Laptop Making Loud Buzzing Noise: 3 Causes and How to Fix

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Silent Home Hub Laptop Making Loud Buzzing Noise

Laptop making loud buzzing noises that won’t stop? You’ve come to the right place.

There are only TWO components that can cause this: the hard drive and the CPU fan. But since the CPU fan is what moves, then that is the probable culprit.

This isn’t just a Windows problem. Even an expensive laptop like a MacBook Pro or Linux laptops can have this problem.

Not only will fixing that noise solve your headache, but it will also improve your laptop’s performance.

So before you ignore these sounds with earphones, read this article to learn what you can do about the noisy laptop fan!

Table of Contents

What Can Cause a Noisy Laptop Fan?

Why is my laptop making that noise?

The reason your laptop is buzzing is because of the laptop fan.

Your CPU fan noise could be because it’s working overtime. Several things can cause this problem.

Let’s get right to it.

1. Position of the Laptop

One of the problems could be the position of the laptop.

Having your laptop on an uneven surface means the laptop fan would start to knock against the surrounding parts, causing the buzzing noise.

If you position your laptop on your bed often, get a small table stand so you can position it properly.

2. Laptop Fan Damage

If you ever dropped your laptop, there’s a chance the laptop fan is damaged. To solve this issue, you would have to replace it. Sorry, friend.

3. Overheating

The graphics card is what’s likely to heat up. To stop this from happening, the CPU fan has to overcompensate, causing the buzzing fan noise.

Though, if your laptop tends to heat up too much, many things can cause this such as:

Environmental Factors

Computers work best between temperatures of 32 degrees and 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

The heat level of your environment has to be ideal, or it could end up overheating your laptop and overworking the fans.

If you can only work in non-ideal temperatures, then you may want to get special equipment to solve this CPU fan issue.

A Block in the Air Vent

Your computer’s air vent could be blocked.

This can cause your laptop to heat up as no air circulation occurs. Solving this issue is as simple as making sure your laptop air vents aren’t blocked by anything.

Dust Accumulation

Dust on or around the laptop fan blades can cause it to make a loud buzzing noise. A lot of dust causes the laptop to heat up more quickly. Solving this issue requires cleaning your laptop fan completely FREE of dust.

Being Overworked

Just like any other machine, laptops and their hardware can be overworked and lead to one problem after another.

If you have too many programs running, it can cause your laptop to heat up. The fans need to overcompensate and use more power when the CPU is overworked. So to keep the noise down, keep the heat down by not overworking your laptop and its fans.

If your computer is overworked, then the laptop fan would be working overtime to eliminate heat inside your laptop.

Age

Your computer can also heat up too much and become noisier with age.

If this is the case, buy a new computer.

This is one major reason for a noisy laptop fan, overheating, and slow performance. Sometimes, if the machine is too old, fixing the issue would be to just replace it rather than trying one fixing attempt after another. 

The CPU is likely weaker due to age, or it’s not up to date. This means the laptop fan has to overcompensate for the weak CPU.

How to Fix a Noisy Laptop Fan

Now you know what could be causing your computer to be noisy, it’s time to look at solutions.

Here are some things you can do to fix this:

1. Uninstall Malware

One way to make sure your computer doesn’t overheat is to make sure there are no viruses. Being virus-free CAN SIGNIFICANTLY cool your PC down, and therefore the fans won’t go berserk.

Slow performance is usually a sign that your computer has malware. To help with this, install antivirus software.

Other than overheating and loud fan noises, having malware can cause privacy issues and buggy performance, among other things.

Be careful what program you install on your device because there could be malware attached to it.

While both Mac and Windows have their own pre-installed anti-virus software, it’s best to get an anti-virus with better proactive features.

Linux is slightly less susceptible, but it’s still important to have anti-virus for it. Some of these include:

  • Bitdefender Antivirus
  • Kaspersky
  • Webroot
  • McAfee
  • Norton

Most anti-viruses regularly scan your computer for viruses and also have cleaning functions.

If your device is virus-free, there will be less difficulty for its CPU, putting less strain on your noisy laptop fan.

2. Stop Overworking Your Laptop

There is a limit to how many processes your laptop can handle, so try to ensure that your CPU processor, built-in fan, and other components aren’t overworked.

If your RAM has low storage, this can be an issue and makes it harder on the laptop fan too. For example, an 8GB RAM can open more than 16 tabs at a time without worry. Any more than that, and you could be hearing a really loud fan sound already.

Any more than that, and you might overwork your laptop and its fan already.

Whether you use Windows, Mac, or Linux, the number of system processes greatly affects the limits of your processor and can lead to loud fan sounds. The programs you use also affect this.

You can check the background processes that are open by checking your task manager.

Access this by pressing CTRL+ALT+DELETE on Windows or Linux. If you’re on a Mac, you can access the Activity Monitor. This will also help you see if you’re running programs that you can’t see.

CPU activity is expressed in percentages, which is easily accessible in the Windows 10 version of the task manager. The lower the CPU percentage, the quieter your laptop fan would be.

Things like these might be too techy for you and you might a question or two on how to do it right. But it’s pretty straightforward and you should be able to find out which processes are taking up the most CPU in less than a minute.

In most cases, it may be your browser’s activity.

After closing some of your tabs, you’ll notice the fan sounds tend to go down. It also brings up stuff that you may not need, so it comes in handy.

This is a solution you can do without downloading any apps to ease any noisy laptop fan strain.

