How To Check if Fans Are Working on a Laptop

Disassembling A Laptop

Do you suspect that your laptop is overheating quite often? It is possible that the fans might not be working, which you can check with a few workarounds. 

Quick Answer

To check if your fans are working on your laptop, turn it on, run a resource-heavy program, and put your ear near the fan vent. If you can hear the faint whirring of the fans, they are working fine.

To help you with this task, we have written an extensive guide on how to check if the fans are working on your laptop with easy-to-follow instructions. We will also discuss increasing laptop fan speed and some signs that might lead to their replacement.

Checking if Fans Are Working on a Laptop

If you don’t know how to check if the fans are working on your laptop, our following 3 step-by-step methods will help you accomplish this task easily.

Method #1: Listening to the Sound

Most of the time, you can check if your laptop fans are working how they are supposed to be by hearing their whirring sound in the following way.

  1. Turn on your laptop.
  2. Run a resource-heavy app.
  3. Put your ears closer to the fan vent (the location of the fan vent can vary with the laptop model).
  4. Listen to the sound of your fans to check if they are working.
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It might take  10 to 20 seconds for your fans to make the functional noise after running a resource-heavy program, so wait patiently to hear the sound.

Method #2: Feeling the Air

If you can’t hear a sound, you can also check if your laptop fans are working by feeling the pressure of the air coming out of the fan vents in the following way.

  1. Turn on your laptop.
  2. Locate the fan side vents on your laptop.
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  3. Place your hand or a piece of paper in front of the vents.
  4. Launch a resource-demanding program.

Your laptop fans work fine if the paper is slightly moved or blown by the air from the vent or you feel faint, warm air on your hands.

Method #3: Using Third-Party Software

With these steps, you can also check the operational status of your laptop fans and much more using third-party software.

  1. Open a browser of your choice on your laptop and head to the SpeedFan website.
  2. Click the “Download” link to download the program on your PC. 
  3. Click the downloaded file to install the SpeedFan software on your computer using on-screen prompts.  
  4. Open SpeedFan.
  5. Check the fans and their speed below “CPU Usage” on the main interfaces to ensure they are working on your laptop. 
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How Do I Know When To Change the Fans?

With time, the performance of the laptop fans degrades, so there are some signs that you should look out for to know when you need to change them.

  • Frequent overheating issues.
  • Slow system performance.
  • Running software freezes without reason.
  • Loud noises coming from your laptop.
  • Cracked or inconsistent fan sounds.
  • Weird smells coming from your laptop.
  • Unprompted shutdown after short periods of use.
  • Keyboard heats up.

How To Increase the Fan Speed on a Laptop

If your laptop fans work slower than your preference, try the following methods to increase their speed.

Method #1: Using the Control Panel

To increase the speed of slow-working fans, open the Control Panel on your Windows laptop and follow these steps.

Step #1: Opening the Laptop Power Plan

In the first step, head to Control Panel > “Hardware and Sound” > “Power Options” > “Change plan settings”, and click the “Change advanced settings” option in the bottom menu.

Step #2: Increasing the Fan Speed

In the “Power Options” pop-up window, scroll and locate “Process power management”. Next, click the “+” beside it to expand the option, click “+” next to “System cooling policy”, and select “Active” on the “On battery” and “Plugged in” options.

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Click “Apply” and then “OK” to make the changes and increase the fan speed on your laptop.

Method #2: Using BIOS Setup Utility

Most laptops allow users to change the fan’s speed if they are working too slowly in the BIOS menu using these steps.

  1. Shut down your laptop and turn it on again.
  2. Press either the F10, F2, F1, or Del keys, based on your laptop’s model, to enter the BIOS setup utility.
  3. Navigate to “Monitor” using the arrow keys.
  4. Open “Status”.
  5. Locate “CPU Fan Speed”.
  6. Set the speed to either “400RPM” or “500RPM” and hit Enter.
  7. Repeat this step for all the fans you have on your laptop. Press the “Esc” key to exit the BIOS setup utility, and that’s about it!
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In this guide, we have discussed if the fans are working on your laptop. We have also discussed some signs that the laptop fans need replacement and some methods to increase their speed.

Hopefully, your query has been resolved, and you can now understand your laptop fan condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my laptop fan not working?

Your laptop fans might stop working if they have been clogged with dirt and dust particles after not being cleaned for too long. An accidental drop could also be why you don’t feel the air blowing out of your laptop fan due to internal damage.

Is it safe to use a laptop if the fan is not working?

If you feel that your laptop fans are not working, you need to immediately shut off your laptop to protect it from completely dying and replace the fans.

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