it piles up, a buzzing noise can happen as the fan is not working properly. The good thing is that the dust piles up more slowly inside the laptop than it would do on the desktop. But it can still get dusty and cause the laptop to overheat faster.

Another reason for overheating is the load on the processor. This happens when you run many software programs or applications at the same time so the fan needs to spin faster to compensate. The laptop can be infected with malware too, this is another reason.

The last reason is your machine’s age. As the laptop gets older, the fan will have to spin faster to support the new versions of the current programs, so it may be a sign to start saving for a new laptop.

You can read our guide about best laptop for teachers.

How to fix the laptop’s noisy fan?

Now that you have known about the possible causes of the grinding fan, you can start fixing it through some solutions. You can still benefit from them to enhance the performance of the laptop overall.

1- Uninstall Malware

The first thing you need to do when facing any issue related to the laptop is check for malware. You should check regularly so that you make sure that everything runs smoothly. When you feel the laptop’s performance is getting slower, you should think about malware detection through any antivirus software of your choice or the windows defender. 

Both Mac and Windows have their own built-in malware defense mechanisms. But for extra features, you can use a powerful antivirus even if you use a Linux kernel.

After running a check, the programs have cleaning functions to get rid of viruses and make it go back to being smooth and fast, and you can activate the automatic scan regularly for more security and safety.

2- Close Unnecessary Programs

After scanning your laptop, you may not find malware after all. But your laptop can still be slow and the fan still makes noise. This can happen because of overloading your processor. That is why you should make sure that the CPU processor isn’t expending too much effort to keep your machine working.

To check the CPU, press Control+Alt+Delete to get to the Task Manager. If you work with the Mac operating system, you can do a similar thing with the Activity Monitor. When you open it, you can see all the running apps in the background.

You will find that the CPU activity is expressed in percentages. It is easier to access them in the Windows 10 version of Task Manager. 

You should be able to determine which program is using up most of the processing power. It depends on the programs you use. It is usually the browser if you open many tabs.

3- Get a Stand or a Cooler

When you start using the laptop and it is heating immediately, you need to check the position of the fans. The fan vents on a laptop are either on the sides or the bottom of the device.

The fan’s sound can be much louder if the laptop’s position blocks the vents. This makes the hot air almost impossible to get out of the laptop, so the fan spins faster and louder to compensate.

In this case, try to make it easier for the fan to function by adjusting the laptop to a convenient position and removing the obstacles. Try to keep the laptop away from the walls if the vents are pointed back or to the side. But if it is at the bottom, you might need a laptop stand.

Besides, you can purchase a cooling pad. This will not just lift your laptop to a higher level, but it also has several built-in fans to keep your device cool.

4- Install a Cooling Software

You might be thinking that installing additional software is not the wisest thing to do as the laptop is already struggling to work properly, but in reality, a certain kind of software may help to avoid the overheating issue. 

When you install cooling software, you will have the opportunity to track the laptop’s temperature. These programs typically can monitor different components’ temperatures. 

There is another great function and it is controlling the speed of the fans. 

Windows has a System cooling policy you can enable in the Control Panel. You can find this option when you click on Change plan settings. Then in the Power Options menu, you can find it in the Advanced power settings window.

5- Clean The Laptop Fan

We are all familiar with the problems the dust causes in the internal components. It is usually the problem with the fans because they can get very dusty without you noticing. So the best thing to do is to clean the dust at least twice a year to keep the fan quiet and efficient.

But cleaning the laptop has some rules that you should follow so you don’t damage it.

First, unplug the laptop from all power sources. Save your work and shut down the machine, then unplug and remove its battery.

Before opening the case, try to clear the dust by using cotton swabs to clean the vent grid and a can of compressed air to get the dust off the internal fan. The dust will probably be gone now and you have to check it by powering the computer and find out whether the fan is still making noise or not.

If the issue still exists, you will have to open the device and clean it internally. Every machine is different, so you need to check the instructions guide for any information about the cleaning process. If you can’t find anything, try to search for videos or consult someone about this.

If you feel like you can’t handle this, better not to take the risk. Contact a specialist and let them do the job for you as it is not an easy task to do.

6- Replace The Laptop Fan

If all these solutions didn’t work for you, and the fan keeps making a buzzing noise, it is probably damaged, so you need to get a new one.

To do this, find the product code of the laptop and order a replacement fan. If you don’t know how to replace it yourself, don’t do it. Go to a technicians’ and leave this to the experts as they can do the job for you.

Final Thoughts

We have shown you in this guide what are the reasons for a grinding noise coming from the fan and how to try and fix it through simple solutions. We hope you fixed the issue, and please contact us in case of inquiries and questions. Good luck!

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