3. Install Cooling Software

Yes, it seems counterintuitive to download more programs on an overheating laptop with a loud fan.

At this point, you’re probably trying anything BUT downloading more stuff. But these cooling software options are different.

A cooling software closely monitors the temperature of your laptop. Some can even adjust the speed of your laptop fan. This keeps your laptop cool without any additional hardware.

You would be able to know when to stop processes that are taking too much CPU.

All of these features can keep the fans from overworking.

It doesn’t matter what operating system you use. There are a lot of cooling programs available for all operating systems.

There are plenty available for Windows 10. Mac and Linux operating systems also have great apps that you can look at as well to improve fan performance and overheating issues.

4. Get a Stand or a Cooler

If fixing your software was not enough, you can keep your laptop cool by using a laptop stand or laptop cooler. This cools down the machine to a great extent.

Rather than controlling what processes and applications are running, you can get a stand or cooler instead.

Whether you use Windows, Linux, or Mac, getting a stand or cooler can definitely help. Products like these are designed to cool laptops by helping to circulate the air underneath them.

The fan vents are normally on the bottom or the side of the laptop. You want to make sure they’re not covered.

If the fan vent is on the bottom of the laptop, you may want to invest in a stand. This would allow air to flow underneath the laptop, thus helping it to stay cool.

If you need something to cool down your laptop more, you can also get a laptop cooler, which is somewhat like a stand, except that it has fans to help cool your laptop. You can even choose one that has cooling baseplates onto which you can place your laptop.

5. Clean Your Laptop Fan

It’s important to blow out the dust from your computer fan at least twice a year to keep it functional and quiet.

After all, your laptop is a machine and needs regular maintenance.  But how exactly would you go about doing this?

Step 1: Unplug Your Laptop and Remove the Battery

Make sure it’s unplugged from any power source. So make sure you save your files, turn off your computer, unplug it, and remove the battery.

Step 2: Try to Dislodge the Dust Without Opening the Case

Before taking apart your device to reach the laptop fan, try to dislodge any dust from your laptop while keeping it intact.

If you’re able to do this successfully, there would be no need to take apart your computer.

All you have to do is use dry cotton buds to clean the vent grid. You can also use a can of compressed air to get the dust off of the internal fan.

When you’re done with this, you can power up your computer and check if the fan noise is still there.

The fans should be cleaned up by now, but if it’s not enough, proceed to step 3.

Step 3: Open up Your Laptop and Clean It From the Inside

If your computer still makes a fan noise, then it’s time to get down and dirty.

Open up your laptop to clean the fan internally. This will guarantee that you manage to get all the dust off the fan.

First, if you still have it, check your laptop user manual for instructions on how to clean the fan. 

If there aren’t any, you can search the model of your laptop to see how other people have managed to clean the built-in fan.

HOWEVER:

DO NOT do this unless you’re certain you can complete the whole process correctly, as you risk breaking the fan and other components of your laptop.

You need some pretty significant knowledge on how the machine or system works. If you can’t do it yourself, you can always have it serviced by a professional.

6. Replace Your Laptop Fan

If your laptop fan still makes fan noise after cleaning it, then the problem is that the fan may be damaged.

In this case, it’s best just to replace the fan. Sometimes when cleaning, you can already tell the fan is damaged, and it would be best to replace it while you’re at it.

You’ll need the exact product code of your laptop to order the right fan.

You can usually find laptop fans on sites like Amazon. Do note, though, that it’s best to attempt this if you already know how to do so. Otherwise, just send it to a PC repair store to be serviced.

Is It Time to Replace Your Computer?

If your computer still makes annoying fan sounds after everything, then it may be best to replace it with a new machine.

Sometimes a problem can’t be solved anymore, and if cleaning doesn’t get rid of the noises, it’s time to give up and get a new PC.

The fans may not be the only problem if you still have difficulties after following all the steps.

To save yourself the hassle of doing all the work when all you needed was a new laptop, you may want to ask yourself a few questions before even starting.

  • Is my laptop too slow to function? If it’s too slow, then it may not even be worth salvaging.
  • How old is my laptop? If your laptop is more than 10 years old, then it would be best to replace it. Not only is it old, but it also doesn’t have up-to-date software and hardware anymore.
  • Does my laptop have other damages? Having other damages could bring the cost of servicing your laptop up, and sometimes it may be more worth buying a new one.
  • Can I find replacement fans? If you can’t find fans that can replace the broken one, then maybe your device is too out of date, and it’s time to replace it.

If you followed all the instructions and your laptop was salvageable, then the fan noises should have gone away.

If you are replacing your laptop, you may want to look at laptops with a stronger processor and power/performance than the one you currently have, so it can last longer without buzzing.

Final Thoughts

Top view of a macbook

Laptops have a shelf life, and keeping your laptop fan clean can definitely help to extend its lifespan.

While a program could be causing overheating, sometimes it’s just the machine itself.

After reading this article, you should know what to do to stop your laptop fan from making that buzzing sound. Hopefully, this post successfully managed to answer your question!

Now we’ll leave you to work on your noisy laptop fan!

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About the Author

andrea_adams

Andrea Adams

Fidgeting with gadgets and electronics has long been Andrea’s expertise. She has assembled, disassembled, and tweaked almost every type of device you can think of. Through the years, she has come to realize that technology should never be fussy. And that’s where her interest in quiet products stemmed from. She hopes to become your go-to person for insight when deciding on noiseless goods to purchase.