How To Manage a Noisy Laptop Fan

Laptops and desktop computers are some of the most expensive items many people own. And, as a device, they get put through their paces too. Gaming, working, video calling, editing photos, or simply surfing the net. 


Our device uses a lot of memory to run even the simplest of applications, and, a laptop or computer, even when just turned on, will use about 2GB of memory. 


Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash


As the laptop or desktop age, it is more likely that you will notice them slow down a little bit. Websites might take longer to load; you can make a drink in the time it takes from pressing ‘on’ and being able to type in your password. 


Some laptops seem to have the issue more often, and you can read more about the overheating issue with a MacBook using that link. 


How can I tell if my laptop or device is overheating? 

A standard laptop isn’t designed to go above 35 degrees celsius (95 Fahrenheit). And you might not realize it, but your computer can easily exceed those temperatures before you notice that it is hot. 


The components within the body of the laptop or other device aren’t designed to withstand these temperatures. It can damage the hardware, start a fire or burn the person who touches it. 


Aside from the temperature, there are other ways to check and see if your laptop or device is overheating. 


  • It takes a long time for applications to open
  • Applications freeze and cause you to restart the computer
  • Basic tasks like opening email take a long time
  • Your laptop doesn’t always register peripherals like mice and headphones 
  • You get unexpected crashes
  • You can hear a loud whirring from the system


What should I do if I can hear the laptop fan?

You can usually hear the laptop or device fan when it is working harder than usual. Most fan systems in newer models can function almost in silence. 


The fan also has to deal with a lot of dust and debris, and this can weigh the fan down, causing it to work harder to spin. 


There are also some types of software that put more demand on your laptop, and you may hear the fan start running when those applications are opened. 


When a fan appears to be running loudly for an extended period – without any stress like opening an application, this can indicate an issue with the fan. 


If you know where the fan should be pushing air out, place your hand a small distance away from the vent. If you don’t sense any air coming through the vent, this could be an indicator that the vent is blocked. Meaning the fan is working twice as hard but not being able to cool the unit. 


Often using compressed air can clear any blockages, but this will depend on the make and model of your laptop or desktop. 


What can I do to avoid my laptop overheating?

Many people take the term laptop literally and will work with their laptop on their laps, on their bed, or another soft fabric surface. The issue with this is often it blocks the vents that the fan will use to cool the system down. 


It is recommended that you have your laptop placed on a laptop riser. A laptop riser serves a few purposes. Aside from putting your laptop at the right eye height to avoid neck and backaches, it also helps the laptop fan do the best job. 


If you are one of the millions of people who like the idea of typing and working in the sun when you can, then this is, unfortunately, something else that you should be avoiding. Your laptop isn’t designed to sit in direct sunlight – and this puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the fan. 


Perhaps you are the type of person who likes to work in a warm and cozy room. Your laptop will go through a similar situation to sitting in direct sunlight. Albeit not as hot, it does mean that the device’s fan will be working harder than it needs to. Keep the surrounding temperature in the room you are working in steady. 


When you aren’t using any peripherals, it is a good idea to unplug them, even more so when you aren’t using the laptop overnight. And, rather than leave the unit on standby, make sure that you turn it off completely. This means the fan will get a rest and have a longer lifespan. 


Keeping your laptop or other devices in good working order is a must for working from home; for other tips, check out: Tips that will help you to Effectively Work from Home

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